NOLS Course Prep – Guest Blog

Post by blogger | June 12, 2007      

Louie here, I’m headed off to a NOLS Wind River Mountaineering course starting next week. Here is some new gear I just got for the upcoming adventure. A few upgrades, most just to replace stuff that was worn out.

NOLS course prep.
Louie with his NOLS gear — not exactly Go-Lite, but should be fun.

1. North Face Pyxis. This sleeping bag is a super lightweight synthetic bag that can keep you nice and toasty. It only has a half length zipper but it has a innovative foot vent to make up for it (which also doubles as a escape hatch for those people who move during their sleep and wake up to find that their head is in the bottom of their sleeping bag). It also has a great tight mummy fit that does not waste any insulation or fabric.

2. Patagonia fleece jacket High tech warm fleece, it has special Polartec Wind Pro technology to block wind without using a layer of wind proof fabric, so it is still super breathable.

3. Scarpa Summit GTX. This boot is a nice stiff boot for mountaineering. It has Gore-Tex so it is completely waterproof. It also has attachments for crampons.

4. Sole custom insoles. Sole custom insoles. We used these custom insoles in the boots for a nice supportive and comfortable fit.

5. Black Diamond Raven Ultra ice axe. I got a this ax as a 10th grade graduation gift from Dad’s former guiding client Alan, who’s been a friend of our family for years. It is nice and light but also made of steel and very durable.

6. Outdoor Research gaiters. These gaiters are durable, light, and use Velcro instead of a zipper, so there is no zipper to blow out

7. I also have some nice DriClime pants from Marmot, our review here.

8. Remember $1,000 Joe, the budget backcountry skier? We found something he might like. At Target they’ve got C9 Champion T-shirts made with what’s labeled as “Duo Dry Stretch,” a synthetic wicking fabric that’s also anti-order antimicrobial. These shirts are only $9.99 and they work great.


10 Responses to “NOLS Course Prep – Guest Blog”

  1. pete anzalone June 12th, 2007 5:38 pm

    Best-o-luck Louie!

  2. kd June 12th, 2007 6:01 pm

    So materialistic!

  3. Lou June 12th, 2007 6:17 pm

    KD, don’t worry, they’ll be memorizing flower names and having group discussions about Aldo Leopold before you know it. My only fear is he’ll come back and make me sell my Jeep.

    Pete, Louie says “thanks!”

  4. steve romeo June 12th, 2007 10:33 pm

    Don’t forget about the mosquitoes…they should be waking up any day now!

  5. Tim M. June 13th, 2007 9:28 am

    Good luck on a grand adventure Louie. So what does a super-modified bear-spray holster look like?

  6. Rick Arneson June 13th, 2007 12:13 pm

    Is that a 4 piece 5wt flyrod tucked in next to the Raven? I smell Goldens in the pan!

  7. Louie Dawson June 13th, 2007 7:21 pm

    Rick, yep, that is an Orvis I got for my birthday. I am going to try it out on a backpacking trip tomorrow. Tim, bear spray…it’s too complicated to explain.

  8. Mark June 14th, 2007 8:27 am

    The only banner/button I see is the one, no Dynafit.

  9. ed November 6th, 2007 6:22 pm


    In regards to the sole custome footbeds you mention. Based on your experience for alpine touring, using a scarpa denali boot for example, would you reccomend using this product? Or is there a more AT specific product i should be looking at?


  10. Lou November 6th, 2007 6:40 pm

    ed, we like the Sole beds as they’re fairly dense, perfect for AT boots or any ski boot. Only issue for anyone is to make sure they don’t need something more custom configured for any alignment issues they might have.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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