Backpacking is one of the best ways to train for ski touring in the off-season. Why? Because it’s cardio, it’s legs, and it is fun. You’ve still got time. The western deserts will soon be prime, and good for at least three months yet. North American mountain ranges close up for foot travel earlier, but you still have weeks to enjoy our sublime alpine wilderness areas. To that end, we just returned from a week in our beloved Wind River range. We fished, we star gazed, we fished, we hiked. Thanks to Granite Gear, we had the right harness.
Granite gear was conceived in 1986, and always been our go-to for lightweight yet comfortable multi-day rucks. Louie and I sported their since discontinued Nimbus Ozone during a go-lite style trek in 2005. We still had one Nimbus stored away, but we needed a second pack for Lisa. Enter the latest brilliance from Granite: Crown-2 60.
Continuing Granite’s tradition of making relatively lightweight full-function backpacks, The Crown-2 is essentially a large, basic 60 liter volume sack with a roll-top and removable back-board. Trimmed down for lightweight trekking, without brain lid or backboard, it comes in at a svelte 2 pounds (.9 liters). That’s replete with a fully padded, adjustable waist belt and a lot of features intact.
Check it out in photos:
Conclusion: We love it. If you’re prepping for go-lite style, you could razor blade another 6 ounces or so from the Crown. But at one kilo with backboard and lid removed, why? We particularly like the adjustable waist belt and the waist belt pockets. Only thing missing is an optional bear-spray holster. (Note that the Crown2 38 is similar, and sleeker for those of you traveling superlight. We recommend either.)
Shop for it here.
A few bonus shots from the wilderness family bliss zone:
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.