Andrew Councell reviews five gloves from Black Diamond that bridge the gap between skiing and mountaineering. “The average ski glove emphasizes warmth and is subsequently bulky, but Black Diamond has been producing ski gloves that can actually climb as well,” he writes.
Angie Payne, a multi-time national bouldering champion and the first woman to climb V13, recently took a break from bouldering to go on an adventure with expedition climber Mike Libecki. Together they climbed her first big wall, the 3,264-foot rock spire called Poumaka on an island in French Polynesia.
This season, DMM enters the fray with the Switch. With dual offset grips and a radically curved shaft, in essence it references the Nomic. But, put the two tools side by side and you’ll quickly notice the first difference: Though both are marketed as 50cm tools, the DMM is clearly almost 2cm longer. Obviously, a longer tool offers a longer reach, which sounds nice on paper, but I wondered both, “Why these dimensions?” and, “Does the added reach compromise the swing?” Taking the tools out for a first spin on Grand Illusion in Smugglers’ Notch, I quickly reached the twin conclusions, respectively, of “I don’t know” and “Maybe.”
Last week we posted a piece about Mike Libecki and Angie Payne’s ascent of 3,264-foot Poumaka on the island of Ua Pou in the South Pacific. Here, we interview Libecki to find out more about the expedition and his personal background.
On April 16, several days after his partner Thomas Bubendorfer experienced foot problems and the pair aborted an attempt on Cerro Torre, Austrian alpinist Markus Pucher made the first ascent, solo, of the remote West Face of Cerro Marconi Sur. The 8,150-foot (2484-meter) peak is the high point of a jagged ridge in the Cordon Marconi range northwest of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre on the eastern edge of the Patagonia Icecap.
The versatility of the Maverick played a key role while hiking (a.k.a. sweating) uphill and making my way along a knife edge in Summit County, where winds picked up to near 35 mph, leaving little option other than getting low and waiting it out.
It was 1999, and this was our first climbing trip to Patagonia. His dark, unkempt hair hid his eyes, and his jaw betrayed no emotion. But as the plane’s wheels screeched along the tarmac, he looked over at me with concern and asked, “How do you say ‘bathroom’ in Spanish?”