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When you buy new gear.....

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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby Marmaduke » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:05 am

Also, doens't it make a difference on one's metabolism? I for one get warm very easily. I do not need much in the way of layers or "great" brands" to keep me warm BUT the worst weather I've been in is 15+/- degrees with winds gusting to 50 mph (wind chill ??). So wouldn't some materials and brands work real well for some and be very poor for others?
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby Denjem » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:15 pm

So it kinda sounds like price and weight are the main focus. Except for Dow, who is worried about being a poser. If you are not a poser, then what are you worried about? I agree with Chief, when you climb a lot ultra light gear sucks. When you are backpacking weight becomes way more of an issue. What does it matter if your jacket weight is 7 oz. when the rock rack you carry is 15 lbs? As far as making your own gear, that sounds awsome but I don't have those kind of skills and machinery. Moapa sounds like you have a niche. Fishnets! I feel the pain about the China syndrome. Is it better if it is made in Vietnam? My western bag is made in US of A and I am still not a poser, am I? Price is a consideration, but it costs more to buy multiple jackets and gear than one good piece. Am I a poser if I wear patagonia? It is a little less expensive than dead bird, but I may only be able to climb 5.9 where as the the dead bird flies me up to 5.10. What are some of the brands that are worth the high prices?
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby Dow Williams » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:29 pm

Denjem wrote:What does it matter if your jacket weight is 7 oz. when the rock rack you carry is 15 lbs?


Until you climb long hard routes in the alpine (and I don't mean hauling everything but the kitchen sink up on a tag line via aid, I mean free climbing), you prob could not figure this out. But the issue is, the more time you spend in the true backcountry, you do start counting ounces on everything, pro, clothes, boots included. If you took the attitude you offer above...then you say the same thing about your tent/bivy, bag, boots, cams, slings, clothes...the next thing you know....you can't keep up with whoever you conned into taking you on some alpine excursion because you have too much weight on your back. My issue with someone outfitted with deadbird is...that always seems to be the guy on any guided trip I am involved in...who holds everyone back....if I could sort out who could or couldn't go on a trip at the parking lot...I would leave behind you guys who think you can buy your way into being a climber with fancy ass, heavy clothes, gear or boots. Can't be done. I try and avoid climbing with posers. Whether they pay me or not, It is not fun.
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby adventurer » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:59 pm

I don't do big walls or any serious rock climbing for that matter. I've done a lot of long route alpine climbing, ranging from several days to several weeks, often in very poor conditions. I've climbed solo, with partners, and been on guided trips.

While I don't disagree with any of Dow's points, in many cases on guided trips it is the trip organizer who has been responsible for recommending boot, clothing, and gear selections to novice climbers. I've had many newbies tell me that they bought a certain pack, shell, etc. based on recommendations from the guide service.

It takes time for new climbers to learn, gain confidence, and get experience. Along the way, they often rely on experienced guides for gear recommendations.
"When you travel, if you avoid the people, reject the food, ignore the customs, and fear the religion..... you might as well stay home"
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby The Chief » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:21 pm

Dow Williams wrote:Until you climb long hard routes in the alpine (and I don't mean hauling everything but the kitchen sink up on a tag line via aid, I mean free climbing), you prob could not figure this out. But the issue is, the more time you spend in the true backcountry, you do start counting ounces on everything, pro, clothes, boots included. If you took the attitude you offer above...then you say the same thing about your tent/bivy, bag, boots, cams, slings, clothes...the next thing you know....you can't keep up with whoever you conned into taking you on some alpine excursion because you have too much weight on your back. My issue with someone outfitted with deadbird is...that always seems to be the guy on any guided trip I am involved in...who holds everyone back....if I could sort out who could or couldn't go on a trip at the parking lot...I would leave behind you guys who think you can buy your way into being a climber with fancy ass, heavy clothes, gear or boots. Can't be done. I try and avoid climbing with posers. Whether they pay me or not, It is not fun.


Appears that you indeed would be leaving behind a buttload of dudes that most certainly can and will outclimb (in both speed and difficulty) you in a heartbeat there Dow if your perception of "deadbird" is correct.

Funny thing is, most manu's of gear these days have indeed considered the weight issue in their R&D. But, and IMO a big ass but, it better be made with materials that will withstand some hardcore consistent beatings.

Quality NOT Quantity (or lack of).

As a paid guide, I can ONLY recommend and not mandate either way what the client chooses to wear and utilize. I get paid whether we make it to the summit or not. The non-summiteers learn their lesson, the hard way. Next time they return, they most likely will take our rec's. But gear period doesn't make the climber as Dow noted above. Many non-summiters I have had also learned that the hard way. Goes both ways.

Last two seasons, I have been using these two manu's clothing. They are holding up nicely, decently made and somewhat on the light side.
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby Dow Williams » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:41 pm

Maybe so, but you are not of one them.

Oh, there are exceptions as there is to just about anything in life....I can only speak from my personal experience.....which is....it is always the dude with the most expensive/heavy kit that slows us down. Of particular exception would be those who have been comped the merchandise which is common in Canada regarding deadbird. I have sold no less than 5 pieces given to me personally. Some chose to keep theirs. I personally consider most all of it to be to heavy, too many bells and whistles, to be conducive to what I teach which is diverse layering capability. Not to mention the last thing I want folks with me to worry about is what is happening to their $500, $600 and now, $700 jacket or pants or pack or bag when we are in the thick of things. I want them focused on the task at hand.

Rab is a fantastic company offering better merchandise than deadbird at less than half the cost....but I admit, not near as cool of a logo which I know is pretty damn important when out and about in town. I used a Rab bivy, less than 1lb, this summer. Bomber in the field.
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby MoapaPk » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:00 pm

I read the opening post once more, and looked at the OP's recent activities. It looks like he's talking about a few sierra peaks by class 3-4 routes, and a lot of long hikes in the coastal ranges. Maybe the answers can be put in that context.

Very few times in the last year have I hiked/scrambled in anything but a hat, shorts and a t-shirt, even when I was wearing crampons and using an ice axe. My warm and waterproof items spend the vast majority of their outdoor time in the pack. Typically water makes up 1/3 to 2/3 of my carried weight. I would guess that's not typical.
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby The Chief » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:04 pm

Dow Williams wrote:Maybe so, but you are not of one them.

Stop it!

I just spewed my lunch all over the screen.

Yur trip up the ER of Humphreys was slow as fk there sport. Hope that isn't indicative of your actual "speed" abilities....

BTW, my comment regarding "deadbird" has nothing to do with company or their gear in general perse. Has to do with the weight issue.
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby Dow Williams » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:55 pm

MoapaPk wrote:Typically water makes up 1/3 to 2/3 of my carried weight. I would guess that's not typical.


I split my time between the alpine and desert. Two different worlds. First of all, we spend many more nights out in the alpine. Resolution Arete at Red Rock is classified as a V grade climb by the locals/fa'ers as I recall. It was just a day climb for us, but of course no water en-route. A grade V climb in glaciated territory, Bugs, Canadian Rockies whatever, would most certainly require at least one if not multiple nights with below freezing temps at night (during the summer months). We have to haul shelter, sleeping bags, rock gear, ice gear, crevase extraction gear, snow gear, fuel, stove, food. The one thing we actually don't haul is much water at any given time. We either can locate melt drainage or melt snow. Complete opposite conditions really. A be-night at Red Rock is most certainly different than a be-night in an alpine environment.

Weight issues become huge when you have to climb with all this stuff on your back. Even the weight of the pack itself becomes an issue for me. Do it enough times, you skip the extra underwear and toothpaste. Many of the climbs involve traversing the objective, not to return to a base camp. It becomes critical to control sweat by delayering quickly and efficiently and to quickly dry out wet layers when possible. This is why you don't want heavy boots. Take extra socks instead. If you carry a light weight down layer, you don't need a thick rain layer, just one that works, and keeps your down dry. Eliminate redundancy. You don't run with a 0F bag. You run with a 40F bag and sleep in your clothes, down, hat and socks. Etc.
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby The Chief » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:07 pm

And then there's the world of Grade V+ Big Walls, summer or winter. A whole different burrito to bight into. Where the gear will in fact be your life line and the important key to one's success, let alone survivabilty. Skimp here in quality and inventory, and you die as have many in the past the world over for doing so. The NPS (Yosemite Valley) even has rules dictating gear. If one calls for a rescue, then is pulled to safety and found to not have had the proper gear, they are cited, fined and will pay the full expense of the rescue.

Again, as noted by all the posts, gear is completely dependent on the challenge at hand.
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby Vitaliy M. » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:46 pm

You don't run with a 0F bag. You run with a 40F bag and sleep in your clothes, down, hat and socks. Etc.


+1 That's what I do. Why carry a 6lb synthetic sleeping bag+2 pads+bivy+fleece+down jacket in winter if you could sleep in your +10 down bag on one 14oz pad and wear your down jacket/extra socks in a bivy sac.

Where the gear will in fact be your life line and the important key to one's success, let alone survivabilty. Skimp here in quality and inventory, and you die as have many in the past the world over for doing so.


+1
You want something that will work/be light enough.

I think it is important to be a good climber first and have good gear next. Out of all my climbing partners (JUST MY EXPERIENCE), ones that climb the best, are ones that care about gear the least. They have sufficient stuff that is durable and will work, but no sparkling dead bird 700$ jackets with pretty logos. I love people with 20 jackets each for a different kind of trip. I have seen PROS that wear new gear but it is usually due to being sponsored- if you can get that new jacket for free, why not?! Dow and Chief, I am sure both of you agree that it is more important to be a good climber than a gear whore, have no idea why you (both competent climbers) argue over it...
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby The Chief » Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:17 am

Part of being a "good climber" is knowing about and how to efficiently use gear, regardless how much one has or how heavy it may be.

Who's arguing. We just have our set opinions.
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby Denjem » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:50 pm

Thanks for figuring it out for me DOW. John Muir is laughing at us all right now. So in what gear do you like to drag the posers up in?
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby Dow Williams » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:36 pm

Denjem wrote:Thanks for figuring it out for me DOW. John Muir is laughing at us all right now. So in what gear do you like to drag the posers up in?


Any gear that is light, versatile and reasonably priced. Just don't be a douche and think the more expensive a boot or jacket is, the better it will serve you. Does not work that way, not even close. No climbing jacket is worth $500, $600 or $700 dollars. Just isn't. Way too much layering necessary for such a jacket to exist at today's competitive prices anyway. If you are dressing for style or to get noticed, that is a different subject for someone else to address. Everything about my choices revolve around performance and weight (because I am typically hauling it on long days up challenging terrain).

You need sweat control first and foremost. Processed (smart) wool or like quick drying product on your skin. The next piece on top should be extremely versatile, like the $100 OR Ferrosi Hoody, fleece and/or thick softshells are to heavy in my opinion. Then a light weight down. Mont Bell makes a great 800 fill down 7+ ounce down jacket I use, can get it on sale for just over a $100. Then OR's rain jackets are second to none in terms of weight/performance/full side zips: Mentor, I only use for winter ice climbing in Canada. Foray, 15+ ounces, my go to glacier alpine jacket to protect me in storm, snow or rain. Helium, 6 ounce desert rain piece.

That is it for the top. Hail, rain, sleet, snow. Canadian Rockies or desert.

My feet never get cold and I admit I feel sorry for those whose do. That said, most still wear way to heavy of a boot for the objective in mind and suffer via extra calories burnt hauling them on their feet, sweaty feet which turn into cold feet at the belays and blisters/soreness. The more you experience, the lighter you will get on your foot wear. Just a natural progression I have noticed. Pay attention to ounces when buying a boot. Even though you are wearing them, you are still hauling them.

My hands have been frost bit, when I was young, not climbing. Again, sweat is the culprit. Gloves are another oversold product. You need dexterity when climbing ice in the winter for example. Carry multiple thinner glove like the OR Verts and Extraverts, $50 gloves...vs larger $150 insulated ones. Gloves will get wet from snow, ice and sweat, then they are worthless for the rest of the climb....keep your hands dry and they will stay warm if you are active (climbing). Use cheap (Costco) chemical hand warmers to warm them up at the belays.

Like my feet, I just don't naturally need much on the bottom. I am usually working pretty hard. Processed wool around my boys first though, no chaffing. Then normally a regular summer pant, even in alpine conditions, along with a long pair of thin wool underwear and a thicker pair to switch out or use together depending on potential conditions. Decent gaiters will keep the lower leg from getting wet in the snow. Take a very thin and lightweight rain pant with 3/4 or full side zips (to get in and out of with crampons) to keep dry during rain or snow.

Headwear is the cheapest, lightest and simplest way to control heat/cold/sweat while on the move. Take a thin balaclava and a thin technical cap that wicks.
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Re: When you buy new gear.....

Postby Denjem » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:54 pm

We have much more in common than the posts might suggest! Thank you for the clarification.
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