The end of the year is a time for contemplation. It marks aclear passage of time which we can use to evaluate the state of thingsin our lives. One way of celebrating these activities, things,places, et al is to make a list of that which we liked best in the previousyear. My list isn’t necessarily composed of things that were newin 2010 (although most of them are) but instead focuses on them being “new” tome. I should also note the list is in no particular order. If you make a list, post it to the comments below so I cancheck it out.
|The Top Ten for Twenty-Ten|
|Retribution GospelChoir – “2”
I fell in love with Retribution Gospel Choir while living in Duluth, MN during ’05 and ’06. They played regularly and I have seen them perform dozens of times. The anticipation related to the release of this album was strong in me. I acquired a copy of this on vinyl as well as in mp3 and it was the album I listened to most this year.
|Spark R & D Blaze splitboard binders
The fellows at Spark are some innovative chaps. I have been riding a set of the Ignition II binders since 2008 and decided to upgrade for performance and weight saving reasons. I had the opportunity to do some part-time work at Spark R & D which meant I was able to assemble my own set of these badboys. I’ve only been on one tour with them but am already very pleased.
|Backpacking Light Stealth NANO backpacking tarp
A five ounce cuben fiber tarp that can withstand mega winds, hail, and keep you dry in a blowing rainstorm? Yes, please. Manufactured by top-quality sewers in the good ol’ U S of A and sold by the beloved Backpacking Light this tarp is an absolute winner.
|Bike Route Toaster
I log my bicycle mileage using Green Light Ride and I’ve found the best online map routing service to be Toaster. The ability to map, save, export, and share routes and it’s inherent elevation, speed, and distance measuring is easy, friendly, and practical.
Most of my summer backpacking trips in 2010 were in the 900,000+ acre AB Wilderness. Stretching a vast distance barely pockmarked by any roads the Absarokas are home to some of the most pristine and wild landscapes I’ve ever set foot into.
|EverytrailPRO Android app
I recently upgraded my telephone to an HTC Droid Incredible that has built-in GPS capabilities. Running the EveryTrail PRO app allows me to post GPS routes from my phone. I carry the phone while hiking anyway because of the built in camera and for the possible security it may afford me should I need a rescue. Once uploaded Everytrail will sync with the photos (automatically geotagged by the phone) I’ve posted to my Flickr site.
|Marmot Leadvillesoftshell jacket
Splitboarding and high-energy output sports in the winter require highly breathable yet insulating clothing. A softshell is the obvious answer to this dilemna and after researching a dozen different models I settled on a Marmot product for its combination of weight, features, and price. I have been very pleased with it’s balance of warmth and breathability.
I frequent a music blog called The Shadowkick and some time back a post to the demo release from a band called Wuss was posted. It is a gritty album that fulfills my love of metal and punk.
|Recycle:cycle Cargo Bike (DIY)
Throughout 2009 I contemplated, researched, and began designing a do-it-yourself longtail cargo bike. Sometime in the early months of this year I finalized the build. It is still a work-in-progress but she rides well and hauls some huge loads. I brazed her up from two bike frames, tubing cut from one or two others, and steel I sourced from a discarded grocery store shelf.
Every top-ten list needs a bit of an inside joke. So, to my #wolfpack I raise my glass and say SKOL!!!.