• ISO: My Dirtbag Princess

    Apr 21 • 911 Views • No Comments on ISO: My Dirtbag Princess

    Note: this piece appears in the Off Route column of the newest Zine, Volume 10, The Raw Issue.  Hello, I am looking for my dirtbag princess. Have you seen her? Qualifications include living on the cheap, adventuring every damn day, and having more fun than...

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Review: Deuter Gravity Haul 50

Mar 29 • 253 Views • No Comments on Review: Deuter Gravity Haul 50

The Deuter Gravity Haul 50 is advertised as a backpack that can turn into a haul bag. That’s a combination I haven’t come across in my two decades of climbing, which...

Review: Grivel Stealth Helmet

Climbing helmets have come a long way in the last few years—mostly by shedding weight and becoming ultralight. I’ve realized that the...

Mar 14 • 465 Views

Review: Grivel Salamander 2.0 helmet

The Grivel Salamander 2.0, while designed with zero frills to keep operation straight-forward, is a versatile helmet with a few highlights...

Mar 13 • 209 Views

Review: Scarpa Vapor Lace

Scarpa’s Vapor V rock shoe now has an upgraded model. The new Vapor Lace shoe offers a more customizable fit, which provides slightly...

Feb 12 • 1316 Views

DU/ER Jeans – Performance Denim

The trend of “stretchy jeans” for men in climbing seems to be gaining traction ever since Outdoor Research introduced the Goldrush...

Feb 11 • 424 Views

Review: Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Parka

If you’re a climber, you have a puffy coat. That’s a given—the best climbing days usually give way to cold nights and mornings. I...

Dec 23 • 1136 Views

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...

Dec 1 • 1550 Views

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 • 1104 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 • 1261 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 • 909 Views

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 • 1177 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 • 822 Views

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 • 1246 Views

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 • 1771 Views

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 • 1331 Views

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 • 1903 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 • 1671 Views

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 • 2429 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 • 1442 Views

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 • 8509 Views

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 • 1053 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 • 1801 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 • 1390 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 • 1489 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 • 3810 Views

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 • 3440 Views

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 • 3391 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 • 2297 Views

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 • 4449 Views

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 • 2432 Views

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 • 2512 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 • 2111 Views

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 • 4912 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 • 2136 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 • 6081 Views

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 • 1840 Views

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 • 3825 Views

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 • 2609 Views

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 • 2691 Views

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 • 11685 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 • 2351 Views

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 • 6935 Views

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 • 4489 Views

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 • 1977 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 • 16455 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 • 7495 Views

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 • 8380 Views

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 • 6018 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 • 2456 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 • 2710 Views

Perfectical Prose Perfectical Prose

ISO: My Dirtbag Princess

Apr 21 • 911 Views • No Comments on ISO: My Dirtbag Princess

Note: this piece appears in the Off Route column of the newest Zine, Volume 10, The Raw Issue.  Hello, I am looking for my dirtbag princess. Have you seen her?...

Explaining a Memorial Toilet

A memorial toilet is a hard thing to explain. But that’s exactly what my friends were constructing last weekend, a...

Mar 30 • 2977 Views

The Light and Dark Sides of Free Soloing by Alexa Flower

I’ve heard some describe Yosemite as a vortex, and so is the culture that comes with it. I am sucked into soloing...

Mar 23 • 2497 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...

Mar 16 • 1282 Views

Fear and The College Try (in the Black Canyon)

When my college crew began climbing in the Black Canyon, topos were scribbled out on beer soaked napkins, during big...

Mar 14 • 989 Views

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....

Mar 12 • 1730 Views

The Long Way Back by Mike Reddy

“Oh you feel and you taste it and you want to go higher. So what do you do? And so you peak into the mountain where...

Mar 6 • 590 Views

The Secret Spot by Joy Martin

If these rocks could talk, they’d tell a hell of a story: one of nature and development, of perseverance and triumph,...

Mar 1 • 397 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...

Feb 21 • 3045 Views

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...

Feb 18 • 1983 Views

The Crimson Bunny (Going at it alone) by Alexis McLean

A roommate and dear friend of mine used to talk both eloquently and incessantly about her Purple Rabbit. She would...

Feb 12 • 2054 Views

Holding the Rock Together

I won’t say that I’m afraid of heights, but to be standing on the edge of anything looking down more than...

Feb 9 • 2231 Views

Jugs on Jugs by Gaelen Engler

Pulling into The Chief campground in Squamish for my first time, I had to double-check the sign to make sure my...

Feb 8 • 34741 Views

Rambling In The Bugaboos by David Fay

We rounded the bend and there were half a dozen people lining up at the base of the route. Rock climbing pioneers had...

Feb 7 • 986 Views

A Climber In The Winter of His Content

“You know there’s something special you’re needing. And you know there’s no drug that’ll do the healing, and...

Jan 28 • 5740 Views

24 Hours of Vegas

The best thing about America is that it gives you space. I like that. I like that you buy into the dream, it’s a lie...

Jan 24 • 666 Views

As Long As Life Endures, A Climber Wedding (On The Hulk) a short film

We couldn’t have planned for how perfect this truly went. The weather for that whole week in July was bluebird sky,...

Jan 23 • 5189 Views

A Venture Backward, Inward, and Upward by Rhiannon Williams

In Memory of Towyn Williams (1926 – 2016) I associate much of my childhood with a little white farmhouse in the Welsh...

Jan 14 • 809 Views

The Pain (of the desert) by Luke Mehall

The other day, on the Internet, I read about a climber whose fingertip broke off in a crack when he fell. Fingers in a...

Jan 6 • 419 Views

Reflections in The Black by Vic Zeilman

The following is Vic Zeilman’s piece “Reflections In The Black”, written for the recently released...

Jan 3 • 880 Views

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...

Dec 25 • 2263 Views

(On Bear’s Ears) Dear Sally Jewel, by Chris Kalman

I heard you’re gonna be in Bluff. Got people telling me I should go—stand up for the places and the things I know....

Dec 6 • 788 Views

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,...

Nov 28 • 1139 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...

Nov 22 • 2058 Views

Creeksgiving by Luke Mehall

No place soaks up sun like the Johnny Cat enclave at the Cat Wall, Indian Creek. The maroon cliffs are striped with...

Nov 21 • 1273 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 • 4852 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 • 2283 Views

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 • 1579 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 • 1158 Views

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 • 798 Views

Becoming A Modern Dirtbag by James Lucas

Every day 500,000 outdoor enthusiasts* put on a pair of rock shoes for the first time. But with every new climber...

Aug 22 • 6294 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 • 1075 Views

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 • 958 Views

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 • 2848 Views

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 • 1822 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 • 1076 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 • 4184 Views

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 • 2875 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 • 775 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 • 3059 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 • 1529 Views

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 • 1544 Views

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 • 789 Views

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 • 2493 Views

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 • 3815 Views

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 • 1568 Views

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 • 1860 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 • 925 Views

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 • 1569 Views

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 • 1074 Views