American Mountain Guide Geoff Unger tests the CAMP OVO Belay Plate

      I was excited to get my hands on the Camp Ovo belay device. For a long time, the Gigi from Kong was the only available entry in this market. In the field, the Ovo performed admirably. The main reason to have this device is to ease the burden of pulling ropes through […]

AvaTech SP1 Review

Jonathon Spitzer, American Mountain Guide/IFMGA Guide, reviews AvaTech’s SP1. The 2015 ski season was not the best, as many of us suffered from a lack of snow and not many powder days.  With the lack of snow, this allowed more persistent weak layers to form in our snowpack. Most parts of the Western US still had […]

AMGA Instructor Team Member Geoff Unger Reviews the CAMP Tricam Evo

Throughout a 20-year climbing career, the Tricam has been a bit of a niche piece of gear for me. That said, I have used it extensively where no other piece of gear would work. In aid climbing, they can be a lifesaver. In traditional rock climbing, there is no better piece of gear in horizontal […]

Smith I/07 Ski Goggle Review

Mike Soucy, IFMGA Licensed Mountain Guide, reviews the Smith I/07 Ski Goggles.  This winter season (2014/15), I wore the Smith I/07 Ski Goggles ($200–285) for roughly 30 days of skiing, including backcountry touring, inbounds, and mechanized, in Colorado and Alaska. My pair featured the black frame, with the option to use either the Ignitor Mirror […]

Backcountry Access BC Link Radio Review by Mike Soucy

Mike Soucy, IFMGA Licensed Mountain Guide, reviews the Backcountry Access BC Link radio. This March, in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, on the AMGA Ski Guides’ Course, I tested the Backcountry Access BC Link radio ($150). These radios were used for backcountry ski guiding, but I’d also use them for mechanized ski guiding, and […]

Salomon X Alp Pro GTX Review by Lindsay Fixmer

AMGA Guide Lindsay Fixmer reviews the Salomon X Alp Pro GTX boot with integrated gaiter. I tested out the Salomon X Alp Pro GTX ($280) boot with integrated gaiter working a spring Mt. Whitney trip in the High Sierra a few weeks ago. Due to our balmier weather, what typically would have been an ill-suited boot […]

Smith Variance Helmet Review by Geoff Unger

American Mountain Guide Geoff Unger tests the Smith Variance ski helmet. I am going to come right out and say it. I have a negative bias against helmets for skiing. I don’t understand it. I wear one for climbing all the time, but I grew up without one on the slopes and it stuck. I […]

Review: CAMP’s Photon wire straight gate biner

CAMP Speed 2.0 Photo

Mike Soucy, American Mountain Guide/IFMGA Guide, recently reviewed CAMP USA’s Speed 2.0 Photon Wire Straight Gate Carabiner. I tested CAMP’s Photon Wire straight gate carabiner on just under a dozen routes, from South Platte multipitch traditional rock climbing to waterfall ice pitches and mixed alpine climbs in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Photon is a […]

Smith Nomad Sunglasses, a Review

AMGA-Certified Guide Rob Coppolillo reviews the Smith Nomad sunglasses with “ChromaPop” lens.   At first, I was skeptical of the Smith Nomad sunglasses ($269) when I took them out of the box. They seemed too light, with a wire frame that would seemingly go destructo in less than a week. Turns out they’re titanium, so you […]

Review: Iridium’s GO! Wi-Fi–Based Satellite Phone Device

Ryan Huetter, Certified AMGA Rock Guide, reviews the Iridium GO! Wi-Fi–based satellite-phone device.   As working guides in the backcountry, we have become increasingly reliant on the technology that goes into our guiding packs. Whether it is for navigation, communication or documentation, most of us are carrying multiple pieces of electronics on our guiding assignments. […]