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Emma Warren goes on a climbing road trip to Scotland, hoping to discover some of the finest adventure trad routes on the 'Three Old Men' Sea Stacks. When people ask what makes the UK a special rock climbing destination, the reply is usually 'adventurous trad routes.' And what's better - and stranger - than climbing sea stacks?! These towers make for exciting and often involved routes, with rough rock, poor weather and a risk of vomiting sea birds... it's the perfect test for Mountain Equipment's  Women's Rock Climbing Collection...

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Rhino's line of products focuses on the largest organ in the body, the skin. They understand what it takes to succeed. Whether it is that extra bit of nutrition, that little extra rest, or a push from a friend or competitor, Rhino will be there to keep you healthy and ready to perform. 

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GUEST ARTICLE - Rock climbing chalk is one of the least expensive and most overlooked pieces of equipment in our climbing gear setup. However, its environmental impact can be one of the biggest of all our gear. With Earth Day just around the corner, Matt from Pika.life looks at a few of the impacts that climbing chalk has on our environment, and what we can do about them. 

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In the second article of our 'What's On My Rack' series, Robbie Phillips talks about two very useful pieces of gear which he regularly uses. From fingerboard sessions at home to freeing 30+ pitch routes in Yosemite, Robbie's taken his trusty harness and Slider carabiners on plenty of adventures. Robbie also describes a wacky piece of home-made kit with an interesting story...

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Angus Kille gives us a look at his personal (and essential) climbing gear, which he takes on every trad route. Describing himself as 'a climber that teaches climbing,' Angus has over 12 years of experience on many of the UK's hardest routes, and as a qualified instructor. Angus has had plenty of time to refine the gear he always takes, and to use it to get out of some awkward situations.

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The new Kryos Jacket has been driven by requests from Mountain Equipment's athlete team, such as cutting-edge mountaineers like Tom Livingstone & Uisdean Hawthorn, who need a light and warm jacket for alpine climbing in the Greater Ranges and in cold conditions... the Kryos provides the optimum combination of warmth, protection and minimal weight.

Informed by feedback from some of the world’s best alpinists and extensive R&D work, this is the jacket for the hardest and most committing lines in the high mountains. A GORE-TEX INFINIUM drop outer provides proven additional warmth and weather resistance, whilst the Super Alpine Hood gives unrivalled protection. Featuring Firestorm construction, high volume hood, and pleated & box baffles, it's one of the highest-performing jackets Mountain Equipment have ever made. Read on to discover how Tom used the Kryos on his expedition to Koyo Zom...

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Last year we interviewed Malcolm Bass about his alpine climbing and work as a Clinical Psychologist. It became one of our most popular articles, with Malcolm discussing his motivations, the highs and lows of both climbing and work, and his unique perspective on the minds of climbers. Malcolm has kindly given us his article, 'The Mind Has Mountains' which takes a deeper dive into this world. This article first appeared in the Alpine Journal in 2018.

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Thinking of going to the mountains this summer? This article from Tom Livingstone is packed with knowledge and ideas for your first summer alpine climbing trip. Being in the mountains is great fun - just look at those views! - and very rewarding. There's extra skills and knowledge involved, but all of these hurdles are achievable to everyone. This article uses European alpine destinations and examples, but it can easily be transferred to the rest of the world.

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We recently reviewed the fourth edition of Hard Rock edited by Ian Parnell and were delighted to find the feel of the guide had been maintained with the same high quality imagery, in this article Ian takes a look at the process of shooting and choosing photographs for the new edition.

"First published in 1974, Hard Rock established itself as one of British climbing’s most loved and essential books. Its continuing popularity has been reflected by the regular demand for new editions, over the past four decades. Part guidebook, part literary compendium, Hard Rock was also one of the very first glossy coffee table expositions of the climbing art. Packed with dramatic full-page images the book was highly innovative for the time. When Vertebrate Publishing invited me to pull together a new fourth edition I knew its success would depend on matching the visual impact of the original, but also to do so in the much more visually competitive world that we have today."

Ian Parnell

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The range of belay devices has grown exponentially in the last few years, which means there’s plenty to choose from. Many devices have become quite use-specific, but they all follow the basic principle: the device will help you to control the flow of the rope, and therefore, help you to stop a falling climber.

A modern belay device (or ‘belay plate’) can be simple: the width of a credit card, with no moving parts and light weight. They can also be more high-tech: the size of a fist, with multiple parts, buttons and dials. 

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Ben Silvestre has written a deeply thoughtful and inspiring piece, describing his year of alpine and trad climbing, complemented with some classic bouldering. The momentum gained from climbing regularly, and slowly pushing yourself further, is a special feeling, and it's a treat Ben has shared his story with us. He also talks about his new route, The Dispossessed, which is quickly becoming a new and tricky classic in the Ogwen Valley. Enjoy Ben's discussion on why we climb, the risks we take, and our exploration of the mind.

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This guest article comes from Clipping Chains, a website predominately for US climbers. Chalkbloc were asked if we wanted to explore the topic of financial security in climbing, and we thought this perspective might be of interest to some. Read on to find out more.

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Holdbreaker is a climbing company run by women, designing gender-specific products for all forms of ascent. In this article, they discuss the issue of climber's physique, how climbing shapes our bodies, and specifically, what that means when you're looking at the Holdbreaker X (their new climbing bra). Holdbreaker are also building a community, where beginners and experienced climbers can get together to teach and learn, to encourage one another and feel inspired. 

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Ben Silvestre writes about his recent trip to Patagonia with Pete Graham, in January/February 2019. The pair enjoyed the typically Patagonian experience - a successful route on Cerro Fitzroy, a fickle weather window on Cerro Torre, and an opportunity to have some 'Type 1 fun' (climbing which is pure joy, whereas Type 2 is only fun afterwards. Type 3 is never fun!)

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Word had been filtering down of huge cliffs of perfect limestone towering over the sea. 14 km of unbroken costal climbing. There were caves on a massive scale, and potential for literally hundreds of routes of all grades. And in a beautiful island setting off the west coast of Ireland. It sounded too good to be true. How come everyone wasn’t going?

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Tom Livingstone writes about the perils of a trad climbing road trip around the UK. With changeable weather, the cafe is never far away...

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James Monypenny recounts a wild expedition to the Ladakh region of India with the late Cory Hall. The pair quested into an unknown region, with no base camp team, and set about climbing the best things they could see...

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The process of passing the Mountaineering Instructor Award takes time, commitment and sacrificing other goals, in this article Alexander Kay gives us an insight on his journey to a successful pass... 
"My reward was passing well. More importantly, I positively reinforced the fact that success is no accident and I will put this mindset into everything else that I do."

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From an indepth study of foot morphology and the way in which the foot is used during the various phases of rock climbing, on holds of different shapes and sizes, La Sportiva has devised the revolutionary "No-Edge" technology: a construction method that allows for the elimination of "edges" on the sole of the shoe giving a more fluid, precise and harmonious climb. The No-edge concept stems from three core concepts: sensitivity, uniform pressure and adaptability.

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We lay around listening to the wind swirl the fresh snow around, unsure if our plan was foolishly optimistic or a lucky guess of conditions. The door was open and from our beds we could look down to the lights and pizzerias of Courmayeur. We lay around chatting about life and anything else we could think of to pass the time. We talked about waiting for another day in the hut because of all the fresh snow but in the end Kim said
“I can’t face sitting festering here for another day, let’s go see what happens”.

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