Tag Archives: crack climbing

Mountain Top Reflections: Desert Oasis

My first draft of this blog post was a detailed description of my recent Red Rock climbing trip. The salient points were, a) I am good at climbing rocks, b) I know some good places for Asian cuisine in Las Vegas, and c) I am moderately witty. Realizing I spent far too much time coloring such a story, and valuing your time, dear reader, I will spare you my narrative of rock climbing heroism, and ask you to trust me on these points. What I would rather illustrate is the notion of finding one’s self through suffering. By “one’s self,” I mean some greater understanding of who I am, or what I’m capable of. Whilst climbing last week, on the side of an obscure rock, miles from anybody besides my climbing partner, I found myself fully panicked and hyperventilating. Tiptoeing and thrutching up the face of a mountain, I surprised myself by resisting gravity over and over again. The route (Time’s Up, 5.11d) had an exclamation mark next to it in the guide book; I interpreted this as a sign of exciting climbing, and it certainly delivered. The climbing itself was not unique or terribly difficult, but the protection was … Continue reading

Posted in Autumn, Rock Climbing, Spring, Trip Reports, Uncategorized, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Gear Review: Best Shoes for Zion Crack Climbing

Being a crusty trad climber is quite romantic. There is something sexy about scars on the back of your hands, the frayed and mungy gear, and, of course, the nuts. Few climbers are willing to endure a hanging belay. I can’t explain why one would twist their fingers into tiny cracks or grind and thrutch their way up 6-inch offwidth cracks. Trad climbing can be torturous, but I love it. I do not judge climbers on their preferred discipline for moving over rock, but I find trad climbing, especially long multi-pitch routes, provides the most intimate climbing experience. Like most intimate experiences, one must use some sort of protection and my series of gear reviews aims to help you practice safe trad climbing in Zion. Being a big wall climber here requires a fairly high pain tolerance, and in this installment I will discuss protection for an often abused and mutilated appendage, the foot. The best climbing shoe is one with a comfortable fit, a stiff sole, and protection for the techniques specific to crack climbing. Shoe construction falls into two main categories: slip lasted and board lasted. The “last” is the form on which the shoe is built. A … Continue reading

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