First Look Review: Black Diamond Camalot C4

Friends are great to have. They have evolved over the years, getting lighter, stronger and smarter… Black Diamond have recently updated the forever loved and well trusted Camalot C4. The main change is in the lobes, and the larger sizes got some cleaver features. This next generation was due, with new Wild County Friends and DMM Dragons circa 2017. This saw both having major upgrades … Continue reading First Look Review: Black Diamond Camalot C4

Mountaineering Axe Comparison Review

Technical Mountaineering Axe Comparison

Last year I wrote an article comparing different lightweight mountaineering axes. This year I’m comparing their slightly heavier brethren. And while a really lightweight axe is great if it’s going to mainly live on your pack, a slightly sturdier tool is ideal for more technical objectives. Routes where you plan on using one (or more) axes to climb some alpine ice, work through some deep … Continue reading Technical Mountaineering Axe Comparison

Arc'teryx Alpha AR

Review: Arc’teryx Alpha AR 20 Pack

Arc’teryx added to their Alpha line of alpine & rock climbing packs with the Alpha AR. This new pack comes in 20L and 35L versions with a larger, 55L version in the works. This article will focus on the smaller of the two sizes, the 20L multi-pitch pack. We will be working on a review of the 35L pack this summer though so stay tuned. … Continue reading Review: Arc’teryx Alpha AR 20 Pack

Mammut Glacier Cord

Review: Mammut Glacier Cord

Mammut’s new Glacier Cord is designed to be used as part of a lightweight rope kit to allow alpinists, mountaineers and skiers to deal with various challenges and emergencies. This includes rappelling cliff bands, roping up for glacier travel, undertaking crevasse and cliff rescues, etc. Of course lightweight kits like this have been available for some time, the most well-known being Petzl’s RAD kit. Mammut … Continue reading Review: Mammut Glacier Cord

Coffee Review 2.0

Here at Black Sheep we don’t mess around when it comes to coffee!  We are firm believers that a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the morning is an essential part of the day, no matter where you are. But…! To prepare said cup of coffee, the right equipment is essential. For this review we’ve tested out a wide assortment of coffee equipment to help … Continue reading Coffee Review 2.0

Black Diamond Ultralight Screw

Review: BD Ultralight Ice Screws

Not to be left behind in the light-weight ice screw game, Black Diamond has released their own version of a composite, aluminum-steel, screw that they’re calling the Ultralight Ice Screw. Constructed from the ground up these screws feature a new aluminum hanger and aluminum tube that’s attached to a hardened steel cutting surface. They’re now the lightest screws on the market and, even better, have … Continue reading Review: BD Ultralight Ice Screws

Review: Kailas Swift Aluminium Ice Screw

The last few years have delivered a whole new quiver of ice screws from various manufacturers. Ten years ago, Black Diamond took the market by storm with the introduction of the fully stainless steel Express ice screw. This new screw featured aggressive teeth and the infamous express knob. For the next ~8 years, it became the new standard (evident by the fact no one actually … Continue reading Review: Kailas Swift Aluminium Ice Screw

Building the Ideal Ice Climbing Kit:

Most of us buy or acquire our climbing gear slowly over time. When you first get into the sport there’s a lot of expense associated with getting kitted out so gear is bought a little at a time. Once you’ve been climbing for a while, equipment is replaced as it gets worn out or newer, shinier and possibly better gear. Of course this leads to … Continue reading Building the Ideal Ice Climbing Kit:

Review: Arc’teryx Oriel Leggings

I call the new Arc’teryx Oriel leggings my magical sending tights. Obviously, I can’t claim that wearing them will make you a better climber but, personally, I find that I climb more confidently in them. Maybe it’s because they move so well that they don’t distract from the climbing. I enjoy just about every feature – from the generous pocket that fits an iPhone Plus … Continue reading Review: Arc’teryx Oriel Leggings