Inspiration Station

Gear Gear


Review: Black Diamond Ultralights

Dec 1 • 315 Views • No Comments on Review: Black Diamond Ultralights

Twice a year I attend the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, which among other things showcases all the latest and greatest climbing gear. And every show I...


Review: Yeti Tundra 50 Cooler

The longer I review gear, the more jaded I become. It’s hard to be impressed. I’ve become more selective about what products I want to...

Oct 4 • 509 Views


Review: Sterling Velocity Rope

I needed the perfect rope for my project. It had to be an 80 meter rope and it had to withstand a little more abuse than your average...

Jul 29 • 821 Views


Review: Rinsekit

The RinseKit is one of those outdoor products that at first glance seems a little unnecessary—until you use it. I had one of these...

Jul 20 • 519 Views

@jcollis001 (photographer) @davidbfay (in photo) Part way up the lotus flower tower and stoked for a brief spell of sunshine

Review: Mammut Whymper Jacket

Mammut designed the Whymper Jacket to celebrate the 150-year anniversary of Edward Whymper’s ascent of the Matterhorn. With taped seams,...

Jun 25 • 668 Views


Review: Good-To-Go backpacking meals

So you’ve spent the last number of weeks, months, and days obsessing about this upcoming adventure, but what have you forgotten? THE...

Jun 23 • 492 Views

Rock Rider stock photo

Review: Mammut Rock Rider

When climbing in remote areas beyond the reach of immediate help you learn to understand the importance of having a healthy margin of...

Jun 12 • 657 Views

Patagonia M's Dual Aspect Hoody

Review: Patagonia Dual Aspect Hoody

Marketed as a piece that blurs the line between a mid-layer and a shell, the Patagonia Dual Aspect Hoody turned into my go-to “maybe”...

Jun 11 • 951 Views

16_SynMat Winterlite Duo_with Schnozzelbag

Review: Exped Synmat Hyperlite Sleeping Pad

The gear: Exped Synmat Hyperlite sleeping pad, size Medium (msrp $169) and Schnozzel Pump Bag UL (msrp $40) Reviewed by: Drew Thayer,...

Jun 6 • 835 Views

Sticky Rock Men's

Gear Review: Garmont Sticky Rock

In the process of looking for a new approach shoe that I could also do some running in I came across the Garmont Sticky Rock. Retail:...

May 6 • 1121 Views


Review: Mountainsmith Mayhem 45

The Mountainsmith Mayhem 45 is an innovative and creative backpack—perfect for certain uses, but hindering for others. Here’s what I...

Mar 30 • 1209 Views

Edelweiss curve

Review: Edelweiss Curve 9.8mm

It’s that time again when I need a new cragging rope. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or particularly light, just something durable that...

Mar 30 • 1278 Views


Review: Voormi Eleven.9

Wearing something from Voormi—a clothing line based out of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, attracts attention and curiosity. Retail: $149.00...

Mar 17 • 974 Views

A wet snow started dumping as we topped out 'Whorehouse Hoses' and this jacket kept the author dry and warm. Photo: David Fay

Review: Arc’teryx Nuclei AR Jacket

The Rockies in winter are known for their cold temperatures and fierce winds. When I’m climbing ice in these mountains I need a belay...

Feb 16 • 6052 Views

MICRO horiz

Review: Kahtoola MICROspikes

Every single physical activity I do (or don’t do) is related to climbing – even if there’s no climbing involved. Running is one...

Feb 15 • 709 Views


Review: Cypher Codex

I must admit I’d never heard of Cypher rock shoes, and when I brought them to the gym I got constant questions about what I was wearing,...

Feb 8 • 1088 Views


Review: Beal Cocoon Chalk Bag

How much is there to say about a chalk bag? All it has to do is hang out back there and have that powdery gold ready for your sweaty,...

Jan 19 • 968 Views


Review: Westcomb Recon Cargo Pant

Are you looking for a synthetic, 3-season technical pant that moves as you move? If so, read on. Featuring NanoSphere® moisture and stain...

Dec 22 • 1014 Views


Zine State of Mind Gear – Discount Code

“Everythings fine I’m in a dirtbag state of mind” In addition to getting our zines, e-zines and books out there, The...

Dec 18 • 2985 Views


Review: Black Diamond Cold Forge Hoody

As a pure rock climber with zero ambition for the alpine, but a desire to stay warm in cold camping temperatures, I often find myself using...

Dec 9 • 2718 Views

venus harness

Review: Beal’s Venus and Rebel Harnesses (combined gender review)

A combined-gender review: both men’s and women’s versions If you’re a woman, I imagine you might be frustrated by the pervasive lack...

Dec 1 • 2456 Views

TechnoX_Mens (1)

Review: Scarpa Techno X

Scarpa redesigned their most popular shoes this year, with a new model to cover each style of climbing. I had the chance to try out their...

Nov 1 • 2436 Views


Review: Tenaya Tarifa’s

This was my first time wearing a pair of Tenayas. I felt like flatlanders must on their first visit to the Rockies. Sure I had heard of...

Oct 18 • 1672 Views


Review: Trango Crag Pack

Tim and I had been arguing over one of the unique features of the Trango Crag Pack for weeks – it comes with quart-size trash bags to...

Oct 17 • 1044 Views

product shot_2

Review: Singing Rock Penta Helmet (updated)

UPDATE: Sometimes initial impressions of a piece of gear change after months of use. After all, that’s what we do with climbing...

Oct 16 • 3786 Views

Mammut rope Infinity

Review: Mammut Infinity 9.5 Protect

For as long as I’ve been climbing Mammut ropes have had a reputation for durability and good handling. The Infinity 9.5 Protect more than...

Oct 8 • 1865 Views

Luchador SC_EVL0215_6

Review: Evolv Luchador SC’s (updated)

Note: Since we all know we want our climbing gear to stand the test of time The Zine is starting to create updates for the products we...

Sep 28 • 1857 Views


Review: 5.10 Team VXi Slippers

This shoe fits like a glove. Perfect for overhanging terrain with foot trickery when you don’t really need to edge these superlight...

Sep 21 • 1631 Views

bugs from above beal

Review: Beal Stinger Unicore Golden Dry 9.4 mm rope

How do you choose a single rope for multi-pitch and alpine climbing? Considerations include weight, dry treatment, durability, and the feel...

Aug 31 • 3633 Views


Review: Peregrine Radama Tent

This tent is a great value for a 2-person, 3-season backpacking tent with some innovative features. The tent follows the popular half-dome...

Aug 28 • 1693 Views


Review: Arc’teryx AR-395a Harness

Canadian ingenuity re-born: an elite all-around harness Let’s cut right to the chase: climbing harnesses range in price from $50 to $180,...

Jul 10 • 5274 Views

Alpha Sport QDs

Review: DMM Alpha Sport Quickdraws

With rock climbing gear we are living in the days of refinement, over pure innovation. Most of the gear is quite similar to what was being...

Jul 10 • 1391 Views

Mixed Guide 1

Review: Patagonia Mixed Guide Pants

I’m standing in the closet, packing for weekend of ice climbing or skiing, holding a pair of pants in each hand and asking the same old...

Jun 15 • 2812 Views

prusik pant

Review: OR Prusik Pants

Summer is finally upon us again and it’s time to get up and seek adventure in the high country. We dream of jamming clean splitter cracks...

Jun 8 • 2000 Views

Climbing Sig Sauer at Indian Creek in the Goldrush Jeans. Photo courtesy of James Q Martin

Review: OR Men’s Goldrush Jeans

Dirtbag instincts suit the gear reviewer well. Which is why, for each and every day over the last two months I’ve worn the new...

May 25 • 2249 Views

Vapor V M's

Review: Scarpa Vapor V

My first impression of Scarpa’s redesigned Vapor V was how comfortable they were out of the box. I sized mine tight for performance, yet...

Apr 8 • 10020 Views


Review: Climb Tech Steel Biner with Captive Pin

Love them or hate them, fixed draws are becoming more and more of a staple in the sport climbing world. They make things more convenient,...

Mar 18 • 1981 Views

Fay moderate ice single rope

Review: Beal Opera 8.5mm Rope

Amongst the hot new climbing gear released this season, something I’m most excited about is the newest ultra-light triple-rated rope,...

Mar 4 • 5853 Views

ARC'Teryx Shaun

Review: Arc’teryx Alpha Comp

At the Climbing Zine we get lots of gear to test, sometimes too much to really wear something for longer than a few weeks. The Alpha Comp...

Jan 25 • 3759 Views

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Review: Hobie Baja Sunglasses

A line graph showing the hipness of my sunglasses over the years would look like the jagged silhouette of the Teton Range. Peaks and...

Jan 18 • 1637 Views


Beginner Dirtbagging – Where to Spend and Where to Save

To dirtbag or not to dirtbag, that is the question. The technique of dirtbagging is one that can only truly be learned by experience....

Jan 15 • 15391 Views


Review: Osprey Mutant 28

The Mutant 28, by Osprey, packs the essentials for a minimalist looking to get into alpine, ice or vertically mixed endeavors....

Jan 14 • 6514 Views

B Griffith Nano Air

Review: Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody

For once, I’m actually psyched to “leave it on,” as their ad campaign suggests. For climbers and skiers, the best characteristic of a...

Jan 1 • 7359 Views

phot Jordan Junck

Review: Westcomb Tango Hoody

Westcomb’s Tango Hoody is a formidable layer for a variety of conditions, with a lot to love in a simple, straightforward package. Having...

Dec 28 • 5644 Views


Review: Big Turtle Shell – Wireless Speaker (Outdoor Tech)

These days, more often than not, someone in a climbing crew of craggers has a speaker. If you want the biggest and the baddest – you...

Nov 4 • 1986 Views


Review: Mammut Sensor Rope

The Mammut Sensor is a perfect name for a rope that encourages safety in the way it feels and handles. Retail: 60 meter, 10mm: $299.95 ...

Nov 1 • 2397 Views

edelrid rope rev

Review: Edelrid Corbie 8.6mm Rope

Light is Right! is the new slogan for today’s alpinism. We pare down the grams in our clothing, sleep systems, and carabiners…but is it...

Oct 25 • 3910 Views


Review: Evolv Addict

For a climbing slipper priced under $100 the Evolv Addict may be the best out there. The Addicts are a comfortable and durable shoe and one...

Oct 7 • 2826 Views

©Earl Harper

Review: Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody

Soft-shell clothing has become popular over the years because of its adaptability, allowing athletes to bring fewer clothes and be more...

Sep 11 • 4363 Views

edelrid in action belaying from top

Review: Edelrid Mega Jul Belay Device

There’s always room for innovation in climbing gear, but I thought belay devices had been pretty well figured out. I clip my ATC Guide to...

Sep 4 • 8644 Views

Perfectical Prose Perfectical Prose


The Next Generation, an excerpt from Graduating From College Me by Luke Mehall

Nov 28 • 289 Views • No Comments on The Next Generation, an excerpt from Graduating From College Me by Luke Mehall

This young hippie left a bag of his groceries with my stuff after last weekend climbing in the Creek—granola, ramen, tortillas—you know, the usual, standard fare....


The ’59 Sound, Remembering Eric Klimt by Kathy Karlo

The alarm blared repeatedly until I was jolted awake, not knowing what was a dream and what was real. I had to go to...

Nov 18 • 498 Views


Reflections in The Black by Vic Zeilman

The following is a preview of Vic Zeilman’s piece “Reflections In The Black”, written for the...

Nov 16 • 366 Views


Climbing Past War by Stacy Bare

The uninitiated, those who don’t climb, always ask me why I do. I normally begin my response with the statement that...

Nov 9 • 4084 Views

Alan sunset Photo- Greg Cairns

Last Thoughts on The Dirtbag, A Short Film

Two years ago I pitched an idea about a film I really had nothing more than a spark of an idea for to Greg Cairns....

Nov 7 • 1096 Views


The Sensitive Climber Guy

Times are scary, and common sense decency seems to quickly be fading from day to day life. We’ve got a presidential...

Nov 2 • 1897 Views


The Sharing of The Rack

I’ll never forget it — we were three newbie climbers racked up for Supercrack in Indian Creek when an older climber...

Oct 25 • 769 Views

Bromancing The Stone

Free Moab (and Boulder)

Utah and Colorado. We are neighbors, and many of us go back and forth between our borders so often it’s hard to know...

Oct 5 • 920 Views


Thoughts on the Passing of Scott Adamson, an extraordinary human by Drew Thayer

Scott Adamson and Kyle Dempster no longer walk among us in this life. They died in Pakistan some time in the last two...

Sep 12 • 763 Views

Dave Marinowski in Indian Creek. Photo: Drew Ludwig

Hope In The Desert (an excerpt from American Climber by Luke Mehall)

Then, when all seemed like peace had been restored to my existence, 9/11 happened. I was out on a morning jog,...

Sep 9 • 511 Views

jerid humping

A Tribute To The Gumby

We sometimes treat them like the lowest of the low — like a new recruit in boot camp in the Army or something — but...

Aug 31 • 711 Views


The Eleventh Hour of Half Dome by Jason Haas

Climbing with a pack on is the worst. It’s heavy, it’s awkward, and you don’t even use half its contents in the...

Aug 15 • 504 Views

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For The Love of Climbing, A Short Film by Kathy Karlo

Good friend of The Climbing Zine, and contributor for our next issue, Kathy Karlo recently created this beautiful short...

Aug 9 • 1140 Views

Rhiannon art

Sacred Space by Drew Thayer (art by Rhiannon Williams)

Right now, this detail is all that matters: the carabiner just fell back into the crack, and you’re staring it down...

Jul 31 • 565 Views

down canyon (north chasm, home of the cruise on the right)

Benighted in The Black Canyon – (excerpt from American Climber by Luke Mehall)

My path as a climber had to face a most real enemy: pure unadulterated fear. This fear manifested itself in the biggest...

Jul 28 • 2235 Views


A Love Letter To Climbing by Ana Ally

This year at the International Climbers’ Festival in Lander, Wyoming, we held a “love letter to...

Jul 22 • 1443 Views


The Rest of The Story from Our Open Letter to Climbing Magazine

When one seeks out to know the full truth in a situation it seems like there are always twists and turns. But if you...

Jul 22 • 1467 Views

Independence Pass

Hidden Dragons by Chris Schulte

I started climbing in Durango, Colorado, a small and isolated burg on the edge of the desert and the mountains, pushing...

Jul 21 • 1066 Views

Two Tent in his element: The Desert.

Adventures With Two Tent Timmy

“If Jesus can’t save you, life starts when the church ends.” Empire State of Mind by Jay Z Some call him Two Tent...

Jul 20 • 1127 Views


Freedom (a poem) by Luke Mehall

Freedom, where are you? I found you briefly, growing up in the flatlands And then, you were flattened By growing up,...

Jul 1 • 512 Views

Cyrena - BOC

Modern Climbers: The Ever Evolving and Expansive Climbing Scene by Cyrena Lee

I’ve been climbing for a just over a year now. The first time I pulled on real rock was only a few months ago. Before...

Jun 24 • 7714 Views


Flirting with The Nose In A Day in The Valley of Stone

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” Goerte I grew up in...

Jun 22 • 3338 Views


Walmart Parking Lot (a poem) by Georgie Abel

by Georgie Abel (photo by Dylan Hightower) I was this close To forgetting what it feels like To sleep in a Walmart...

Jun 21 • 751 Views

Verdon 1980s. maybe '86

The Long Run, a profile of Alan Carne by Luke Mehall

“There were no girls when I started climbing [in England],” Alan said, in a tone more serious than joking. I’d...

Jun 13 • 1669 Views


Stoner’s Highway by Luke Mehall (an excerpt from American Climber)

I figured that it would be just a regular outing on the rock that would pose only minor difficulties given the 5.10...

Jun 13 • 483 Views


50 Shades of Dirtbag by Georgie Abel and Luke Mehall

While many of you are just starting to savor the latest Climbing Zine, Volume 8, The Old School Issue, at the Zine...

Jun 7 • 2179 Views


From Midas’s Touch to A Green Thumb: Remembering Doug Tompkins by Joy Martin

Doug Tompkins opens the door to a South American summer evening. At seventy-one—stooped and shuffling, a button-down...

May 18 • 1120 Views

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The Vulnerable Man — My experience writing American Climber

Without climbing I’d be dead or in jail. This is not the first piece I’ve ever started off with those words. But in...

Apr 15 • 1264 Views

North Sixshooter, Indian Creek. Photo: Keith Brett

Protecting Abbey Country – Love Letters To The Desert

I am sitting in front of my computer, doing what I do to make my pennies, but in a few hours, when my writing is done,...

Mar 20 • 526 Views

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Rock Climbing Gives Us Feminism by Georgie Abel

“What about you, Georgie? Are you a feminist?” I was sitting around a campfire with a group of friends. I...

Mar 18 • 1972 Views

high on moab

Review – High on Moab by Karl Kelley

“This book is a gift…Karl’s gift to you,” writes Fred Knapp from Sharp End Publishing, in the foreword for the...

Mar 11 • 3333 Views

Barbara Lilley on the summit of Lower Cathedral Spire, 1956. ph. Barbara Lilley Collection

Review: Yosemite In The Fifties

The story of climbing in Yosemite is one that is well known and well told, and at times it seems like it’s the only...

Mar 10 • 1200 Views

Creek Jane Rhiannon and Amy

Volume 7 – Live Preview, Volume 8 Drops on March 20th

The Climbing Zine is now available on Kindle and in print. Volume 7: dirtbags, crag dogs, hyenas, and free solos...

Feb 23 • 2004 Views

Doug in the Palisades - PSM circa 1970 - posted on FB by Ed Carlson

Book Review: The Alchemy of Action by Doug Robinson

Books often inspire me more than the imagery or dialogue in a movie and I think it has to do with the fact that a book...

Feb 16 • 1240 Views


Who Will Fight For Our Right?

Note: this article was originally published in The Durango Telegraph. Last week my monthly contribution to the Durango...

Feb 11 • 678 Views

rasta wig

Rasta, A Wise and Crafty Crag Dog by D Scott Borden

Editor’s note: Longtime Climbing Zine contributor D Scott Borden wrote this piece for Volume 7, and sadly as the...

Jan 20 • 1688 Views


Climbing In The City of Fountains by Allen Schaidle

Kansas City is situated in the navel of the United States surrounded by rolling hills, which make for beautiful...

Jan 19 • 1681 Views

luke proj 3 madeline pickering photo

Just One More, The Acquired Taste of New Routes in Indian Creek

“Once in a while you get shown the light In the strangest of places if you look at it right” Scarlet Begonias by...

Jan 3 • 1236 Views

Climber on The Nun

The Mammal In The Mirror by Drew Thayer

“Never pass up an opportunity to shut the hell up” I don’t have to squint to read the bumper sticker; it’s...

Jan 2 • 800 Views


Awake On El Cap by Tristan Greszko

Awake. Alone. It’s 3 am. Only two more hours to sleep, the clock is ticking. The world is silent.  Maybe there’s a...

Dec 28 • 2222 Views

Honnold splitters on the nose

Review: Alone on the Wall by Alex Honnold

Every sport has a Michael Jordan, the athlete whose fame stretches well beyond the playing field, and for climbing that...

Dec 14 • 1372 Views

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A Mt. Whitney Vignette by Hannah Lily Hall

My hands gripped a small undercling in the alcove I had been resting in. I looked up at the move I would perform. Full...

Dec 13 • 2104 Views


Hear Mehall on The Enormocast

Check out Climbing Zine publisher, Luke Mehall on the Enormocast with Chris Kalous. Please throw the Enormocast a buck...

Dec 11 • 2431 Views


Vertical Desires in the Midwest Flatlands by Dakota Walz

Morning light reflects bright off the white granite ledge as my pal Patrick is slowly pushing our rope up pitch 4 of...

Dec 3 • 3442 Views

amy and rhiannon on castleton

The Sisterhood of the Rope by Rhiannon Williams

We pull into the Supercrack parking lot in a rusty, mud smothered Subaru, named Shelly. The lot is dotted with similar...

Dec 2 • 2662 Views

spenser split pillar

A Jack In The Box In The Chalk Bag by Spenser Tang-Smith

I woke up before dawn in the parking lot of an apartment complex. My girlfriend and I had been living on the road for...

Nov 11 • 9714 Views

jerid humping

A Truly Stolen Chimney, Hilarity on Ancient Art

True climbing encourages bravery and induces suffering. It’s at the heart of the endeavor, and all seasoned climbers...

Oct 18 • 1611 Views


Hip-Hop and Climbing by Luke Mehall

The fringe is where the magic happens. Four climbers pack into The Freedom Mobile, a graffiti-ed vehicle, spray painted...

Oct 14 • 3237 Views

tim foulkes. mustache lady's sister

New Wall in Indian Creek

As of last weekend there’s a brand new wall in Indian Creek: The Dove Creek Wall. The best part is it’s in...

Oct 9 • 1433 Views


Are We Born to Climb? by D Scott Borden

Is climbing as innate as sharing, copulating, greed, or even walking? Many evolutionary biologists would offer that the...

Oct 7 • 5640 Views