Review: Trango Piranha Alpine Knife

The Piranha Alpine Knife. I actually found a Piranha Alpine Knife while climbing the Kain route on Bugaboo Spire and ended up using it for the rest of the trip. Previously I’d used a very small Gerber knife with a 2.5″ locking blade. The Trango is nicely designed and very small. The blade had an ingenious mechanism to lock it when open and relies on the biner to prevent accidental opening. It also includes a bottle opener. After some use I concluded that the knife’s small size doesn’t actually count in it’s favor.

The knife on my harness gets used for all sorts of things from cutting ropes to slicing cheese. The Piranha’s blade is actually very short, fine for cutting rap anchors but not much use for anything else. While you can open it one handed the knife’s very small size make this hard to do, especially with gloves on. I certainly wouldn’t want to be building anchors with this while retreating off a winter route.

My previous knife.My real problem with the Piranha is that you have to take it off the biner in order to use it. The knife is designed to be stored on a biner and this keeps the blade locked closed. This means you can end up dropping it, especially if you’re wearing thick gloves. My old knife could be used while still safely clipped to a sling so there’s no chance a dropping it while setting anchors.

If all you do is cragging and want a knife on your rack then the Piranha might fit the bill but for more serious use on large alpine routes and multi day trips I’m sticking with my existing setup. As for the bottle opener, I’ve never met a bottle I couldn’t open somehow.

Bugaboos trip pictures published

More pictures of the tripMy pictures from the Bugaboos are now online in the picture gallery.

There isn’t a full write up yet but the short story is…

Simeon and I drove to Roger’s pass and had bad weather for an attempt on Mount Sir Donald. Went and had a look at getting into the north end of the Selkirks but were defeated by a very closed logging road.

Carried on driving, driving, driving to Golden for lunch and then into the Bugaboos where we climbed; the Kain route on Bugaboo Spire and the West ridge of Pigeon Spire to warm up. Then after a weather enforced rest day, during which we hiked out to the car for beer, we managed the NE Buttress on Bugaboo and the Kraus-McCarthy route on Snowpatch. We also climbed a route on the Crescent Towers on our rest day.

The weather looked like it was going to break so we spent the last couple of days in Penticton doing a little bit of cragging on the Skaha Bluffs. It was very hot but we managed to stick to the shade and get a few nice routes done before heading back home.

Massive slide blocks main road to Whistler

080730_whistler_rockslide[1]Looks like nobody is going to be heading to Squamish any time soon.

Read the full story on KOMO News, Seattle.

Back from the Bugaboos

Ended up road tripping the Selkirks, Bugaboos and Skaha in two weeks.

Photos will be up later this week…


21 @ 50

Where are the other 299?A while back someone dumped a weight vest in one corner of the gym at CrossFit. If sort of lurks behind the dumbbells tempting you to pick it up. Of course getting 50lbs over your head turns out to be awkward at best. But a smack on the back of the neck is really just its way of saying “put me down, no good will come of this”.

The minute you do instantly you’re transformed to look just like Conan the Barbarian… but with a weight vest. OK, so now we’re all geared up in our homo-erotic splenditude, what next?

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So I finally crumbled and signed up for Twitter. You can follow me at:

Lots of cool people in the blogosphere use Twitter. Maybe if I use Twitter I’ll become cooler by association. Yeah right… There’s no hope for me until I get my teeth whitened.

I’m really just trying to figure out what the whole lightweight blogging thing is all about. It sort of seems interesting but I can’t quite figure it out… yet.

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The first rule of Hike Club…

Pain now, pain later, you chooseThe clocks went back last week so it’s time for those of us who live in Puget Sound to hit the trails after work. The inaugural meeting of the 2008 Hike Club convened this week on Tiger Mountain (2,557′).

Now you could take a leisurely hike up Tiger. The new trail is about 2000′ of ascent over 3.25 miles, slightly longer than the old trail. It would probably take around an hour if you maintained a reasonable pace. But where would the fun in that be?

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Fight gone really bad… almost

Some good things just aren’t supposed to go together…

An afternoon snack of herring in canola oil. Good! Way better than coffee and donuts.

CrossFit. Also Good! More fun than running and a better way to burn off the donut I didn’t eat. Fight Gone Bad even better.

Fight Gone Bad and hour after that afternoon snack? Errm… Not quite so good. The herring nearly came back for a rematch after the end of round three. Thankfully I managed to keep it together by hugging one of the jumping boxes.

Still it was better than my last experiment in diet and working out.

Review: Spyder2express ColorVision

Snake oil? It sort of sounds a bit like it… part with hard earned cash for…

“Calibrate your display–just like professionals. Spyder2express calibrates monitors in three easy steps–simply plug it in, specify your display type, and it does the rest, automatically calibrating your monitor or laptop. Check the before-and-after. You’ll see the improvement!”

I was a tad skeptical.

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More site updates

If you subscribed to my Stories blog the content has been merged into my Alpine Climbing blog. It still lives in a separate “Stories” category. I’ve also added a new page of photography gear I’d recommend.

Hopefully that’s pretty much it in terms of site upgrades and I can get back to writing new content, like the review of the MSR Reactor I promised to write.