Author Archives: estickland

Free Women’s Climbing and Clinics in Riverside

On Saturday, May 18 Threshold Climbing and Fitness in Riverside is holding a special climbing event for women.  During the “Ladies on Lead” event, admission for climbing and attending clinics is free for women!

TH_LadiesLead_web_FINAL1In addition to the climbing and clinics, there will also be a slideshow presentation by climber Natalie Duran and a raffle.

For details, click here for Threshold’s website.

Climbing Shoe Demo at Joshua Tree- Saturday March 23rd

Been thinking about a new pair of climbing shoes, but not sure exactly what’s going to work best for you?  You’re in luck!  On Saturday, March 23rd, we’ll be hosting our annual Climbing Shoe Demo at our Joshua Tree store.  Shoes from Evolv, Five Ten, La Sportiva, Red Chili, and Scarpa will be available for you to check out and try for the day.  Check out is between 8-11am, and shoes need to be returned by 6pm that evening.


The demo is free, we just ask that you leave a deposit that we’ll return after you bring back the shoes.  If you have any questions, please call our Joshua Tree store at (760) 366-4684

Labor Day Weekend Sale and Gear Swap in Idyllwild

On Labor Day Weekend (Sept 1-3), our Idyllwild store will  be running some special deals on clothing, outerwear, packs, climbing gear, footwear and much more!

In addition, on September 1st, we’ll be hosting a Gear Swap.  Bring in any outdoor gear you wish to trade or sell with other climbers, backpackers, hikers, cyclists, photographers, campers, snowshoers, and skiers.  We’ll be reserving space in our parking lot to give you room to spread out your stuff.  Space is limited, so please email to reserve your spot.  If you have any questions, feel free to email or call (951) 659-4853 between 9am-5pm.  You’ll probably want to bring your own table, tarp, and chairs for your set up.  We recommend you brings coins and smaller bills so you can more easily make change.  Gear Swap will be set up in the back lot behind Nomad Ventures in Idyllwild.  Set up for the Gear Swap begins at 7am on Saturday and the event will end by 7pm.

When: Saturday, September 1-3 (Saturday-Monday)
Where: Nomad Ventures, Idyllwild
54415 North Circle Drive
Idyllwild, CA 92549

Swap meet trades and purchases are not affiliated with Nomad Ventures and are between the seller and buyer.  Nomad Ventures makes neither claims nor guarantees of the quality or condition of items that are not purchased from us, and accepts no liability for them.

Video: Wild Country Crack School- Episode 5

In the final episode of Wild Country’s Crack School video series, Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker cover gear and gear placement for crack climbing.

Sasha DiGiulian on her Future in Climbing

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Sasha DiGiulian was recently profiled in The Washington Post; it’s an excellent article, and features DiGiulian discussing how she got started in climbing and her plans for the future.

Raw footage of Sasha DiGiulian on Era Vella (5.14d/9a), in Margalef, Spain.
The completed film will be featured in Reel Rock 7 this fall.

‘Starting next month, that focus will be more important than ever as she begins college. She hopes to study sports business, and she’d like to be more involved in student life than she was in high school — to be as “normal” a college student as possible. She’ll also be the only freshman who returns from a World Cup event in Munich for orientation, flies to Paris for a week of climbing, comes back to school for a week before flying to a Seattle event, returns for a week at Columbia and then flies to Atlanta for another World Cup competition.

“It’s this mental battle, because I keep convincing myself that everything will work out fine,” DiGiulian says, “that I’ll be training religiously and be at all the competitions, but at the same time, I know Columbia will be quite rigorous. Sometimes I’m completely fine, but then I’ll go through spurts — like the other night, it hit me, and I got really nervous. I don’t know how I’m going to do it.

“Most of my competitors, in the World Cup circuit especially, are just climbing,” DiGiulian adds. “But I decided to go back to school. Because I know that, in the long term, I can’t be a climber forever.”’

Choosing the Right Tool for the Job – Carabiners

The Black Diamond Journal recently posted an excellent article that discusses some of the characteristics of various types of carabiners.  It’s an excellent overview of carabiners in general, but also contains some details of interest to seasoned climbers.  I’ll post an excerpt here- for the rest, check out the original post on Black Diamond’s blog.

QC LAB: Choosing the Right Tool for the Job – Carabiners

By Kolin Powick

With dozens of companies making untold numbers of carabiners these days, it can be a real chore to navigate through countless different models to choose the one that’s right for your type of climbing. Wiregate vs. standard gate.  AutoLock vs. screwgate. Ultralight vs. heavy. What biners should I use on my slimmed-down alpine rack as opposed to my daily sport cragging kit? As with most pieces of climbing gear, there is a certain amount of inherent versatility, but often certain products are better suited, and more often than not designed specifically for certain applications. As with almost anything, it’s always prudent to select the right tool for the job. This month we’ll attempt to distill the basics of carabiner usage to help you figure out what’s the right choice for your type of climbing.

Differences between Industrial and Recreational Carabiners

We’ll start off with a quick word on basic carabiner use because we get this question all the time.

I get lots of random calls from arborists, fire departments, rescue workers, marinas, yachting folks, Jeep guys and warehouse personnel wanting to know if it’s okay to use our carabiners for their particular application. The official answer is always no, not recommended. Just as all of our instructions say, our gear is “For Climbing and Mountaineering Only.” But why?

The simple answer is that we are climbers and mountaineers, we know climbing and mountaineering, and we design, test and certify our gear for climbing and mountaineering. We’re not as intimate with the loads, the uses, misuses and abuses of these other applications.

What many people may not realize is the different ways that recreational gear is designed, tested and rated compared to industrial equipment. Industrial carabiners are usually made of steel, are much heavier, are much stronger, and rated differently than aluminum climbing carabiners.

An industrial carabiner is usually rated to a SWL (safe working load, or safe working limit)- of let’s say 30kN. This means that you can load the carabiner safely to 30kN. And in industrial applications there is almost always some kind of safety factor say of 2 or greater, which means that the carabiner won’t actually break until around 60kN. However, climbing gear is rated to the load at which it will actually break. So a 20kN carabiner actually breaks at that load. There’s a big difference.

Bottom line: Climbing gear shouldn’t be used in industrial applications—it just isn’t designed and rated for those types of loads and situations.

This is only a small excerpt of the complete article- to see the rest, visit Black Diamond’s Journal here.


Honnold and Florine Set New Speed Record on The Nose

Alex Honnold and Hans Florine exult after their record-breaking ascent of The Nose. Photo by

On Sunday, June 17, Alex Honnold and Hans Florine set a new speed record for climbing The Nose on El Capitan.  Their official time of 2:23:46 beats the previous mark set by Dean Potter and Sean Leary by almost 13 minutes.

In the interest of speed and simplicity, Florine and Honnold pared their gear load down to this minimal rack.

For more details on their achievement, check out these links:

Many photos from

Hyper-detailed trip report by Hans Florine’s Interview with Florine

Beautiful Photos of Climbing on the Island of Corsica

Jasmin Caton spends her winters working as a backcountry ski guide and her summers as a rock climbing guide. As a Black Diamond sponsored athlete, she crams in an absurd amount of climbing, both in her home country of Canada and throughout the world. Below is an except of a report Jasmin wrote about her recent trip to the island of Corsica.

Corsica is a mountainous French island in the Mediterranean, and according the Lonely Planet Guide, “it’s hard to find a better combination of nature, culture and pleasure”. With a description like that, it’s pretty hard not to want to make a trip there! But as I was planning my annual spring Euro climbing vacation, I found it hard to get a sense of the quality and quantity of the climbing in Corsica, and after visiting many of the ultra-classic French climbing zones like Ceuse, the Gorges du Verdon, Presles and the Gorges du Tarn, all of which I could easily revisit, I wondered if Corsica was going to stand up to my high standards of French stone.

I travel a lot and when I arrive in a new place that really inspires me I feel energized by the new smells and tastes and seeing new landscapes and combinations of colours. I run around taking a million photos of weeds and trees and bugs. Through my “fresh” eyes all of these commonplace things are National-Geographic-worthy spectacles, although a few weeks later when I am home and wading through all of my mediocre-at-best shots, I wonder what the hell I was thinking. A few years ago near the Verdon Gorge in France I went for a long solo hike on a rest day and witnessed a parade of nose-to-ass caterpillars that was so long I couldn’t even see the end of it. I took 50 photos and several movies, which is pretty funny considering that I took almost no photos while climbing up the steep and exposed walls of the beautiful Gorges du Verdon. “Ho hum, just another multi pitch rock climb, yawn. But these bugs are so cool!”

Showing up in Corsica brought on a flurry of that feeling of excitement, wonder and super-energy. The landscape was beautiful, rugged and very different from what we had just experienced the previous week on the neighbouring island of Sardinia. It sounds silly to say that a certain rock type has special meaning to me, but there’s something about granite that I completely love. Perhaps it is the fact many of my formative dirt-bag adventures were played out on the granite walls of Squamish and Yosemite.

After driving off the ferry in the town of Bonifacio on the southern tip of Corsica, we bought a map and made our way towards one of the main climbing areas: the Col de Bavedda.

This is just an excerpt of Jasmin’s complete post- to see the rest of the trip report, as well as more of her photos from Corsica, visit Black Diamond’s Climbing Journal.

Ranger dies on Mt. Rainier during rescue effort

Photo of Ranger Nick Hall, c/o National Park Service

On Thursday afternoon, climbing ranger Nick Hall fell over 3,000 feet on the northeast side of Mt. Rainier while attempting to prepare four injured climbers for helicopter evacuation.  The climbers had summited, and were roped together for descent when they slipped on the Emmons Glacier.  They called for help via cell phone with two members of the party dangling in a crevasse.  Three of the climbers were successfully evaced, while the final climber spent the night on the mountain with two rangers.  None of the climbers’ injuries were life-threatening.

Rangers, Search & Rescue team members, and other emergency responders receive neither the credit nor the respect they deserve for putting themselves in harm’s way for the sake of others.  Condolences to the family and friends of Nick Hall.

For additional details on this story, see this article from the Seattle Times.


Video: Wild Country Crack School- Episode 4

This episode of Wild Country Crack Schools addresses the skills needed to succeed at climbing offwidths.