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Climbing Gift Guide 2012

The nice thing about climbing gear is that it's almost impossible to have too many of any one piece of gear. The more the better, so you don't need to worry about giving something that the climber on your list already owns.

Climbing Gift Guide 2012

1. Carabiners, $5-$15.  This is something that a climber can literally never have too many of.  From a basic old-school oval for racking other gear to one of the new non-hooking lightweight wire gates like the Black Diamond Hoodwire or Petzl Ange.

Where to buy:

Als.com

2. Locking Carabiners, $7-$20.  Like the version above, but these lock for added safety.  The utilitarian Black Diamond Positron Screwgate or the lightweight Trango screw-lock Superfly are both great for building anchors.  The new auto-locking Magnetron GridLock and RockLock belay biners from Black Diamond improve safety at the belay end with the GridLock even eliminating the possibility of a cross-loaded carabiner.

Where to buy:

Als.com

3. Quickdraws, $10-$28.  These are just two biners connected by a short sling.  They vary in price depending on the carabiners.  More money for more features or reduced wight. Most climbers will already have several of these, but usually all of a similar length; 10-12cm is common.  Longer draws are useful too, so if you add one or two of the ~18cm or up variety you’ll add extra functionality to the climber’s rack and be less likely to duplicate what they already have.

Where to buy:

backcountry.com

4. Belay device, $10-$36 (or up to $100).  Anyone who is already a climber has one of these, but it’s nice to have a spare or an extra to loan to a buddy who might be just starting out.  The Black Diamond ATC is sort of the standard basic belay device.  The next step up is the variable friction types like the ATC-XP, the Petzl Verso, or the Trango Jaws.  Beyond that are the do-all belay devices like the ATC Guide or the new Petzl Reverso 4.  These do everything the others do, but also allow a climber to belay one or two seconding climbers from above (i.e. guiding).

Then there are the active belay devices, which are especially nice for belaying a top-roping climber.  These are a bit more money, with the classic Petzl Grigri at $100, or the Trango Cinch for around $80.

Where to buy:

Als.com

Climbing Gift Guide

5. Slings, $3-$25.  Another staple of the climber’s rack.  The 24” or 60 cm length is arguably the most useful.  Like the quickdraws, all lengths have their purpose.  Nylon slings are cheaper and have some advantages, while the newer polyethylene (Dynex, Spectra, Dyneema) slings are lighter and stronger with a few other advantages, but are more expensive.  Your climber should be pleased with any variety here.

Where to buy:

Als.com

6. Chalk, $2-$5.  Climbers use chalk and can always use more.  This is the same stuff as gym chalk.  Not the most exciting, but definitely useful.

Where to buy:

backcountry.com

7. Energy Bars or Gels, $1 each up to around $20 for a box of 12.  PowerBar, Clif Bar, etc. Another great basic gift that you can get anywhere.  Your climber will appreciate these, especially if they’re the type to spend every penny on new gear and then buy cheap cardboard granola bars for themselves.

Where to buy:

backcountry.com

 

Author - Cody Morgan

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