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Comandante Sub-Zero Presents:
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kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Comandante Sub-Zero Presents: on 06/20/2007 10:55:53 MDT Print View

Once again, I present a gearlist for a 5+ day, off-trail, above timberline, high mountain endeavor in the N. American West. A specific destination cannot be disclosed at this time (en raison des politiques officielles d'Ours), but those of you who remember last years entries concerning one of my trips, can only guess that I'm up to no good (read: FUN). Temps. will feature lows into the 20's, highs into the 60's. I will be covering 20+ mile days at a minimum. There will be some ice and snow on some mtneer's passes and up to 3rd class rock. This is a warm up for a late Summer trip of longer duration and upwards of 250 mi. Here we go---

5 days

Edited by kdesign on 06/20/2007 13:04:54 MDT.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Comandante Sub-Zero Presents: on 06/20/2007 14:07:47 MDT Print View

Kevin, great list! I have a question about the length of your ice axe. I'm 6'4" and as I recall you are 6'2". I've never owned and ice axe but the one occasion that I've used one, I grabbed the longest one available. I don't recall the length now. I think I'll be needing an ice axe next month and hoped you could give me some advice. I welcome advise from others as well.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Ice axe length on 06/20/2007 14:22:12 MDT Print View

As short as you can get away with, especially on trips where it will be employed relatively rarely. This isn't glacier walking and except for my very 1st axe in my early teens, I've never packed more than a 70 cm length. The 55cm is a good all-around semitechnical length for me---easy to swing for bite in steeper snow and (easy side of technical) ice and for chopping steps. Long enough not to impale myself when self-arresting. shorter length saves weight, too. I would imagine that the 60 -70 cm range could work for you in asimilar application.

As you may note, I'm not using trekking poles on this very rugged trip and thus will be using very LW carbon-fiber poles for the tarp.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Ice axe length on 06/20/2007 14:58:55 MDT Print View

Thanks Kevin, I've always appreciated your advice and your sense of humor. I still laugh when I think of your "holy hand grenade" follow up to my "grenade launcher" post on the Arctic 1000 forum. A feeble setup followed by a knock out of the park.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Comandante Sub-Zero Presents: on 06/20/2007 15:02:52 MDT Print View

The very general rule I was taught was a length measuring from approximately the small of your waist laterally across the torso to just beyond the opposite armpit to provide enough length to self-arrest and not impale yourself on the adze or the sharp tip.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
de nada on 06/20/2007 15:03:09 MDT Print View

hee, hee. May there be other opportunities...>:-D>

Lawton Grinter
(disco) - M

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Comandante Sub-Zero Presents: on 06/20/2007 17:56:39 MDT Print View

if you are doing parts of the shr, i'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. i did it all last year. sounds like you've got it all pretty well in hand though! nice gear list.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
SHR? Who, me? on 06/20/2007 19:07:16 MDT Print View

Thanks, Lawton. it's a great route, isn't it? Do you know of an equivalent in your neck of the woods (Rockies)?

Edited by kdesign on 06/20/2007 19:09:11 MDT.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Ice Axe length on 06/20/2007 21:33:30 MDT Print View

Hey Eric,

I'd agree with Kevin. If the use will be rare, shorter is better...at least as short as 55cm.

If you're doing a long glacier route, though, you use the axe a lot as a walking stick. I those instances, a longer axe is nice to have.

I'm 6'1". My first axe was a 75. Now I have a 65cm Cassin Ghost. But I often carry my wife's 55. However, in a serious self arrest, a longer axe gives more leverage and faster arrests.

Look hard at Camp- great stuff. That's what I would buy. Be sure to get an axe with a plug in the aluminum shaft- my Ghost fills with snow and it's really annoying.

Have fun!

Gotta concur too- Kevin is a great member of our community- great posts and he's all OVER the place! Thanks Kevin!

Doug

Edited by djohnson on 06/20/2007 21:33:55 MDT.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Comandante Sub-Zero Presents: on 06/20/2007 21:37:32 MDT Print View

Great gear list Kevin. Very solid.

How are the MLD carbon poles working? Are they stiff enough for solid winds?

Also, tell me about your custom Soul bivy. I've been eyeing that bivy and I wonder what you had changed...

Thanks!

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
The revolution will be televised but not in HD on 06/20/2007 23:18:47 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the kind words---luckily, behind the balaclava, no one can see me blush.

The MLD poles were just ordered so I will let you know when I know. They sound much stiffer than Fiberplex poles---they'd better be. I'll certainly do a short field test before the longer trips.

The soul bivy was one from 2 years ago. many of the features that were special to the bivy are part of the standard and ever evolving design. I ordered the hood section a bit larger and with much more breathable material in this section---formerly, the WP bottom came up much higher around the the sides and top. The length was also sized to fit me, rather than merely ordering the long length---but not so much that I couldn't fit a light Winter bag inside. I also cut all the surplus cordage to a minimum. My bivy had an opening bottom for ventilation----sure helped quite a bit to keep condensation in the footbox to a minimum. The new standard footbox is of eVENT. The Ti wire hood hoop wire (removeable) is great---min. weight penalty. Finally, mine has an Epic top, which has worked well for me. I've even used it alone in light rain, w/o benefit of a tarp.

Hey, guy----you can order an eVENT top, now (eVENT fiend that you are)!
Doug, you're thinking of getting one of these puppies over a BMW---what would Ryan say? ( Bumper sticker material?)

About ice axe length---I wonder if with an aluminum headed axe, one just might need a longer length for leverage, just to penetrate consolidated snow. More seriously, what I have noticed with many of the lightest of the alum. species is that the heads are so thin that they are uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time. J'accuse CAMP.

Finally, how's the Montane eVENT jacket holding up?

cheers.
KD

Edited by kdesign on 06/21/2007 08:31:44 MDT.