Tag Archives: aid climbing

CCH Alien Cams – Coming Soon

I had a bunch of equipment and personal items stolen from my car while I was out climbing in St. George yesterday. It was a fairly upsetting experience, and without going into it too much, I have yet another opportunity to grow and to let go. I am reminded of a question asked about another upsetting experience this year. A co-worker asked, “Is it a problem or an opportunity?” His words echo in my head today and have helped me step back and find a new perspective. So, I have the opportunity to buy a bunch of new climbing equipment. In the midst of researching climbing gear I stumbled upon some information regarding CCH Alien Cams. These have been indispensable parts of my climbing rack, especially for aid climbing. For the past two years I have babied my few Aliens, because they are no longer in production. Well, I discovered today that Aliens are BACK. This discovery is very exciting for a climbing nerd like me. For a minute I forgot that I was preparing to spend a thousand dollars on new climbing gear. Anyhow, Aliens are set to be released by two European companies, Fixe-Fader and Totem. Both are … Continue reading

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Gear Review: Black Diamond Offset Micro Stopper

A review of Black Diamond’s newest passive protection should really take place in the context of the competition. BD’s offset nut is the first not produced by a British company, and Black Diamond (BD) is fighting for a niche market held by the HB Brass Offset for a long, long time. The HB Brassy has proven itself to be an indispensable aiding tool. When HB went out of business years ago, the brassies become a coveted piece of equipment, unavailable on the retail market until recently, when DMM bought the old molds and continued the production of these amazing little nuts. Now, BD has tweaked the tried and true formula, using bronze instead of brass for better durability, and utilizing a less aggressive taper. The width of the sides correspond almost exactly between the HB and BD offsets, but BD made their stoppers with a slimmer, longer profile giving it a larger surface area. When I finally got my hands on a set of these I had very specific ambitions to climb the Desert Shield in Zion. With a few hundred feet of sustained thin aid and pin scars, it was the perfect place to put them to the test. … Continue reading

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Small Gear for Your Zion Free Climbing and Clean Aid Rack

Climbing in Zion is gear-intensive and specific; for most free climbs in Zion, the guidebook recommends a double rack from .5″ to 3″. There are many ways of approaching the protection dilemma, but there is a delicate balance between having enough gear, having the right gear, and not bringing so much equipment that it holds you back. Aspiring Zion big wall climbers should pay special attention to the small gear. Climbing above thin pro can be nerve racking, and feeling secure can be a tremendous mental challenge. The sandstone in Zion is typically quite good, but when you are climbing on small gear (1″ or smaller), it typically means the climbing is difficult, and you need to trust the gear to hold a fall. When you know and trust your gear, you gain significant confidence that helps you climb better. Passive Protection (i.e. nuts) The DMM alloy offset nuts are, hands down, the most useful passive equipment for Zion climbing, especially in the big wall and aid categories. These nuts are light, inexpensive, and fit pin scars and flaring seams where no other nut or cam will. The larger DMM brass offset nuts (sizes 4, 5, & 6) are also … Continue reading

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