I owe a big, big THANK YOU! to the companies that support my climbing adventures. Rather then blindly spray about how great they are, I’d like to specifically mention a few of my all time favorite pieces of gear. These are the staples, the stuff that really works and that I am proud to show off and recommend to my friends.
“The Nut” makes some of the raddest, most stripped down, balls out alpine gear around. My Patagonia action suit is a Transition Jacket for athletic rock climbing, and the Quark Jacket (only 10 friggin’ ounces) for lightweight storm protection. For Alaska-style mixed climbing, I’m all about the gortex: the Argon Jacket and Pants are burly but simply and functionally designed. My absolute all time favorite MH item might be the Fulcrum and Fulcrum EXT gloves. These were built to Swissy badass Uli Steck’s specifications. ‘Nuff said. A few final shout-outs go the Hooded Compressor Jacket, the Super Scrambler Pack, and all Phantom down products. The Phantom 32 sleeping bag, at only 1 pound 6 ounces, is incredibly light for the amount of warmth it provides.
Italians know footwear. Basically every product in La Sportiva’s mountain boot line is a classic and has it’s own merits. My standard quiver of boots includes the Trango S Evo GTX for summer conditions rock – aineering in Patagonia or the low Himalayas, Nepals for normal ice climbing at home in New Hampshire, and Spantiks for the nar-nar in AK or any climbing at serious altitude. In the rock shoe department, I wear an oversized pair of Barracudas for alpine routes or long days in Yosemite, and Muiras for tech-9 routes at Cathedral or Rumney. A lot of people don’t like the Muiras because they are a little painful to break in, but in my opinion they are probably the most versatile shoe in the world for hard climbing. Exums have been my staple approach shoes for ten years.
Designed by Maine hardman and 1980s punkster Jim Ewing, Sterling cords have caught my ass countless times over the years. I usually use the Velocity 9.8 for general cragging, the Duetto 8.4s for half-rope winter climbing, Nano 9.2 when I’m going for broke.
My little sister thinks it is so cool that I am sponsored by a sunglass company. Like a rock star or something. Anyways, the lenses in the Instinct Glasses change tint depending on the lighting – for New Hampshire in winter, I call them my anti-depressant goggles. For the full-on sun bath of expedition climbing at altitude, I recommend a pair of the Dolgans.