safety] [ask Doc!]
Products specifically geared to the skipatrol.
Companies friendly to the skipatrol. Reviews of
favorite products employed by fellow patrollers. Not
sponsored, non commercial. This is not an exhaustive
survey, but a growing launch-pad. Actual experience
is deployed. No endorsement is implied or given.
You are invited to submit your own product reviews,
criticisms and wish lists.
Current Products & Stories:
- Coming Soon: Sun Protective Clothing (that season approaches)-
Use, Usefulness, Design, Altitude Friendly?,UPF vs.
SPF, Cost vs. Function
[Solumbra] [Coolibar] [sun
- Further reading, honest evaluations, great
pictures, read Couloir
Magazine and dream of the Spring Corn.
Five companies with professional gear designed
specifically for the ski-patrol.
Out of Boulder, well designed ski-patrol, liftie, and first-responder wear from Ski Area Supplies. A sample vest displays excellent design and attention to fine details. Can make custom product as well.
Airtime Hood River from Mt Hood.
Great design & variety in Red, black or
Shells, bibs, parkas from Ascent
You don't have to be a geek to appreciate the scott eVest.
also check out CORE Outdoors
speed lifts are depositing far too many skiers on
the hill. No matter how careful the skiers,
statistics prevail. Too many serious preventable
injuries. Resistance is futile. Helmets are now
comfortable, warm, ventilated and hearing
non-restrictive. No matter our own vanity, shouldn't
patrollers be responsible role models on the hill?
Product Safety Report]
Several top-flite manufacturers. Four of the more
targeted to our market are: Briko & Leedom
Giro & Burton-Red.
another manufacturer of note is Boeri. (Who have I
- Coming Soon:Goggles for problem skiers e.g.,
antifog for corrected vision.discussion of OTG &
turbo to inserts to custom ground and a promising
multi-sport cross-over possibility. Anti-fog
techniques. There are differences & solutions.
your contribution is welcome. Mail
comments, solutions or observations to:
SportRX can work with you to design a
personal solution to your RX vision problems
considering face shape etc., at surprisingly
[Here's the link.] You know the classical fanny pack,
new features, same rock-solid construction. This is
Harper's only product (variety of models,
- Full weather package in the just releases Kestrel
4000.WEATHER IN YOUR POCKET - Kestrel
3000 Weather Instrument[review by Bruce Rogerson]
Skins & Bindings. claim a lighter
weight product. Do they risk robustness in the
backcountry? G3 had claimed production, distribution
and quality control problems last year. We've no take
on current conditions. Our geeks have not tried the
product. The time proven sturdy
Ascension from Black
Diamond continue to improve. Backcountry
Access, makers of the tracker beacon also
are innovative in ski fastenings with their "low fat"
- Skins won't get you up the hill? Backcountry
snowboarding is not an oxymoron. The new breed of
Snowshoes are more technical than ever,
adapting weight, grip, floatation and adaptability to
varying snow conditions. Consider
Denali from MSR, Atlas Snowshoe, and
Little Bear San
Juans (among others)
- Thinkin' outside the box. Don't hesitate to
enlist unusual sources for your gear requirements.
e.g., I use my neoprene paddle gloves from NRS [Northwest River
Supplies] for wet duty, like building the odd
snow cave or igloo. Great catalog of gear.
- Rainey Designs Russ's
bindings claim yet more improvement of note each
year. Even the "hammerhead" is history. Continuing
evolution from Rainey
LedLite has engineered led headlamps
flashlights and emergency signalling beacons right.
Petzl takes the prize for
smallest, pocketable led headlamp with the
introduces a 100 hour burn-time in the Matrix, an innovative
lightweight led headlamp, same size as solo unit.
- Traction Device
evaluation i.e. chains. Who would've thunk
it? Innovation in the tire chain business. And it's
true. Better traction, less noise, easier
installation, wear and better materials are all
possible. Which products live up to their promise.
Chains from Konig,
Laclede, WhiteStar are evaluated against these
factors. The promising Swiss Spikes Spider
device, takes 30 seconds to install, less to remove!
(two models to choose from.) Price/value trade-offs
are considered. Knowlegeable outlets cited. Care
suggestions for chains (well, at least rinse them
& hang to dry, then a light spray with wd-40.
They're less likely to break if they don't corrode.)
[Review under construction,
input & opinions welcomed.]
ski - Coming in the Spring (I hope). Inline
skates, how the US Ski team trains during the
summer. How city trapped patrollers might train
during those grueling summer months.
Tempting article, review and links.
- Specialty Boots.
Trukke Boots, a promising alternative to
the ubiquitous Sorel's. Several models for different
applications. N.E.O.S., an
alternative to boots. Run around in your tennies
(along with these overshoes, insulated or not.)
Both of these guys look good, and fit good. Any
feedback or other contenders?
- FRS radios. We
communicate between ourselves by radio. What about
the backcountry guests? Will it enhance safety? What
use would carrying the ubiquitous family band be?
We'll look at
acg[ascent features. Answer - they've
become a "fait accomplis" patrollers carry them just
to communicate with their kids lurking around on
their family passes!
- Combination Wrist
Instruments Altimeters, barometers, watches,
compasses, run & accumulated foot counter. High Gear's ever expanding line of popularly priced instruments.
Avocet's Vertech is the
pioneer of bicycle & wrist instruments.
Production has been resumed and updated of this
excellent & popular intrument.
acg[ascent from Nike is a
compass/barometer/altimeter instrument. You can read
seconds if you need to take a pulse (lacking on the
Suunto.) Nice package. Good user interface-your
granny could use it, slightly different package of
features. Zero Drift technology claims to distinguish
between weather related and altitude related pressure
changes (I wonder how they do that!) Freestyle's
innovative altimeter (they also have a pulse monitor)
Casio (of japan)(untried by skipatrol.org) and Suunto (of Finland) have
stepped in with with their own panoply of features.
Check them out carefully as their feature
presentations differ (e.g., if you're taking pulses -
suunto has no second hand.)
Usage Note: ripping off your
polar-fleece can generate up to 50,000 (low-amperage)
volts, enough to zap your wrist-instrument, remove
the watch first.)
- Quo Vadis? have the compass companies gone
non-compass mentis? Suunto makes
Silva, Silva makes
etc. let's straighten out provenance and consider the
products as well.
- Knee Braces - products in review. Pre
& Post knee-remodel discussion. Please
submit your experiences. townsend, CTI, orthotech. On second
thought, if you don't bust your knee, you may not
need a brace
Avoid ACL injuries. Vermont Ski Safety
- Poles collapsing? Knurled knob frozen
locked? Leki says
Lifelink says never should have been, Black Diamond says there's
a better way. Komperdell, says we started the whole
thing, and we continue to innovate. Let's examine
these great probe poles.
- New miracle fabric. Tired of wearing
plastic milk cartons? Try wool. Same old properties,
but innovation by manufacturers lend resolve some of
the older problems. I'm wearing one identical to the
one that Amundsen courted penguins in, that norwegian
company Devold still cranks out quality outer
and under gear. Many other manf. appeared at the
Outdoor Retailer show for the first time.
Avalanche Transceivers (a review to come, we
- Tips &
Traps a continuing study by by Mike Smith
(106 k acrobat
- Waterproof Gizmos. Sometimes your local
boating shop can supply some useful enclosures for
your toys. Try lightweight waterproof wallets and
cases for your ubiquitous electronic gadgets e.g.,
cell phones, palm pilots and frs radios. Sometimes
ziplocks are better for your lunch. voyageur
equipment (filled with useful tech. info, and
a rather neat web-site design) or NRS
- are good bets.
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Norman A. Bookstein, editor & publisher