Ice

Review: Mammut Wall Rider Climbing Helmet

Review: Mammut Wall Rider Climbing Helmet

Mammut’s innovative new helmet, the Wall Rider, features an Expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam body with a small hard-shell cap on the top.  This hybrid of exposed foam and hard-shell blends the features of two different helmet designs: the traditional lightweight in-mold helmet design and the super-light exposed foam design of […]

Review: RAB Nebula belay parka

Review: RAB Nebula belay parka

New types of insulation always interest me. Down keeps getting pricier, and it seems as if at some point synthetic reached its limits, so now we’re seeing a lot of down getting mixed with synthetics into various blends. The holy grail? Synthetic that performs like down: warmth without weight that’s also […]

First Look: Arcteryx Acrux AR boot

First Look: Arcteryx Acrux AR boot

The Acrux AR boot from Arc’teryx is a study in modern aesthetic, design and construction. The blacked-out look, with just a flash of red over the toe and for the zipper pull, screams modern industrial. The construction is through-and-through Arc’teryx, with superb attention to detail and incredibly fine workmanship — […]

Field Tested: Sterling Hollowblock

Field Tested: Sterling Hollowblock

Sewn prusik cords are nothing new, but what makes Sterling Rope’s Hollow Block unique is the use of 100% aramid fiber, in the form of their 6.8mm RIT 900 cord. That sounds like a whole bunch of proprietary gibberish, so let me save you some google time: aramid fiber is […]

First Look: Scarpa Phantom 6000

First Look: Scarpa Phantom 6000

Unlike the Scarpa Phantom Tech, the new 2016 Phantom 6000 doesn’t lose weight but gains warmth instead. Scarpa claim a 15% increase in warmth, and though I don’t know how to measure that, the boot does feel warmer on my feet than the previous version. Weight, as mentioned, stays pretty […]

First Look: Scarpa Phantom Tech

First Look: Scarpa Phantom Tech

Mountain boots are getting ever more high-tech and nothing proves this better than reading the spec sheet for the new-for-2016 Scarpa Phantom Tech: Super Fabric, Cordura, Aluminum, Carbon Fiber, FlexSeal. No wonder these things now cost almost a thousand dollars (in Canada, anyway!). As I’ve been getting questions from all […]

Review: Cassin X-All Mountain Ice Tools

Review: Cassin X-All Mountain Ice Tools

As a newish ice climber, I spent the first few years renting ice tools from the local outdoor centre and borrowing tools from friends, acquaintances and whomever was willing to lend me a pair. As I live in Calgary, Alberta, with a large population of ice climbers and a short […]

Review: Arc’teryx Nuclei AR jacket

Review: Arc’teryx Nuclei AR jacket

I’m always skeptical when companies set out to ‘improve’ a product, especially if that item is already a favourite of mine. So when Arc’teryx replaced the Solo Hoody — my favourite and most-used belay jacket — with the Nuclei AR, needless to say I was curious to try it out […]

Review: La Sportiva Trango ICE Cube GTX

Review: La Sportiva Trango ICE Cube GTX

The first thing you notice about the La Sportiva Trango ICE Cube GTX (other than the unnecessarily long name) is how light they are. My size 43.5 come in at 776 grams. That is a scant 36 grams heavier than the 3-season Trango Cube GTX, on which they appear to be closely […]

Review: Singing Rock Penta Helmet

Review: Singing Rock Penta Helmet

The arguments and evidence for wearing a climbing helmet are long-documented, both through lab testing and anecdotal evidence. It’s also widely accepted that users are more likely to wear a lighter helmet but even the lightest helmet in the world won’t save your head if you’re not wearing it because […]