Bouldering to big walls, we cover climbing and mountaineering, ice climbing, gear, and all things vertical and off the ground.

Mountaineering Gear Test

Alta Peak, an 11,204-foot pyramid of rock in California's Sierra Nevada Range, served as a proving ground last month for me with several new pieces of outdoors gear. . . Read More...

March 9, 2009

Metolius Master Cams

Many rock climbers love Aliens. Not creatures from space that burst out of your belly, but the cams made by Colorado Custom Hardware. Technically called spring-loaded camming devices (SLCDs), this category of gear is used to build anchors and protect a climber while on lead, as they cam inside a crack to create a solid anchor point. Read More...

January 16, 2009

La Sportiva Gandalf Review – Gear Junkie Scoop

La Sportiva's to-be-released climbing shoe -- a $215 magic boot that can purportedly endure a decade of alpine action -- is named after the Tolkien wizard who guided Frodo and his entourage through the mountains of Middle Earth. . . Read More...

September 10, 2008

Field Test — Mount Shasta Climb

In early May, on a trip to climb the 14,179-foot stratovolcano of Mount Shasta in northern California, I spent what has been my most harrowing night ever at altitude, with winds gusting to 80 miles per hour and an avalanche sliding a quarter mile from camp. Read More...

July 9, 2007

Gear Review — Trek Talonz

I like this idea. Pole baskets with an attitude! Indeed, I thought of something similar once about 10 years back. But it looks like DG Industries beat me to the punch. . . Read More...

June 22, 2007

Field Test — Mount Shasta

If nothing else, my attempt to climb the 14,179-foot stratovolcano of Mount Shasta last weekend in northern California was a great opportunity to test gear. Here's my report on six key items that did -- and did not -- perform during the climb. Read More...

May 10, 2007

Kahtoola FLIGHTsystem

Kahtoola Inc.'s new FLIGHTsystem -- an innovative overboot-snowshoe package that costs $334 -- was made for wintertime runners and outdoorsy types who need to go fast and light through the snow. Read More...

January 8, 2007

Via Ferrata in Ogden

Last week I traveled to Ogden, Utah, on assignment for New York Times. My gig: Climb the nation’s newest via ferrata routes in Waterfall Canyon Climbing Park, a private preserve in the mountains over Ogden. Via ferrata is a European mountain sport in which people ascend vertical rock faces equipped with fixed cables, ladders, bolt […] Read More...

August 28, 2006

C.A.M.P. lightweight climbing gear

The philosophy of going fast and light through the mountains has been universally embraced by climbers. In lieu of fixed ropes, heavy packs and pound-in anchors, climbers from California to Katmandu now stress speed and agility in the vertical world. Read More...

August 22, 2006

Ice climbing equipment

The obscure, some would say insane, sport of climbing frozen waterfalls is not so obscure anymore. At least according to a new report compiled by the Outdoor Industry Association, a Boulder, Colo., organization that tracks outdoor-recreation trends. The Outdoor Recreation Participation Study, Seventh Edition, cites ice climbing as a sport that 1.1 million people tried last year in the United States alone. Read More...

December 31, 2005

Brunton SolarRoll Review

Brunton's SolarRoll products are flexible plastic sheets with embedded solar paneling made for powering electronic equipment deep in the wilderness. The rolls weigh less than the average camp stove but output up to 14 Watts of power, which in my tests was enough juice to recharge a laptop computer. Read More...

July 23, 2005

Metolius Safe Climbing Gear

Metolius recently debuted several rock-climbing products with safety features that exceed the industry standard. The company built redundancies into its harnesses, beefed up its ropes, added instructional markings to carabiners and tweaked several other product lines to make its gear as safe as possible. Read More...

May 17, 2004
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