Friday, October 21, 2011

Tahoe Climbing, Oct 16

Shortly before the accident, Scott and I went to Lover's Leap for a day trip.  We had intended on staying at the Leap, but ended up at Phantom Spires due to wet rock.  Neither of us had been there, and we LOVED Candyland (10c).  That is certainly one of the best 10s around.
Scott with Candyland's hilarious and fun protruding holds in the background

After doing a few climbs, we went back to the Leap, approaching from a "secret" entrance closer to East Wall.  We climbed The Line (9), which was an awesome, sustained, and clean line (hence the name).  I fell a few times at the bottom crux, and we had communication problems due to wind near the top.  The lack of communication caused me to drop a cam during a tenuous section.  Stupid.
Scott somewhere on the first pitch of The Line

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Really Down for the Count

I got t boned two blocks from home on Monday. A meth head hit me right at my driver's side door, doing 9000 dollars in damage. She was out of her mind and told me that she could get my car fixed in 45 minutes.  She bailed after getting agitated in the ambulance, and bailed, leaving me with a deductible, a bloody forehead, and what is likely glass embedded in my foot. The last one really sucks since I can't put weight on my heel without extreme pain.  Part of me wants to write something eloquent, but this bullshit doesn't need any more attention than it has already gotten.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Waiting Game

I've had reasonably annoying tendinitis in my left knee for about a month now.  It seemed to come about by hiking with a heavy pack, and I first noticed it on the long hikes in Shuteye.  It seems like almost everything aggravates it, so I've been taking it easy.  Lame.

On the plus side, the ski season is fast approaching!  It looks like some people skinned up in Tahoe!  I hope my knee is completely healed by the time the resorts all open, and the backcountry conditions are good.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mountain Hardwear Makes Unreliable Gear

I have an issue with Mountain Hardwear. It is pretty well summarized by my Yelp review:

I feel like I was completely scammed by Mountain Hardwear after purchasing a nearly wholesale-priced Argon jacket at the semi-annual sale. The seams delaminated almost immediately, which for a waterproof jacket is an absurd malfunction. I sent it back to the repair department, fully knowing that it wasn't covered by warranty since it was purchased at the sale. However, since I paid nearly wholesale, and in general outdoor companies unconditionally stand by their products, I thought I would at least get it repaired for free, even though I preferred a new jacket all together. Unfortunately, this was not the case, as I had to pay $20 for the repair.

To add insult to injury, I was informed by a MH representative that the products sold at the sale are often demo versions made with inferior materials and construction. This "quality of construction" was not evident upon purchase, as it seemed to be a production version of the jacket.

In all, Mountain Hardwear made a killing on selling me a crappy demo jacket at nearly wholesale price and were unwilling to own up to selling me an inferior product that failed with moderate use. Hopefully the repair will hold up, but if it doesn't I'll buy a new jacket from a more reputable brand. There is no way I'll ever purchase another piece of gear from them again as I do not want gear failures to further affect my outdoor activities, and there are plenty of companies that offer superior build quality, and better customer support.

Frankly, I feel like there is no reason to support a company that produces low quality gear such as Mountain Hardwear proved to do for me. It is a very competitive market with many companies providing nearly the same set of products, so there is no reason to support one that is so clearly inferior. Take Scarpa, for example. I've had the same pair of hiking boots since 2003, and they still work perfectly fine. This experience set the precedence for quality, and now I own Scarpa for all of my footwear, and couldn't be happier.

Scarpa is a brand I trust