Climbing Winter 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


climbing goes carbon-neutral

We climbers have always prided ourselves on being green, and we’re often a favorite user group among land managers for our care of the vertical environment. We pick up trash at the cliffs during clean-up days, build erosion-proof approach trails and platforms, and maintain fixed hardware. Meanwhile, off the rock, I’ve met scores of climbers who are working to fight climate change on both micro and macro levels, from vegans, to climbers with hybrid cars, to vanlifers who’ve converted their engines to run on recycled cooking oil, to pro climbers like Tommy Caldwell, Emily Harrington, and Conrad Anker who are using their platforms to cultivate change at the policy level—for example, via teaming up with the environmental nonprofit Protect Our Winters. Still, we have blind spots. We don’t always carpool—especially…

caption contest, quick clips, re-gram

Caption Contest RUSSELL MAYES is the winner of our No. 375 Caption Contest, which we roll out each issue with hilarious cartoons from Jordan Peterson (@jordankpeterson_). To enter, stay tuned to and Climbing’s social channels. For his winning caption, Russell wins a Session harness from Wild Country. See for more. QUICK CLIPS Each issue, we pick the best Quick Clip tip to run in print, and then post it and runner-up submissions online ( “After a long fall on a steep climb, you may need to boink up the rope. Make this tiring task easier by using a prusik knot cinched high on your rope, and a quickdraw (or two) with both biners clipped to the tail end of the prusik cord to create a handle/s. Pull up and let go as…

climate & ecosytem science: inside the american climber science program

In 2014, John All, the executive director of the American Climber Science Program (ACSP), a nonprofit that leads research trips into remote and mountainous environments, showed his grit in a video taken after he fell into a crevasse on Himlung, a 23,425-foot peak in Nepal. Looking into the camera, a bloody-faced All bluntly states, “Well, I’m pretty well fucked.” All, near Camp II (~20,00 feet), had fallen 70 feet onto an ice ledge in the icy maw. (See His team, having succumbed to altitude sickness and fatigue, was recuperating down the mountain—and All’s satellite phone was in his tent. His one stroke of luck was that he had crampons on and both ice tools. In pain and unable to use his right arm, All moved upward and across the crevasse;…

a "waste of time"

“Now, I am supposed to go to the military,” explains Mert from Geyikbayiri, a village near Antalya in western Turkey and home to a robust local population of climbers. Aesthetically, it couldn’t be further from the army’s bare, dusty barracks. Pine, olive, pomegranate, and orange trees blanket the hillsides. On the valley’s north side, sunbaked limestone walls wait for next winter, when the Turkish climbers will share this crag with international tourists who come to sample the 2,000 sport routes. Like all Turkish men between the ages of 20 and 41, Mert is required to serve in the military. Guys like him comprise a big portion of the Turkish climbing community. “I don’t want to go. I will do my best not to go. It’s a waste of time, [and] time…

winter crag kit

A. Five Ten Kirigami $90 adult, $50 kids, Not all rock shoes need to be pain-tolerance tests, which is something we often forget in our quest for ever more fine-tuned performance. Fortunately, Five Ten has kept both comfort and performance in mind with their affordable new Kirigami, among the friendliest shoes to hit the market this year. These minimalist shoes feature a double hook-and-loop closure and synthetic upper, but it was the neutral (read: flat lasted) fit and rounded toebox that really shone—you can keep these puppies on for extended sessions such as at the gym or on multi-pitch routes without any dreaded foot cramping. The shoes held a nice, crisp edge out of the box, then of course there was the Stealth C4 sole, which was reliably awesome for smearing…

why we wobble: understand, manage, and channel your anger to climb your hardest

Each spring, my husband, Dustin, and I make a pilgrimage to Moab and visit the Big Bend Boulders. There in May 2019, I aimed to repeat a sandbagged V0 called Upwardly Mobile on the Hueco Traverse Boulder. A group was working the climb, and they happily let us join. I jumped on and, after two hasty, ill-conceived moves, found myself deposited rudely back on the crashpads. I could feel frustration bubbling but managed to stay calm enough to try again. The second time I came off trying to pull over the low lip. That’s when I lost it. I punched the sandstone, stood up, kicked my crashpad, and stalked away, leaving Dustin to field sideways glances from our new acquaintances. I’d had a classic wobbler, defined in the Climbing Dictionary as…