Patagonia River Crampons

It’s been a while since I have reviewed any fly fishing gear.   This isn’t because I haven’t been fishing (I fish a couple times a week when conditions are good,) but rather because I haven’t bought any fishing gear in a long time.  I’ve been pretty happy with the gear I’ve been using. However,… Continue reading Patagonia River Crampons

“Overlanding” (Car Camping) in Utah’s Canyon Country and Deserts

I used to be a backpacking snob.  I felt that backpackers that explore the wilderness walking around on their own two feet, carrying everything on their back were morally superior to folks who drove into the backcountry in a vehicle. However, after spending a fair amount of time in Utah’s deserts and canyons, I’ve become… Continue reading “Overlanding” (Car Camping) in Utah’s Canyon Country and Deserts

Lightweight Backpacking with Boy Scouts

Backpacking in Colorado's High Country

I have been a scoutmaster or assistant scoutmaster for 23 of the last 25 years.  I have been involved with boy scout troops in New York, Colorado, and Utah.  I’ve had inner-city scouts, suburban scouts, scouts from poor families, and scouts from wealthy families. Throughout all of my scouting experiences, I have learned that a… Continue reading Lightweight Backpacking with Boy Scouts

Mammut Smart Alpine Belay/Rappel Device

Mammut Smart Alpine Belay/Rappel Device 4.4 ounces I’ve been using the Mammut Smart Alpine device for several months now.  It has become my favorite belay/rappel device.  Its primary defining feature is that it is an autoblocking device, much like the well-known Gri Gri.   It isn’t guaranteed to hold a fall without help from the… Continue reading Mammut Smart Alpine Belay/Rappel Device

Fuji X100 (Black Special Edition)

Fuji X100 Black Special Edition with Fuji Case, Lens Hood, Gariz Strap

The Fuji X100 is a camera that has received more hype and publicity than just about any camera I am aware of.  Its retro, rangefinder style and terrific image quality have made it a big hit among photo aficionados. Why carry the X100 if I already have an OMD? I own a couple of Olympus… Continue reading Fuji X100 (Black Special Edition)

Cascades Part 2: Forbidden Peak, East Ridge

High camp in Boston Basin

After our success on Mount Baker’s snow and ice (see part 1 below,) I wanted to try my hand at a rock route. Chris originally thought that the Torment-Forbidden traverse would be a good objective, but the weather window looked a bit questionable, so we ultimately decided on a shorter objective.   We drove up… Continue reading Cascades Part 2: Forbidden Peak, East Ridge

Cascades, Part 1: Mount Baker North Ridge

Approaching the ice cliff pitches on Baker's North Ridge

I had been looking forward to a trip to the Cascades for several months.  Plane tickets bought, plans made.  I’d been training, dreaming, putting together gear lists, etc.  However, as the time to go drew near, my friend I was going with told me that he wasn’t going to be able to go.  His work… Continue reading Cascades, Part 1: Mount Baker North Ridge

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ice Pack

Ice Pack in the Cascades

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ice Pack is a lightweight alpine pack that I have been using lately for big days and light overnights in the mountains. The ice pack is about 40 liters (2,400 cubic inches) in capacity, and can hold everything I need for a day of ice climbing or winter alpine climbing day… Continue reading Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ice Pack

Olympus OMD EM-5 Camera System

Fotodiox lens keeper and keychain clip

The Olympus OMD EM-5 Camera   (15.3 ounces) I’ve been using an Olympus PEN E-P2 camera for several years now.  It’s a micro 4/3 system camera that accepts interchangeable lenses.  The sensor is half the size of a full frame sensor, so the “crop factor” provides the field of view equivalent to that of a… Continue reading Olympus OMD EM-5 Camera System

Outdoor photography gear update Part 1: Pocket Cameras

(left to right) Panasonic TS2, Canon S100, Panasonic LX5

Outdoor photography gear update Part 1:  Pocket Cameras  This update addresses Pocket Cameras.  A follow on update will address Micro 4/3 system cameras and lenses, including the new Olympus OMD E-M5 I almost never go into the outdoors without a camera.  I love taking pictures of the places I visit and the things I do. … Continue reading Outdoor photography gear update Part 1: Pocket Cameras