Hardware

Petzl Sirocco, version II

Petzl Sirocco, version II

When the original Sirocco came out almost four years ago, it came in only one colour — bright orange — and had a unique look that resembled, ah, let’s say wrinkled skin. However, it was also very light, extremely durable and comfortable enough for all-day use, and soon became a […]

Review: Petzl Sum’Tec Mountaineering Axe

Review: Petzl Sum’Tec Mountaineering Axe

There’s a wide range of alpine ice axes or piolets on the market and it can seem confusing or intimidating when trying to choose one.  However, when it comes to a versatile alpine climbing and mountaineering tool the Petzl Sum’tec has no rival.  If you’re in the market for a […]

Review: Petzl Sitta harness

Review: Petzl Sitta harness

The Sitta is Petzl’s newest, lightest and highest-tech harness. It packs a lot of high-end features into little weight, all of which stows down into a tiny package. There are two things that continue to annoy me about the Sitta, but I also find myself using it more than any […]

Review: Cassin X-All Mountain Ice Tools

Review: Cassin X-All Mountain Ice Tools

As a newish ice climber, I spent the first few years renting ice tools from the local outdoor centre and borrowing tools from friends, acquaintances and whomever was willing to lend me a pair. As I live in Calgary, Alberta, with a large population of ice climbers and a short […]

Review: Singing Rock Penta Helmet

Review: Singing Rock Penta Helmet

The arguments and evidence for wearing a climbing helmet are long-documented, both through lab testing and anecdotal evidence. It’s also widely accepted that users are more likely to wear a lighter helmet but even the lightest helmet in the world won’t save your head if you’re not wearing it because […]

Long Term Review: Petzl Laser Speed screws

Long Term Review: Petzl Laser Speed screws

Petzl’s redesigned Laser Speed and Laser Speed Light ice screws debuted last fall, giving me a chance to use them for a whole season. I particularly wanted to compare how the two versions performed across various temperatures and kinds of ice, and was curious about the durability of the aluminum […]

Review: Grivel Twin Gate carabiners

Review: Grivel Twin Gate carabiners

I really appreciate innovation. It doesn’t always result in the lightest, best or most versatile piece of gear but I admire the vision and drive to push the possibilities. Sadly, there aren’t that many truly innovative products these days. Grivel’s Twin Gate carabiner system is firmly in the innovative category. […]

Comparison: Mammut DRY vs PROTECT ropes review

Comparison: Mammut DRY vs PROTECT ropes review

Last winter, the UIAA — finally! — introduced a water-resistance standard for dry ropes.  Previously, manufacturers did all their own testing, and had their own definition of what constitutes a ‘dry’ rope. Now, any rope labelled as a ‘dry’ rope must absorb, at most, 5% of its weight in water. […]

FIELD TESTED: ALIEN EVOLUTION CAMS

FIELD TESTED: ALIEN EVOLUTION CAMS

  When Alien cams were first introduced by Dave Waggoner they revolutionized climbing protection and have since become a familiar name in every crack climbing household.  The narrow head and flexible stems were unlike any cam available on the market at the time and could be securely placed where no […]

Long Term Review: Cassin X-Dream

Long Term Review: Cassin X-Dream

I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of the name. X-Dream. X, really? Dream? A bit grandiose, isn’t it? Not that other tools’ names make much sense, either. And at least it’s consistent with other Cassin products, X-Light, X-Gyro, X-etc. But, then again, names aren’t all that important if the […]