Jason Griffith

Arcteryx Alpha FL Pack review by Dave Burdick

It’s not often that a truly category-changing product comes along. Products like single wall tents, Nomic ice tools and LED headlamps were so innovative that they radically changed the landscape of their categories. Light weight climbing packs though are all relatively the same: some nylon cloth, a couple shoulder straps and not too many extra bells and whistles. What differentiates Arcteryx’s new Alpha FL climbing packs is that they are waterproof while still being tough and light weight. They are [...]

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What’s in the Ultimate Cascades Daypack?

  The Cascades offer an amazing array of options when it comes to different mountain sports. And Spring is the best time of year for multi-sport days. We may not have the fluffiest powder, fattest blue alpine ice, or cleanest white granite, but we have some of everything, so Spring is an amazing time to take advantage of the area’s diversity with single-day outings which combine several different activities on adjacent peaks. Whether you are looking to combine splitboarding with [...]

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Arcteryx Alpha Comp Hoody & Pants Review by Jenny Abegg

Let me first state the obvious: last year’s winter (2013/2014) in the Pacific Northwest was a bizarre one. In December we had uncharacteristically cold, dry weather, giving all of Seattle’s ice climbers a chance to play in their own backyard for a few weeks. January and February turned balmy, the ice disappeared, and skiers started thinking about picking up a new hobby. And then at the end of February, the clouds let loose, finally, dumping feet of snow in the [...]

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Top Rope Solo: Where and How in the Pacific Northwest

Toprope soloing is the fastest and easiest way to maximize climbing with limited time at the crag. This week I will focus on standard setups and ideal locations for TR solo climbing, but for an introduction to the topic and why you should try it, please read the first article in this 2-part series. The individual hardware setup that you use and where you choose to use it are the two decisions which may seem confusing or daunting. However, there [...]

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How Long is Your 60m Rope?

Have you ever come up short on a rappel when you remember that you’d managed to make it before? How about tried to toprope a pitch only to find yourself unable to lower a climber to the ground when others, with the same length ropes, had no problem? This might not simply be your memory going bad on you. There are significant differences in the lengths of ropes all labelled and sold as being identical. And these difference don’t just [...]

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Faster is Lighter – Tips for Increasing Your Speed in the Alpine

I’d like to start this article by just mentioning a thing or two about my intention in writing it. I am stoked to share some of my personal thoughts and strategies in regards to going as fast and light as possible in the mountains. Climbing however, is different for everyone, and each individual is responsible for making their own decisions regarding what they are comfortable with and how far they want to push their limits. As a climber I am [...]

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Elbow-Saving Belay Setup – Streamline Your Multipitch Performance

As climbers and climbing-gear buyers, we are accustomed to wading through marketing claims, weeding out hearsay, and determining  the facts on our own before we act.  Is that carabiner really just 29g? We’ll simply put it on the scale and know the answer. Do these ski bindings collect ice and snow like I’ve heard? I’ll demo a pair and find out before I buy them. This tendency toward skepticism is healthy, and helps keeps us safe while climbing and skiing. [...]

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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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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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