Wild and Free

Climbers like to nitpick how our relatively slight variations in body size and shape lend themselves to drastic differences in grades. “Oh, you have a +2 Ape Index, but I’m a -1 so that V5 is at least V6 for me.” But there’s one climber out there for whom climbing isn’t just harder, it should […]

Everything You Know About Layering is Wrong

Waterproof-breathable (W/B) fabrics have a place in the climbing world. Unfortunately, that place is often at the bottom of your backpack. For as long as I’ve been a climber, much of the outdoor industry, led in particular by Gore-Tex, has pumped the fear of god into me that every drop of moisture that falls from […]

How to Chop a Bolt … Right

The phrase “chopping bolts” is one of the worst misnomers in the climbing lexicon. Chopping a bolt really just means taking a bolt out of the rock. Yet for some reason, the term “chop” connotes the idea of a righteous, half-crazed trad zealot committing a violent act—via sledgehammer or industrial-sized chain/bolt cutter—upon the offending mechanical […]

Don’t Get Strong. Get Good.

Opening image: Courtney Sanders taking down a V7 in Fontainbleau, France. Photo: Keith Ladzinski. Rock climbing is equal parts mental, physical, and technical. Yet most climbers only focus on the physical. All winter long climbers thrash themselves in the gym, thinking that bouldering, routes, 4x4s and campusing will deliver the sends of their dreams come […]