We’ve spent a lot of time on this blog discussing training plans training plans, mental techniques, and breathing exercises to help you improve your climbing. Check out those posts to get a ton of helpful tips you need to push into higher grades. However, sometimes when I’m looking for an extra edge, I head to my local gear shop to see what’s up. So, if you've got a few bucks laying around, here are four items that have helped me immensely with various climbing goals over the last several years.
I recently walked into my local climbing store for nothing in particular. As I was browsing, I came across a box and thought, “Is this box empty? Why are they displaying an empty box?” Skeptical, I opened the box and found...a climbing helmet! I was dumbfounded. Climbing helmets are normally bulky pieces! And while even the heavier versions aren’t that burdensome, at the end of a long day at the crag, I find myself tilting my head to the side and belaying while practicing neck rolls. As far as I'm concerned, cutting a few ounces can make a huge difference.
Not long ago Black Diamond released the ATC-Pilot--a brand new assisted braking belay device that’s perfect for the gym or the crag. I was skeptical at first since there are numerous similar devices already on the market, but I’m a huge gear nerd so I had to try it out.