LaSportiva Review: Nano-Cell Technology™ Meets the Rockies

I always get a little nervous when choosing a new boot for my hiking adventures – once you’re out there, if you’re uncomfortable or unable to maneuver the terrain, the joy of the experience is dampened, since your shoes are the primary barrier between you and the elements. I’ve also bought some hiking boots in the past only to be disappointed after six months of use when the sole starts falling apart. So when I first picked up a pair of La Sportiva Core High GTX boots I thought there was no way a boot so light could withstand the wear and tear I planned on subjecting them to. Intrigued by their new breathable technology and the possibility of lightening my load, I decided to give these boots a try and keep my fingers crossed that they deliver what they promise.

I opted for a low-key trial run, and took the family car camping for the weekend at a lake a couple of hours from our home. Walking around the campsite and fishing around the lake wasn’t exactly tough on the Core High GTX boots, but I was intrigued by the fact that a lightweight shoe could provide such sure footing.

The following week I was off to hike the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness of Colorado for five days – this would be the true test of the Core High GTX. During the hike to our destination, I ended up covering over 30 miles with 45 lbs. strapped to my back, and then embarked upon another dozen or so miles of fly fishing around lakes and streams with roughly 10 lbs. packed into my daypack. My friends Shawn and Tom joined me for this excursion and we started the hike in at roughly 6,000 feet above sea level, ending the day above treeline at over 11,000 feet. The first handful of miles felt like a leisurely stroll compared to the challenge we faced once we got above treeline.

Our destination was a couple of lakes that sit right below the Continental Divide, far above the safety and cover of the trees. With no real trail into this area, there was a lot of off-trail navigation of boulders and rolling tundra. Once we arrived, and base camp was set up, we were off to explore the lakes and catch some amazing cutthroat trout. The Core High GTX handled all types of terrain effortlessly – we scrambled up and around cliffs, navigated the rocky shores of the lakes, and trudged through boulder fields between the lakes. To my surprise, I was sure-footed and comfortable, not to mention cool, the entire time. These boots far exceeded my expectations.

After spending a couple of days above treeline, we headed back down the valley and set up camp again, taking day trips to fish the stream and other lakes in the area. Over the five days we ambled around the wilderness, hiked and fished four lakes, three sections of the stream and multiple beaver ponds – catching hundreds of fish between the three of us. Even with the terrain and altitude challenges, the combined durability and comfort of the Core High GTX, convinced me that I would happily be able wear these boots for six months and beyond!

Head over to the La Sportiva site for the specs: Core High GTX, but for me the real world use was much more useful and informative and I can honestly say I haven’t had a more comfortable and versatile experience in a hiking boot.

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Kickin’ Around the Lake – North Catamount Reservoir

Took a Friday off to head up the Pikes Peak Highway and take the float tubes out on North Catamount Reservoir. It was a good day of catching rainbows and lake trout.

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Fly Fishing Colorado: Our Playground – 2016 Vol. 1

Posted @ Orvis

The first few months of 2016 was amazing! Looking forward to the rest of the year!

Blue Skies and Brown Trout

Another perfect day on the water. This was the first time using the new Hydros reel and it paired perfectly with my 6 wt. Recon.

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Photos: St. Patrick’s Day/Birthday Browns in Colorado

Originally posted @ Orvis

As some were getting ready for parades and green beer, I skipped out on work for some birthday browns. With my 6-weight Recon—and a few red Higa’s S.O.S . nymph and Purple Haze emerger—I headed to my creek on a cold and snow-flurried St. Patrick’s Day morning. I think the fish knew it was my birthday because every spot produced trout. Turning 42 never felt so good!

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A Reddit Meetup in Denver

Two fellow Redditors drove down from Fort Collins for a day of fishing on the Platte.

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Another Perfect February Day

After a week of 60 degree weather, the big browns were out and about.

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Photos: Fine Fishing Weather on the Front Range

Originally posted @ Orvis

Last year, I set a goal to catch a fish every month, and after I completed that goal, I thought I would keep it going. It’s been in the low 60’s for most of the week here in Denver, perfect for getting my feet wet and keeping the streak alive at 14 months. My friend Tom was able to get a couple to the net as well, including his first trout of the year. I’m looking forward to many more months of getting out on the water!

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Photos: Same Fish, Different Day

Originally posted @ Orvis

I seem to have a knack for catching the same fish a couple of weeks apart. I have nothing against keeping what you catch if that is your style, but I’ve always said that I would rather catch a fish multiple times than eat it just once.

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HP ZBook Review

10501825_10152769783348175_3018491975649462243_nHP’s 17” ZBook is not your everyday internet-surfing cat-meme-posting laptop. With its 2.8GHz Core, i7-4900MQ Intel processor and 16GB of RAM, this workhorse plows through the most processor-intensive jobs, leaving you with plenty of time to view the latest cat memes.

The ZBook has been particularly useful for me, as I create and edit (very large) videos highlighting my ramblings through the Colorado Rockies. Although I blog for various outdoor gear companies, and have had articles published, my heart lies with my lesser known passion, which is sharing my fishing trips through video.  I feel that videos provide a much fuller experience than stills or text. \

But there’s one downside of creating videos – the dreaded production time.  I’m used to waiting 15 minutes to load a single clip and more than 8 hours to render a draft! Video rendering takes longer than some of my day trips. As a father, a prepress manager, and an outdoorsman, I don’t have hours to sit around waiting for  huge files to process, so using the ZBook’s power has been life-changing for me. It speeds through the processing so I am able to spend more time in the actual editing of the video.

But what if I want to use another program while the computer is rending the video? I frequently switch from Adobe Premiere to After Effects to Photoshop, which has caused lesser computers to crash and delete any progress made on a video. The ZBook handles multitasking with ease, and now I’m able to work on multiple projects at the same time.

But speed and memory aren’t everything, if the display is only average. Fortunately, the ZBook doesn’t have this problem. It is immediately HP-ZBook-15apparent that the ZBook’s DreamColor display is something special.  With over 1.4 million colors, the crisp, clear display almost makes me feel like I’m back in the mountains when I review my latest video. Editing RAW images for magazine use is also a breeze. Due to the color precision, I know what I’m sending the editor will print as true-to-life as possible.

The ZBook boasts a variety of ports and expansion options – most notably the option to add two additional hard drives on top of the SSD that is running the operating system. Although I still have not filled up the original hard drive, it’s nice to know that this there’s the flexibilty to expand as necessary.

Now, when I return from my trips armed with hours of video, I can look forward to the video creation process, knowing that HP’s ZBook will help me create a top-notch product without the painstaking process.

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