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Living in an alpine town with extreme weather conditions-annual snowfall can exceed 600 inches, temperatures range from negative 15 to low 90s, routine afternoon thunderstorms, high altitudes, and low humidity-it is not uncommon for products to fall short of their claimed performance values. Over the years we’ve had plenty of phones and watches fizzle out when conditions became real. So, when Lewis forwarded the VERTIX launch deck and I perused through the specs, I immediately became excited about the marks on this watch.

As was with the PACE and Apex, the out of box experience was that of great ease. Not being a tech savvy person, I really appreciate how seamless the setup is with these watches. Within minutes you are ready to take on adventure.

I immediately took the watch into snow covered terrain, above the tree line, and to altitudes of over 11,000ft. Regardless of the conditions or terrain, there were never reliability or performance issues experienced. The watch is rated to run for 21 hours in GPS mode at -22 degrees F, which will be fantastic for winter training as I have literally watched the power gauge diminish on other electronics when temperatures drop below freezing. The last thing you want when you're in potentially dangerous conditions, is gear that begins to fail.

The weight of the VERTIX is also top notch, especially given that it has a ridiculous 60-hour battery life in full GPS tracking. In 2016 I spent hundreds of dollars on a GPS watch-any Strava followers out there know which one #strugglebussunday- so that I could run UTMB with a single charge. Sure enough, at hour 19, the watch went into power save and shut off. Fancy that. The VERTIX weighs less than said watch and will last 3 times as long! Seriously. Amazing.

Even though I currently don’t plan on running for 60 hours continuously, I love that when training for big ultras such as Lavaredo Ultra Trail, UTMB, and others, I can go weeks of daily use without searching for my cord. Which when you’re busy-or debatably lazy-this can be a pretty pretty pretty pretty nice perk.

Finally, the durability of the watch is great. I often find myself scrambling up rock faces to access ridgelines or peaks, and it gets old when you look down at your watch and try to make out numbers through a scratched face. The sapphire glass screen with Diamond-Like Coating means that I don’t have to worry as much when hand jamming a climb.

The VERTIX has become the Swiss Army Knife of my training kit,and I doubt I’ll head into the backcountry without it.

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