Feb 25

Bamboo Clothes? Check Out Tasc’s Next Generation Sports Gear

Tasc Performance is a new outdoor apparel brand that is redefining  the term high performance. Their unique technology uses all-natural bamboo fibers to create a clothing material of unequaled performance. This special material leverages the natural properties of bamboo to create a fabric that is perfect for athletics. It repels water, dries quickly, reduces odor, and helps keep you cool. Plus it does all this while providing a super comfortable fit, without all the scratchiness of traditional polyester materials!

This clothing breakthrough was the result of two years of research into natural fibers. As a result, Tasc has been able to start production of the most comfortable, highest quality apparel that athletes will be able to find.

Tasc Performance is a family company based in New Orleans, and their natural products help support renewable materials and conservation efforts. They were tired of how uncomfortable synthetic materials were to wear, and decided to create something better! After two years of research, they finally patented a new fabric that was better then traditional polyester in every way.

This new fabric, made from a proprietary blend of bamboo and cotton, feels like nothing else you’ve ever tried on. it is incredibly breathable and natural, while also resisting odor and protecting from UV rays.

Video Review Of Tasc Athletic Apparel

Personally, I’m very excited by what Tasc is accomplishing in the field of high performance, renewable athletic materials. For me, clothing makes a huge difference in how well I perform. Whether it’s rock climbing, running, cycling, or any other activity outside, if I’m not comfortable, I’m not having a good time.

This new line of athletic apparel from Tasc promises to fix this problem, and revolutionize the way we do sports. They’ve been generous enough to offer our readers free shipping on Tasc gear, so try them out!

Get FREE Shipping on Purchases over $50 made at tascperformance.com

Coupon Code: ship50free

Feb 06

Competitive Rock Climbing Grows In Schools

A new competitive climbing league has opened in Rutherford County, Tennessee, according to the Murfreesboro Post. The new league, sponsored by The Ascent climbing gym, is open to all intermediate and high school students looking to climb competitively.

The gym offers each team unlimited access to the climbing facilities and gear for just a small team fee. Route setting for the competitions is done by Jeremy King.

Competitions start at the end of February, and more schools are still welcome to join.

Personally, I think it’s awesome to see rock climbing become more recognized as a legitimate competitive sport. It’s gaining traction around the country in schools and colleges, and might even be included in the Olympics soon (the Olympic committee is still deciding).

I would have loved to climb competitively in high school, but unfortunately I never had a chance. Hopefully the next generation of climbers, with the help of great gyms like The Ascent, will get that chance!


Oct 15

Where To Buy Climbing Gear: Top 5 places to buy climbing gear online

The top five places to buy climbing gear onlineClimbing can be an expensive hobby, and to save money I’ve spent a lot of time looking for the best places to buy climbing gear. The following sites are some of my go-to places when I want to do some price comparisons on different gear, or am looking for something special and hard to find. If you are searching for where to buy climbing gear, check these stores out.

They all offer great stuff, and each has their own unique offering, like Altrec’s 100% lifetime return guarantee and Climb High’s customer rewards program. They all have good prices on different things, so when you’re in the market for climbing gear the best option is to look around at several of these stores to find the best price.

1. CampSaver

CampSaver was started in 2003 by an undergraduate at Utah State University. As a start-up outdoor shop their goal was to provide the best online destination for outdoor enthusiasts. They have some of the best climbing gear around, while also providing low prices and great customer service. Besides stocking climbing gear, they also have a large selection of camping, hiking, and mountaineering gear. They are based out of a small town in Utah, and pride themselves on their great customer service. They claim 65% repeat customers, and have over 4500 customer reviews. Check out their testimonials page to see what other people are saying.

I have had great experiences with CampSaver, and they are my main source for climbing gear now. They have a huge selection of climbing ropes, harnesses, shoes, carabiners, protection, and everything else you could need. I also really like that they are a small business committed to customer satisfaction. If you decide to buy climbing gear from them, be sure to grab the 10% coupon that they offer to all new customers.

2. Altrec

Altrec is another outdoor gear company based in Oregon. They were founded back in 1998 with the goal of offering the best outdoor clothing and gear online. They offer an amazing refund policy, where you can return anything you’ve purchased for a full refund at any time. This means that you can buy any climbing gear you want, use it for as long as you want, and then return it for a full refund with no questions asked.

Unlimited return policies like this are extremely rare, and speak to the quality of their service. Most climbing stores don’t even offer a basic return policy on climbing gear! Additionally, if anything you buy goes on sale within 10 days after your purchase, they’ll refund you the difference of the sale price. Between this and their lifetime return policy, Altrec has made me a big fan of their store.

3. Climb High

Climb High is a rock climbing store based in Williston, Vermont. They have an awesome selection of climbing gear plus good prices and service to boot. They are also unique in their customer rewards program, where you can earn points towards future purchases. You get 5% off all purchases, plus more points for writing product reviews and referring friends. They even start you off with 25 points just for joining.

First time customers can get 20% off their order, and Climb High also offers  free shipping on all orders and returns. All of these perks make them one of my favorite places to buy climbing gear.

4. Oregon Mountain Community

Oregon Mountain Community is an outdoor shop based near Portland Oregon. They have been a prominent outdoor merchant in Portland for 30 years, and have now expanded their business online. OMC has a large selection of climbing gear, as well as great prices. If you’re around Portland you can even stop by their retail outlet to pick up gear in person.

If you are a member of the military you can qualify for a 15% discount on everything you order from OMC. They also offer free shipping on all orders over $50 to everybody. On top of that they offer a 110% price match to all their customers. This way you know you’re getting the best deal on all of your climbing gear.


5. US Outdoor Store

 US Outdoor Store is another cool company that offers no sales tax and free shipping on all orders over $40. They’ve got a nice selection of climbing shoes, ropes, harnesses, and training tools. They’ve also got ice climbing equipment, and books on climbing and mountaineering. There is also a cool outlet section on their website where you can find good deals on clearance outdoor gear. If you are having a hard time finding a certain piece of gear, or just want to do some price comparisons check this place out.



Oct 04

Adam Ondra climbs world’s first 5.15c

World champion rock climber Adam Ondra has just sent his project The Change, which he claims is the first 5.15c in the world. If the rating stands it would make this route the hardest sport climb in the world. This success came just as Ondra was ready to give up, as winter weather was quickly moving in and making the rock too wet to climb on. Amazingly, Ondra capitalized on one of the last few dry days, and was finally able to conquer this project he has spent so many weeks on.

This incredible new route is located in Flatanger Cave, Norway, and consists of 20 meters of 5.15a climbing followed by 30 meters of 5.14d. Altogether, Ondra has rated the project a 5.15c. Adam has climbed more 15b’s than anyone else in the world, so he stands a fair judge of what a 15c should be like. On the other hand, this frontier of extremely high level sport climbing can be very subjective. Only a handful of climbers can perform at this level, so ratings aren’t always clear cut.

Even if the rating doesn’t stand, this is still an amazing route to finally send. While only nineteen, Ondra is one of the top sport climbers in the world and is doing very impressive things for such a young age. He still has much potential to unlock, and I’m sure we will see many more great things out of him. As pros like him continue to push the limits of sport climbing, you’ve got to wonder just how much harder they’ll be able to climb. At this rate, you might start to question if 5.16 is possible…

While no footage of Ondra’s final ascent has been released yet, take a look at this video released a few weeks ago of Adam climbing the first half of the route.



Sep 15

Climber survives 70 foot fall

According to Fosters, a man fell Thursday, September 13 while free soloing cliffs in Massachusetts with friends. The climber was 10 feet from the top when his hand slipped off the rocks. He flipped in the air as he fell, hitting his head on the rock on the way down, before finally landing on his back at the base of the climb.

He was known as an experienced climber and had climbed these cliffs often in the past. However, he only started free soloing them this summer. Emergency crews came to the rescue and medevaced him to Tufts Hospital where he has recovered.

His injuries include three broken vertebrae, broken bones in his left and right feet, and a head gash that required two staples to close. Apparently nothing vital was injured and he is expected to leave the hospital soon. The doctors are surprised he lived, and his friends report he doesn’t want to climb again.

While many people free solo for the adrenaline rush, I can’t imagine ever doing it personally. The risk just seems too great! While climbers like Alex Honnold are amazing and I have great respect for them, I can’t believe the danger they put themselves in. Many things can go wrong that are out of your control, and eventually everybody makes a mistake.

I recently posted a video of a man free soloing a 400 foot crack with a go pro camera on his head. While the video is amazing, I get nervous just watching him climb. If you do practice free soloing, please be careful!


Sep 14

Hantavirus Outbreak at Yosemite

According to the National Park Service, nine individuals have been infected with hantavirus after spending time at Yosemite National Park. Infections began in June, and the park is currently working to spread awareness of the outbreak in order to reduce further infections. Out of the nine reported cases, three have been fatal. The other six have made recoveries.

Hantavirus is a relatively new infection. It was first identified in 1993, and has since infected 600 people in the United States. The virus is spread through contact with the urine, feces, or saliva of infected rodents. Infections primarily occur when people breathe in air contaminated with the dust of infected rodent droppings. It is estimated that 12 percent of deer mice carry hantavirus. The virus cannot be spread between humans.

Once infected, the virus can incubate for one to five weeks before symptoms appear. According to the park service advisory, “Early symptoms include fatigue, fever, chills, and muscle aches. About half of patients will experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and abdominal pain. The disease progresses rapidly (4–10 days after initial symptoms) to include coughing, shortness of breath, and severe difficulty breathing. Early medical attention greatly increases the chance of survival in cases of HPS.” Read the full report on hantavirus in Yosemite at http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/hantafaq_9-9.pdf

If you or anyone you know has been to Yosemite this summer please keep an eye on them. If they show any of these symptoms get them checked out right away. Early detection and treatment can help greatly! Although the virus is rare, it’s best to spread awareness in the hopes that infected individuals will receive proper treatment. Please spread the word to anybody you know staying in Yosemite.

Sep 08

Climbers design a specialized prosthetic foot for rock climbing

These two climbers designed and built a specialized prosthetic foot just for rock climbingCJ Howard and Mandy Ott have developed the world’s first prosthetic foot made specially for rock climbing. This unique device has allowed Howard to climb at Lover’s Leap, Sugarloaf, and even Yosemite.

Howard lost his lower leg to osteosarcoma years ago but has continued to pursue sports, even setting world records for amputees. Since picking up rock climbing in 2008 he has looked for a more efficient way to climb as an amputee.

Thankfully, Ott’s experience as an aeronautical engineer allowed her to design an aggressive climbing foot using CAD software. Working together they ironed out the design details. They then outsourced the construction to an Ohio firm that specializes in direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) .

DMLS allows quick fabrication of prototypes and provided a perfect method to create the prosthetic foot. The finished product is a 6”x3”x2” 5lb foot made from commercial grade titanium. It has no seams or bolts, and is hollow to reduce weight.

Howard has put his new foot to the test, climbing up to three times a week. While it works well for some climbs, it isn’t flexible enough to suit all climbs. He has 2 more designs in mind he would like to try out in the future.

Read more about Howard’s amazing story at http://www.onlinetmd.com/medical-device-design-manufacturing-eos-morris-technologies-082912.aspx


Sep 08

A climbing harness for pregnant women?

This new harness by Mountain Mama is specially designed for pregnant womenHere’s something you don’t see every day. Mountain Mama, a company specializing in outdoor gear for expecting mothers, has just unveiled the world’s first climbing harness for pregnant women.

Created with help from Mad Rock, the harness features padded leg loops and an “X” design in back to provide full support and cradle the torso.

I don’t imagine the market for these harnesses is huge, but it’s great to see innovative climbing products out there. The more people climbing safely, the better! Let’s just hope these women are taking giant falls…

The harness debuts in January with an MSRP of $120. Find out more at Mountain Mama’s website.


Aug 26

Minnesota State Park Program Teaches Rock Climbing

Minnesota state parks are offering an I Can! program where they teach kids to climb

I Can Climb!

This summer the Minnesota State Parks division has been offering a program series called I Can Climb! According to the program website it offers “a  hands-on rock climbing experience designed for those who want to learn about knot tying, belaying, rope management skills, use of technical equipment, and climbing commands from qualified professionals, and then apply those skills while scaling some of Minnesota’s most stunning cliff faces.”

The course is opened to anybody 14 years of age or older, and is designed as an introductory class to get people out climbing. Plus the cost is only $35.

I thought this sounded like a really awesome program and wanted to share it. It’s great that the park is branching out and getting people into rock climbing. Even better, they’re doing it in a safe environment with experienced professionals. It really shows how much the sport is growing!

Hopefully more states adopt programs like this and popularity continues to rise. Minnesota also offers other I Can! programs for other outdoor activities like fishing and camping. If you’re in Minnesota you should look into signing up friends looking to learn. The program ends soon so hurry! Thankfully it’ll be back next summer though.

Check out the program website at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/can_climb.html




Aug 15

Footage of soloing a 400 ft hand crack


This is hands down the best climbing footage I’ve seen. It’s a first person view, filmed on a Go Pro camera, of a man free soloing a 400 ft hand crack. The route is a 5.10b called The Headache at Zion National Park. This was the fourth ascent of the route for this man.

The first person view really captures the sense of solitude and vertigo on the wall. There were several times where my heart started beating faster just watching this guy climb! He climbs it very smoothly though, and sends all three pitches in just ten minutes. Enjoy the video!


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