Back safe and sound from Peru, but that’s another story. Too many pics and thoughts to sort through right now. And another trip is on it’s way this weekend if weather holds!
For the past several years most of my expeditions have been heavy base camping, getting dropped off by a plane, setting up camp and day touring. My kit has ended up on the heavy end because of this. We ended up carrying large loads around the Cordillera Blanca and it was a painful reminder of my weight gains. on return I wanted to go through and shed some pounds. Would have been a good idea before-hand I guess.
The most noticeable chunk of weight are my steel crampons! I’ve been using the BD Sabretooth. These are bomber, and they need to be for their intended use. However, I’m rarely encountering steep water ice and when I do it’s in short sections. I want solid steel points for this, but most crampons seem either ultra-burly or ultra-light.
In an attempt to slim down I removed the Sabretooth heel-pieces and swapped them out for the BD Neve (aluminum) heel-pieces which is simple because they share the same interface. Then I popped out the anti-bot plates which seem heavy and overbuilt and made my own from duct tape and plastic (yes that’s a Barbacoa salad bowl). Pretty easy to do with some good pointers from the late great TETON AT
Ending up with a pretty significant weight savings of half a pound that shouldn’t effect performance for ski mountaineering. We’ll see. I’m sure the anti-bot plates won’t hold up that well over time, but I’m fine knowing they’ll require some repair and maintenance. Interested to hear other options and what other folks are using?
My simple cook kit is pretty beat up and it seemed like a good time to replace it.
Shiny new titanium will quickly lighten the kit and wallet.
If you know you will need a tool then bring the right one. If you’re not sure whether you’ll need a tool or not, then bring a light one. Just made that up, not really sure if it’s true, but it does seem to work. Ice screws are another heavy, but crucial piece that end up spending most of the time just clanking around on the harness.
Seemed like a good idea to cut the weight in half by keeping the BD Express Ice Screw for true ice climbing and upgrading to the Laser Speed Light from Petzl for V-thread and glacier kit.
Dabbling in Skimo has opened my mind to the fact that most of the time I’m carrying and wearing more than I truly need. A few pounds won’t usually keep one from their objective, but it does add up over time. Guess I’m just getting old and looking for any and all advantages in an already unfair fight.
I do enjoy messing around with gear and the game of balancing wight and performance. Looking forward to taking the time this summer to go through all my gear and strip it down, drill it out, and cut it up. Oh God, I am becoming a weight weenie!