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Jason Griffith

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Backcountry Skiing Intro

Sunrise on the prime ski terrain of Mt Baker’s east side Backcountry skiing is a broad sport. Even seasoned veterans obsess over what might be the best gear for a particular endeavor. When selecting equipment, it’s important to ask: Where and when will I be using this? The answer could be: mostly at the resort with a little sidecountry; riding lifts through the winter, then big spring volcano-corn; skiing powder yoyo style through the winter, then spring corn; long, rolling [...]

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Ice Climbing Gear Intro

This article is intended to inform you of the features and uses of modern ice climbing gear. The focus is on technical waterfall ice and mixed climbing, as well as alpine routes in the mountains. For specifics on how to ice climb and the details of how to safely and correctly use the gear that I will discuss, please be sure to consult a qualified teaching source and use this article only as a reference of my personal experience and [...]

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Colin Haley Alpinism – Equipment for Alpinism in the ‘Greater Ranges’

Editors note:  This article is a little dated (it was written in 2007), so you can trust that Colin’s equipment has evolved a bit from when this was written.  The article may no longer reflect Colin’s recommendations, so keep that in mind.  We still think there are things to learn from it, so we’ll keep the around as long as that is true.  Introduction For better or worse, climbing is an extremely gear-intensive activity, and alpinism is the most gear-intensive [...]

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Patagonia M10 Belay Jacket Review by Dave Burdick

The Patagonia M10 jacket is their lightest waterproof/breathable hardshell. My production version of the jacket, in size Medium, weighs in at just under 8 ounces (221g) and packs down into its own pocket making it about the size of a softball. While the M10 is mainly marketed as a streamlined alpine climbing jacket, I think the light weight and versatility of the piece should make it popular for a variety of uses. With such a small and light shell, it [...]

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Index Climber’s Festival – Celebrate What Was Saved

Five years ago, the future of Washington’s premiere crag was in doubt. Long owned by a private citizen, the heart of Index’s Lower Town Wall was closed for climbing. Index’s world-famous climbing routes draw users from across Washington, as well as globe-trotting athletes eager to test themselves against the notorious sandbags. But in September of 2009, no-trespassing signs popped up around the cliff during the prime autumn climbing season, and rumors swirled of a potential sale and quarrying operation that [...]

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Jetboil Sol – A Major Upgrade Gets it Right by Blake Herrington

When the Jetboil Personal Cooking System first came onto the market in 2004, it was truly a “game changer” for climbers. The system (originally around 15oz before fuel) wasn’t any lighter than a small cannister stove and cookpot, but its genius was the integration of stove, lighter, burner, and 1liter cookpot that would al click together into a single unit. For climbers rapidly breaking out the stove on a snowy belay ledge, or squeezing it into a cramped Firstlight or [...]

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Arcteryx Nuclei Hoody Review by Dave Burdick

The moment I picked up the Arc’teryx Nuclei hoody, I realized that Arcteryx had made my other belay jackets obsolete. And I have a lot of belay jackets. For my uses, which are mainly alpine climbing and backcountry skiing, the value of a belay jacket primarily comes down to the numbers: how warm it is, and how much it weighs. To cut to the chase, what is special about this jacket is that Arcteryx put an 80g/m2 insulated body and 60g/m2 insulated [...]

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La Sportiva Spantik Review by Dave Burdick

La Sportiva Spantik Review by Dave Burdick

The La Sportiva Spantik is one of the very best cold weather technical climbing boots currently made. It is built with a combination of the latest technology and innovation in design features. In this review I tested its performance and took a close look at the details of the boot and how it compares to the main competitor in its category.   Double boots are often the best choice for high altitude and super cold weather climbing for two reasons: [...]

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Synthetic Insulated Jacket Layering Review by Dane Burns

The typical question: “I will climb Rainer this summer…next Orizaba, Kili, then Aconcagua! What do I need for clothes?” Here are some thoughts on a well proven “systems approach” that you may have not had. It is a multilayer and multi use cold weather system based at least two garments. One garment with 60g insulation (part of your “action suit”) and the another with 100g insulation. (your “belay jacket”) The bench mark Patagonia DAS belay jacket is 170g insulation by [...]

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