Gear Reviews

2017 Winter Outdoor Retailer Climbing Report

I only had a day to check out the Winter Outdoor Retailer show, but it was packed from start to finish and I got to check out a lot of the new stuff that’s coming out. As usual, nothing groundbreaking, but many small innovations and refinements. A brief recap follows, let me know in the […]

Tenaya Tarifa Shoe Review

The Tarifa is a high performance shoe that excels on technical terrain, while offering the usual comfort we’ve come to expect from Tenaya. Like all Tenaya shoes, they were fairly comfortable out of the box, though at first the fit felt funky, like my toes were being squashed together in the narrow toebox, but not […]

Roca Endurance 9.6mm Rope Review

Roca Endurance 9.6mm Rope Review

Climbing ropes get no respect. They get thrown off ledges, trampled by dogs and forgotten in cars on hot summer days. And despite all this abuse, we expect them to save our ungrateful butts every time we pitch off our project or blow the on-sight burn. And they do, every time, never breaking, always catching. […]

Trango Vergo Review

(Editor’s Note: I love the Petzl GriGri. It’s been my main belay device for the last 15 years. To me, it’s the gold standard for assisted-braking devices. And as such, any new device in this category should be compared directly to the GriGri for an honest look at how it stands up.) The GriGri was […]

Black Diamond Solution Harness Review

Touted as a sport climbing harness, the Black Diamond Solution stands out as an extremely comfortable and adept all arounder that is priced well below other comparable harnesses. On a recent trad climbing trip, I wore the harness on numerous three-pitch climbs, carrying a double set of cams with ease. I have bony hips, and […]

Black Diamond Pipe Dream 45 Pack Review

Black Diamond Pipe Dream 45 Pack Review

I have to admit, when I first saw the Black Diamond Pipe Dream, I thought it was just a gimmick that all the cool kids in Rifle were sporting. I mean, it looked unnecessarily large and bulky, and why would I need a mini-crash pad for sport climbing? And then I got one, and my […]

Petzl Sitta Harness Review

Petzl Sitta Harness Review

Second only to climbing shoes, a light and comfortable harness is probably the piece of gear I value the most. An ill-fitting harness means you’ll be uncomfortable all day long, from belaying and taking falls to hanging out at belays on multipitch routes. And while I’m less concerned with how much it weighs, the less […]

Scarpa Vapor Review

Scarpa Vapor Review

As anyone knows who visits this site regularly, I’m generally not a fan of stiff shoes. I like to be able to feel what I’m standing on, which means more to me than any added support from a stiffer shoe. So it was with some skepticism that I decided to check out the redesigned Scarpa […]

Tenaya Iati Review

Tenaya Iati Review

Tenaya shoes are known first and foremost for comfort, and the Iati is an excellent all-arounder that’s comfortable and sensitive on a wide variety of terrain. The downturn is adequate, though certainly not aggressive, which means it will work as well on vertical terrain as it will on the steep stuff. Unlike the Tarifa, the […]

Outdoor Research Uberlayer Jacket Review

I run hot. This is good for staying alive in winter, not so good for being comfortable on sunny rock climbs. It also means I typically don’t wear much when moving uphill, usually a thin layer is adequate while skinning. So it was with some skepticism that I decided to try out the Outdoor Research […]

La Sportiva Genius Review

La Sportiva Genius Review

The Genius is the latest offering from La Sportiva, featuring the same No-Edge technology that I first tried and loved on the Futura. If you aren’t familiar with this technology, take a look at the video here (skip ahead to 1:40 unless you want to watch the cheesy intro.) The main idea is that it […]

Montane Black Ice 2.0 Jacket Review

Montane Black Ice 2.0 Jacket Review

After fifteen winters in Colorado, there’s only one trend I’ve been able to identify: you never know what you are going to get. Some years it snows big early, and then gets warm early. Some years it doesn’t snow in January, but dumps into May. Sometimes, like last year, it doesn’t really snow at all. […]

Patagonia KnifeRidge Jacket & Pants Review

On one hand, it’s nice to have tools that are designed to do a specific job well, but on the other, that can get expensive quickly, and means you have to have more stuff. For most people, having one piece of gear that works for multiple purposes makes much more sense, both financially and from […]

DMM Flight Pack Review

The DMM Flight fills two roles for the traveling climber: while flying to your destination, it’s an airline-friendly carry-on, and when you’re ready to climb, load it up with a day’s worth of sports action gear and head to the crag. When preparing to take the Flight to Red Rock, a quick measurement showed it […]

Five Ten Verdon Review

Five Ten Verdon Review

The latest offering from Five Ten, the Verdon is a stiff, supportive shoe that performs well on pockets and routes with demanding edging. The Verdon uses a molded thermoplastic midsole, meaning it’s one of the stiffest shoes in the Five Ten line, and certainly one of the stiffest shoes I’ve ever worn. Admittedly, I am […]

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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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