Outdoor Retailer — Gear for Ski Touring Cross Training

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | August 3, 2018      

More from the summer trade show…

La Sportiva's new hiker: the Eclipse GTX.  Women's boot in front, Men's boot is in back.

La Sportiva’s new hiker: the Eclipse GTX. Women’s boot in front, Men’s boot is in back.

The cobblers at La Sportiva have been whittling away for 90 years. They’re as busy as ever with new footwear styles in every category from their expedition mountain boots to their nimble climbing shoes. (Check out our extensive coverage of the Sportiva.)

We like hiking in the summer as cross training for ski touring. La Sportiva’s Eclipse GTX is a new boot designed for stability and performance on the trail. It’s a high-cut leather (we like leather) hiking and backpacking boot that used the 3D Flex Cuff from the Trango Family of products for flexibility and mobility. A grippy Vibram sole will keep you from slipping.

La Sportiva Eclipse GTS specs:

  • Weight: Men’s 10.6 oz/527 g; Women’s 15.1 oz/427 g
  • Sizes: Men’s 38-47.5; Women’s 36-43 (half sizes)
  • Upper: leather, Vibram rubber rand and toe
  • Lining: Goretex
  • MSRP: $179
  • Ottolock.

    Ottolock appeared to be an excellent snatch lock.

    Bicyling is another sport we do to keep our legs in shape. It is a wonderful feeling to zip along the bike path, but it’s not so wonderful to have a heavy lock and chain weighting you down when you’re not exposing your ride to high risk of theft.

    Ottolock pictured above is a lightweight snatch lock, made with steel and Kevlar bands that resists clippers and bolt cutters that cable locks do a terrible job of blocking. It’s available in sizes from 18″ to 60″ for a variety of uses. Bear in mind this is only a snatch lock, it can easily be defeated with tools such as a cordless disk grinder.

    If you want your bike to be there when you’re done having coffee, it’ll work in fairly secure areas. Leaving an expensive bike overnight, exposed, is a different story. Word on the street is no lock exists that the bike thieves can’t break in mere minutes. Though some are much better than others, thus perhaps delaying the bad guys enough so they attack the bike next to yours, or go searching for greener pastures.

    But a D-lock made with a super hardened steel shackle is said to defeat bolt cutters, which is the fast relatively quiet method used by the criminals. We researched, apparently most D-locks cut with a grinder in thirty seconds or so, but the Albus linked to right is said to take significantly longer (as well as being excellent in resisting all other attack methods). I’ve always thought the best D-lock would be one that exploded when cut, but there seems to be product liability problems with that clever idea. Then there is Skunk Lock. Perhaps it is the answer.

    MSR Pocketrocket Deluxe.

    MSR Pocketrocket Deluxe.

    Backpacking in summer keeps us in shape and gets us hungry too. Everything always tastes better on a camp stove.

    For the weight gain of two pennies, MSR’s is adding new features to their popular Pocketrocket. The new Pocketrocket Deluxe is upgrade with:

  • Pressure regulator: maintains stove’s fast boil times even in cold weather and with low fuel.
  • Weight: 83 g/2.9 ounces.
  • Piezo igniter: fast, push-start lighting (said to be high quality, won’t wear out).
  • Broad burner: improves wind resistance and combines with simmer control for cooking versatility.
  • Shop for Pocket Rocket stoves at Backcountry.com.

    MSR's igniter tester, "Test each stove 15,000 cycles."

    MSR’s igniter tester, “15,000 cycles.”

    Alpacka rafts, made in the little town of Mancos, Colorado.

    Alpacka rafts, made in the little town of Mancos, Colorado.

    Maybe the best thing about summer cross training is all the different sports to enjoy. Rafting is a favorite so we were psyched to cool down after the show with a float down a crisp Colorado river with Alpacka Rafts.

    Alpacka Rafts are made for pack rafting. Here at WildSnow we’ve dreamed about using them for a ski touring expedition. After experiencing how stable they are for rafting, I think our dream may one day become reality.

    Alpacka rafts are inflated using a simple and ingenious inflation bag, which acts as a high-volume air pump and weighs a mere 3 ounces.

    Alpacka rafts are inflated using a simple and ingenious inflation bag, which acts as a high-volume air pump and weighs a mere 3 ounces. We filled our rafts in a surprisingly short amount of time.

    Alpacka Rafts are custom made. The Ultralight Scout model weighs in at a mere 2.5 pounds, MSRP $595.

    For more information about Alpacka, check out their website.


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    6 Responses to “Outdoor Retailer — Gear for Ski Touring Cross Training”

    1. Frame August 3rd, 2018 9:20 am

      On the GTX boots, I run hot and live near sea level, so get to hot in GTX boots/shoes. Is it that i’m not in the mountains? Given you guys are in a dry climate do you like both GTX and high cut in the summer?
      Anyone tried the GTX surround stuff, much difference?

      A London police officer once told me, he’d observed a bike thief, open a bog standard D lock in about 4 seconds, with a pen. Human ingenuity eh…

    2. Stan August 4th, 2018 4:17 pm

      Rafting & skiing would combine my two favorite activities. Would be of interest to see how skis and packs are attached & if balance is an issue. Too bad they can’t be retrofitted as oars!

    3. Paul Diegel August 6th, 2018 5:00 pm

      In an Alpacka or Kokopellii packraft with zippered internal storage, skis and a pack ( and boots, poles, food, camping gear….) can be stored inside the inflated chamber. Balancing the weight side-to-side and front-to-back doesn’t seem to make much difference (within some kind of reason). These boats are regularly used with bikes lashed on the bow which seems like kind of an extreme test.

    4. Lou2 August 6th, 2018 6:00 pm

      Frame, i prefer non gtx for summer in Colorado, for sure. My feet roast in gtx. Lou

    5. Cody August 6th, 2018 6:59 pm

      Funny the dichotomy that you guys constantly fawn over the lightest and most tech ski touring stuff, but get stoked on a pretty conservative leather hiker. 😛

      Also gtx in footwear won’t die and it’s almost impossible to get a mid cut non GTX boot because the masses (thanks REI) always overbuy when it comes to footwear (and jackets, RIP most softshells) especially for hiking footwear.

      That being said…I have gnarly sweaty feet and the Surround gtx stuff does make a difference. The Sportiva older Surround model was a crappy design in terms of forefoot fit but that newer one looks much better. I got a pair of the North Face Surround ones and have been super stoked on them in the Sierra’s in all seasons (when I actually need them).

    6. Lou Dawson 2 August 7th, 2018 7:39 am

      Cody, that’s a false dilemma, we simply fawn over what works best for our purposes, which is often the high tech or the lightest, but sometimes a wool undershirt does the trick, or leather to help over-heated feet, or a ziplock of raisins and walnuts instead of a sport bar… Lou

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