Climbing Summer 2020

Climbing offers the entire climbing world: sport, trad, bouldering, walls, ice, alpine and mountains. In each issue we offer the richest stories on the vertical world you'll ever read, with award-winning photography. Climbing has earned its moniker as the journal of record for climbers worldwide.

United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC


“during these uncertain times…”

Originally, this issue of Climbing (No. 373) was going to be the Olympics Issue. Our sport had been building up to this high note for years—anticipation, psyche, and energy were high. We were even sending our digital editor, Kevin Corrigan, to Tokyo to cover the Games. Then the coronavirus happened. Perhaps the closures, tragedy, economic uncertainty, and postponement of life as we know it were not a surprise to epidemiologists, virologists, historians, and anyone who’d been following the increasingly grim news out of China, Iran, and Europe. But in any event, events cascaded so rapidly that we were all left reeling. One day, there we were, getting up early to go to the gym, making climbing plans for the weekend, and figuring out summer travel. And then the next day, the…

caption contest, quick clips, re-gram, book club

Caption Contest @ELIEGANZ is the winner of our Caption Contest, which we’re rolling out each issue with hilarious cartoons from Jordan Peterson (@jordankpeterson)—stay tuned to @climbingmagazine on Instagram for more. For his caption, Elie wins a 70m 9.6 Siurana rope and rope bag from Fixe Hardware. See for more. QUICK CLIPS Each issue, we run the best Quick Clip hack in print, plus post all submissions online ( Here’s our winning tip: “Crack climbing is hard on shoes—the tops, bottoms, and most notably the stitching on certain models where the rand meets the leather. I’ve been extending my shoes’ lifespan by reinforcing these high-wear areas with Seam Grip, plus have been applying it to resoled shoes that have had toe caps done, to prevent delamination. For climbing trips, I always have Seam Grip…

covid-19 hits the climbing community

In the United States, which has the highest number of both COVID-19 cases and deaths to date, everyone has been affected by the novel coronavirus, including climbers. Beginning in March, gyms closed, access to climbing areas was restricted, and millions of jobs—including jobs in the outdoor industry—were lost. Now, two months into this stillunspooling disaster, we checked in with our community. The Climbing Economy Almost every one of the 530 climbing gyms in America has had to close, a huge hit to a once-booming economy. Jason Haas opened the doors of G1 Climbing and Fitness in Broomfield, Colorado, only three weeks before a state-mandated closure of all gyms. Still, even in that short span, Haas had quickly built a community that has supported the gym through retained memberships. Coupled with small donations…

the silver lining to the olympic postponement

Everyone has a moment when the coronavirus appeared on their radar. For me, this was the International Federation of Sport Climbing’s 2020 Pan-American Championship, held at Sender One in Los Angeles from February 27 through March 1. The competition awarded two Olympic berths—to American Colin Duffy and Canadian Alannah Yip—and was the first (and so far, only) Olympic climbing qualification event on American soil. With highlights such as Yip’s tears of joy as she was lowered from the lead wall, a new American speed record of 8.052 seconds set by Emma Hunt, and an enthusiastic crowd, the spectacle was a booming success. But as I jotted notes for a recap from atop the media mezzanine, I felt like something was up. At a press conference, a reporter asked Nathaniel Coleman…

what’s happening at the crags during the covid-19 closures

Acoyote ambles past Smith Rock’s Five Gallon Buckets, one of the most popular 5.8s in the West. A golden eagle floats in a clear sky, eyeing the ground for squirrels. A snake slithers past sagebrush to find a warm spot on a volcanic rock. It is a warm spring day at Smith, and the Morning Glory Wall sits empty, its only companions the low hum of the Crooked River and the animals who call this place home. According to Park Manager Matt Davey, a typical spring day in the park would see a couple thousand visitors heading in to hike and climb, especially on the popular Morning Glory Wall. But this spring is different: COVID-19 has swept visitors into their homes. Major crags, including Yosemite, Smith Rock, the Gunks, Hueco Tanks,…

summer crag kit

A. Scarpa Vapor Lace $175, Here along Colorado’s Front Range, we have a lot of old-school vert face climbs. But it’s rare to find the requisite shoe that’s not clunky—even on thin face and crack features that demand edging power, you need some sensitivity and smearing. With the retooled Vapor Lace, Scarpa has crafted a fleet (only 7.6 ounces per shoe) all-arounder that fits this niche. The new Vapors use Scarpa’s Pressure Absorbing Fit (PAF) heel, which splits the slingshot rand around the Achilles and allowed me to size down for a glove-like fit. After a few Netflix-on-the-couch nights of break-in, the shoes were a beast on the first route I took them up, a gently overhanging crimp ladder with foot jibs, micro-edges, divots, smears, and nipples—and wicked highstep rockovers.…