Monday, April 11, 2011

What's The BIG Deal?

The recent fad of new and improved ultralight everything is essentially a marketing technique used by companies to sell all of their schwag. It's sold to their customers, where only a small percentage of those people actually need that new carabiner that is only a few grams lighter.

I've never paid attention to how heavy any of my gear was until recently where I feel that my performance could be improved... or maybe I am as guilty as the next by falling into the hip trend.

All of the upcoming goals that I hope to achieve seem to be speed oriented, and it make sense to put in the effort to climb as light as possible. It wasn't until I punched a few numbers that I realized that I might actually be able to climb faster with lighter gear.
When we are talking about 60+ pitches in a day, I can't ignore the stats. (Double El Cap linkup say whattttt???)

Let's talk about my rack for climbing The Nose on El Capitan.
Approximately 30 cams, 15 quick draws (two carabiners each), and 8 free carabiners.
That's a total of 68 carabiners on ONE person. (Not including lockers, belay biner, etc...)

If we were were rocking it old school with oval biners each weighing in at 65 grams.
Total: 9.74 pounds

Let's say a more realistic lighter(ish) rack of carabiners for the average climber half wire gates weighing in roughly 35 grams each and normal straight gate carabiners around 48 grams each.
Total: 6.22 pounds

Or let's be hip with the new Black Diamond OZ carabiners weighing in at 28 grams each.
Total: 3.95 pounds

Nearly two and a half pounds only from carabiners alone is enough reason for me to think twice about the whole weight idea. I'm updating some of my gear, and will be sporting the OZ biners along with a lightweight harness, grigri 2, and smaller diameter rope. Due to certain circumstances, I have the opportunity to purchase gear at a discounted price, so it makes sense for me make the cross over. I would otherwise just suck it up, lost time due to gear weight is a bad excuse.

Sorry everyone, gravity will never change, and your chubby bodies will still be fat. You will still have to lug your ass to the top even if you could fit your sausage fingers into the new ridiculously small Camp Nano or Metolius FS Mini carabiners.
You heard me, stop reading my blog and go for a jog! (At least that would be cheaper than buying new gear..)


  1. Just because metolius are selling more light carabiners than in 2008 doesn't mean it's "new."

    The Russians have been selling titanium ice screws since the 1980's to save weight. Doesn't mean they're prudent...

  2. Any day now, Colgate (toothpaste) is going to come out with super light dental floss that can be used for a climbing rope when your not getting your teeth sparkling clean. I love going light, and love your advise. Best way to shed pounds for your next trip??? STOP going through the drive through.