The Mountain Hardware Chuter 15, with added zippers and stitching
I am impressed by Andrew McLean’s designs. They’re practical; some break new ground. He’s not afraid to depart from convention to reach practical solutions.
I’d been considering the Chuter 15 ski pack as a functional step up in a small pack. Andrew’s post tipped the scale; I nabbed the last (?) retail Chuter available online. How better to explore a designer’s vision of the ultimate ski pack than to try it? After modifying the pack to correct a major flaw (hence ‘SuperChuter’), it’s the pack I hoped it would be.
The Cold Cold World Valdez
Thoughtful, durable, lightweight, low cost. Phone call, not web form. Not custom, but Randy will alter the pack to suit your needs.
The ‘Avalanche Pocket Guide’ is perhaps most appropriate as an in-field reference to introductory avalanche texts for skiers in their first 50-100 days or 1-3 years (whichever comes last) travelling in avalanche terrain. Long-time backcountry travelers may like it for completeness, or when teaching, but won’t consult it at every decision point during the day. Check one out in person (or in the photos), to decide it’s useful for you.
At ~$300 with a choice of lenses, the EOS M is a phenomenal deal. Yes, even with the upgraded firmware, it’s slow to focus in comparison with SLRs and fast mirrorless competitors, but the image quality surpasses anything available at that price point.
If you’re often in the market for the ~S95/100/110 series or G11-like Canons and are serious about photography, give the EOS M a look.
Need an altimeter/barometer watch? This is it. Tough, accurate, gets it done. It’s been $40-50 for years; at that price, it’s much easier to wear it in abrasive environments. The tool you bring is more useful than one you coddle.
My SGW-300H, after a couple years of wear.
Well, I bought a Garmin Fenix watch, to be reviewed soon; but I was just as excited about the little wireless temperature sensor Garmin introduced at the same time.
It’s an ANT+ temperature sensor built into the tiny Garmin footpod form factor. I’m looking forward to using this in winter, when temperature can be of avalanche interest in the field and back at home.
Read on for mass and temperature measurements…
A curious jacket. Light, breathable, and kinda warm.
Creative construction makes it notable.
This thing is awesome. Sometimes a simple tool makes your life better. This is one of those tools.
It’s faster, easier, and more precise.
Apologies for few updates, I’m finishing my Ph.D. thesis.
Gear thoughts from recent months: Microspikes are good, well made, grip well; BD Traverse poles (older model) are heavier, fold nicely, like ’em; BD Ion headlamp requires instruction-reading to install battery, is light, not super bright; 2014 BD Spot headlamp is bright, touch function is ~okay.
Skiing is good.
We picked this book up at Powell’s in the autumn. I think my exclamation upon seeing it on the shelf was “No way! Allen and Mike have made an avalanche book!”
For those not familiar with Allen O’Bannon and Mike Clelland’s telemark and backcountry ski books, they’re informative and well-informed hand-illustrated guides to techniques and skills of use to everyone. All heartily recommended. This new book is up to date and down to earth. Snow science is described in functional detail, and the realities of avalanche terrain are shown in practical and visual detail. As with William Nealy’s “Kayak”, didactic cartoon diagrams can triumph over prose and photos.
For years, my singular recommendation for an introductory avalanche text has been Bruce Tremper’s “Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain”. The quality of that text is timeless; it has a new companion. For new skiers without a scientific bent, or for younger backcountry travelers, “Avalanche Book” may be the more-effective book. A backcountry travel course with which I’m affiliated has chosen to try Allen and Mike’s book this year as the course avy text.
Another holiday gift recommendation from MeasuredMass. A look inside follows…