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Men’s Handmade Jewelry Summer Collection – The Mountaineer Bracelet

Introducing The Mountaineer, the latest addition in our men’s handmade jewelry summer collection. The Mountaineer is made of braided black and white leather strips, reminiscent of the climbing ropes favored by mountaineers the world over. It is closed by a clever rod-and-ring mechanism that ensures it will stay put no matter how gnarly the conditions get on those high summits.

Pat stops to survey all the ground we've already covered climbing Mont Colden in the Adirondacks.

Pat stops to survey all the ground we’ve already covered climbing Mont Colden in the Adirondacks.

To truly put this new piece through its paces, I have decided to test it out in its natural environment, a real mountain in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. For this purpose, I have chose one of the 4000 feet+ peaks, the famous Mount Colden. At exactly 4,715 feet, Colden is the eleventh-highest peak in the High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains in the State of New York. Hiking can be dangerous, especially on those exposed summits, so I enlisted the help of my best pal, Pat. Plus, it’s always so much more fun to do it with a friend!

Pat and I chose a loop of 13.1 miles, with a change of elevation around 3,000 feet. In other words, a hearty workout for a hot, late June Saturday. We made sure to pack plenty of water, and off we went. Alla was obviously terrified we would be running into bears, but I was pretty confident that with our incessant chit-chat, Pat and I would scare any bear for miles around, which proved to be the case. Not a sight of a fluffy brown tail during our 8 hours adventure in the wild. The wildest beast we encountered was a wild toad of at most 2 inches.

The author, trying to tip a boulder off the summit of Mount Colden, wearing The Mountaineer.

The author, trying to tip a boulder off the summit of Mount Colden, wearing The Mountaineer handmade bracelet for men.

We started off our adventure from the ever-popular Adirondack Loj trailhead. The Loj’s parking lot was, true to form, already packed solid at 10:00am. Hiking has apparently become quite the popular sport, especially with fellow Quebecers. We even heard a local lady complain that they would soon need bigger mountains to accommodate all of us French Canadian hikers… Oh well.

We had to leave the car on the side of the dirt road leading to it, adding at least half an additional mile to what already promised to be serious walking. We signed it at the post as this is the prudent thing to do and we are prudent hikers, and set of over mostly flat terrain to the world-famous Marcy Dam. The Dam still hasn’t been properly repaired from the damages it suffered from the floods of Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011, but thankfully, there is now a wooden bridge a little further downstream that permits easy crossing.

We chose to do the loop counterclockwise, that is to say, we first walked alongside Avalanche Lake through the Avalanche Pass before reaching Lake Colden, where we struck a hard left and the climbing proper began. Can you say steep? Just when you think you’ve reached a little flat ground to catch your breath, it climbs again even steeper. But the view makes it all worth it, especially on such a gorgeous, cloudless day in June. The view from the summit was, through to form, absolutely breathtaking. We stopped a half hour to have lunch, take in the view, and to be frank, catch our breath…

Thankfully, the way back down is a lot less steep that the way up, and we were super glad we had decided to do the loop counter-clockwise and not the other way around. While it can be strenuous to climb steep sheets of rock, it is at least relatively safe. The same just cannot be said of going down. Climbing down a mountain is a slow and steady affair, requiring a fair amount of balance. We finally got back to the car with nary a drop of water left at around 4:00pm, clocking in this expedition at roughly 8 hours.

The Mountaineer Handmade Jewelry Bracelet for Men in action.

The Mountaineer Handmade Jewelry Bracelet for Men in action.

I was more than pleased to notice how the Mountaineer bracelet went along pretty nicely with my pedometer… The whole 13.1 loop to the summit of Mount Colden accounted for some 38,000 steps, according to this most precise piece of machinery, though I would venture to guess that the calorie count was way, way off, as the little bugger had no way to account for the change in altitude, aka Climbing with a capital “C”, that accounted for a lot of the workout involved! At any rate, the Mountaineer held through this strenuous exercise with nary a sweat! The rod-and-ring locking mechanism proved solid and no amount of jingling while climbing sheer faces of mountainside could dislodge it. The copious amounts of sweat that such a strenuous exercise is wont to produce didn’t affect the Mountaineer in the slightest. This truly is a manly piece of jewelry for us outdoorsy dudes!

The Mountaineer is available now, find it on our online store!

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