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

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

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:

Outdoor Retailer

Winter OR 2019: Climbing Gear

There were a bunch of goodies at this year’s Winter OR / Snow Show when it comes to ice climbing gear! Of course I’ve already published an article specifically about climbing footwear so won’t include anything of that nature here. Rather we’ll be looking at more technical equipment such as ice axes, helmets, harnesses and the like. Black Diamond Spinner & Slinger Leash – Update: … Continue reading Winter OR 2019: Climbing Gear

Comparison Review: Lightweight Mountaineering Axes

There’s a huge variety of lightweight mountaineering axes on the market which can make choosing the right one for your specific adventure difficult. Most of the different axe types, designs, shapes, lengths, etc. have a specific use in mind be it alpine climbing, summer mountaineering, ski mountaineering and so on. Though some designs are simply carry-overs from days of mountaineering past which only sell because … Continue reading Comparison Review: Lightweight Mountaineering Axes

Christmas Gift Guide for Backcountry Skiers: 2018

This final installment of our gift guide series for 2018 provides some great ideas for the backcountry skiers out there. This includes ski touring, ski mountaineering, split boarding and even the snowshoeing enthusiast—though I question their sanity. Be sure to check out our other gift guides as well and have a great Christmas season! 1. Arc’teryx Alpha SK Pack: The newest addition to the Arc’teryx … Continue reading Christmas Gift Guide for Backcountry Skiers: 2018

Black Sheep’s Christmas Guide for Climbers 2018

The 2018 version of our Annual Christmas Guide for Climbers. For me Christmas is always a bit of a mixed blessing. I have to put up with hearing Christmas carols everywhere, and there’s the stress of spending time with family, finding gifts for everyone and often lots driving on icy roads. On the other hand it’s great to catch up with friends and family and … Continue reading Black Sheep’s Christmas Guide for Climbers 2018

Christmas Stocking

Climber’s Gift Guide 2018: Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is just around the corner yet again. But don’t worry if you’ve no idea what to get that hard-to-shop-for climber in the family. We’ve got you covered! In this first installment of the 2018 guide we’ll look at 10 great ideas for smaller “stocking stuffer” type gifts. Basically, cool stuff that won’t cost too much. Click here if you want to look at some … Continue reading Climber’s Gift Guide 2018: Stocking Stuffers

Piton

Picking the Ideal Piton Rack:

Despite having fallen out of vogue for many climbers, pitons are an important part of an alpine climbing rack in many areas. Yes, many pitons have been replaced with their more reliable relative, bolts. Or simply removed for that matter. But there’s still tons of them around depending on the area. And of course the prevalence of pitons in a given area depends on an assortment … Continue reading Picking the Ideal Piton Rack: