The Trad Climbing Essentials of 2015

All you need to tackle unbolted routes.
Matt Skenazy

Trad Climbing Essentials
(Michael Karsh)


Edelrid Topaz ColorTec 9.2 rope

Bipatterned ropes let you quickly ID the midpoint, making rappelling safer and helping belayers gauge how much is left. They’re pricey to make, but Edelrid automated the process to keep costs in check. $260, edelrid.de

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(Michael Karsh)


Scarpa Techno X shoes

The Techno X ($155) is ideal for long days on the wall. Credit the micro-suede upper and U-shaped rubber rand, which keeps your digits from fusing in the toe box. The shoe edges well on dimes and smears on everything but polished marble. scarpa.com

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(Michael Karsh)


Petzl Aquila harness

Petzl put a strip of foam around the back of the Aquila’s ($125) waist for a snug fit, and four gear loops—two rigid up front and two flexible in the rear—prevent pressure points from a pack. petzl.com

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(Michael Karsh)


Metolius Ultralight Curve nuts

Metolius shaved a gram or two from its Ultralight nuts ($150 for a set of ten) and gave them a more secure, asymmetrical taper. metoliusclimbing.com

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(Michael Karsh)


Patagonia Cragsmith 35L pack

It looks like your basic top loader, but a zippered back panel lets you lay it flat and grab gear without unpacking. At 35 liters, it fits shoes, a harness, a layer, and snacks. $129, patagonia.com

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(Michael Karsh)


Millet Jackspires hoodie

The Jackspires ($140) is made from a poly-blend material that stretches with you while you stem up a corner, and reinforcements at the waist and forearms help the jacket hold up to repeated off-widths. millet.fr

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(Michael Karsh)


Carhartt Washed Twill pants

Carhartts ($43) are a mountain staple for one simple reason: they’re tough as nails. That makes them the perfect choice for scaling rough rock. A relaxed fit ensures plenty of room to high-step to the next hold. carhartt.com

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(Michael Karsh)


Super.natural Essential Tee 140 shirt

It’s so light and soft, you’ll want to wear the Essential Tee ($50) every day. And because it’s a 50/50 blend of odor-suppressing wool and polyester, you can do just that without smelling like you live in your van—even if you do. sn-supernatural.com

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(Michael Karsh)

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