If you didn’t get that big climbing trip in this Sendtember, not to worry as you still have all of Rocktober, probably my favorite month for climbing trips. Places like Red Rock Canyon, Nevada and even Smith Rock, Oregon still offer up warm and sunny days, but won’t leave you baking on the wall. Here is some of my essential gear for rock climbing trips this month.
Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30 OutDry ($130): This versatile pack is not only waterproof for use on rainy day hikes, but provides plenty of room and attachment points to transport your rack, extra layers, snacks, water, climbing shoes, chalk, and even a rope (via a buckle loop under the lid) on the approach to your climbing objective. I enjoy the simple webbing hipbelt and lack of internal frame for this size pack–there is no need for all that extra heavy and bulky padding even when carrying a bunch of climbing gear. The Scrambler will make a great ice cragging pack this winter as well.
Five Ten Verdon ($160): Part of Five Ten’s moderate climbing shoe collection, the Verdon uses a very asymmetric design that gives you super edging skills but also offers out-of-the-box comfort with a midsole that hugs the curves of your foot. The Stealth C4 rubber outsole is hard to beat in terms of friction and durability.
Arc’teryx Acrux FL ($190-$220): Still my favorite approach shoe over a year later, the independent liners custom form to your feet to offer a comfortable, blister free fit. The new fall version uses a Gore-Tex liner for weatherproof approaches.
Black Diamond Lotus Harness ($79.95): My go to harness for ice climbing in the winter, the Lotus is ultra comfortable and lightweight enough that I have started wearing it year round. The pre-threaded waistbelt and leg loop buckles make for easy adjustments depending on your amount of layers and the four pressure-molded gear loops provide plenty of space for racking up.
Petzl Elia Helmet ($65): I needed to buy a new helmet last winter and chose the Elia because it is not only ponytail friendly, but the unique headband and webbing adjustment mechanism allows for a precise fit whether or not you are wearing a hat underneath.
Black Diamond Dawn Patrol LT ($199): I virtually lived in these pants all summer on hiking and climbing adventures and plan to wear them straight through the fall. Made from a Schoeller stretch woven nylon fabric treated with NanoSphere DWR technology, these softshell pants are highly wind and water-resistant, stand up to even the sharpest of rock, and are comfortable and breathable enough to wear all day.
Ibex OD Heather T ($80): Made from superlight merino, this t-shirt helps regulate your body temp in both cool and hot weather–great for fall days when the temperature swings can be pretty dramatic.
Arc’teryx Atom SL: So this is technically a Spring ’16 product but it makes a great piece for fall climbing as well. Take note now and put it on the list for your spring climbing adventures. The jacket is wind and water-resistant with a light 40 grams of Coreloft synthetic insulation in the main body. Underarm and side panels feature breathable fleece for excess heat dumping and the No-Slip-Zip lets you crack open the main zipper without worry of it slipping down as you climb. The perfect piece to wear when you start climbing in the morning before the sun hits the wall.
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer ($350): Another piece I have lived in since last spring. For those early morning trips to the trailhead and for when the sun starts to dip behind the mountains, you are going to want to throw on this jacket. It’s not too heavy, breathes well, and packs down small in the bottom of your pack.