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 Post subject: Snowboard Compatible Mountaineering Packs
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:47 pm 
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Location: Seattle
I'm looking to expand my pack collection by acquiring a 4,000+ cubic inch pack with a solid snowboard carry (something my Gregory Palisade doesn't have). The idea being that this new pack would work well for peaks/trips such as Mt Baker, Mt Adams, etc. In browsing online and in stores, it seems like the best offerings I've seen are from Osprey, either the Aether 70 or the Exposure 66.

Aether:
Image

Exposure:
Image

The appropriate torso size for me will be a Large (almost guaranteed), so the volume is pretty negligible: 4400 cubes for the Aether, and 4200 for the Exposure. The Exposure is also ~3/4 of a pound lighter, but looks to have less options for external attachment of things, say a sleeping pad or tent pieces, but is more oriented towards the vertical side of things.

Has anybody here used either and would recommend/advise against one or the other? Any other recommendations for a similar pack from a different brand?

Thanks!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:23 pm 
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I've been using an Exposure 66 for this kind of trip for 2 seasons now and I've been happy with it. For the most part it's just a light weight top-loader with a lid and a honkin' big main compartment and no real frills.

For a 4 lb pack it carries weight really really well. This weekend we bootschwacked about 4 or 5 miles through GNARLY avy debris with the packs fully loaded and carrying our boards. We were going up, over, around, and under wrecked tree debris and then we capped it off with some rip-roarin' postholing over rocks and streams. The pack was the least of my worries, thankfully.

I use the pack as a day pack on overnight trips and one thing you'll find for both those osprey packs is that you can no longer compress the bag if you are using the 'straighjacket' to carry your board. I modded my pack with a few extra compression straps to take up the floppiness in the pack when it's empty:

http://www.splitboard.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=4051

The pack doesn't have any exterior pockets other than the top pocket, so you'll have to plan how you load your pack a little. But once you have your system down, it really works great. The ice tool holster/shovel wing works great for carrying shovels, but is a little hokey for carrying both a shovel and an ice axe at once. I've never used the A-Frame carry, so I can't comment on that. So far the pack has taken me everywhere I've wanted to go. Having a tight snowboard carry makes a huge difference comfort-wise when carrying the pack fully loaded.

Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:23 pm 
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Location: Bozeman
I would recommend the Arcteryx Borro.....sweet pack, can carry skies or your split in ski mode. Super durable and waterproof. I've put this pack through more than it should've lasted and i've still got at least 5 years left before i'll even think about getting a new pack.

[img]<a%20href="http://picasaweb.google.com/iceworm24/WindRivers2007/photo#5189724165306248722"><img%20src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/iceworm24/SAWaoctW7hI/AAAAAAAABcU/xmGOEbffeFM/s800/DSCF1949.JPG"%20/></a>[/img]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:42 pm 
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seconded with the bora, i got one as well, carries the load superbly, great well thought out features.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:31 am 
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Location: PNW Hood Canal
Question for the Arcteryx Bora fans, is the split mode carry accomplished by using the three compression straps on each side? If so, on a less that full pack can you still compress the pack to minimize movement? I like the idea of moving the weight to the sides and closer to my body. The board in ride mode with boots and helmet attached really puts a lot of way way back from your center of balance.

I have a european pack that is 70L and has really rugged ski carry loops attached at the bottom of the base of the pack's main body. They are a bit narrow for my split though. I have considered just adding an expansion to them by cutting and sewing in more material. The nice part about this would be no interferece with the good compression straps on the rest of the pack.

Thanks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:59 am
Posts: 549
Location: Stowe, VT
Mumbles:

Yeah, pretty much. :? I have a Bora 95 (massive older model used for my month-long NOLS mountaineering course years ago) sitting next to me as I type, and the side-compression straps would be the primary way to carry your sticks. The good news, at least for this big-boy pack, is that the overall capacity can be significantly reduced in a couple of ways. The bottom straps (for a sleeping pad or something) can take a good bit of volume out of the sleeping bag compartment, and the top of the pack has a fairly large vertical expansion section to get up 95 liters.

Alternately, there are some fairly strong looking daisy-chains on either side of the back (shovel? wet tent fly? raincoat?) pocket that could be used to lash my board on in board mode, but that would require a bit extra hardware. The side compression straps would then be free to do their work though.

Oh, in reading your post a bit more, if you have too much volume inside the pack, stuff some clothes inside your helmet and stick it down inside. If you have lots extra room, or no sleeping bag or something, maybe you can fit your boots in the sleeping bag compartment. That'll put volume inside the pack and get it towards the center where it doesn't test your balance so much.

Shep


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:52 pm 
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Location: PNW Hood Canal
Shep, thanks for the reply adding gear into the pack like boots and a helmet would surely keep the weight centered. I checked my pack then the manufacturer. The current version is from Decathlon called a Quechuga Forclaz 70+10. It has the same side compression straps that mine has, which can easily carry a board in split mode. Mine has an extra set of ski sleeves at the base of the pack that this one does not have. I just threw a bunch of stuff into my pack and fastened the board in split mode, I think it would do fine.

KJKROW, consider this a possibility and with the currency conversion it could be cheaper than some of the higher priced packs from arcteryx or osprey. I have had this particular pack for at least 8 years and used it excecissively for the first three years and moderately thereafter. It shows signs of wear, but is no where near wearing out. Great ripstop fabric with a top loading or front loading option, which is a really nice feature over top loading only.

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/EN/forclaz-7 ... m-3231300/

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Mojo 171 / ST 178 / C-Split 165 / DIY Johan 162
Sparks Ignition II's / Mr. Chomps
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:01 pm 
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I haven't personally used the following pack, but the Mountainsmith Phoenix may be exactly what you seek. Can anyone chime in with personal experience with the Phoenix?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:59 am
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Location: Stowe, VT
In re-reading my post... I sounded a bit obnoxious. I'm sure if you could've fit stuff in your bag, you would've. I was just typing my thoughts as they came to me... oops. :oops:

Shep


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:20 pm 
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Location: PNW Hood Canal
Shep, I did not read anything obnoxious. I saw iceworm's packing style and thought how much better the boot/binding weight would be in split mode on the sides over the solid mode on the outside back of the pack. I have packed my heavy items inside and kept them close to my spine for better balance. It all works. I'm just looking at an old pack with some new packing ideas now that my board divides so nicely in half. I used to have to rig up a set of straps to hold a solid board. Splitboarding changes your life...or at least how you can pack your crap. I think it is good to get other perspectives. Sometimes someone says somethign that seems like a no brainer and that light finally goes on over my head.

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Mojo 171 / ST 178 / C-Split 165 / DIY Johan 162
Sparks Ignition II's / Mr. Chomps
DC Torch / Lowa Structura EVO AT


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 Post subject: Pack Stlyes
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:51 am 
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Location: Bozeman
The photo I posted was on a trip to Gannett Peak last May. My pack weight nearly 65-70lbs with all the food and climbing equipment for a week + epic. At that capacity the split melded with the pack perfectly and carrying it was very user friendly. I've seen a lot of guys straping thier split to the back as the other photo post showed and as you described. not to rat on all you other guys, but from what I can tell that just looks painful. Even when I used to carry my regular board, i'd strap it to the side of my back and counterbalance with heavier items on the opposite side. which brings up a good point about the borro....the straps are so versitile on the sides, i was able to strap my Option 160 easily to the side of the borrow with no problem. I've also found that if you can counter balance the weight, puttinig your split together with the base touching and straping it to one side helps to eliminate movement and the straps seem to hole better. when i do this i usually but the boots inside the pack as the counterbalance. but if your doing something crazy like i was last May where every square inch inside the back is treasured, than putting the boots on the outside is pretty key. you can also hang things like hats or your towel from the tips of your split as you hike to let them dry. as long as your not weaving through tight trees, having it all on the sides is usually no problem. The only draw back to the borro is at lesser volumes of "fullness", i've found the board doesn't stay locked to the pack as well. An additional consideration is that if you've used your borro for as long as I have the back strap buckles now loosen with the movement of the board and this causes a bit of frustration. Thus, I've tried to shy away from trips where I can't just skin right off the get go.

Moreover from the pack straps is the borro's durability, the material used is just so beefy you hardly have to worry about holes or even your junk getting wet. it's also super comfy and fits me perfectly.

happy shopping!
:D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:17 am 
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Location: Stowe, VT
Interesting that was a gannett climb. I had considered trying to do it at the end of May, but moved the trip to end of July due to the question mark of how much snow would be there (enough to skin in? just enough to post hole? too much of a question to fly half way across the country... :( )

Anyway, now I'm looking for a third for the climb, but no luck yet. I'm assuming you didn't use a horse-packer to get your climbing gear in, as a lot of people seem to? I've been trying to avoid that option, but it'll probably depend on how well my climbing partners are sorted with a 60+ pound pack. Are there good descents in that area during the right season?

Thanks,
Shep


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:15 am 
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Location: Seattle
As for the Mountainsmith Phoenix, that does look like a nice pack with the ability to compress with a board on the pack, which seems to be the biggest feature that folks would like to have. Floppy boards just aren't fun. I typically haven't been a huge fan of Mountainsmith products, but that may have to change. Looking at their website, they also offer this:

The Shavano 75:
Image
http://www.mountainsmith.com/products.asp?productId=66&categoryId=8&subCategoryId=9&subCategory2Id=6

The Shavano seems a bit more alpine oriented, with a lot of features, but it's hard to tell if it's snowboard carry is similir to the Osprey straightjacket, ie, you lose the ability to compress the sides. I think the Shavano might be a bit overloaded feature wise, especially as the weight is almost 6 pounds for the large size, nearly double that of the Ospreys. Note, the Phoenix also ways 5 lbs 8 oz.

I guess I need to go back and look more closely at my Palisade and see what options might exist there. Keep the ideas/suggestions coming.

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"Oh man, that's like releasing a pack of wild baboons onto a keg of Icehouse next to a tied-up and gagged Lindsay Lohan." - Luca Brasi on TGR


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