Fix Large Cams for Free

Fix Large Cams for Free

by Blake Herrington

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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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Lower Body Maintenance for Active Climbers by Marc-Andre Leclerc

Extended periods of climbing or long alpine adventures have a way of simultaneously being both beneficial for the body and hard on it. Consecutive days of cramming feet into rock shoes, cramming the already crammed feet into cracks and standing on the toes for long periods of time can turn ones feet into an unsightly mess. This damage adds up over years of climbing and can lead to huge callouses, bunions and disfigured toenails. Long periods of hiking in mountain [...]

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Mt. Slesse Descent Update by Marc-Andre Leclerc

Last summer my good friend Kieran embarked on his first ever alpine climbing adventure. His objective? The classic Northeast Buttress of Slesse Mountain. Upon his return I excitedly asked him about his adventure and his first remarks made me laugh. ‘Man we made it to the summit and I was so stoked, but then I looked down the other side and realized, oh shit, now we have to get down’! These are thoughts that have been thunk by many an [...]

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Fix Large Cams for Free

Unlike ropes, shoes, and harnesses, our climbing protection will last through years of use and abuse. I still regularly climb on a purple Metolius TCU which is older than I am, but which I have replaced the webbing on. And other than the webbing/slings on cams, which can be replaced by the company of manufacture, with a bulky hand-tied version, or a via third party such as Yates, the only other frequent mechanism of failure is the trigger wire. Fortunately [...]

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Local Deaths Can Inspire Safer Rappels

The northwest climbing community experienced a string of tragic accidents in September of 2014, when three veteran climbers were killed in accidents taking place at a bolted sport crag, a huge, scruffy alpine wall, and the steppy approach terrain below a climb. The common thread linking all three deaths was a simple yet fatal accident while rappeling. The idea of rappels being statistically the most dangerous part of a climb is drilled into new climbers from day one, and the [...]

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Late Season Last Chance Alpine Rock

November is, without a doubt, the worst month to be a climber, skier, or hiker in the northwest. But November is still a few weeks away. The one silver lining to what is generally a rainy, cold, and not-yet snowy season: it provides a great opportunity to rest and recover from one of the best times of the year to go hard, late September and October. Although October is traditionally associated with hard lowland rock climbs, pushing grades, and good [...]

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Rope Drag: The Silent Menace

While climbing do you often feel irritable, moody, or wracked with pain and uncomfortable pressure in your crotch and lower abdomen? Do you catch yourself upset and shouting at your friends and partners, but for no good reason? You may be suffering from something climbers have long known about but seldom discuss openly: Rope Drag Derangement Syndrome. Luckily, help is just around the corner. Kidding aside, rope drag is a literal pain, a frustrating inconvenience, and a potential hazard. Nobody [...]

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