Archive for August, 2010

Outdoor Retailer Part 4

August 9, 2010

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Get or Give permits<HERE>

There are some pretty neat products coming from Camelback. They have had the electronic flow meter out for while that it can tell you how much water you have left. This bets sucking it dry. I saw a new bladder that has a slightly different shape. Featured is a ¼ turn closure that only lines up one way. In addition they now have a nifty plastic clip system that folds out to hold the bladder open to facilitate air drying. Look closely at the small blue strips on either side of the opening. So now you won’t need those expandable inserts to air dry it.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body.  I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

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Outdoor Retailer Part 3

August 8, 2010

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

Get or Give permits<HERE>

I am always on the lookout for packs for the Half Dome hike. I personally like lumbar (aka fanny) packs. As I walked the booths at the OR show, I was disheartened to find the offerings for lumbar packs have degenerated mostly to the kind that your Auntie Jeannie might strap on to take the kiddies to the local playground. I mean they are small, and worst of all for the Half Dome hike, the typical two water bottles pockets are tiny. They hold 16-ounce bottles at best. To meet your demands for water on this hike, I suggest large pockets to accommodate the 32-oz Nalgene wide- mouth bottles.  My favorite pack for the last two years has been the High Sierra XLB2900. The folks at their booth told me that this pack has been discontinued and the replacement packs, the Diplomat and the Ridgeline look great – but beware, they only come with holes for 16 –oz bottles.

 

    Osprey has a neat one called the Talon 8. It is new and will not be available until October. They would not let me take a photo. It was strapped to the wall and I strained to decide if it would hold the big bottles. Too close to call. No one in the booth knew – they were focused on their  huge line of backpacks. But this may have potential. It is a follow-on to the smaller Talon 4 that you can google.

    Kelty has a lumbar pack called the Cardinal. Again this one was strapped down, but I did get a couple photos. The Nalgenes may fit.  It features a new cleaver idea. The top of the generous pocket folds out to morph into a backpack. So on marginal weather days you could bring along sturdy rain protection.

 

    The winner today was the Mountainsmith Tour Pack. It is very nice. Probably the best made, rugged constructed pack. I have a larger version but find it is too large. Once you have room, you will stuff more heavy stuff in (think minimalist). Nice water bottle pockets with restrainer cords and a shoulder strap system if your load causes the pack to droop down your butt. It’s for sale now.

 

    I hope this helps. Next blog I’ll give you an update on new Camelbacks coming.  Today I hiked the old Big Oak Flat Rd from El Cap to Tamarack Flat and back. 10 hours and tough – large Talus fields in the way!  A future blog.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Above all, do not lose your desire to walk.  Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness.  I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.” ~Soren Kierkegaard 

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Outdoor Retailer Part 2

August 7, 2010

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

Get or Give permits<HERE>

Here’s s new product from Grip Socks.

What you are seeing a nice lightweight alternative to bringing your sandals on a backpacking trip. When weight counts, consider this alternative. These snug foot coverings have a 3 mm neoprene under-sole that is flexible yet provides a barrier to protect your feet around the campsite. The surface has a mildy abrasive texture that will grip and keep you from slipping on smooth surface. l After hiking many miles your feet will be hot and ready for relief. Rather than keeping your boots on until bedtime, you can slip on these small packable “booties.” These are not intended to replace firm soled shoes and while sandals are certainly more durable, they are also way heavier and bulky to carry. If you are only going to set up camp, eat and putz around at the end of the day, these are pretty cool. They have a Velcro top and are high enough to keep sand out. The material is a lycra-feeling type fabric that hugs your skin. They are porous so if you are wading, they will not balloon up with water when you step out. They dry out very fast and you might even sleep in them. To learn more see their website <HERE>. I use them.

    In other news, Park Superintendent Don Neubacher will be away from Yosemite until August 15.  If you have a need for that office, Niki Nicholas, Chief of Resource Management, will be acting Superintendent until August 15.

I’m at the park now…great wether but the falls are a big dribble at this point. Hope there is enough in the streams to pump on my hike up the old Big Oak Flat Road.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.” – Aldous Huxley

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

August 6, 2010

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Get or Give permits<HERE>

Here’s s new product from Grip Socks. What you are seeing a nice lightweight alternative to bringing your sandals on a backpacking trip. When weight counts, consider this alternative.

 

These snug foot coverings have a 3-mm neoprene under-sole that is flexible yet provides a barrier to protect your feet around the campsite. The surface has a mildy abrasive texture that will grip and keep you from slipping on smooth surface.  After hiking many miles your feet will be hot and ready for relief. Rather than keeping your boots on until bedtime, you can slip on these small packable “booties.” These are not intended to replace firm soled shoes and while sandals are certainly more durable, they are also way heavier and bulky to carry. If you are only going to set up camp, eat and putz around at the end of the day, these are pretty cool. They have a Velcro top and are high enough to keep sand out. The material is a lycra-feeling type fabric that hugs your skin. They are porous so if you are wading, they will not balloon up with water when you step out. They dry out very fast and you might even sleep in them. To learn more see their website <here >. I use them.
    In other news, Park Superintendent Don Neubacher will be away from Yosemite until August 15.  If you have a need for that office, Niki Nicholas, Chief of Resource Management, will be acting Superintendent until August 15.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Above all, do not lose your desire to walk.  Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness.  I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.”  -Soren Kierkegaard
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Outdoor Retailer Part 1

August 5, 2010

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Get or Give permits<HERE>

This report comes to you from Salt Lake City and the Industry buying show. What a hoot. Godzillion manufacturers showing their Spring 2011 intros.  These shots are from the Kayak Demo Day at the lake near Park City. Wow. Hiking stuff in future blogs.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.” – Paul Dudley White

 

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Museum Exhibit to see

August 4, 2010

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Get or Give permits<HERE>

    After you do your Half Dome hike, be sure to leave time to explore a new exhibit at the Museum, located just down from the Visitor Center. It’s called “View & Visitors.” It features a room full of early park photographs, souvenirs, paintings, etc. A large flat TV monitor runs a slide show of dozens of olde tyme photos … also they have (under glass) the original “Grand Register of Yo-Semite Valley,” that was used at the Cosmopolitan Bathhouse and Saloon. It was located in Yosemite Valley from 1873 to 1884.  It is over 800 pages thick and weighs over 100 pounds. There are 18,000 signatures of people who stayed there – big names like Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes, and James Garfield. 

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” – John Muir, 1913
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Tom Bopp

August 3, 2010

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

Get or Give permits<HERE> 

    Many of us head to Yosemite from the population centers of the west via Highways 120 or 140.  A fun trip to the southern end of the park is via Hwy 41 north of Oakhurst. (Be prepared for major delays during the construction work on the road to the Valley.) This gets you access to the huge grove of Sequoia’s at Wawona. While you are there, be sure to stop in at the Wawona Hotel.

    This vintage lodge dates back to the early days of the park. The hotel was a stopping-over point for visitors to the park arriving in horse drawn coaches. This very area is where Galen Clark tramped about. At the lodge a musician named Tom Bopp plays nightly on the piano in the lounge.

 

    He’s been a fixture there for decades. You might recognize his music from my website. He has a CD full of his own work and songs of the era. He’s also made a nice video product to accompany the songs. He’s compiled a lot of truly vintage movies taken from the archives of 8 mm and 16 mm reels. Real celluloid film was the standard until the advent of recording tape. Ask your grandpa if you are lost. Mrs. Half Dome and I dropped in recently for dinner at the Hotel.

    We heard Tom tickling the ivories. He’s a soft spoken mellow guy playing the tunes that make you tap your feet.  It’s fun to just sit back in an easy chair, sipping on a hot toddy and place yourself  in a calmer era. You can find his work for sale at many of the park stores, or visit his website <HERE>. Good stuff.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Nothing like a night time stroll to give you ideas.” – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, spoken by the character Mad-Eye Moody

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Gloves

August 2, 2010

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

Get or Give permits<HERE>

I’ve been able to give way 8 permits to readers. Enjoy!  To celebrate your summit, consider a nifty T-Shirt off my website!  Please remember to put you contact info on your request – they cannot see your email address on your comment.

I have found the perfect gloves for going up the cables. “Mr Half Dome approved!!!” Atlas rubber dipped (nitrile) full fingered. 

These are very sticky – they are awesome for going up. I have tested them twice and LOVE them. These are not the rubber dotted ones your aunt uses for gardening. They are not the oversized cotton or leather gloves you mow the lawn with. And don’t rely on the stack of discarded gloves found at the base of the cables. They have been there weeks waiting for you. Those are moldy, missing fingers and considered to be trash by the NPS. I still wear my bicycle gloves with my trekking poles for the hike (to keep from getting blisters), then put on these. For the down cable experience I go back to the bike gloves and rappel down the cables with a sliding action on the palm. Note: If you need to go down on your butt, do it!  As long as you ring the bell at the summit you get full credit!   OK, there is no bell – they had to take it down when they put in the Coke machine.  Anyway, you can get these gloves at ACE Hardware for $6.49!!!  If you can’t find them, email me and I’ll get your size and US mail them to you for a $11.00 including and tax & postage. I may put them in my humble on-line web store. Again, they get a 5-Star rating from RangerRick (not really ranger).
   I am in Salt Lake City at the Outdoor Retailer show schmoozing. I’ll try to post the blog with info on the haps there – NEW equipment for Spring 2011 are shown. This is a huge buyer’s show….it’s like REI times 4,000!! Gargantuan event at the Salt Palace. Monday is kayak demo day…dozen of models to try out at a nearby lake. Nifty!

NO T-Shirt shipments until next Monday.
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Unrelated thought worth quoting: “When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body.  I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

Double Rainbow

August 1, 2010

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

Get or Give permits<HERE>

    I’ve been able to give way 8 Half Dome permits to readers. Enjoy!  Please remember to put your contact info on your permit request – they cannot see your email address on your comment. To celebrate your summit, consider a nifty T-Shirt off my website! 

    OK gang this one is beyond words. If you have not seen the “Double Ranbow’” YouTube, I gotta clue you in.  Watch it <HERE>. It’s posted by a Mariposa man, Paul Vasquez, who is enjoying his 15-minutes of a fame. It’s been viewed 8 MILLION times. TV gag man Jimmy Kimmel picked up on it and Paul is now a celebrity. Have fun. I was at Degnan’s Deli in the park 2 years ago and sat down to eat my sub sandwich next to him. We chatted bit and exchanged pleasantries. I’d say he is genuine. He takes photos for income and can use any money this generates – The American Way!! After you get one of my “I made it to the top” T-Shirts, you can buy one of his Double Ranbow’s!!

My rainbow at Hetch Hetchy dam

 

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “The rainbow’s treasures will soon belong to you.” – My fortune from Chef Li’s, San Jose.
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com