It is cold and an icy breeze tugs at my hair. It feels surreal that I am in Southern California, that to the south I can see Mexico. I though this part of the country was hot sunshine and endless deserts, not post-holing through thigh deep snow!
I took the Deuter Rise 32+ SL on a day ski of South Sister in Central Oregon. The moderate ski, down a 10,358-foot volcano west of Bend, is best right when the Cascade Lakes Highway reopens from its annual winter closure at Mount Bachelor—usually around the end of May. (Unless you have a snowmobile to hit it sooner, lucky duck.) The floodgates opened after the three-day weekend in both 2016 and 2017 (boo), so I was thrilled to get a shot this Memorial Day.
I’m seriously stoked that I have found a pack that I feel so free in. I brought this pack out for it’s maiden voyage on a 6-pitch route and I couldn’t have been more satisfied with its performance. It just didn’t impede on my climbing abilities in the slightest. Since then, it has been with me on every multi-pitch route I’ve done.
Summer has abruptly ended, the chill has set in and the leaves are starting to turn. It was a good one, despite being away for work I snuck in a variety of climbs, ranging from alpine rock to glaciers and ice. Some long multi day trips with grueling approaches, the kind were no matter what pack you use it rubs and pulls and makes it feel like you are carrying the world on your shoulders. Not this summer!
Climbing the classic, sand-bagged routes of Index, WA requires a serious variety of gear and a good pack to carry it to the wall in. There’s nothing that gets me feeling quite as excited as loading up all my cams and carabiners into my pack in anticipation of a weekend of climbing at my favorite place in the world. I’m one of those people that packs everything but the kitchen sink, and no pack before the Gravity Haul has made it as easy to pile everything in and get out on the road. Finally a pack that combines the durability and ease of loading of a haul bag with the comfort of a backpacking pack!