Monday, November 24, 2014

2014 Climber's Christmas Wishlist

It's that time of year again where people have to really start thinking about what to get their rock climbing addicts for Christmas.  Sure, you could go the easy route and get a gift card OR you could be the Holiday Hero by getting them something really awesome.  That's why I want to make it a little easier for the gift givers and suggest a few items, in no particular order, that I think would be a big hit for Christmas this year.

Outdoor Research Deadpoint Pants

These are an amazing pair of pants to have for some cool weather rock climbing.  Not only are they durable but they are very comfortable as well.  The stretchy fabric allows for ease of movement on technical routes or problem. The lower cuff of the pants only need to be folded once and stay that way to keep you from stepping on your pant leg and losing your focus on your ascent.  Go for comfort and style with these climbing specific pants!

Asana Climbing PRism Bouldering Crash Pad

I've had a lot of experience with Asana Climbing's bouldering crash pads.  They are (IMO) one of the most durable pads on the market.  The foam padding retains the stiffness for years (KJ link) and it's the pad I trust the most.  This new line they have out are based on the bouldering legend Paul Robinson's designs inspired by his trips around the world.  This might not fit under your Christmas tree but it will make a great fit for the boulderer you're shopping for!

Arc'teryx S-220 LT Sport Climbing Harness

I got to try on this new harness from Arc'teryx at the Squamish Mountain Festival earlier this year and I wanted to buy it right then!  The harness is designed for the sport climber with a minimalist attitude.  The two belt loops on the right and left side keeps everything you need for a sport route at close reach.  The leg loops, while thinner than others, are designed to breathable with the Vapor Technology that is used in its construction.  Have a sport climber on your list?  Hook them up with this harness, they won't be disappointed!

Arc'teryx Aperture Chalk Bag

Keeping with the trend of Arc'teryx gear, up next is the Aperture Chalk bag.  The most prominent aspect of this chalk bag is its ability to compact and seal to prevent chalk bomb explosions and spillage inside your pack.  Any climber would be happy to find this under the tree or in their stocking since it can shrink to such a small size!

Trango Rock Prodigy Training Board

This is one of the most revolutionized training hangboards out on the market.  The hangboard design is based on years of experimentation and refinement.  The two halves can be rotated and/or spaced apart at the rock climber's will.  Get them the gift of constant and fast progression.  An added bonus for the Trango training board is that you can make it TWO gifts!

Lapis Boar's Hair Brush

Why the Lapis Boar's hair brush?  Because it's the best one on the market.  The long thin head makes brushing everything from slopers to incut crimps very easy and efficient.  .  This would gift would be great as a stocking stuffer.

Petzl Elios Helmet

What better way to say, "I care about your dome" than with a climbing helmet.  There are a staggering number of climbers these days that don't wear a helmet while climbing.  This is the equivalent of driving a car without a seatbelt!  I've worn this helmet for the past year and it hasn't impeded my climbing ability at all.  Get your climber this helmet and don't let them go to the crag without it!

Sterling Rope Fusion Ion2 9.4 mm Rope

Have you ever heard the saying "This is in"?  Well, it is these days for climbing ropes and Sterling has the reputation for making the best types.  The ideas behind a thinner rope is lighter weight and easier clipping into anchors.  This rope still gives a similar impact rating as well the same number of falls rating.  Help your climber send there sport or trad projects and get them a lighter rope!

Smartwool Hiking Socks

Yeah, I know what you're thinking.  Socks aren't always the best gift to get for Christmas, but these aren't just any ordinary socks.  They're Smartwool.  They are one of the best hiking socks out on the market.  They'll keep your feet warm on the coldest of hikes while not making them sweaty.  I wear these while hiking to the boulder fields during the New England winters.  Nothing compares to a pair of these and your climber will be grateful for socks under the tree this year.

Access Fund Membership

It's the gift that keeps on giving year round.  It's the gift of climbing.  The Access Fund keeps the crags open, clean, and accessible.  Without this advocacy group, we wouldn't be able to have our fun and get our adrenaline fix.  There are also a number of benefits such as discounts on clothing (Prana) and climbing magazine subscriptions (Rock and Ice and Climbing Mag).  Get them the gift that keeps them climbing.  Go for the Access Fund Membership!