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Director’s Picks: HERA Climb4Life Attache

These bright blue HERA Climb4Life locking carabiners by Petzl play a key role in the gear fleet at Vail, Colorado’s Apex Mountain School. Great for use climbing both rock and ice, the simple, compact design makes it a useful tool, especially due to the keylock design, which creates a strong, snag-free design at the closure. […]

Director’s Picks: Scott’s favorite boot

When Scott, the director of the mountain guide service where I’m employed, returned from his AMGA Ice Instructor course in Canmore, Alberta, one of the first things he spoke about as highlights from his three weeks away was his pair of Arc’teryx Acrux AR mountaineering boots. He said the mountains in the ranges north of […]

Ropes that do knot disappoint

Ropes: 60m, 70m Edelweiss Supereverdry Curve Unicore 9.8mm Rope When these ropes first arrived in their cardboard mailing box, our guides ripped the tape open, removed the two 60m and one 70m bright fuscia ropes from their plastic bags, and didn’t let them out of their sight for days. The ropes have been out in […]

Director’s Picks – 2015 Metolius Offset Master Cams

Metolius: Offset Master Cams Metolius Offset Master Cams are a great product at a great price. I started using them in Unaweep, South Platte, Vedauwoo, and Joshua Tree National Park, locations notorious for offset and expanding cracks.  Metolius Offset Master Cams are fantastic for areas such as those, due to the cracks that are, at […]

Director’s Picks – 2014 Approach Shoes

I’m happy to say that after years of inquiries from our clients, Apex’s Director (well, that is, me) has started an equipment blog to provide reviews on what products we like best in the field. My focus isn’t on what doesn’t work well – it’s on finding the top performers in each gear category and […]

Black Diamond Acid Test

Is my climbing harness safe? The story starts with a mysterious incident. A Black Diamond Customer was climbing at his local rock gym when suddenly POP, his harness ripped off at his waist while top-roping one afternoon. The climber immediately contacted Black Diamond Headquarters and their Quality Assurance team researched the harness failure. “Through extensive […]

Backcountry Skiing Colorado’s 10th Mountain Division Huts

Backcountry Skiing Colorado’s 10th Mountain Division Huts In the mid 20th century, Fritz Benedict dreamed of creating a Colorado hut system modeled after the European Alps’ Haute route.  The WWII 10thMountain Division soldier teamed up with an Aspen architect, and created what is today considered one of the premier backcountry hut systems in the world.  […]

Best Climbing Spots in Thailand

Thailand’s international tourism industry is booming. In the past couple of years Thailand has seen a sharp increase in American tourists and welcomes all who visit. To add to the appeal, the beautiful islands of Koh Phi Phi, Railay, and Koh Yao Noi are home to some excellent rock climbing in a beautiful tropical setting. […]

Climbing Etiquette

Some days you just want to climb at a local crag that’s close and convenient. While this is usually the easiest and most accessible option, these spots can become overcrowded and tense. With long lines for moderate routes and confusion over who’s climbing where, a good day can quickly turn unpleasant. To ease the tension, […]

The ice is in!

As the Vail Valley ski areas await more snow, ice climbers are enjoying unseasonably thick ice falls right here in East Vail! Ice climbing is a great way to get out and enjoy the spectacular mountains of Colorado on ice formations ranging from low angle beginner to steeper advanced routes. If it’s mixed climbing that […]