Saturday, April 30, 2016

Winter Classic Gear

Doing the Classic really brought out the inner gear geek in me. Owning a gear company only makes obsessing about having the right stuff just that much worse, and it's compounded that I have the means to build and modify just about anything made out of fabric.

Luc has some excellent posts I learned a lot from him - so much of this is going to be redundant.

Glittertind 210's - We skate skied (up!) a decent amount of glare ice&overflow. full edges mandatory!
Dynafit toe pieces
Swix CT3 poles - Affixed a BD powder basket above the nordic basket, also added a second lower grip and strap at classic ski height. Padded grip using bike bar tape - These worked super awesome! The CT3's are right at that performance level of strong and light.
Scarpa F3's - Modified, tongues, locking mechanism & front buckle removed. I built seam sealed liner "over-socks" so my liners and feet were waterproof. These were the bomb and worked great.
Skins - Tip to heal skinny skins. - Used them a ton.

I was really happy with this setup, my only changes would be to add heal risers on the skis. With all the climbing on the N. Route my Calves got super tight by the third day - this eventually lead to a hobble-in finish as my achilles tendons were inflamed and not happy. Focusing more on flexibility prior to the trip would have been a good thing too.

The other thing is that the classic ski motion tends to cram toes into the front of the boot. Molding liners with double toe cups is a good idea. I had to cut the toe portion of my insoles out on day 4 to make more room.

Western mountaineering Puma -25 bag
Xtherm max pad
BD Beta light shared between us two.
Whisperlite international, one 22 oz bottle and a platypus with more fuel
1.5L big aluminum pot

Solid, no changes here. Lots of people use personal canister stoves in the classic. But I liked the white gas share with a big pot system. No messing around warming canisters up.

(warm temps influenced this a good deal..)
Icebreaker thin wool tights
Patagonia guide pants
Patagonia micro puff pants
Smartwool merino T
Revelate Powerline hoodie (original prototype)
NW Alpine Alpha hoodie
Montt Bell Alpine lite down parka
Rab Wind pro gloves
Pearl Izumi lobster gloves - (worthless on multi-day)
Old REI primaloft puff mitts
Merino buff
Normal Buff cut in half for ears and face protection
thin wool hat
Baseball cap

All good - was perfect for the temps. If it were colder I would have wanted beefier travel layers for my legs and better face protection, might also swap for a heavier down parka.  My glove system needed some tweaking too. The lobster mits were on their way out and useless once they got wet -  but I brought them anyway. I was usually between using the rab gloves and the mitts and a little too warm or a little too cold.

I have friends in high places and got my hands on Cilo Gear Dyneema 60L worksack. This pack is a piece of art and way burlier than the HMG packs everyone has been using. Maybe overkill but it's an awesome and versatile pack. I use the pull out foam bivy sheet constantly.

Sony a6000 with kit lens and 3 batteries, carried in an Osprey front accessory bag thingy.  This worked well but needed some modifications for the straps to all play nice.

Perhaps the coolest gear I had was a mesh vest I made ,dubbed (by Dusty) the Alpine Snacker. It was just a mesh vest with 2 big front pockets that fit below sternum strap but above waist belt. It was the bomb. I would load up a day of food each morning, camera batteries etc in there and also store a .5 L Hydrapak soft flask. Loved this system. I might use a 750ml flask next time as I could easily polish off the .5 in one stop and have to re-fill from overlow or my 40L Nalgene wide mouth soft bottle thing.

Sat phone from Thomas and a repair kit that I'm not going to spell out everything.

My pack weight was around 35 lbs at the start with 6 days of food (no water)

1 comment:

samh said...

Slick thinking on the mesh vest. Like a Snickers vending machine on your chest. Yum. Thanks for the gear run down, Eric. Such a cool event that has people pretty much always pushing the envelope.