Archive for the ‘Tech Tips’ Category

Gear Review: August 2018

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Metolius Upshot Belay Glasses

by Abbie Madlem

Our newer, taller walls bring better endurance training, new styles of routes, and all new projects! Unfortunately, this can also mean serious neck pain for your belayer.

Feeling the strain of the new wall and looking for a little relief?

Metolius’ Upshot Belay Glasses have got your back! These belay glasses are an updated take on the original, with a field of vision that aims higher on the wall, sports-style temples with low profile nose pads that fit better over glasses/sunglasses, and increased peripheral vision. They also come with a durable case that will protect them when you throw them in your bag for a day of climbing in the gym OR at the crag.

Next time you’re in the gym, ask about trying them out. Your neck will thank you!


Gear Review: May 2018

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

The Petzl Sirocco – Guide Approved!

by Abbie Madlem

If you find yourself in need of a new helmet this season, look no further: the Petzl Sirocco is here!

It’s ultralight design is made to be the perfect combination of protection and comfort. The new design offers increased protection against lateral and rear impacts, and carries Petzl’s top and side protection product labels.

Our most handsome and well read guide, Andrew Powell, has this to say about the Sirocco:
“I use the Petzl Sirroco helmet for my ice, alpine, and rock climbing objectives because of its excellent lightweight durability. The majority foam exterior prevents the cracks, dents, and dings that other helmets acquire, and still provides adequate protection. Its lightweight construction is easy on my neck when looking up, day in and day out on the long climbing pursuits that I love.”

Tech Specs:

– Weighs in at only 170 g!
– Hybrid construction with a shell in EPP (expanded polypropylene) foam and a rigid crown injected with EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam
– Fully adjustable with magnetic buckle closure
– Two hooks and rear elastic for attaching a headlamp


Gear Review: April 2018

Monday, April 30th, 2018

Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes

by Abbie Madlem

Black Diamond’s Momentum climbing shoes have arrived at Edgeworks! This comfortable, entry-level model is perfect for the gym or the crag, finding that sweet spot where all-day comfort meets performance climbing. Don’t let the flat-last fool you! The Momentum won’t slow you down.

Check out some of the tech specs:

Knit Uppers: The knit fabric means that the Momentum requires less break-in time than its counterparts. The fabric is designed to stretch and breath where you most need it, which means less sweaty feet and easy on-off!

Microfiber Liner: The microfiber liner in the front of the shoe minimizes stretch, which means how you buy them is how they should continue to fit.

Neutral, Flat Last: The neutral, flat last of the shoe allows your toes to lie in a neutral position. This is more inviting to newer climbers (your feet won’t be killing you at the end of your session!). They’re also great for more experienced climbers that are looking for a high performance, high comfort shoe (perfect for long days of cragging and long gym sessions)!

Durable Rubber: The rubber on the Momentum is unique in that it’s molded instead of cut from one sheet of rubber. This was inspired by the way that BD forges their carabiners, and is their engineered solution to optimize the shoe’s rubber and rands for weight, consistency, and comfort.

This shoe is unlike any other beginner shoe out there. If you’re curious (we know we were!), don’t take our word for it. Come in and try a pair out!


Scarpa Force V

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Scarpa Force V Gear Review

by Abbie Madlem

The Fit: To put it simply, the Force V is designed to be a high performance shoe with an all-day comfort fit (think Helix 2.0 or a performance-oriented Mythos). 

     •  Stiff sole, a snug heel cup, and padding throughout the tongue and upper heel.

     •  Flat lasted with a slight asymmetry, which makes it a more technical shoe than cheaper models. You can think of the Force V between the Inti and the Mythos.

The Technology: The Force V was designed by Heinz Mariacher (who is known most notably for his design of the La Sportiva Mythos). It is constructed of partially-lined leather suede.  From the ball of the foot forward, the shoe is unlined, allowing the leather to conform to the particular bend in a customer’s toes. From the heel to the ball, the shoe has a synthetic liner that ensures a consistent fit throughout the life of the shoe. It also uses 4mm Vibram XS Edge rubber, making it a stiff shoe with optimized traction and lasting durability.

What really makes this shoe stand out is Scarpa’s use of Lightly Charged V-Tension Active Randing. Active Randing as a concept was created by heinz of Mythos fame. At its most basic, Active Randing employs rubber rands that wrap around the shoe in different configurations in a way that is designed to support climber’s feet, and store tension in certain directions to release energy in other directions.  Still confused? That’s okay, Scarpa has an awesome resource to better learn about the Active Randing process here:

How it Compares: It has a less aggressive heel than the Inti, and is designed more for all day comfort and performance than the Inti, though has a slightly more aggressive toe than the Mythos, not to mention that active randing will allow for more precise foot placements than the Mythos.  It is stiffer and more precise (again due to randing and asymmetry) than the Helix or Origin.

The Cost: At a price point of $130.00, the Force V is cheaper than the Mythos while offering a trade off of comfort for performance. The price is the same as the Tenaya Inti, but will fit a different style of climber… because it’s a different shoe…

Make sure to check the shoe out and, more importantly, try it on! Know how it fits and feels, and who knows, you might just end up falling in love with it!

Gear Review: CAMP HMS Carabiner

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Gear Review_HMS v2

CAMP HMS Compact Locking Carabiner

By: Abbie Madlem

The CAMP HMS compact locking carabiner has quickly become my go-to for belaying. It has a rounded design, which makes using it for belaying or rappelling super smooth.

It’s the only carabiner that I haven’t had to work hard to belay rope through in the gym, which is crucial when you’re belaying for long stretches of time. The rounded design means that there are no corners for the rope to bunch up in. The reduction in friction means a lower heat as well. The wide design also prevents the carabiner from flipping on your harness.

I think it is the perfect carabiner to get comfortable belaying on, because it is so easy to use, but I would recommend it to people that are seasoned belayers as well!


Crushing Tip #27

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

crushing tip 27

Trix Aren’t Just for Kids

by Jimmy Grant

Climbing games at Edgeworks are not just for our young up and coming Sharma’s, Caldwell’s, and Puccio’s. They are also fun for our fully grown “kids” as well. Games and climbing drills are a great way to build strength, technique, and visualization. Not to mention a great way to kill the monotony of endless hours in the gym.

So grab a few friends and try out these games and drills to spice up your next session:

The Classic – “Add-on”

How to play: The first player begins by choosing and establishing themselves on 2 start handholds preferably on the boulder or in our lead cave, but can be played on any terrain. The second player then uses the same 2 start handholds and adds-on 2 of their own handholds. Then the next player adds 2 more handholds, or the first player returns to the start to try the new sequence and adds 2 more at the end. The feet are open to step on any hold they would like. You can play this classic with 2-4 players of similar ability. The game keeps going until someone makes a mistake, making them out. Add-on is great for training endurance. It is also great for making you aware of where you may excel and others struggle or vice versa. This can make you more aware of what you can work on to become an even better climber.

Variation: Try to add-on 5-8 moves at a time per player. Attempting to do more moves all at once will help climbers work on their on-sighting skills.

The Challenge – Edward Hover-Hands

How to play Edward Hover-Hands: Step One: Start by choosing a route which is easier for you. Right before you touch the next handhold force yourself to “hover” your hand over it and count out loud to five! If you are able to do this without struggling, pulling really hard, or becoming out of balance, move to a more difficult problem. Focus on finding the easiest and most efficient position for your body. Hover Hands helps you slow down and further understand your enemy, gravity. Practice once a week for 20-30 minutes towards the end of each climbing workout. Come back later to crush the enemy.

The Basic – Straight Arm Climbing

This drill may not be the most fun you have ever had, but it is a necessary exercise to add to any climbers arsenal, experienced or not. It is exactly what it sounds like.  Straighten your arms and lock those elbows as you climb a slightly easier route. Climbing with straight arms forces all of your upward movement to be derived from your lower body. Even as strong as some upper bodies may be, even the strongest person in the world can’t do pull-ups all day. Because we cannot engage our arm muscles, the pull becomes a push and we are forced to rotate from the hips for reach, causing more efficient technique.


Crushing Tip #26

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

crushing tip 26

Footwork: Edging and Smearing

by: Matt Coleman

Crushing begins with footwork and it’s important to consider how you use all that wonderful rubber on your climbing shoes.

There are two fundamental techniques: edging and smearing.

Most climbers really only edge in some form or another and this is useful on footholds that have some sort of positive edge for the shoe to grip. When edging, it’s important to think about really flexing your toes and pressing them into the hold while making sure your heel stays level with, or higher than your ankle. This will allow you to fully use the shoes performance.

Smearing on the other hand is a different and often neglected technique. When footholds get tinier and more rounded, it’s generally more useful to focus on keeping your heel down below your ankle and get as much rubber on the hold as you can. Flex your toes into the hold and step onto the foothold with confidence and a little force. Be aware that if you lose focus and let the heel lift, or you don’t commit to stepping into the hold, you will usually skate off the foothold. But soon, with a little practice, you’ll find that even the smallest features of the wall will be usable!

Once you master these two basic foot techniques, progress into playing with edging using the inside and outside edges of the shoe. Many times climbers use only the tip of the shoe and this limits your ability to twist your hips in to the wall at times.

Try it and crush on!

Gear Review

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Gear Review

Evolution Aero Bicolor Dry 60M

by Andrew Powell

This is a great new rope by Sterling! In four days I pulled it up 42 pitches of sandstone in the Red Rocks Conservation Area, Nevada. It is super lightweight and supple at 9.2mm and 56g/m. It was light enough that on rope stretching pitches, I did not feel like it was dragging me down.

I used it in combination with a heavier 9.8mm rope to simultaneously belay multiple followers. This new Sterling rope handled much nicer and was easier to pull through a belay device than the thicker rope.

During single pitch climbing, it was also noticeably easier to belay with. The sheath is smooth and durable, showing limited signs of wear after fairly heavy use on the highly textured sandstone.

While taking lead falls, this rope was comparable to most other dynamic ropes that I have used.

If you have not switched to a Bi-color rope yet, do it! The convenience of finding the middle point is well worth the extra cost. The only downside to this rope is shared by any small diameter line, they seem to get stuck in cracks more frequently than bulkier ropes.

In summation, this rope is great and Sterling consistently puts out great rope products.

Evolution Aero Bicolor Dry 60M