Jason Griffith

Climb More. Improve More. TR Solo.

Stop going cragging. It’s an inefficient and overly-elaborate process if your primary goal when heading to the cliff is to improve as a climber. Choosing an area that suits both partners, then sorting and re-sorting gear, and dealing with the myriad changes in belayers, shoes, and climbing locations all take up huge amounts of time and energy, and produce nothing of value in terms of training. Traditional partnered cragging results in a lot of “down time” for everyone. And while [...]

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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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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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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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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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Forget that Bulk Webbing by Blake Herrington

Six common pieces of gear and why you’re better off leaving them behind.

Blake Herrington rappels in the Mendenhall Towers, Alaska. He and partner constructed this rappel line and each rappelled it 3 times in the course of a week, using just 6mm cord and no rappel rings.
Backpackers cut the handles off their toothbrushes to save weight. Alpinist just don’t brush. But while we meticulously save grams for multi-day trips, many of us carry far too much gear around on our harnesses for a day at the crag, attempting a hard lead, or an afternoon of multi-pitching. Before leaving the car or tieing into the rope, analyze your gear and strip off the items that aren’t vital. You’ll climb harder and have more fun.

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eClimb Cryo Pro Ice Tool Review by Dave Burdick

eClimb is a company that has been around for a few decades, but has not penetrated the US market as much as other European manufacturers. I remember seein their radical looking tools online and in Haffner a decade ago, and always wondered how well they climbed. As online retailing has matured, getting your hands on a pair of these tools while paying in US dollars has become easy. First off, eClimb has an entire lineup of tools, built with similar technology, [...]

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Cassin C14 Crampon Review by Dave Burdick

The C14 is a technical climbing oriented crampon with a variety of configurations, similar to the Black Diamond Cyborg or the Petzl M12. If you haven’t already, read the Black Diamond Cyborg vs Petzl Dartwin Comparison for comparison. Cassin C14 offers the ability to run with dual points, a centered monopoint and front and back antibot plates either on or off. This style of configurable crampon is great if you’re ice cragging one day and mixed climbing the next. Just [...]

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