Climbing Gear

Extending Cam Slings

by Tom Markiewicz on November 29, 2009

Kolin Powick from Black Diamond posted another excellent gear testing article, this time on the different methods of extending slings on cam placements. He illustrates the three common methods he uses (same as mine) and then examines a sling-on-sling approach he thought was dicey. The sling-on-sling method of extending a cam sling does save the […]

Climbing Gear Review Roundup – 8/25/09

by Tom Markiewicz on August 25, 2009

Here is the latest climbing gear review roundup: New S10 Black Diamond Products – TetonAT.com Five Ten’s Prisms – The Mountain World DMM Dragon Cams – UKclimbing.com La Sportiva Exum Pro – Colorado Mountain School Arc’Teryx Alpha LT jacket and the CAMP USA Alp 95 harness – GearFlogger Chaco Pro Series Sandals – Trailspace.com New […]

Using a Sharpie to Mark the Middle of a Rope

by Tom Markiewicz on July 29, 2009

Black Diamond’s QC Lab tries to answer the frequently asked question of whether climbers can use a Sharpie marker to mark the middle of a rope. The results – undetermined.

How to Clean Carabiners

by Tom Markiewicz on July 28, 2009

Stewart Green writes up a mini-guide on how to clean your carabiners (including what not to do).

Climbing Gear Review Roundup – 7/21/09

by Tom Markiewicz on July 21, 2009

In advance of everything that will be coming out of the Outdoor Retailer show, here is a roundup of gear reviews from the past month or so. GearFlogger looks at pro reviewing the DMM Wallnuts and also reviews the Arc’Teryx Dually belay parka. Cupcake Mafia reviews the PrAna Natural Sticky Mat for yoga and the […]

Black Diamond on Autoblock Misuse

by Tom Markiewicz on July 16, 2009

Black Diamond’s quality control lab tested autoblock belay device common misuses and provided extensive details. Specifically they looked at: – incorrectly using a standard belay device as an autoblock device – using multiple biners as the â??brake barâ? in order to make taking in rope easier Regarding the multiple carabiner test, they found that using […]

As climbers, we suffer from numerous injuries. One of the more common climber injuries is medial epicondylitis or golfers elbow. Essentially this is pain on the inside of your elbow and it originates from overuse of the flexor muscles. All our gripping without exercising the opposing muscle groups is usually the culprit for climbers. As […]

How Black Diamond Creates Carabiners

by Tom Markiewicz on May 21, 2009

I always find articles and videos on how climbing gear is constructed quite fascinating. A couple months ago I posted a video on how DMM makes carabiners and now Backcountry.com has written an article on Black Diamond‘s process of making carabiners from start to finish.

Climbing Gear Review Roundup – 5/15/09

by Tom Markiewicz on May 15, 2009

Rock Climber Girl reviews the Mountain Hardwear Clouds Rest women’s sleeping bag. Steve Casimiro of The Adventure Life reviews the Coleman Lantern, the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir, and the Timbuk 2 Doctor’s Bag. Climbing Narc and Sicky Gnar Gnar have some first impressions on the Five Ten Projects. Climbing Hold Review examines Jason Kehl’s Cryptochild holds. A […]

Black Diamond Tests Catching Falls on Rope-Worn Biners

by Tom Markiewicz on April 23, 2009

Kolin Powick of Black Diamond tests what happens when catching falls through rope-worn biners. Itâ??s not the ultimate strength of a rope-worn biner that makes me the most nervous; itâ??s the risk of cutting a rope. As the biners get grooved or â??trenchedâ? from rope wear, a sharp edge begins to form on the sidesâ??and […]

How to Fit a Backpack

by Tom Markiewicz on April 7, 2009

Gregory Mountain Products founder, Wayne Gregory, discusses how to fit a pack. In the video, Gregory states “people don’t buy packs to fit their bodies, they buy packs to dump their gear in.” He then proceeds to show the better way of fitting packs. (via Trailspace)

Can You Give Back By Buying Gear?

by Tom Markiewicz on March 20, 2009

The Cupcake Mafia questions whether you can give back by buying gear. Between working to set-up the auction and receiving my REI dividend this week I have been thinking a lot about buying gear. As youâ??ll note from my previous blog, Gear on the Brain, my decision making was based on how much I can […]