Inspiration Station

Gear Gear

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

Review: Mammut Whymper Jacket

Jun 25 • 158 Views • No Comments on 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, an adjustable hood, hem and...


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 • 169 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 • 252 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 • 275 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 • 222 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 • 573 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 • 689 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 • 594 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 • 592 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 • 2721 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 • 457 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 • 725 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 • 602 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 • 722 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 • 2633 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 • 1252 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 • 1615 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 • 1723 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 • 1289 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 • 771 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 • 3148 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 • 1335 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 • 1252 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 • 1221 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 • 2490 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 • 1263 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 • 4106 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 • 1002 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 • 2077 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 • 1507 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 • 1880 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 • 8301 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 • 1684 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 • 4758 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 • 3205 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 • 1357 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 • 14590 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 • 5459 Views

Stories for the Soul Stories for the Soul


A Love Letter To Climbing by Ana Ally

Jul 22 • 247 Views • No Comments on A Love Letter To Climbing by Ana Ally

This year at the International Climbers’ Festival in Lander, Wyoming, we held a “love letter to climbing” contest. Ana Ally was the winner, this is her...


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 • 982 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....

Jul 21 • 340 Views

A side by side comparison of the columns. The Zine is on the left and Climbing magazine is on the right.

An Open Letter to Climbing Magazine by Luke Mehall

When I was a young climber Climbing magazine was the main source for great storytelling. This was the late 1990s,...

Jul 20 • 8424 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 1 • 674 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 • 140 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 • 7034 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 • 2604 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 • 447 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...

Jun 14 • 682 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 • 652 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 • 239 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 • 1483 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...

Jun 4 • 1707 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 • 819 Views

Screen shot 2015-04-15 at 11.29.00 PM

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 • 1046 Views

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American Climber – Kickstarter is FUNDED

After a decade of writing, and re-writing, my memoir, American Climber is finally complete. It is a 75,000 word tale...

Mar 31 • 563 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 • 330 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 • 2927 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 • 881 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 • 1730 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 • 853 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 • 454 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 • 1322 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 • 1234 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 • 936 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 • 584 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 • 1831 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 • 1057 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 • 1502 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 • 2135 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 • 2684 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 • 2307 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 • 9326 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 • 1330 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 • 2900 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 • 1128 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 • 5072 Views