Stories written by Choss Monkey

Alien Evolution Cam Review

Alien cams are legendary among dedicated trad climbers, and have gone mostly unchanged since the early days of Colorado Custom Hardware, until now. Early in my climbing career I searched desperately for Aliens. I had cleaned a few stuck ones from aid climbs in Zion and cherished those precious, hard-earned pieces. It seemed that shops […]

Patagonia Rover Review (& Giveaway!)

Patagonia Rover Review (& Giveaway!)

(contest details at bottom) As a guide, and someone who will routinely get 150 to 200 days of outdoor climbing each year, one of the most important pieces of gear I’ll use are my approach shoes. I recently had the chance to try out the new Patagonia Rovers, and they didn’t disappoint. Read on for […]

Vertical Mind Book Review

Vertical Mind Book Review

Why can some climbers keep it together on run out climbing? Why do other people quickly grab the draw on a challenging sport route? Why do some hesitate and bail on big, intimidating climbs? Why are there those that climb obsessively for years to suddenly give it up and walk away? As a runner in […]

How to Make Your Own Hanging Wall Stove

How to Make Your Own Hanging Wall Stove

While slurping cold ravioli from a can on a big wall is certainly a rite of passage, at some point you may decide you want some hot food and drink. To do so, you’re going to need a hanging stove. There are some excellent commercially available options out there, such as the JetBoil system, which […]

Tech Tip: Dealing With Poo

Tech Tip: Dealing With Poo

Poo is the inevitable waste that must be dealt with on a big wall. On my first trip up the big stone of El Cap, I heard laughter from above moments before seeing two paper bags rocket past me on their speedy decent into the talus below.  This team’s method of “toss and forget it” […]

What’s In Your Climbing Self-Rescue Kit?

Spend a weekend at a popular multi-pitch climbing area, like Eldo or Joshua Tree, and chances are you’ll see a number of climbers with all sorts of extra stuff hanging from their harnesses. With most of it serving the express purpose of bailing and self-rescue, you’d almost think they were planning to fail. While it’s […]

Evolv Astroman Review

When tackling a long route, you are often faced with a tough decision: Do you take a comfortable pair of shoes for the hundreds of feet of jamming in hand, fist and wider cracks, or do you take a tighter shoe that will edge and smear better on the face and slab pitches? Sometimes, I’ve […]

Rifle Climber’s Festival Recap – Moustache or Unibrow?

When you’re out enjoying a day of sport climbing and a gaggle of climbers walk up to the cliff with stick-on mustaches affixed to their upper lip, cheek and forehead, you might be a little concerned. You may even decide to leave the cliff and remove yourself from this clearly annoying situation with obviously deficient […]

Tech Tip: One Handed Munters and Clove Hitches

Years ago a friend and I got to the first pitch belay ledge of Sheer Lunacy, where a party of two, a guy and his girlfriend, was in the process of bailing off Lunar Ecstasy. She was cute, and my buddy and I were both slovenly, smelly, road-tripping dirtbags, so we were understandably entranced by […]

The Story of a New Bolt

There are thousands of bolts on climbs across the country, and some are in dire need of being upgraded. Pretty Hate Machine, in Rifle Mountain Park, is a local climb whose time had come to get the old, rusting bolts replaced with new ones that should last well into the future. Situated in the Arsenal, […]

Death Grip: A Climber’s Escape from Benzo Madness

His hammer swung wildly at the bolt. It was binding up in the hole, and he demonstrated little patience for the stubborn installation in the hard rock. I had first met Matt Samet a month earlier while developing a new crag outside Carbondale. His slovenly appearance didn’t seem to match his impressive record as a […]

Scarpa Boostic Review

su-per-la-tive 1. of, relating to, or constituting the degree of grammatical comparison that denotes an extreme or unsurpassed level or extent 2. a: surpassing all others: supreme b: of very high quality: excellent I’m going to try my best to not talk in grandiose superlatives as I describe the Scarpa Boostics. As you’ll see, this […]

Edelrid Fraggle Kid’s Harness Review

Kid’s harnesses are often notorious for being a Sisyphean task of working through a maze of webbing, buckles and adjustments, untwisting leg loops and trying to figure out the front from the back, and the top from the bottom. Meanwhile, your kid is growing impatient and about to start free soloing above a garden of […]

Lead Belaying with Newbies

How to you keep yourself safe when you need to lead a route with a new or inexperienced belayer. Summer is a great time for many things, including family reunions. Imagine yourself sitting back on the old family porch, sipping a cold drink when you are introduced to a distant cousin you’ve never met. “Hi, […]

Self-Rescue (2nd Edition) Book Review

If you climb long enough, you’ll probably be faced with a self-rescue scenario involving yourself or someone else you encounter. Maybe it’s a bad fall, ripping some gear or hitting a ledge. Or, perhaps you’re fortunate enough to avoid witnessing an accident, but you’re faced with a challenging scenario when you decide to impress the […]

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Locals Corner

Bulldog Creek Dog Walk (IV WI 4+)

Hayden Carpenter and Tom Bohanon recently repeated an obscure ice climb on the south side of Mt Sopris. Given a brief mention in Jack Robert’s ice guide, Bulldog Creek Walk is described as being 100 meters of WI 4. What they found was seven pitches of ice in a remote setting that makes for one […]

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