Earlier this evening I was leaving my house to go pick up my dinner. As I walked out into the middle of the driveway something compelled me to stop. When I did I noticed something very strange…
In that moment it seemed like a pause button had been pushed. Everything had stopped. I looked down the street, there was no sign, either audible or visual, of human activity. There were no cars. There was no traffic noise. Even the highway in the distance was silent. Almost everything was perfectly still. The only noise that I heard were two birds chirping in a tree just behind me.
I took that unique moment and enjoyed it. It seemed to last as long as I wanted it to. The second I got into my car to leave the play button was pushed and normalcy returned. Moments like that are rarely ever found in a city.
“From the Buddhist point of view, the most profound way to relate to the realm of our emotions and the entire universe is to simply experience each moment as it is, each phenomenon as it arises, without concepts and labels. If we are looking for a better way we are wasting our time.” ~Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
The specific date is a little fuzzy at the moment but late in November or early December we had a nice little cold snap here in SLC. We got enough snow to shovel and I had the opportunity to perform a short test with my Talus Outdoor Technologies Cold Avenger Pro Mask. The very first thing I noticed is there is virtually no limit to air flow through the mask. This is very much unlike other winter face masks which, by nature of the fabric covering your face, limits the amount of air capable to flow into and through the mask. I see this as a benefit to aerobic activities. I’m excited to use it up high in the mountains on ski tours. The second thing that became apparent to me is the lack of moisture on my face. This is another important feature of the mask. Having worn other masks in the past, they always seem to get my face wet with expired moisture from my lungs and thus my face became cold. With the Cold Avenger Pro the moisture does collect in the plastic portion, but this allows it to be available for humidification of inspired air, and your face remains remarkably warm! I look forward to using it for extended periods this winter. Currently I am getting quite anxious considering the quality early season snow and my lack of a ski pass. I will be up there soon enough enjoying the pow like mother nature intended.
Summer in Utah stretched into the fall months as it usually does. Between work and climbing I usually keep pretty busy. In late October my mother came to visit me as she typically does once a year. This year I decided we should take a trip to Moab. Prior to this trip I had only been once and will make an effort to go more often…as long as it’s not ski season! While she was here we enjoyed hiking in Arches National Park and the views of Dead Horse Point State Park. Here are some pics:
This is my mom with Turret Arch in the background.
North and South Window Arches.
The obligatory Delicate Arch pic.
The Firey Furnace.
The view from Dead Horse Point.
All in all it was a great trip. The weather may have not been the best but, I was glad to see my mom. I only get to see her once or twice a year, and for these visits I’m thankful. Back to work and waiting for the snow to fly. Until next time.
A couple weeks ago one of my twitter followers (@ousidehilary) asked if she could send me a product for me to test. The product was a face mask called the Cold Avenger Pro by Talus Outdoor Technologies. It’s designed for activities in cold weather. It is made from a high quality softshell material with a soft fleece lining. It has a unique medical grade plastic humidification/ventilation interface that allows for improved warming and humidification of inspired air while out in the cold. I was very surprised when I was asked and hesitated for only but a second before saying yes.
I am actually uniquely qualified to test this product. First and foremost I am a respiratory therapist by profession. Breathing is my job plain and simple. (Obviously it may not be that simple, but for now it is) Second I LOVE winter!! Third, and I feel this fact ties it all together, is that I have asthma. Given that last fact I understand the need for improved warming of inspired air in cold weather. Cold air, especially cold dry air can be extremely aggravating to the airways in the lungs, and for asthmatics and others with respiratory issues this can mean an exacerbation of their lung problem and a day outside has been cut short. This also means improved comfort for those without any respiratory problems.
Now back to the mask. Obviously it’s not quite cold enough yet to test outside. But I have at least tried it on. I love the softshell material and the fleece lining. It’s soft on the skin and the seams are also soft and non irritating. The velcro closure is wide and secure. And the sides come up high enough to cover my ears completely. It also fits nicely under my Smith Variant Brim ski helmet. The custom foam insert improves the fit and comfort around the nose. While wearing the mask, I can feel the increased humidity provided. I am very much looking forward to colder weather so I can truly appreciate the benefits of this mask.
Here are some pics:
Cold Avenger Pro mask:
Interior, showing the custom foam insert and ventilation adjustment:
Don’t forget to check out:
That’s it for now. More to come when it gets colder. I can’t wait!
A couple years ago I tried to start a blog. It didn’t work for me then. I am going to make it work for me now. For now my content will most likely be a smorgasbord from all aspects of my life. Perhaps it will take it’s own direction after a while. It’s now 1600 and I have to get ready for work. That is all for the moment.