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Feathered Dead Birds....

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby minimalistix » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:22 pm

Yeah, there are posers out there, but hey if someone want to dump $600+ on jacket that never get used . Go for it, figure it gives me a chance to pick it up later, at a big discount from retail. I've picked up several used pieces of fairly expensive gear at cut rate prices that way

Anyway, part of the fun on busy mountain routes is seeing what gear other people are sporting. Was on Cotopaxi a few weeks ago and thought the Olympus Mons boots some folks we wearing was overkill for the climb, but they were planning to do many other trips (from Anacongua to Nepal) so they're probably outlast the shoes my climbing buddy was wearing.

I have several pieces of expensive gear/clothing. But mainly that's after upgrading from relatively inexpensive gear. To each his own I guess.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby welle » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:34 pm

bearbreeder wrote:
welle wrote:Few things: superior stitching, superior fit, signature ironclad guarantee, chest pocket, hood comes up to the chin, recycled materials, 1% for the Planet and I don't have to pay shipping and customs for getting stuff from Canada. .


i actually dont find there to be much difference in the quality ... Mec caries both the r1 anf their knockoff

mec's warranty is the same as rei's in practice ... i've returned gear there years afterwards

as to contributing ... Mec was instrumental in contributibg to the smoke bluffs prov park in squamish to protect climbing and recently helped protec the malamute there

the way i look at it with the $88 i save i can donate half of that to a charity of my choice, get a tax writeoff and still save $44 dollars

Eb first ascent has a powderdry hoody that is functionally the same for $99 with their great warranty .... Not to mention their crazy after xmas sales

what are we really paying for when we buy these yuppie brands?


I'm obviously not in Canada, and in NYC we don't have an REI... yet. I prefer shopping either online (pure online stores like Backcountry) or at a climbing store at my local crag or other locally owned stores at climbing places I visit. I had dismissed Pata for years as a yuppie brand, but the first time they came out with their down sweater - I agonized a bunch and splurged on one on sale. I was so impressed with the quality and functionality of the piece, I started seeking out their other stuff. I mostly get things on sale, but things I'm guilty of buying retail and close to retail are their Guide pants and a Houdini. Houdini is my favorite piece of gear, and there are no knock-offs out there come even close yet. My down sweater is on its 3rd year, I wear it to climb, work, wherever and it still looks practically new. I don't think people can say the same thing about their Eddie Bauer jackets. A friend bought a similar TNF jacket and it's already falling apart. Consumerism is what's wrong with today's world. If I can have 1 jacket for $200 that is multi-functional and will last me 5 years, it is better than a $50 jacket that only is good for one season is only good for one thing. That's what yuppie brands are for - too work well in the field but still look good out in town - so you are buying 2 coats in one.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:45 pm

welle wrote:
MoapaPk wrote:I go through about two pairs of approach shoes, and one pack, per year. Perhaps they aren't totally failed; but big rips in packs (like between the shoulder blades) and worn-thin fabric, and flat or flapping soles on trail runners, usually signal time to look for another deal. The culprit is usually abrasion from siliceous limestone, volcanic rock, and sandstone chimneys.


Moapa, maybe you need to talk to Crackers and get a real pack that lasts. Like someone above said "Buy it nice or buy it twice". There are still pack makers around that build things to last and not get replaced every year.


It's not the stitching that fails. Cheap and expensive packs are usually made from similar grade nylon, and I've found that the expensive packs last no longer in the cited environments. They simply abrade through, even after multiple applications of all sorts of goo. Eventually enough holes develop and things start falling out.

I do have some good packs that I reserve for multiple day trips, winter trips, and so on. Those last a long time. I still have a frame backpack that I sewed in 1973. But for the scrambling stuff with lots of chimney moves... the day packs are disposable commodities.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby bearbreeder » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:51 pm

I have an eb dowlight vest... Quality is on par with anything else by dead bird, mammut, pataguci, marmot, etc ...

Its my favorite and most used down ...

And it cost me $60 all in

The eb fa downlight has more down than the patagucci and is warmer as tested by backpackinglight ...
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby dskoon » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:18 pm

bearbreeder wrote:I have an eb dowlight vest... Quality is on par with anything else by dead bird, mammut, pataguci, marmot, etc ...

Its my favorite and most used down ...

And it cost me $60 all in

The eb fa downlight has more down than the patagucci and is warmer as tested by backpackinglight ...


Sounds like you're making the right choices for yourself then.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby Dow Williams » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:29 am

Thread brought about good discussion and that was the result I sought. Outside of dskoon and welle being a bit insecure and taking the question personally, I thought everyone put up some good posts.

Moapa is right. It is not about the stitching that dead bird has you guys so sold on. That is not what wears out, the fabric wears out far quicker against sandstone, limestone and/or ice, not the seams. To make the fabric stronger, you have to add weight. Most of us who climb hard in the alpine consider speed essential to getting larger routes bagged, weight is the utmost on our mind. Why you will not see us carrying toothpaste, extra underwear, tents, heavy bags, etc. Keep in mind if it is a challenging route, we are loaded down with rock and/or ice protection.

Again, I climb with many dirtbaggers, not just on rock, but ice and alpine too. Of course they do not have these hollywood brands, not the characters I meet who have saved up, hit the road and committed themselves to climbing for a year or more (unless they pulled it from a dumpster or had it given to them). I rarely see it on those of us who climb full time either.... who can afford it or get it comped. Thus the question that started the thread. I don't see these hollywood brands in the field often where I climb, but when I do, it almost without fail ends up being someone who does not seem very capable in the art of climbing, but proudly displays what they perceive to be all the "bells and whistles". Curious why they did not spend the same money on guides or lessons.

Great story last year on an alpine route. Four of us. My client/friend was from Texas. My partner's was from Calgary. My guy was outfitted with the kind of stuff he sees me wear. My partner's guy had on $1300 dead bird, head to toe and an expensive bag. Supposedly quite experienced, in fact bagged more 11er's than either my partner or I. My guy hung. Dead bird guy cost us a bivy at 11K during unsettled weather. Had to be pitched out at every corner. Who knows what his shit weighed. As I brought everyone to the summit on a belay during the last bit of light we had....I was a cursing. Anyone who knows me knew way before this experience, I damn near make it a policy to avoid anyone wearing deadbird (unless the almighty dollar is involved of course). It just means trouble. I knew that and still got caught in the shit with a deadbirder.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby HeyItsBen » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:14 am

Dow Williams wrote:Great story last year on an alpine route. Four of us. My client/friend was from Texas. My partner's was from Calgary. My guy was outfitted with the kind of stuff he sees me wear. My partner's guy had on $1300 dead bird, head to toe and an expensive bag. Supposedly quite experienced, in fact bagged more 11er's than either my partner or I. My guy hung. Dead bird guy cost us a bivy at 11K during unsettled weather. Had to be pitched out at every corner. Who knows what his shit weighed. As I brought everyone to the summit on a belay during the last bit of light we had....I was a cursing. Anyone who knows me knew way before this experience, I damn near make it a policy to avoid anyone wearing deadbird (unless the almighty dollar is involved of course). It just means trouble. I knew that and still got caught in the shit with a deadbirder.


:shock:


Yeah, I hear that! The other day I was pulllin' hard on a stout .11b, tearin' it up and proud of myself. Then the wind kicked up, so I borrowed my buddy's dead bird jacket, after that I couldn't climb a 5.8 if my life depended on it. Took the jacket off and was back on the .11. Like a reverse Excalibur, that jacket was! :D

Mabye the guy bagged all his 11er's before he found a sweet deal on dead bird products!

What brand will make me climb better?
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby bearbreeder » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:15 am

Dow Williams wrote: My partner's guy had on $1300 dead bird, head to toe and an expensive bag. Supposedly quite experienced, in fact bagged more 11er's than either my partner or I. My guy hung. Dead bird guy cost us a bivy at 11K during unsettled weather. Had to be pitched out at every corner. Who knows what his shit weighed. As I brought everyone to the summit on a belay during the last bit of light we had....I was a cursing. Anyone who knows me knew way before this experience, I damn near make it a policy to avoid anyone wearing deadbird (unless the almighty dollar is involved of course). It just means trouble. I knew that and still got caught in the shit with a deadbirder.


i swear it wasn't me !!!!

i only wear my dead birdies to pick up ski bunnies these days ... really :mrgreen:

courses ... bahhh ... can't let everyone see im a yuppie if i wear mec clothes after taking the courses

must ... flash ... label ...
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby dskoon » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:45 am

jschrock wrote:Just in case y'all missed it...this guy Dow climbs a lot. And real hard too. He even climbs real hard a lot. He's also a hard alpine climber who climbs all the time ... and hard.

Just in case you missed it...or didn't get the memo or something.



Yeah, I got the memo, the guy climbs a lot. And hard. And only with dirtbaggers. Or, with guys who don't measure up but wear expensive gear,(and perhaps pay the way?) resulting in their scorn from Dow. At least here on the internets. . .

Hey Dow, btw, I certainly did not take anything, not one little bit, personally. Rather, your posts provide great comic relief. Amazing, really,(coming from some dirtbag climber like yourself), and semi-regular. Your judgemental generalizations of bullshit couldn't fill the largest crevasses on Rainier.
But keep at it, you'll someday really get your point across.
Last edited by dskoon on Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby dskoon » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:06 am

One more thing there, Dow, seems Welle and I aren't the only ones disagreeing with your posts. But, if you want to call us both out and say we were taking it "personal," well, it just adds more to the comic relief you provide.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:00 am

So far no one has mentioned the ties among gear cost, global warming, gun control, religion, and abortion. And reality TV. Sierras.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby Buz Groshong » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:35 pm

MoapaPk wrote:So far no one has mentioned the ties among gear cost, global warming, gun control, religion, and abortion. And reality TV. Sierras.


You forgot to mention taxes, economic recovery, and Israel and the Palestinians! :o
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby fluxlib » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:05 pm

Why do you give special thanks to OR, Osprey, and Backcountry.com in your profile if you think people who buy their stuff are Kooks ??

Perhaps, as a guide, you serve yourself and your clients better by keeping your opinions of those you have guided to yourself.

Many people make choices in life and wonder what the other side of the coin feels like. they spend their weekends and their extra dollars chasing it but it's never the same as living it every day. Most of these folks get into the usual trappings and try to keep steady as the bills pile up, the kids need braces, the dog ate a beer can, the wife wants to remodel, etc. they live vicariously through sites like this, blogs, topo software, and research their gear and it helps them to inch closer to that one week a year where they shed it all and live like you live for a brief moment. Had they the experience to know that a walmart windbreaker works about as well as a Mountain Hardware one then they may have rethought it. But you know how good these companies are marketing. So they pay an extra 40 or 50 bucks for the pictures of the guy on the portaledge looking happy in his warm jacket. But you know, the Patagonia Jacket is well thought out and has the design benefit of 100 pros for over a decade tweaking every last thing about it. And if you have any kind of sense you simply wait for the sale anyway. I don't pay full price ever, no reason too. Know what you want and wait for it, it always comes.

I had the good fortune of running into a true dirtbagger this summer and yes, mearly by talking to him for a bit I got some good insight. Guy was a climber and a burly hiker for sure. He stayed at the trailhead and caught us the next day after we had camped overnight and were slogging up a pass to our second night stay. he bagged a peak with my buddy while I fished. I admired him as he had very little gear and only a loaf of bread and a luna bar. He drank from the high lakes and filled his gatorade bottle up before splitting. He had a long way out and left an hour before dark. Cool dude and you know he is tough. He did comment about my BD tent and how his was from Wal-Mart. I didn't really care as that night it blew 60mph all night and I slept like a baby with a belly full of food and good scotch, tucked in my nice warm sack of dead birds, while my expensive tent barely moved in the gusting wind, only staked at the 4 corners.

Now don't get me wrong saying that I need expensive gear, but knowledge comes from experience, as does skill. The more I head to the backcountry, the more things come out of my pack and I do find that some of my more expensive purchases were overkill. But then some of them were way worth it and I shivered for years in a crappy cheap bag, and got chased off my stargazing rock one too many times by cold wind. I got the goods and they work great.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby welle » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:12 pm

Dow, what is your problem with amateur climbers who don't climb full time (who also happen to be your bread and butter)? They don't spend every day climbing and training hard like you do, therefore they have to compensate with better, warmer, lighter gear to avoid epics.

I have looked pass your little "personal" attacks on me and for the sake of a good legitimate discussion, while generally agreeing with you, I was trying to make an argument for either side. It is interesting that you have selectively ignored Crackers' comments and decided to pick on me and Dskoon. I get it - we are the "5.6 climbers" of this forum - non-controversial weaklings.

I climb with hardmen who still wear painter pants and climb on straightshaft tools (I actually started clibming on straightshaft too), but I also climb with hardmen who can afford better gear and choose to support local businesses. I choose my gear (and everything else I own) wisely so it lasts for years - I usually wear things to the ground. My pack is 3 years old, has holes from crampons etc. and is my year-around pack for cragging, alpine, ice and backpacking - my partners shame me into getting a new pack, funny to hear that from men to a girl. I have one sleeping bag that I use from summer into winter (I did buy an expensive -20F sleeping bag for a canceled expedition, but it has to go, since I've decided if I can't climb fast and light I should probably be better off not climbing that mountain). I work 9-5 and only climb on weekends, so I'm not hard enough to rough it Carhartts in below-zero temps yet, therefore I have my softshells - what's wrong with that? Less mountain statistics and less work for SAR. For the record, I do give money to conservation non-profits and also donate my time as a volunteer webmaster for one, and have hired a guide.
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