• Are Sewn Slings Stronger Than Knotted Ones?

    Are sewn slings stronger than knotted ones? ——Lance Johnson, Milwaukee, WI     Ever notice that actors are always more handsome than the real people they represent? For instance, in the Bob Dylan movie the … Continue reading "Are Sewn Slings Stronger Than Knotted Ones?"
  • Black Diamond Momentum

    This review appeared in Rock and Ice issue 249 (April 2018). The Momentum is Black Diamond’s first foray into rock shoes. Hailed by BD as the “perfect entry-level” shoe and great for “all day comfort,” … Continue reading "Black Diamond Momentum"
  • Should I Resole My Rock Shoes?

    I have two pairs of rock shoes that are getting very slick soles. I only occasionally climb, so they are still in great shape and I can’t justify buying a new pair. What can I … Continue reading "Should I Resole My Rock Shoes?"
  • Black Diamond Alpine Start Jacket

      Best For: Light and fast alpine rock climbing MSRP: $149.00   When I’m going multi-pitching—be it for a romp up a moderate in Eldo or a big alpine mission in Rocky Mountain National Park—I … Continue reading "Black Diamond Alpine Start Jacket"
  • The North Face Chalk Bag Pro

      MSRP: $25.00 BEST FOR: Rock climbing   A chalk bag’s a chalk bag’s a chalk bag. 9/10 times you can’t go wrong. That being said, every bag is slightly different, and it’s worth checking … Continue reading "First Look: The North Face Chalk Bag Pro"
  • Blue Ice Choucas Light

      MSRP: $79.95   I was tempted to fall into the trap of cliché and write that the Choucas Light is “butt floss.” Although that would have been an apt visual, I won’t debase myself … Continue reading "Blue Ice Choucas Light"
  • Do Falls Weaken Bolts?

      Will falling on a bolt weaken it? —James Nixon, Portland, OR   If dripping water can over time reduce granite to sand, you can imagine that falling on a bolt weakens it. But, realistically, … Continue reading "Do Falls Weaken Bolts?"
  • La Sportiva Trango Ice Cube GTX

    MSRP: $550 BEST FOR: Mixed climbing, light and fast alpinism   The La Sportiva Trango Ice Cube GTX is a lightweight alpine boot, perfect for mixed climbing, light and fast missions and Alps-genre mountaineering adventures. … Continue reading "La Sportiva Trango Ice Cube GTX"
  • Hot Versus Cold Forging

    Hot and cold forging are different means to a similar end, like starting a fire with whiskey versus gasoline. A manufacturer will choose one process over the other for economic reasons, or because one process … Continue reading "Hot Versus Cold Forging"
  • Kavu Shapiro Rope Bag

    MSRP: $75 BEST FOR: Cragging   Professional climber Jeff Shapiro found himself dreaming of an improved rope bag, and, after some do-it-himself arts and crafts, created a prototype. One of his sponsors, Kavu, improved upon … Continue reading "Kavu Shapiro Rope Bag"
  • PrAna Avril Shorts

    MSRP: $65 BEST FOR: All-around use, warm weather   If you like items that double, well, here you go. These are climbing shorts you can wear, without embarrassment, into the grocery store. Or hike in, … Continue reading "PrAna Avril Shorts"
  • Overcoming the Fear of Falling

      Is there a trick to getting over the fear of falling on lead?   T.S. Eliot wrote , “All our ignorance brings us closer to death.” In your case, your ignorance about fear could … Continue reading "Overcoming the Fear of Falling"