With peak climbing season approaching us, it is time to make sure you’ve got your climbing kit ready to go. We asked a couple Cypher employees to share their climbing trip essentials, as well as their experiences with climbing!
Joe Mahank works in as a returns representative and has been climbing for 8 years. Trad is his favorite type of climbing, but he does like to hop on some hard sport routes too.
Evan Watts is the Pacific West Sales Representative. He has been climbing for 7 years, and although ice climbing is up there on his favorite kinds of climbing, adventure climbing takes the top stop.
What is your favorite place you’ve been to climb on a trip?
Joe: The best destination I have been to for a climbing trip was Costa Blanca in Alicante Spain. For old times’ sake, I love climbing in the Red River Gorge in Kentucky.
Evan: I like climbing in a whole lot of places, but the ones that hold a larger space in my daydreams are my home, Mt. Hood, or the North Cascade where I first cut my teeth in the mountains. It also helps that I have friends to climb with in both of those places.
What are some staples in your gear collection for climbing trips?
Joe: A super comfy helmet is important. I always tend to forget I’m wearing a helmet because mine is just that comfortable. I use the Edelweiss Performance 9.2 rope, and love it! The Sterling Hollow Block is another staple because I want to make sure my rappels are really safe. A birdie, grigri, or other assisted breaking device is another obvious staple. I also like to have a stick clip and a bottle opener/nut tool.
Evan: I love my Beal Opera rope. I have climbed probably 300 pitches on my first one, and it's still in good shape. Besides the other obvious gear (helmet, harness, etc.), I like to keep a few other essentials regardless of if it’s a 3-day alpine trip or a long trail run. My small Adventure Medical Day Tripper Kit has a Garmin Inreach Mini clipped into it, and I throw it whatever bag I bring along. I also shelled out the cash for a fancy pair of photo-chromatic sunglasses years ago, and I have probably logged a few thousand hours in them at this point, so they were well worth the spend.
What Cypher gear are you loving that is in your gear collection?
Evan: I did the same for my alpine draws, the Mydas are lightweight and can't be beat! I also use the Chest Ascender for a top-rope solo setup.
What other items do you typically bring on a climbing trip?
Joe: I will always bring a lot of clementines for snacks on climbing trips. Other things I like to bring are a light weight chair, clean wool socks to put on after I’m done climbing, a blanket if it’s chilly out, a lot of tape, and hand salve. If I am doing trad, I’ll bring extra accessory cords or rap rings just in case an anchor needs to be replaced.
Evan: I am a fiend for Oreos, and they tend to show up in my bag quite often. I will also splurge on some fancy sunscreen and bring it often since the sun does not play will with my skin.
Are there any pieces of gear that you don’t own yet, but want to?
Joe: A few products that I would like to add to my gear collection would be the Z4 / Z4 Offset cams from Black Diamond, some Cypher belay glasses, another crash pad, and a Multipitch pack from Mountain Hardwear. I am about to purchase the Grivel Master Pro tube belay device, and I am excited to use it!
Evan: I’d love to find a pair of touring boots that are truly comfortable for my feet. I am also wanting to try the Grivel G22 Crampons next winter because I am a big fan of the G20s. New Beal Gully ropes are on the list as well to replace a pair that I lost in climbing in the mountains.
What type of apparel do you typically wear on climbing trips?
Joe: I will always wear moisture wicking clothes that are lightweight, breathable, and stretchy. It’s important that they have UPF protection too. My favorite shirt so far is a short sleeve button up from Mountain Hardwear that is big, baggy, and breathable. I am also a big fan of merino wool!
Evan: Can you ever have enough sun hoodies? Also, gloves for winter climbing seem to be somewhat of a collector’s item for me these days.
What is a dream climbing destination you have?
Joe: A handful of the places that I would love to climb at are Kalymnos Greece, The Dolomites, North Six Shooter, Lone Peak Cirque, El Portero Chico, and Southeast Asia.
Evan: I’ve got way too many dream locations to mention, and wouldn’t want to jinx them anyway, so I’ll just say that I dream of going back to my old haunts in the Northwest and climbing with my buddies out there.
Whether you're a long time climber or just getting started, we hope you have a great climbing season! Be sure to follow us @CypherClimbing and tag us in your climbing adventures!
Seeing others experience the outdoors through the world of climbing is what motivates us. We create quality products that help you get outside - no matter your age or climbing ability. Whether you're gearing up for your first multi-pitch adventure, spending a day at the local crag, or just training at the gym, count on Cypher gear to make your experience safe and enjoyable.