In the last week of September, it’s like a switch is flipping on in Yosemite. The once-sleepy granite walls in and around the climbing mecca suddenly echo with cheerful voices wearing new climbing gear: carabiners, belay devices and helmets, all glowing in the sunlight of the Sierra Nevada. What is behind the rush? Lower daytime temperatures comfortable enough to be donned over a top without overheating; conditions that increase friction between the hands, sticky climbing shoes and rock; beautiful changing foliage; cool evenings. In short, it’s fall, the ideal season for climbers and to test new clothes and equipment.
With the scorching summer days behind us, it’s time to get out of the gym and get outside. Here is the best new and upcoming climbing equipment.
1. Edelrid Neo 3R 9.8 mm
Made with leftover yarns and braids from the production process and thus saving resources, Edelrid’s 50% recycled rope, the Neo 3R 9.8mm, is the first of its kind to hit the market. UIAA certified and constructed with a soft, supple sheath in the hands and with a solid core that stretches 37% to catch falls smoothly, the 63 grams per meter Neo 3R works like a modern rope.
Like all Edelrid ropes, it is bluesign certified – built with 63% less chemicals and energy, 89% less water and 62% less carbon dioxide. Available in lengths of 50, 60, 70 and 80 meters.
[Prices vary; search local distributor]
2. Rab One80 Collection
Rab’s upcoming One80 collection (released March 1, 2022) combines comfort, performance, durability and style with a range of sportswear made from recycled materials and fluorocarbon-free DWRs. Built in collaboration with their climbing team, the new Rab line includes hoodies, tops, sports tops and pants for men and women.
Composed of 92 percent recycled polyester and 8 percent spandex, all items in the One80 collection offer four-way stretch for optimal movement on rock. This material can withstand being crushed into stone without decomposing while providing long-lasting comfort. The midweight Radian and Dihedral hoodies feature articulated sleeves and elasticated cuffs that are ideal for fall conditions. The pant line includes everything from soft tights to stretch cotton canvas, all designed to move with you. The whole line also seems in place on the cliffs and breweries.
3. Five Ten NIAD Moccasym climbing shoes
After three decades on the market, the new and improved (and renamed) NIAD Moccasym – aka “Moc” – is stickier than ever. The softest and most flexible shoe in the updated NIAD line (NIAD = Nose in a Day, referring to the famous Nose Road on El Capitan in Yosemite; “in a day” means climbing the road in less than 24 hours. hours), the bright red Moc is constructed with an unlined leather upper and an elastic closure system with three quarters of the shoe wrapped in sticky rubber.
Designed for climbers of all skill levels, these comfy and comfortable climbing shoes are just as precise in the gym, on less than vertical routes, and on sturdy overhang lines, but not as optimal for vertical edges. All of these points are the reason Chris Sharma used these shoes on his first ascent of (5.14d) Dream Catcher in Squamish, British Columbia, over 15 years ago.
Today’s loafers have an updated heel and an additional rubber band extending from the inside of the toe box to the top of the foot, which provides additional friction for toe hooking. and cracks the size of a hand. As the saying goes from the mid-90s, these slippers look like Ferraris to your feet.
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