WildSnow Girl’s Rock Climbing Gear

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | September 19, 2013      
Having fun on rock.

Having fun on rock.

Katana, a long curved Samuri sword, is also the name of my La Sportiva climbing shoes. A weekend warrior when it comes to rock climbing, I can’t slay 5.12 but these solid all around performers have allowed me to cut the mustard when friends invite me along.

My previous climbing shoes were way too small and stiff for a beginning climber. They may have edged well but my feet were so uncomfortable that the pitches never ended soon enough. I fit the Katanas small for decent purchase, but they are comfy enough so my feet aren’t screaming ojisan before I top out.

Katana waiting their turn in Rifle, Colorado.

Katana waiting their turn in Rifle, Colorado.

I own a super minimalist Camp harness for glacier travel but needed something beefier for the occasional whippers I knew I’d be taking on rock. I upgraded to Black Diamond’s women specific Siren harness. Super comfy and secure, which I tested thoroughly on a few swings off missed holds. Fairly light at 11 ounces, the leg loops are adequately padded with clever trakFIT adjustments. It took me a few tries to get the hang of how the toggle adjustment works, but the advantage of the system is there’s no danger of misthreading the webbing. Truly, in light of the minimal comfort of minimal harnesses, I’d use this for glacier travel or other backcountry skiing applications where it might actually get regular use, such as during glacier rescue practice.

Black Diamond women specific harness, the Siren.

Black Diamond women specific harness, the Siren.

Belay specs for bling. Not essential, but eliminating neck strain while belaying sure is a luxury. Belay Specs, made in Utah, are more inexpensive than European models, and they work just as well. They’re well made and fit nicely, either with sunglasses or without. I’ve read that a cheaper version can be made by inverting “bed readers.” I’ll let the young industrial designer fool with that.

Belay specs on left, neck pain on right.

Belay specs on left, neck pain on right.

Pack up belay gloves, waterbottle and chalk bag and I’m ready to go. Climbing or glacier skiing anyone?

Shop for La Sportive women’s climbing shoes here.
Shop for Black Diamond women’s climbing harness here.


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5 Responses to “WildSnow Girl’s Rock Climbing Gear”

  1. Jack September 19th, 2013 2:14 pm

    The top photo is amazing…I want to ski more, do some rock climbing (i’m a complete (nearly) rock climbing novice)

  2. Jane September 19th, 2013 3:47 pm

    I’ve worn the Katanas for years and love them. I’ll look at the Siren for double duty, rock & ice, thanks for the recommendation.

  3. Ben September 19th, 2013 4:15 pm

    When there’s no snow Rifle is the place!

  4. zippy the pinhead September 19th, 2013 11:06 pm

    When there’s no snow in the northern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere is the place to be.

    There’s always snow somewhere.

    Happy Trails….


  5. craig September 30th, 2013 12:25 pm

    started using belay glasses this year, and all I can say is what was I waiting for! So amazing, makes me a better, more attentive belayer for sure.

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