Revo Re-Use Sunglasses are Made From 100% Pre-Consumer Recycled Nylon Plastic

Posted in Uncategorized on March 16, 2010 by thereandbackgalleria

{Belay Style Featured}

{Belay Style Featured}

{Re-Use Styles from Left to Right: Abyss, Belay, Highside, Red Point}

{Revo Re-Use Abyss}

Sustainable, Eco-Friendly, “Green”, all these buzz words are becoming more and more commonplace in the consumer conscious, especially in the outdoor industry. More and more companies are realizing their impact on the very environment that perpetuates their businesses, and Revo is no fool to that logic. Starting out in 1985 Revo has made a name for itself in producing some of the most advanced polarization lenses. They continue to create new ways for people to view the world. With the launch last year of their Re-Use line of eye-wear, Revo is seeing “Green”. The Re-Use line consists of five different styles, with frames entirely composted of pre-consumer polymer resins. So in other words, they are made up of left over plastics that would have been thrown away, wasted, and probably dumped in a landfill.

Put Them On Your Face For Best Results

With the outdoor adventurer in mind the Re-Use line has much to offer. Either it be cycling or cross-country skiing I found them to perform exceptionally well. The Re-Use sunglasses are shaped to wrap around your face and stay snuggly there, but they do so in far more comfortable fashion. Revo calls this their ,“ Motion Fit System”. Another one of the remarkable characteristics of these sunglasses is their weight, or lack of it. In addition, the lenses work exceptionally well with their polarization properties. Combining the weight and lens clarity one really gets the sensation of wearing nothing at all. The Re-Use lenses offer 100% UVA, UVB and UVC protection so you know your getting the full shielding your eyes need when outdoors for long periods at a time.

How I Learned To Love

To be honest, I hated sunglasses. I have always had a bone to pick with the idea strapping junk to my face. It never helped that I have a crooked nose and all my shades would sit lop sided, or that fact they would always fall or slip off. So I never really gave good eye-wear a chance. Sure I understood the importance of protecting your peepers from the harmful rays of sunlight but I got to look good. That’s why I’m so stoked on Revo’s Re-Use line, especially my favorite, the Highside style. They feel weightless on my face, offer complete coverage and don’t make me feel like a space cowboy when I wear them around town. Not to mention the eco-friendly aspect is something I want to support. All in all I’m very impressed with the overall quality Re-Use has to offer.

Quick Stats

•Price $159-$209, depending on the style

•Five different styles in the Re-Use line

•Top grade TR-90 polymer resin (pre-consumer)  frames

•1.88mm Glass lenses (Thrive & Belay styles)

•Serilium Coated lenses (Highside, Abyss & Red Point styles)

•All lenses are Hydrophobic and Anti-Reflective

Final Score: 4 out 5

Pro: Excellent performance for outdoor activities, eco-friendly

Con: A bit pricey

Who & Where:

Go to
for a complete list
of retailers in Colorado.

Read about more cool stuff at:


Be Amazed By The Fiber Flare Bike Light

Posted in Cycling on March 16, 2010 by thereandbackgalleria

Fiber Flare attached to bike

I introduce to you the Fiber Flare Bike Light, the new lighting option hailing from the crafty folk over at A.L.L. Innovations. Consisting of a LED bendable tube, the Fiber Flare gives cyclists something they rarely see (literally) side visibility. Typically, most safety lights only produce a visible light projecting straight back from the rider. What Fiber Flare aims to change is the way drivers see our vulnerable rear ends. By illuminating a fiber optic tube the light is seen all around. This advantage mean drivers will be able to spot you from the side (adjacent traffic at an intersection) and when next to you (car passing you). All of this is achieved without sacrificing light intensity. This light will be noticed in the dark streets.

Applying Applications Appropriately

Another feature of the Fiber Flare that gives it so much appeal is it’s mounting applications. Being about as versatile as Batman’s utility belt this light will challenge you to figure out new places to put it. Two clips attached to the end tubes provide a basic mount. It can be clipped onto the back of a backpack, on the waist with belt loops or along the pocket of a jersey vertically. In addition to the end clip the Fiber Flare comes with removable rubber slings. These can be used to lash the light to pretty much any place on a bike frame. Seat posts, forks, down tubes whatever… Use it where you need it the most.

Personal Thoughts
(and only the clean ones)

As a lifelong commuter I am always looking for new, innovative toys that will keep me from being bounced on hoods. The Fiber Flare has effectively impressed me. I rode with this for about three weeks and gave it the full gambit of tests. It passed with flying colors. I really enjoyed the mounting possibilities of this light. Typically I used it in conjunction with one of my standard rear taillights, having the fiber flare lashed to my left chain stay. I liked this combo because passing cars were aware of how close they were to me and also caught two lights when coming up on me. The light performed great in multiple snowstorms and sub zero temps. Not to mention it looks cool, come on lightsaber anyone? The price is a little much for a light but if you take in consideration the versatility it’s totally worth it. All in all, a fantastic product.

Quick Stats

•$35-$45 for a single tail light

(two packs are available for $70)

•Estimated 70hr burn time

(2 AAA batteries)

•Steady and Strobe program

•11.5 inched long

Final Score: 4.5 out of 5

Pro: Versatile, durable, innovative and safe

Con: Pricey,
not readably available

Who & Where:

A.L.L. Innovations

PO Box 5325 Mordialloc Victoria 3195, Australia

Read more about Cool stuff at

Patagonia R1 Hoody

Posted in Apparel with tags , , , , on October 15, 2009 by thereandbackgalleria


You know what they say about Colorado. “If you don’t like the weather, just wait ten minutes.” If you’re climbing in the mountains, you also know that the blue sky can change to snow in less than half that time. Hopefully you’ve come prepared with clothing that will stand up to the test and keep you comfortable at the same time.

I depend on the Patagonia R1 Hoody. Most people believe that it hit the market in just the last few years. Not exactly; it was first released more than a decade ago. Unfortunately, aside from the elite alpinists, it wasn’t popular with the outdoor mainstream. I guess back then, ‘extreme’ wasn’t really all the rage. This time around, the R1 is more than just a cult favorite; it’s become the standard in any adventure junkie’s closet.

The R1 Hoody is the Swiss Army Knife of fleece base layers. Created in the spirit of Patagonia’s philosophy, the minimalist design includes a myriad of useful and well constructed features. Beginning at the top; the balaclava style hood fits easily under a helmet, even doubled with a lightweight beanie. Next, the ¾ length zipper is offset, making it comfortable to wear in cold conditions. No freezing metal on your skin. Finally, the external chest pocket is great for an energy snack, while the thumb loops keep your skin protected from the elements. Overall, the R1 Hoody is another well designed piece of clothing from Patagonia.

The R1 shines in the mountains when it comes to performance. Like any alpinist, I’ve mastered my own layering technique. For example, on most days I can wear the R1 directly against my skin, with the waffle-style structure of the fleece keeping me warm and dry. During colder and windier situations, I usually add a light base layer underneath. After some experimentation, I’ve decided that capilene works better than wool. The arrangement isn’t bulky and won’t soak up sweat when I have to pick up the pace. As I come to belays or stop for a snack, I can conserve heat by zipping up the fleece or putting on the hood. Overall, temperature control and layering are strong suits of the R1.

There is no doubt that the R1 Hoody is very durable. With nothing more than a run on the hem, I’ve worn this fleece non-stop for three years. In addition to many climbing routes, I also have many days logged from trekking, biking, and lounging around the campfire. When it comes to laundry day, the R1 goes in with everything else. In the midst of countless adventures, it’s been washed in the sink or thrown in the machine at the Laundromat. Whether it’s drying on a line in the sun or spinning on high in the Speed Queen, the R1 Hoody stands up to the test of unlimited washing.

Journeys in the alpine world require clothes that are functional, easy to wear, and long lasting. Thank goodness for second chances. Without them, we probably wouldn’t have the The R1 Hoody.

R1 Hoody Specs:

Price: $135

Weight: 10.9 oz

Material: 6.5 oz Polartec® fleece (60% recycled polyester), Capilene 4 stretch panels (under arms, cuffs, hem)


Balaclava-style hood, offset zipper, external chest pocket, thumb-loops

Sizes/Colors: XS-XL, Black and Red

Pros: Host of useful features. Recyclable through the Common Threads Recycling Program. Doubles as a ninja costume at Halloween.

Con: Never goes on sale



8550 White Fir Street

P.O. Box 32050

Reno, NV 89523-2050


Writing & Photography By:

Leslie Kehmeier

Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons

Posted in Climbing with tags , , , , on October 15, 2009 by thereandbackgalleria


While waiting for the group ahead of us to top out, I decided to try something new: mixed climbing. I examined the existing picks and scratches on the rock in front of me and got started. As I won the battle of learning a new technique, I returned to the ground to find that I had lost the war with my equipment. In the few desperate attempts I made to gain altitude on the climb, I folded the steel of one of my front points into a nubbin’. I guess I finally found the weakness in my trustworthy crampons.

I first learned of the Black Diamond Sabretooth crampons while on an expedition to South America. Our Jedi Master, aka climbing guide, displayed their versatility while ascending a vertical wall on the Cayambe Glacier. I soon discovered that horizontal, not vertical, front points were much more ideal for the varied terrain of the mountains. Upon returning home from the trip, I quickly went to my local outdoor shop and purchased my own pair.

As a steel and semi-rigid crampon, the Sabretooths come in two varieties; Pro and Clip. This option makes them compatible with boots that do or don’t accept a front bail. The crampons are constructed with horizontal points and perform surprisingly well on both alpine and waterfall ice. Finally, anti-balling plates provide a way to avoid snow build-up underfoot.

The Sabretooth crampons are great for all types of mountaineering routes. For example, I have climbed the deep blue waterfalls of East Vail, in addition to some classic routes in the famed Longs Peak/Meeker Cirque. Furthermore, I have made ascents with them strapped to both leather and plastic boots. Regardless of the season and terrain, they are easily adjustable, have good shear resistance, and transition well between rock, ice, and snow. The one drawback I have discovered is on hard and brittle ice. Overall, the Sabretooths are well suited to a variety of landscapes and conditions.

As with ice tools and screws, crampons do require some maintenance. Fortunately, keeping the Sabretooths sharp and functional is reasonably straightforward. Due to the design of the front points, I have found it relatively easy to replicate the chiseled pattern when filing. The most important thing to remember: use a hand file instead of power tools. Black Diamond describes the process thoroughly on their website.

Crampons are essential gear when seeking out snow and ice routes in the mountains. They are just as important as an ice axe and crampons. The Black Diamond Sabretooths are an excellent choice for all-mountain pursuits. And if you decide to tackle some mixed climbing, just make sure you are up to date on that filing technique.

Crampon Specs:

Price: $159.00

Weight: 2 lbs 10 oz

Models: Pro (boots with front toe welt) Clip (boots w/o toe welt)

Material: Steel


Horizontal fixed front points, aggressive second points with serrated edges; French style o-ring strap system; Anti-Balling System included.

Sizing: One size fits all to 12. Sizes above 12 require extender ($19.95-$24.95)

Uses: Ice, Mixed, Alpine

Pros – good all-around crampon, easy to maintain

Cons – sub-par on hard and brittle ice, steel may bend or fold on prolonged mixed routes


Black Diamond Equipment, LTD.

2084 East 3900 South

Salt Lake City, UT 84124

p: 801.278.5552

f: 801.278.5544

Writing & Photography By:

Leslie Kehmeier

Cloudveil Troller Gloves

Posted in Climbing with tags , , , , , on October 15, 2009 by thereandbackgalleria


Scream-ing Bar-fies.

Definition: The process of losing sensation in your hands while climbing and then having the feeling return afterwards with the urge to scream and barf at the same time.

A good pair of gloves won’t stop the screaming barfies; they’ll just make it happen less often.

Gloves are definitely a matter of personal preference, especially for mountaineering. There are a variety of styles on the market, but it really just boils down to the individual. My experience has led me to try on my fair share of gloves and, time and again, I chose them based on the following characteristics:

-Design: Simple is the best. Form equals function.

-Comfort: If the glove is uncomfortable, you’ll be uncomfortable.

-Durability: A climber’s hands are constantly in use and gloves must stand up to the abuse.

The Troller Glove from Cloudveil have become my climbing glove of choice. I love them because they’re not fancy; they’re just a pair of gloves that works. Originally designed for skiing, the gloves are perfect for mountaineering.

Trollers are classic work gloves made of leather and lined with fleece. In fact, it’s really soft fleece that ranks high in the comfort category. In addition, the gloves also include a stretchy Schoeller® panel on the back side of the hand. This feature allows the glove to expand while gripping an ice tool or mountaineering axe. The fit is slim and works well for anyone who has small hands like me. Overall, the construction of the glove is very functional and well suited to all styles of mountain climbing.

I’ve worn the Troller Glove on countless forays into the mountains and have found them to perform well while climbing both waterfall ice and alpine snow. Most importantly, they provide ample dexterity while swinging tools or setting up belays. Another key feature is the lack of ‘extras’. Some glove manufacturers have a tendency to include plastic reinforcements, excess fabric and the like. Unfortunately, if you’re like me, all of these ‘extras’ will probably lead to fumbling around. As we all know, speed is safety in the mountains and there is no time for wasted energy. Fortunately, Cloudveil has come up with a clean glove design that allows the climber to move efficiently.

As simple as the gloves are, they do require a little maintenance. First, the water repellant leather is just that, water repellent. During the initial outings with the Trollers, I noticed a fair amount of moisture soaked up when the ice was drippy or the snow was saturated. This obviously led to cold and wet hands. As a remedy, I now treat the gloves with Sno-Seal, and my hands stay dry. Second, the fleece lining insulated with PrimaLoft, does pack out after prolonged use. The solution to this problem is a round in the washer and dryer to fluff things up. Third, the cold on frigid days seem to percolate right through the gloves. In this instance, I keep a pair of liners or overmitts on hand to keep the frostbite at bay. Ultimately, with a little extra care, the Troller gloves will be resilient in just about any alpine setting.

The Troller Gloves from Cloudveil are a great choice for mountaineering. They’re just as good going up ice and rock as they are descending the snow. With a simple design, comfortable fit, and durable construction, they will perform well and keep your screaming barfies to a minimum.

Glove Specs:

Price: $ 75.00

Weight: 6.8 oz

Materials: Full grain leather: water repellent and breathable. Washable and dryable. Schoeller® Stretch Panel. 300 Weight Fleece Lining. 100-gram Primaloft Fill.

Pros – Simple design, Soft fleece lining, Women’s sizes available

Cons – Cold hands in really cold temperatures



Post Office Box 11810, Jackson, WY 83002

Phone : 307.734.3880

Fax : 307.739.8576


Writing & Photography By:

Leslie Kehmeier

Petzl Tibloc

Posted in Climbing with tags , , , , , on October 15, 2009 by thereandbackgalleria


For fewer than twenty bucks and less than a tenth of a pound (39 grams!), the Petzl Tibloc is a small but essential addition to any climber or aggressive hiker’s survival gear (note that I emphasize survival gear, as opposed to basic climbing gear).

Picture this: you’ve fallen in a crevasse and need to get back up the rope. Or for an example closer to home, perhaps you’ve rappelled past the correct Friday’s Folly ledge on the Third Flatiron, and you find yourself almost at the end of your rope with thirty meters of void still looming below you. What do you do? How do you get back up that rope?

Most people could not pull their own weight (plus pack, harness, and rack) up a rope for ten feet (about ten pull-ups on a slick rope), much less the ten meters that may be required. Okay, no problem; simply tie a Prussik knot and use that as a mechanical rope ascender. Say what? Can’t tie a Prussik knot? Well, just put a triple Kleimholst around the rap rope (above your ATC or rappel device, duh), and ascend that way. Can’t tie one of those either, huh? Wow, your options are running out fast, and you may be getting tired and just a tiny bit freaked. If you forgot to knot off the ends of your rope (a common mistake made by sport climbers moving up to alpine mountaineering) and can’t hold your brake position on the rappel, you are looking at a fatal fall.

Don’t panic! You’re not totally screwed… if you have the handy Tibloc clipped onto your harness (maybe by a 3-6 foot sewn runner), that is. No Tibloc or other manual mini-ascender? No full size ‘jumar’ ascender? Have ‘em both but A) left them at home—this is an easy 5.9 climb—or B) have them in your pack where you don’t dare try to reach? Gosh, I guess you are screwed. The Petzl Tibloc is a powerful climbing and survival tool, and its weight is negligible to even the most ounce-counting climber. The device can slide unopposed up a rope but, with a bunch of metal mini-teeth, will grip the rope when weighted with downward force. (Other models use camming action to prevent possible damage to the sheath of the rope, but if I need to ascend now, I ain’t too worried about the rope’s sheath-life. Little more worried about my own.

Use Spectra or accessory cord—or use a sling—to attach the Tibloc mini-ascender to your climbing harness through both the leg- and waist-loops (not the belay loop!). Such a setup makes for safe hand-ascension. Used this way, an ascender may save your bacon.

So for the price, it’s crazy not to have one, and for the weight it’s silly not to carry the one you have—just leave it clipped to your alpine harness. You can lean-and-mean-it with your sport/gym harness.

Once you have a good ascender rig going, don’t let it sit there and gather dust, unused. Don’t wait until you need it to become proficient with it. The best thing (if you can afford it… hmmm… what’s your life worth?) is to get some lessons from a pro, like Colorado Mountain School or your local climbing school. Although nowhere in Colorado is that isolated, even if you don’t have a climbing school nearby, find an experienced, professional guide (with a good reputation) or an experienced amateur climber if you must. Get someone who knows how to show you.

Then, once you think you’ve acquired a modicum of proficiency, go out to a local slab or crag and (safest is from a top-rope) practice a few feet above the ground. Practice rigging it, clipping it in, ascending on it. Heck, while you’re at it, you might as well practice those Prussik and Kleimholst knots as well. That way, if the scenario described at the start of this article happens to you, you’ll simply smile and jumar fearlessly up the rock without a care in the world.

So you have read this article (and maybe the Tibloc user’s manual and Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills if you’re real motivated), now rush right out and get one of these critical items. Hop to! Your rope-sheath isn’t getting any younger.

Writing By:

Mark Mullen

Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro

Posted in Cycling on October 15, 2009 by thereandbackgalleria


Close Up

Example Run

If Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome had taken place during winter, they would have been riding mountain bikes with studded tires.

Winter is the season when many cyclists store their bicycles and find other means of transportation and recreation. Every year up until now I followed suit; I’d hang my bicycle in the garage and set up the stationary trainer just as the last leaves of Colorado’s long autumn withered and fell. I was content to take a break from my two-wheeled stead and wait for the spring thaw. This year, however, I braved the cold. I decided to ‘buck up’ and keep riding through ice, snow, and freezing temperatures. With a few extra layers and some specialized rubber, it hasn’t been hard to transition into winter riding.

Before putting myself at winter’s mercy, I prepared for the most extreme conditions. I outfitted my full-suspension mountain bike with the Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro HS 379. It’s the second most aggressive model Schwalbe offers, and it’s made for serious off-road adventures. The price of the Ice Spiker Pro may be steep, but quality justifies cost. And, made with 361 durable tungsten carbide-core spikes, the tire doesn’t weigh much more than a regular mountain bike tire.

In total, Schwalbe sells four different versions of spiked tires for both on- and off-road journeys. For singletrack junkies like me, the Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro is the answer to the winter I-can’t-get-out-to-ride blues. This winter, bike equipped with the Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro, I’ve accomplished my daily errands (grocery store, post office) and navigated the frozen, snow-covered trails near my home in Littleton.

The performance of the Ice Spiker Pro has been impressive. During a recent ride at Bear Creek Lake Park, I encountered a wide range of frozen terrain including glare ice, frozen snow, and powder. On pure ice the tires gripped well and I was able to accelerate without spinning; on packed and frozen snow the tires were stable and I felt like I was riding on dry trail. Powder was the greatest challenge. While plowing through six inches of the fresh stuff, I spent the same amount of time going sideways as forward.

Lateral slipping was, however, an occasional problem throughout the ride, powder or not. I slipped sideways a couple times when standing up to pedal or banking through a turn. Fortunately, such slipping was relatively rare, and, I think, inevitable given the conditions. I finished my early-morning ride in Bear Creek Lake Park before the temperature rose above freezing. As one could imagine, studded tires and mud do not mix well. Picture Fruita after it rains…

Winter riding has proven practical (all those chores!) and liberating. This year, I’ve explored Colorado’s winter landscape in a more intimate way, and I now have a great alternative to indoor workouts. With twelve months a year to explore, the prospect of new riding destinations excites me. Think of all the terrain—sun-baked and frozen—I’ll discover!


Durable and lightweight

Great traction in a variety of winter conditions (ice, packed snow, minimal powder)

Rides like a standard mountain bike tire

Keeps you riding through winter!



Break-in period of 25 miles on pavement

Challenging to ride in deep powder conditions

Tire Specs:

Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro HS 379 26 x 2.10, folding bead, 695g, 361 tungsten carbide core spikes


The tires require a 25-mile break-in period on pavement. It’s best to avoid rapid acceleration or hard braking during this time.




Schwalbe North America

105 – 536 Herald Street

Victoria, BC V8W 1S6


Toll Free: 1-888-700-5860


Writing & Photography By:

Leslie Kehmeier