Eyelets are always an issue on all boots, especially hooks or anything with moving parts, as climbing is very destructive (one reason why it’s vital to always wear gaiters with such boots). One reason for simplicity in...
Yosemite big walls - and by Yosemite I mean El Cap, which is THE big wall to climb - can be roughly broken down into three types:
- Pure free climbing (West Face, Free rider, El Nino etc)
A lot of people stress about this leading up to their first big wall, having the idea they need a tight belay point at all times (“What if I fall out of bed?”), but once on the wall people...
UK Nose Training
I’ve climbed a lot of walls with people who were either novice big wall climbers or simply novice climbers so I really understand where you’re at. When I climbed the Nose last March with three...
Avoiding the Canvas
I’ve often had the same problem in the past. I’d go hard at training for an upcoming trip (usually due to leaving it late to get fit), but be blazing after two or three weeks, running along...
Scrambling self belay
The second you go from walking, which I would generalise as being medium to low angled ground (which can zip zag up to medium to steep terrain), to actually climbing (that’s moving using both hands and...
Most alpine huts have a winter room, designed to save anyone who finds themselves caught out. These can vary from just a room with some blankets and some bunk beds, to one that has a stove and pans,...
Bivvy Bag/Mat question
Hope this answer’s not too long and rambling!
When breathable bivvy bags first appeared in the 1980s (before that there had been nylon, silk and cotton bags), they were made from Goretex,...
Rope Cutting Death
Every climber knows about John Harlin’s rope breaking as he jumared up it on the Eiger direct, the image of him falling and falling stuck in your head as you jug! I guess it’s for this reason...
A PD (Pied d’elephant) is one of those pieces of gear that sounds amazing, half a sleeping bag matched up with a down jacket replace a sleeping bag, half the weight of a standard bag, designed for...
Winter Novice Kit
This is a very common question and one that gets asked by most climbers. The issue of what to get when you’re starting out as a winter/alpine climber is very different from that of what to get when...
I’m guessing you’re talking about Dyneema cord and not 240cm slings? Well, I think even if your Dyneema cord gets worn, bent and tied a great many times, it’s still going to be strong enough (5.5mm: 13.7...
Sorry for the late reply (I think this is coming a year after I got your email, so if you’ve topped yourself with post climbing frustration - my apologies). I’m sat writing this on a plane that...
Sitting on a plane, alone, heading for yet another solo trip to Yosemite, it’s funny to answer this question as one of the main reasons for solo climbing is this very question!
Stalin used to say, “No people -...
First time in the Alps
Thanks for the questions. I’ll try and answer each one in turn as best as I can.
Should you hire a guide? Well I went to the alps twice and came back with almost nothing done on both trips (both...
The small pan I use these days (I think that article is about 16 years old!) is the Alpkit MytiMug 400, which makes a very good mug (at a good price) but can also be used as a pan (it has a lid). I nest...
Mera Peak Footwear Question
First off although some people may scoff at using very warm boots on Mera (the Spantik and G1 would be classed as high altitude boots, or for very cold climbing), pointing out the mountains been climbed in...
I probably take a slightly different approach to cams than most UK climbers, probably due to spending many years climbing the US, and also due to having done a lot of aid climbing. Someone once told me that what Mick Fowler...