It has been a hectic holiday season this year and it feels good to finally be able to relax and catch a breath. Now that the travel is over and the guests have gone home, it is time to get back into the mountains to play.
In the coming days and weeks I plan to go over a few new things I’ve picked up lately. First of all, I was able to do some testing of the YakTrax XTR Extremes that the folks at YakTrax sent over for me to review, so that will be at the top of the priority list. The crew over at Katoohla was nice enough to send me a few pairs of MICROspikes to test out as well but I haven’t had a chance to do too much with those yet.
My wonderfully thoughtful girlfriend knows me so well that she picked up a Garmin 60CSX gps for me this year and I am excited to get out there and get things going.
I do a lot of blogging/social media stuff for work and have now decided to do it for my personal stuff as well. It makes it look like I am working so thats always a plus. My girlfriend was out of town this past weekend so I got to do all sorts of the things I would normally not do because she wouldn’t want to be a part of it.
For starters I woke up early on a Saturday (which is odd for me) just to find a good deal on a tent at the REI garage sale in Englewood, CO. I was able to pick up an REI HooDoo 3 that I’m pretty pumped about. I almost bought it last month when it went on clearance for $150 but was able to pick it up for $69.99 due to a “rip” in the rain fly. After thoroughly looking it over there doesn’t appear to be a rip. I’m assuming that’s what whoever returned it said so they had a reason to get their money back. I set it up the tent in my living room because my girlfriend was gone, which means I wouldn’t get made fun of for setting it up inside. I was pretty excited about it, so much in fact that I contemplated sleeping in it that night. ( I didn’t, but the thought crossed my mind.)
Also, a buddy of mine and I went up to Boulder to check out the Boulder Sports Recycler which sells used gear. Awesome place with lots of used bikes, parts, climbing gear, packs, outerwear, sleeping bags, tents, etc… I love places like this. I am all about doing things inexpensively (I’m cheap) and love bargain hunting. There was a lot I wanted to pick up but simply don’t need at the time. I will be going back as often as I go to Boulder to check out what kind of cool stuff they have. I am a big fan of the Wilderness Exchange in Denver, and that will still be my mainstay for good deals on demo gear, overstocks, and used gear, but I will definitely be sure to add this place to my shopping rounds when looking for any new gear, it would be my number one shop if it weren’t so far.
Another place we went to in Boulder was Neptune Mountaineering. It is an amazing place with a lot of awesome stuff. It’s not your normal outdoor store like REI, but it has lots of top of the line gear and clothing. I looked in the clearance bins and sweaters were still $100 and $300 jackets were still over $200. Not bad if any of it was something I was looking for. They have an extensive climbing section and a huge book store section. I would have loved to have spent time checking out what they had information wise, but I was too busy admiring their fleet of Hilleberg tents. I hope that one day I am camping frequently enough where I can justify purchasing a Hilleberg. The one thing about Neptune Mountaineering is that it is also a Mountaineering Museum. They have gear from ages ago all over the place. May it be a display of signed gear from a 1932 K2 summit, or just a collection of old mountaineering axes, ancient crampons, or worn tattered canvass bags. I was impressed with their old stove collection as I have been interested and building my own alcohol stoves for a little over a y ear now. Its just a really cool place to see how gear has evolved over the years. Seeing the gear people used to use makes you realize that they were a lot more rugged than people are today because they were a lot colder and carried MUCH more heavier gear. There are thousands upon thousands of old gear throughout the place and I’d really like to go back and just look at all the old stuff.
The weekend ended Sunday with a great day of backcountry bowls at Keystone with one of my buddies. The snow in the trees was amazing so we spent most of our time there. Most places I could bury my ski pole and still not hit bottom, it was a lot better than our trip later that day to BlackHawk.