Climbing gear is either really intense (crampons and ice axes) or really chill (I’m looking at you, chalk).
Whatever the climber in your life is into, here’s some beta on what’s hot around the crag this Chrissy.
If that didn’t make much sense, it might be time to brush up on your rock climbing slang so you can hold a conversation with this person at Christmas lunch that doesn’t entirely revolve around Alex Honnold and Free Solo.
1. Scarpa Velocity Climbing Shoes
The first piece of gear most climbers treat themselves too are shoes — you can learn all about choosing rock climbing gear for a beginner in this article.
The Velocity Climbing Shoe is a cornerstone of the Scarpa range, known as ‘a high quality shoe that climbers of all levels can use.’
Specifically built for indoor climbing, it’ll suit those with a medium foot width and stay comfortable for longer.
3. Perpendicular Liquid Climbing Chalk
A ‘prescription for better friction’ or so says the marketing team at Perpendicular with respect to their liquid climbing chalk.
4. Black Diamond Half Dome Climbing Helmet
For those doing anything more than bouldering outdoors, you can add ‘helmet’ to the list of essential items. And unless you’re Alex Honnold, rope too.
The Half Dome helmet by Black Diamond is a staple for climber’s domes worldwide.
It’s been updated over the years and the current iteration has a one handed dial, low profile suspension and updated chin strap for greater comfort and security.
5. Vertical Life Magazine Issues
Why is Vertical Life the right mag for your friend on the crag? I’ll let them answer that.
‘Here at Vertical Life we love climbing, be it beanied bouldering, clip-up sportclimbing, old-school daddy-tradding, big-wall suffering, alpine extremism, spandex-clad competition climbing, desperate-times-call-for-desperate-measures buildering, the lot – if it involves monkey business we will cover it.’
6. Blue Mountains Climbing Guidebook 2019
Want something a little more solid than a magazine? The Blue Mountains Climbing Guidebook is an essential companion for Aussie climbers and documents one of the most popular destinations we have here.
This 2019 edition is the most up to date and surpassed the 2015 version with plenty of new route and access information.
It’s actually one of the largest guidebooks in the world with some 3429 routes at 58 crags. However, it’s easy to read in A5 format with 448 full colour pages.
Author Simon Carter also just released his first edition of the Sydney Climbing – Selected Crags Guidebook. It’s hot off the press and a surefire gift for climbing Sydneysiders.
7. Metolius Wood Grips Deluxe Climbing Hangboard
While some peoples idea of torture, a hangboard is a classic climbing gift for those looking to take their grip and finger strength to new heights — literally.
This skin-friendly wooden hangboard by Metolius is a top seller for good reason and boasts ‘a large assortment of holds including jugs, big slopers, edges and pockets.’
It comes with a training guide and mounting hardware.
9. Patagonia Cragsmith 45L Climbing Backpack
Patagonia describes this as their ‘gear dumpster.’ It’s their largest climbing backpack and a ‘workhorse for the crag’.
While it’s specifically built for climbers, with top or back-panel access, the black colour and understated design mean your climbing companion can use the Cragsmith Backpack on everyday adventures too.
It’s also useful on Christmas day, as they can stuff all their other climbing gifts into it, ready to go.
10. Gibbon Classic X13 Slackline
Did someone say cross-training? Since you can’t always be at a crag or in the gym, why not mix things up a little closer to earth.
The Gibbon Classic is an excellent entry level slackline. Its low elongation means it can be set up at low levels which is perfect for beginners, while the rubber print provides extra grip when balancing.