Let’s start this review off with a caveat. I’m a trad dad. You know the type. A middle-aged guy who loves long moderate trad routes. I climb some sport routes every season but I’m not as concerned with sending the hardest routes anymore. Truth be told I never was. Same with bouldering. I do a lot of it in the gym but all my climbing that isn’t multi-pitch is considered training for my climbing trips, so I’m in good enough shape to get in a lot of pitches. [Read more…] about Petzl Adjama Climbing Harness Review & Rating!
In a world of shiny cams, why would anyone care about some oddly shaped metal at the end of a wire?
Stoppers, nuts, chocks or wires. Call them what you will. So many names for a piece of tapered metal. But can you really call yourself a trad climber if you aren’t up to speed on using passive protection? [Read more…] about Black Diamond Offset Stoppers Review
Like everything these days, we are buried with options. When I started climbing the only shop that had climbing shoes had two models. Not two brands. Two models.
I had the choice of Boreal Fire and La Sportiva Mariacher. In my first few years of climbing, I tried both. They were vastly better than climbing in hiking boots or tennis shoes. Plus the Fire was used by John Bachar. I had his poster on my wall. It was like the Air Jordans of the climbing world.
Fast forward 35 years and the selection is overwhelming. Off the top of my head, I can think of ten brands, each with multiple models. You can get shoes at outdoors stores, the climbing gym and of course, you can buy them online. While I have more experience with shoes than the average climber, it’s still tough for me to settle on what I want out of a shoe. Edging, smearing, cranks and pulling with my toes on overhanging boulder problems. Like you, I read a lot of reviews and narrowed my list down. Last summer I wanted to see if I could get a shoe that would be good in the gym but still perform well and be comfortable enough to wear on multi-pitch trad routes. [Read more…] about Scarpa Vapor V Review
When you first build your trad rack you’ll probably have cams that go as small as .75 inches. That will cover you on most easier climbs but as you move up the grades you will find the need for smaller more flexible cams. While there are a lot of options on the market, for this review I’m going to check out the Black Diamond Camalot X4 cams.
Black Diamond came out with the X4 to complement their classic C4 line up. The X4’s start smaller and overlap with the smallest 4 C4 cams. They are available in .1, .2, .3 .4, .5 and .75. The 3 smallest sizes use a stacked axle which is elliptically shaped giving a wider camming range for a single axle design. The 3 biggest X4’s use a double axle like the C4 family giving an even wider expansion range. With C4 they go down to size .3 which covers from around .5-.9 inches (13.8-23.4mm). This is pretty small but the head width is still pretty wide for the size in addition to having a relatively stiff stem. The X4 addresses these issues with a narrower head width and a super flexible stem. [Read more…] about Black Diamond Camalot X4 Review
If you’ve been trad climbing for any length of time you will have used or at least seen the Black Diamond Camalot C4 cams in action. They are so widely used that most guide books reference the protection you will need based on the size of the Camalots. 2019 marks the fourth generation and first upgrade in 15 years. And before anyone says the Ultralight Camalot is a redesign, they are a different beast with Dyneema stems and slings, aimed at either the rich or those who want the lightest rack.
The standard C4, on the other hand, is the workhorse cam on most racks. The double axle design gives a wider range per size allowing each cam to have more latitude when placing and needing fewer pieces to cover the standard sizes needed for most climbing. Additionally, the double axle acts as a cam stop so the C4 works passively as well. In a pinch, you can slot them into a constriction like a nut. Not something you will use very often but nice to have in your back pocket when runout above your last piece. [Read more…] about 2019 Black Diamond Camalots C4 Review