Spring 2013 Gear Guide: Climbing - Men's

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Spring is a great time to start preparing for your summer projects. It is also a great time to head to Indian Creek and Joshua Tree before the weather gets too hot. We have talked with many climbing and outdoor companies to come up with some of our favorite new climbing gear for 2013. This guide is for the men, but the women’s will be right around the corner.

Bluewater 9.1mm Icon

The all new Icon single rope is designed to be a great wearing skinny rope. The problem with most skinny ropes is overall performance is diluted when chasing a minimum diameter and weight. They really are not designed with the user's best interest - safety and longevity in mind. The Icon has a 35% sheath mass with a tight braid so the rope does not become floppy and has less drag which means less abrasion from running across rock.


• Diameter: 9.1mm

• Grams Per Meter: 55

• Impact Force: 8.8 kN

• UIAA Falls Held: 5

• Static Elongation: 7.2%

• Dynamic Elongation: 32.7%

• Sheath Slippage: -3mm

• Sheath Mass: 35%

• MSRP: $189-$250.00


arcteryx hakuArc’teryx Haku Rope Bag

Sometimes an idea comes along that is so simple it seems impossible to have overlooked it. A beautiful solution to a longstanding challenge. The Haku Rope Bag offers an elegant way to organize and manage climbing rope: a tarp and bag in one piece that rolls into a compact and tidy shoulder carrier. When folded out, the tarp provides protection from dirt and mud and serves as a platform to organize gear. Tie-in loops inside the tarp secure the rope ends, making it easy to find the sharp end. To stow the rope, simply lift the corners and the rope falls into the bag. To secure the load, roll the top over, clip the buckles and compress. To deploy the rope, unfold the bag, spread the tarp, tie in and go.


• Integrated Features

• 125cm x 125 cm/ 4' x 4' Polyurethane coated groundsheet

• Pack Design & Construction

• Fits a standard 60 metre rope

• Internal carry strap for quick transport between climbs

• Pack Loading & Closure Configuration

• RollTop™ closure

• Funnel loading system makes it easy to pack the rope into the main compartment

• Pack Compression Strap Configuration

• One compression strap

• Pack Attachment Configuration

• Two colour coordinated rope tie in loops

• MSRP: $69.00


petzl samaPetzl SAMA

The SAMA harness is ideal for sport climbing. It is constructed for excellent weight distribution around the waist and legs to ensure greater comfort. The elastic leg loops remain adjusted and offer complete freedom of movement. The DoubleBack buckle on the waistbelt ensures quick and easy adjustment. The tie-in points are made of Dyneema in order to improve resistance to rope friction.


• EndoFrame construction guarantees excellent weight distribution for optimal comfort

• Specific stitching on the waistbelt limit hard points and chafing

• DoubleBack Light buckle allows quick and easy adjustment of the waistbelt

• Dyneema tie-in points for excellent resistance to rope friction

• Elastic leg loops remain permanently adjusted without restricting movement

• Four equipment loops: two rigid ones in front for quick and easy access to equipment and two flexible ones in the rear to avoid creating pressure points with a backpack

• Two slots for CARITOOL tool holder

• Rear loop for haul rope

• Detachable elastic leg loop straps

• MSRP: $69.95


scarpa techascentSCARPA Tech Ascent GTX

A mid­cut approach shoe inspired by the very specific demands of mountain guides, the Tech Ascent fits the bill when extra support is required for a long approach combined with moderate rock climbing. A board­lasted shoe, the Tech Ascent is quite supportive but surprisingly light and very nimble on the rock. The midsole is dual‐density polyurethane, a design which provides good shock absorption yet still retains sensitivity to climb well. The shoe employs SCARPA’s exclusive new Vibram Vertical approach sole, which simultaneously climbs more effectively and also provides better traction for descending loose terrain. Other details include suede construction, which molds to the foot, Gore-Tex for weather protection, and asymmetric lacing down to the toe for excellent fit.


• Gore-Tex® Extended Comfort technology

• New Vibram® Vertical Approach sole

• Overlasted rubber toe rand

• 1 pound, 2 ounces per shoe, size 42.

• MSRP: $239.00


evolv astromanEvolv Astroman

The Astroman were designed by Peter Croft for long, sustained multipitch trad adventures. The lace up leather offers extended ankle protection with Evolv's trademark Trax rubber. These shoes are designed to merge all-day comfort with confident performance for edging, smearing and jamming.


• Mid-top upper for ankle and medial and lateral malleolus protection

• Low profile forefoot for increased ability for jamming in thin cracks

• Durable leather upper

• Leather foot bed

• The padded achilles patch provides comfort and allows free articulation of the ankle for precise toe placement

• MSRP: $145.00


westcomb crestWestcomb Crest Hoodie

The Westcomb Crest hoodie has been one of my favorite spring jackets. It's a 5 ounce windshell made of Pertex Equilibrium. Designed to be highly wind-proof and moisture wicking, the Crest ensures that despite the spring breezes, you'll stay dry and comfortable. Made of soft-faced Equilibrium -- a quieter, more subtle, and more breathable cousin of the shiny Quantum that is the industry standard in this category.


• Napoleon Pocket

• Fixed Helmet Compatible Hood

• Stretch Cuff-Closure

• Pertex® Equilibrium®

• 150g / 5oz

• MSRP: $140.00



patagonia encapsilEncapsil Down Belay Parka

Available in special edition quantities with numbered labels inside each parka, the Encapsil Down Belay Parka is an extraordinary work of design and engineering. A first of its kind, this parka is 100% independently baffled and differentially cut without a single shortcut or "cheat" where a seam has been sewn through, resulting in a cold spot. Weighing 18 ounces (510 grams) and insulated with Patagonia's proprietary, plasma-treated, water-repellent Encapsil™ 1000-fill-power down, the belay parka is unparalleled in warmth for its weight, designed for alpinists to take into the burliest of conditions.


• Ultralightweight 100% nylon shell fabric with a polyurethane dry coating has excellent water repellency

• Helmet-compatible, baffled hood has a single drawcord that creates a small draft collar of down around the face

• Variegated baffles are smaller in high-compression areas, like the shoulders and the small of the back, to keep the down from shifting; double-baffle wind flap completely seals out cold and wind

• Exterior handwarmer pockets are independently insulated to retain precious warmth, even with the pocket zippers open; the high position keeps them away from the harness line; large interior mesh pockets placed toward the back reduce bulk in front

• Flexible, low-profile cuffs sit soft on the arm and easily push up and out of the way; regular fit accommodates layers

• Unique pull-system at hem lets you adjust drawcord from inside or out; drawcord won’t dangle or snag on harness, rocks or branches. Mini snowskirt keeps out wind and snow from below

• The Encapsil Down Belay Parka is a numbered, limited edition garment which should serve you beautifully for years to come. 

• Shell: 0.85-oz 10-denier Pertex® Endurance fabric 100% nylon ripstop with a polyurethane dry coat. Baffles: 0.3-oz 100% nylon mesh knit. Lining: 0.82-oz 10-denier Pertex fabric 100% nylon ripstop. Insulation: Encapsil™ 1000-fill-power premium European goose down

• 518 g (18.28 oz)

• MSRP: $699.00


gramicci mckay


Gramicci Organic McKay Performance Tee

The McKay Tee is Gramicci’s newest NPT athletic crew. Sculpted, engineered seams and added stretch make the McKay Crew the perfect athletic performance piece. Gramicci's NPT Kinetic Knit absorbs fast, dries fast, regulates body temperature, combats odor and assists in regulating body temperature all naturally. NPT- Natural Performance Technology ™. The dynamic properties of the hemp blend in the shirts make them antimicrobial, meaning they will not smell after sweating. The shirts also help to maintain a consistent comfortable body temperature. Unlike other popular choices in performance wear, a true conscious attribute is that these shirts are made of toxin free Hemp and GOTS Certified organic cotton.


• Athletic Fit: Comfort slim-fitting technical garment that's not tight, but designed to be close to the body without the constriction of compression.

• Engineered flat seams for chafe resistance and comfort

• Engineered raglan seam with rib knit for ease of movement

• Wash separately in cold water before wearing

• 53% Hemp 44% Organic Cotton 3% Spandex

• MSRP: $48.00


rab torque pantsRab Torque Pants

Designed primarily for alpine use the Torque Pants feature a slim technical fit, reinforced knee and kick patches, zipped leg closure to accomodate larger boots/improve fit and stretch fabrics mean great freedom of movement. These features make the Torque Pant ideal for summer alpine north faces or for long rock routes, but also great for walking and trekking in the mountains.


• Matrix DWS fabric with Matrix SWS in articulation zones

• Ripstop Matrix SWS fabric at knee and hem

• Wicking elasticated waistband with shockcord adjustment

• YKK zipped fly opening

• 2 YKK zipped handwarmer pockets

• 1 YKK zipped rear pocket

• YKK zipped leg closure with elasticated cuff

• Knee articulation

• Reinforced knee and kick patches

• Inside leg length 81cm/32inch (on all sizes)

• MSRP: $130.00


rab vertex shortsRab Vertex Shorts

If you are one who struggles to wear pants climbing or your spring climbing involves temperatures above 80 degrees, you might want to try these shorts. The Vertex Shorts are a lightweight climbing short in Matrix SWS fabric. The Matrix SWS fabric is lightweight, quick drying, and comfortable whilst offering durability and sun protection. The Vertex features 3 zipped pockets along with more climbing specific features like a double snap waistband closure for security, and articulated knees and stretch fit for fantastic freedom of movement.


• Matrix SWS fabric

• 2 YKK zipped hand warmer pockets

• 1 YKK zipped thigh pocket

• Double snap waist closure

• Belt loops

• Knee articulation

• Inside leg length 35cm/14inch (L)

• MSRP: $65.00


OR airbrakeOutdoor Research Air Brake Gloves

A belay/rappel glove that overlooks no detail in building a more user friendly, durable product, the Air Brakes were the result of extensive athlete feedback. Outdoor Research combined supple but tough leather on the palms with stretchy and abrasion resistant polyester-spandex on the back of hands, as well as neoprene cuffs, to yield a form-fitting, highly durable glove that feels like it’s already broken in. Gel packs for padding and heat dissipation are built into the leather palms, with additional leather reinforcement, in exactly those areas where ropes pass across the hand. Thoughtfully placed ventilation holes in the sides and back of the leather fingers keep things cool without sacrificing durability.


• Vented Fingers and Palm

• Leather Overlays on Palm for Durability

• Kevlar Stitching on Palm

• Hook and Loop Wrist Closure

• Gel Padding at Palm

• Ultra Tactile

• Durable

• Breathable

• Wicking

• Quick Drying

• Carabiner loops

• Men’s and women’s styles and colors.

• MSRP: $49.00


metolius hexesMetolius Ultra Light Curve Hexes

Metolius redesigned their curve hexes for considerable weight savings. They eliminated the swedge and attached the body cable to the hex head via a silver soldered cone. The heads are anodized to match the cable collar for easy size identification. With the new hexes, you’re getting the range of a cam at a fraction of the price and weight.


• New design makes the hexes over 10% lighter per set

• Anodized heads and collars are color‐coded to match cam colors

• 11 mm Monster slings for better extension and less rope drag

• Hand built, inspected and tested in Bend, Oregon

• Available in sizes #5-­‐#10 (sold as a set or in singles)

• MSRP: $134.95 (for full set)


MSR HangingKit SystemMSR Reactor 1.0L Stove System and Hanging Kit

The smallest MSR Reactor system is ideal for soloists or two people looking for Reactor performance in the lightest and smallest possible configuration. Add the Hanging Kit to make it the ultimate hanging cook system. A narrow base and sliding tensioner ensure maximum stability, easy, one-handed access to cookware and compatibility with all MSR Reactor systems.


• Integrated System: State-of-the-art stove and high-efficiency cookware are combined into a compact, self-contained and easy-to-use system.

• Unrivaled Boil Time: Outperforms the competition in head-to-head lab tests—boiling .5 liter of water in just 1.5 minutes—with an even greater advantage out in the real world.

• Unmatched Wind Protection: Heat exchanger completely encloses radiant burner head, virtually eliminating the effects of wind to maintain outstanding boil times and save fuel.

• Maximum Efficiency: Patent-pending radiant burner, heat exchanger and internal pressure regulator produce best-in-class, fuel-sipping efficiency in all conditions.

• Compact: All systems are self-contained, fitting the stove and fuel inside the pot. (1.0L Reactor System nests optimally with our new, smaller-diameter 4 oz. canisters.)

• MSRP: Stove - 169.95

• MSRP: MSR Reactor Hanging Kit - $29.95


grivel magoGrivel Mago 14

The Grivel Mago 14 is a perfect little pack for climbing with the ability to bring a few extra items on a climb. With its single‐shoulder design, the Mago solidly sits in the center of the back with the ability to swing around to the front providing quick access to the contents inside. While fully loaded with approach shoes, water, headlamp, and food, this lightweight pack makes it feel like nothing is on the back. Complete freedom of movement is allowed thanks to the Mago’s unique shape and single‐ shoulder strap. In addition to the main zippered compartment, the pack has a zippered pocket on the front and a gear loop and cellphone/camera pocket on the shoulder strap.


• Weight: 298 grams/10.5 oz

• Volume: 14 Liters/854 cu in

• Material: Ripstop Nylon

• Suspension System: Mago

• MSRP: $49.95


petzl ultra varioPetzl ULTRA VARIO

When lighting might be a concern the ULTRA VARIO is up for the job. Multi-beam lighting up to 520 lumens makes the ULTRA VARIO rechargeable headlamp suited for the most demanding activities. It is ideal when lighting needs and precision are crucial – as in caving or mountaineering. This headlamp has four lighting modes that allow the user to adapt the lighting to different situations: ambient lighting, proximity lighting, lighting for movement, or long-distance lighting. The compact ACCU 2 ULTRA rechargeable battery offers the perfect balance between capacity and compactness, making it comfortable on the head. Ergonomics and construction make the ULTRA VARIO headlamp particularly intuitive and reliable in any situation.


• Ultra-powerful uniform lighting up to 520 lumens

• Focused beam to 210 meters

• Constant lighting guarantees performance that doesn't diminish for the entire life of the battery (when the battery is almost depleted, it switches to reserve lighting).

• Four lighting modes allow the user to choose the type of lighting required:

• Ambient mode: wide, less powerful beam favors battery life and avoids blinding other people

• Proximity mode: flood beam for proximity vision

• Movement mode: mixed beam favors power in order for the user to move around comfortably and light up large areas

• Distance mode: highly focused beam allows the user to see at a maximum distance

• MSRP: $430.00