Climbing Gear to Help You Send
We’ve spent a lot of time on this blog discussing training plans training plans, mental techniques, and breathing exercises to help you improve your climbing. Check out those posts to get a ton of helpful tips you need to push into higher grades.
However, sometimes when I’m looking for an extra edge, I head to my local gear shop to see what’s up. So, if you've got a few bucks laying around, here are four items that have helped me immensely with various climbing goals over the last several years.
Strength is not my, well, strength as a climber. If there is a way to use footwork and finesse to get through a crux, I’ll do it that way, thank you very much. However, lately I’ve found myself cycling between feeling limited by my lack of strength and battling finger stiffness/soreness. That’s why I recently started a hangboarding routine.
Hangboarding is a great way to build hand and finger strength. By slowly increasing my finger strength, I’ll gain more endurance and, hopefully, those I’ll be better equipped to move through those brute force moves that currently stop me in my tracks.
Sure, you could get by with using Mountain Project to navigate your away to a climbing area. And chances are that if you’re looking for a newer climbing area, Mountain Project is your only option. However, when possible, I prefer to have a paper guidebook in hand when I head outside.
I appreciate guidebooks because I usually end up using less mental energy and precious daylight trying to figure out where I’m going and more time doing what I love: climbing.
Additionally, guidebooks tend to have clear, easily navigable directions to get to climbing areas and a ton of photos of routes to ensure that you warm up on the ACTUAL warm up route. It’s been a good while since I’ve mistaken a 5.10c for an easy, peasy warm up and I have my various guidebooks to thank for that feat!
This piece of gear may not help you send, but it could very well help your climbing partner do so.
Belay glasses have become more popular with climbers in recent years and it’s easy to understand why. As it turns out, craning your neck up while your partner tries the crux move on their project over and over can lead to some serious neck pain. WHO KNEW? Slip a pair of belay glasses on and you’ll be ready to give your climbing partner an epic belay in comfort.
Last, but certainly not least is my very favorite piece of gear: the stick clip. Here’s a fact: there’s little in my life that gives me as much comfort and security as my stick clip. THERE, I SAID IT.A stick clip is an extendable pole that you can use to clip a draw and rope to the first, second, or even the third clip (for those advanced stick clippers) of a sport climb.
Old me used to avoid climbs with sketchy starts because I was afraid of blowing a move early and hitting the ground. Thanks to my trusty stick clip, I now give these routes a go without the fear of falling and injury. I find that a stick clip gives me that extra little bit of courage to attempt climbs that look a little too intimidating.
Most of the gear I’ve mentioned above can be found in the retail shops in each of our gyms, so check it out the next time you’re in. The Trango Beta Stick is only available at certain locations.
Have some burning gear questions? A lot of our front desk staff have spent years climbing and are more than stoked to answer your questions and give you a full rundown of their favorite gear.
Contributed by Elisabeth Williams, Digital Marketing Manager and climber.
Read this next: Five Tips for Planning Your First Climbing Trip