Feb 11 2018

A partisan view of Red Fox Outdoor Equipment

For those who are not aware, one of my sources of income these days is writing copy and manipulating words in the Googoo-sphere for Red Fox NA. I’m about to start publishing reviews of their gear, but it won’t be by me, that would compromise my integrity as a writer. Not helping grow awareness compromises my sustainability. I trust that if you see something you like in their product line, you will be satisfied. Like any worthy company, if you have a problem, they/we will take care of you.

The author striding up Helbronner between Chamonix and Courmayeur wearing a Red Fox Eiger softshell jacket.

Skinning up Helbronner between Chamonix and Courmayeur wearing a Red Fox Eiger softshell jacket.


Keep earning your turns

Feb 08 2018

The State of 2-pin Telemark Bindings

Telemark Tech bindings are here to stay.

The original Telemark Tech System binding (early beta version, circa 2010).

The original Telemark Tech System binding (early beta version, circa 2010).

The 2-pin connnection

When Mark Lengel first proposed the idea of the Telemark Tech System (TTS) skepticism was the typical response. That’s a near universal first impression of the confidence inspired by the lowly 2-pin tech toe, also known by its founding brand name, Dynafit, or other terms like low-tech, pin-tech, or merely as “tech” when spoken of over beers at the trailhead. Mr. Lengel knew better; those tiny pins can bite tight on the tip of a boot, which meant they might work for tele. As time always seems to prove with the puny 2-pin toe, it is unquestionably tough enough, especially I dare say, for tele.
Keep earning your turns

Feb 06 2018

Takemitsu teles Japan

You don’t have to understand a lick of Japanese to understand this short, sweet vid.

LINES #01 from Turns by Takemitsu on Vimeo.

Keep earning your turns

Feb 04 2018

OR Winter 2018: Best of Show – Crickets

Mind you, this was after having had an overpriced but otherwise decent salad for lunch at the Colorado Convention Center where the Winter Outdoor Retailer show was going on. Hunger was no longer driving me, only a craving for salt. So I was crunching on thin, nutritionally vacant Lay’s potato chips. As it was, that was the driving force for the gentleman to walk from behind the booth in to the aisle to ask me, “would you like to try a healthier way to satisfy your craving for salt?”

“Like what?” I asked.

“Crickets,” he replied.

Crickets for snacking on. Really. Yes. Insects.

Crickets for snacking on. Really. Yes. Insects.


Keep earning your turns

Jan 23 2018

Stoked Stix – better than ‘bucks

Get stoked. Smooth, rich and strong without specialized cookware. Add hot water and serve.

Get stoked. Smooth, rich and strong without specialized cookware. Add hot water and serve.

Ordinarily instant coffee is reserved for road trips and backcountry tours. However, it only took one sample cup of Stoked Stix for me to modify my daily routine. In fact, I sort of sabotaged my original plan, which was to use Stoked Stix instant coffee on a five day tour along the crest of the Sierra Nevada.

As it was, I still opted for Starbucks on the tour. Not because I preferred Verdana instant, but because I found I liked the Stoked Stix so much I burned through it before the trip even began. It was as smooth and rich as my standard cup of fresh pressed joe. Even the dark roast was smooth without the typical bitter bite of burned beans.
Keep earning your turns

Jan 17 2018

First Look: Marker’s Alpinist 2-pin binding

Marker has built a reputation for building alpine bindings with superior performance. Typically that means downhill performance – as in a binding that delivers a solid connection between the boot and the ski, but also knows when to let go. Marker’s new Alpinist 2-pin tech bindings maintain the alpine connection, but this time the performance emphasis is on the uphill.

The Alpinist adds uphill performance to Marker's binding repetoire.

Marker’s Alpinist: 245 grams of uphill prowess.


Keep earning your turns

Nov 24 2017

Review: Scarpa Maestrale RS2
—a worthy upgrade

Scarpa's Maestrale-RS for 2018.

Scarpa’s Maestrale-RS for 2018.

Although Scarpa put in a little overtime to improve the performance of their legendary Maestrale boot line, the part they tout the most in this second version (RS2) is the improvement you’ll notice the least — the lateral stiffness. There’s no denying the torsional rigidity of the boot has been improved by infusing the back half of the scafa with carbon for maximum power transfer. However, the plain Maestrale, like its predecessor was already plenty stiff for most conditions thanks to a Grilamid lower shell. Thankfully Scarpa did not make the tongue of the boot from Grilamid also, but instead used Pebax, allowing for some progressive give to the forward flex, making these boots a delight to drive the fall line in. Even though the increased lateral stiffness is noticeable, unless you plan on running gates with these boots, the improvement, though welcome, pales compared to the degree of noticeable improvement in Maestrale’s touring performance.
Keep earning your turns

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