Jason Griffith

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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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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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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Cold Weather Crags in Washington, Oregon, and BC

There’s more to winter rock climbing in the northwest than pulling on greasy plastic and sneaky a morning at the front side crags of Smith Rock. Washington and Oregon aren’t cragging destinations this time of year, but they do contain enough winter crags to make a few December and January days possible and downright enjoyable on the rock. The trick is finding an area with the holy trinity of necessary traits: sunny, sheltered, and low-elevation. In Squamish, the smoke bluffs [...]

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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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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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