Beal Joker 9.1 Climbing Rope Review: Soft and Regular

Climbing ropes have changed over the years. They’ve gone from 11mm ropes good for hip belays to ropes that meet single rope UIAA requirements. Ropes so skinny that belay devices had to be redesigned! Fat, old-school ropes are being left for top-roping school groups while skinny single lines are becoming lighter and more durable with better handling, all dramatically helping you to send that next … Continue reading Beal Joker 9.1 Climbing Rope Review: Soft and Regular

Review: Edelrid Spoc

The Petzl Micro Traxion finally has some competition in the form of the new Edelrid Spoc! Given the popularity of the incredibly useful device, I’m surprised it took so long for a competitor to one-up Petzl. A testament to how well the unit was designed really. And Edelrid didn’t just copy the Micro Traxion, they made a much better version as the Spoc is lighter, … Continue reading Review: Edelrid Spoc

Grivel Trend Harness

Summer OR 2019: Harnesses

There were actually enough new harnesses at the Summer OR show this year to justify a harness-specific write-up! And I’m sure that if I had a little more time to walk the show floor I might have found another harness or two to add from lesser-known brands. I’ve got all the big boys covered though. CAMP Impulse and Impulse CR Harness: The Impulse and Impulse … Continue reading Summer OR 2019: Harnesses

First Look Review: Updated 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 clever 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: Updated Black Diamond Camalot C4

The Overwhelming Truth of Yosemite – For a Climber

Yosemite A place forever intertwined with the history of rock climbing, and has remained relevant in the climbing universe after many decades. While access, culture, and the valley floor are completely different when compared to the days of the Stonemasters, the source of inspiration remains the same. Through rock-fall and epics, The Valley constantly reminds us that it will remain untamed—regardless of how many millions … Continue reading The Overwhelming Truth of Yosemite – For a Climber

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

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

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