Blicard Blog

I want to give you a free pair of Ocun Crack Gloves

January 11, 2017

I want to give you a free pair of Ocun Crack Gloves

 

Blicard Free Stuff

 

I want to give you a free pair of Ocun Crack Gloves.


Yes, really.


Well there’s a catch… Isn’t there always? But it’s a fun one!


I need your help.


Let me explain…


I’ve been running blicard.com with an army of one ← that means me :-)


I started with $300 bucks and some crazy ideas… it’s been fun + a lot of hard work.


Recently I’ve realized that I need some help, and where better to look for help than my awesome customers right? ← that’s you ;-)


I currently wear tons of different hats running this site.


Customer Service Expert

Purchase Manager

Web Developer

Book Keeper

Copy Writer

Janitor

Blicard - Hard Work

… you get the idea.


One thing I’ve struggled with is being the photographer. When I do find time to go out climbing I usually just want to focus on sending rather than turning the day into a product photo shoot.


….Or maybe it’s just because I’m a lousy photographer…


But that’s where you come in!


If you send me some creative images of you using our products from https://blicard.com and we use your images for social media posts or advertising, I’ll send you a free pair of Ocun Crack Gloves in the size of your choice. Plus, just for entering a submission I’ll send you a $5 off coupon at https://blicard.com.


Sound easy? It is.


What you’ll get:


  • Guaranteed $5 off coupon at https://blicard.com.
  • A chance to receive a free pair of Ocun Crack Gloves or Belay Shades.

  • Multiple entries can win, so please tell your friends who might be interested.


    We’re looking for new fun images of customers using our products, so be creative! The more creative the better your chances of winning.


    Thank you for taking the time here today. I appreciate your support and look forward to seeing what you create.


    How to send your submissions:

     

    Be Awesome!


    Dan

    Blicard.com

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    January 11, 2017

    Adventures in Route Setting at Deep Cove

    Route Setting at Deep Cove North Vancouver

    *note access to the climbing area at Deep Cove is currently prohibited by the land owners. Please view more info from the CASBC here.

    In 2014 Dan started working on a project to clean his first route. Deep Cove in North Vancouver is a relatively new rock climbing area, and there had been a lot of development over the past couple years. It’s a great option when you don’t feel like driving to Squamish, and the quality of the granite routes makes it worth visiting in its own right.

    Most of the routes in Deep Cove tend to be slabby, with a few cool exceptions like the 11b “Fore!”. The granite is pure and not at all polished, with big crystals that make for super fun smearing.

    Route Setting at Deep Cove North Vancouver

    11b “Fore!”

    After a couple rock climbing trips to Deep Cove, Dan found an un-cleaned dihedral that showed a lot of promise and had nice big holds. Before you could say “dirtbag climber,” he was up to his knees in dirt, pulling moss and loam off the positive jugs and crimpers.

    It took a lot longer than either of us expected to clean the route, though Dan did choose a pretty mossy and dirty wall to clean. Also, the routes at Deep Cove are in a shaded forest, so the even the cleaned walls can be damp and slightly mossy into the early part of summer. In hindsight we realized how much easier it might have been to clean a slab wall. Instead we headed to Deep Cove at least once a week for a month to peel, scrape, poke, prod and scrub until the route was finally clean.

    Hanging off the wall on a secured rappel, Dan had a very different “rack” of tools on his harness for cleaning! It included a small shovel, pruning shears, a wire brush, a screwdriver, a flat scraper tool, and a barbecue grill brush.

    Route Setting at Deep Cove North Vancouver

    A unique rack of gear!

    Dan finished cleaning the route while I was off getting some food at a cafe, and he just couldn’t help doing the first ascent… solo...in his approach shoes. Thankfully the route is only 5.8 and he survived just fine! He just stayed on rappel and tied off the rope once or twice as he ascended. (Kids please don’t try that at home!).

    The route has a crack running along the right side, and here he is climbing the route on trad gear:

     

    Route Setting at Deep Cove North Vancouver

    Climbing the route on trad gear for the first time

    To make the route more accessible we decided to bolt it. The few trad routes in Deep Cove tend to be overgrown and dirty because no one uses them. This way more people can enjoy the route and keep it clean, for both sport and trad climbers!

    Bolting was another adventure that took longer than expected. On the first bolting attempt, we rented a power drill and Dan started drilling. Two battery packs later, he only had one bolt done! It took hours to get one and a half bolts done. That’s not what it looked like in the Chris Sharma bolting videos, what was the deal? Fortunately Rich, a prolific route developer in the area, gave Dan some tips. Turns out a high end drill and the right drill bit make a world of difference.

    Route Setting at Deep Cove North Vancouver

    Dan bolting

    A few phone calls later and Dan was able to commandeer a high-powered Hilti from a friend. The next bolting trip went much faster, and finally the route was done. Then came the most important part: naming the route!

    We actually decided on the name a long time ago. We’re both a part of the Vancouver Rock Climbing Group, otherwise known as VRCG. A portion of proceeds from all Blicard sales goes to Climb and Conquer, a charity founded by the VRCG president Joseph Wong. VRCG does amazing work helping both new and seasoned climbers find friends and fun places to climb in the Vancouver area. We always said that if we cleaned an easy route we’d name it “VRCG n0̸0̸b” and bolt it safely, to make it accessible for newbie climbers.

    We christened the new “VRCG n0̸0̸b” by holding a VRCG rock climbing event in Deep Cove:

    Route Setting at Deep Cove in North Vancouver

    The route tops out onto a nice big ledge with the anchor on a separate wall making this an ideal place to teach and practice beginner multi-pitch skills.

     

    Route Setting at Deep Cove North Vancouver

    So that’s how a juggy, fun 5.8 route was born. Here’s hoping that many rock climbers new and old will enjoy it for years to come. While this is just one route in Deep Cove, the real honour should go to the many others who put countless hours into the routes in the area, making it an amazing local climbing hub! 

    (Update! Climbing at Deep Cove is currently prohibited.) Click here for more info.

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    How to get psyched and climb with hammocks.

    July 28, 2015

    How to get psyched and climb with hammocks.

    Do you ever have trouble getting psyched to climb, or feel down and sad about your day at the crag like this guy?

    I can’t stick the second crux! I don’t even wanna climb.

     

    Poor guy huh?

    Well weather it’s a 5.8 jug haul or your 5.13 dream route you want to be psyched and focused.

     

    Like this...

    This climber is focused. She looks super psyched to climb!

     

    Maybe you’re tired from the Summer heat?

    Sometimes you just need to relax a little before you can get the energy up for that big send attempt.

    Try taking a nap! I’ve recently started bringing my hammock to the crag to rest between burns. 15 minutes in the hammock and it feels like you just left a 5 star spa to me. Do it you won’t regret it :-)


    Bonus: bring your favorite drink + a musical instrument. In my case strong coffee and drum.

    I may not be a pro climber but I’m pretty pro at relaxin'

     

    I recently ran into this girl at a local crag in Squamish that took this hammock climbing thing to the next level!

    Taking belaying + hammocking to a whole nother level! #genius #belaying #climbing #squamish

    A photo posted by BLICARD.COM (@blicard_climbing) on

     

    Here's a few more ideas how to loosen up and get psyched for climbing:

    • Do a dance loosen up. Yes dance!
    • Give your climbing friends nicknames such as Muscle Beach (can’t use that it’s mine)
    • Yell out the name of your favorite climber at the crux to give you that extra sending boost; for example, tsaaat Will Stanhope!!!!! ← I do this and yes it sometimes works :-)

    If you don’t know who Will Stanhope is first what the what is wrong with you, and second watch this video: 

     

     

    Okay, hope that get's you ready to send.
    If none of that works you could always pray to Sharma Jesus?

    All hail Sharma Jesus and ye shall send

     

    Hey you never know ;-)

    If you think this image is cute feel free to send the love over to the good people at http://mtnblog.com/sharma-jesus/.

    You can get your own Sharma Jesus T-shirt here at http://blicard.com/collections/clothing/products/short-sleeve-mens-t-shirt. 

    Send me your best pictures of you relaxing or getting psyched at the crag, and I’ll share them on our instagram feed. Folow us at https://instagram.com/blicard_climbing/.

     Love to hear your thoughts on how you get psyched and keep climbing fun. Send us a note in the comments section.

     

    Happy Climbing and may Sharma Jesus smile upon all your climbing projects.

     

    Cheers,
    Dan
    Head Dirtbag
    BLICARD.com

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    January 08, 2015

    Climbing Workouts: Lockoffs, Campusing, Deadpoints, Throws

    BLICARD is excited to support skilled climber and trainer David Echeverri. Check out two of his many training videos below:

     

    David's systematic approach to training can help anyone improve their technique and strength to become better climbers. When he's not bouldering in Squamish you can find David crushing it at The Hive in Vancouver, B.C.

    Check out his site ClimbingWorkouts.com, and his YouTube channel for more climbing workouts.

     

    Read more →

    August 01, 2014

    How to use the Clip Stick Trekking Pole

    Here's a quick tutorial by Dan on how to use the Clip Stick Trekking Pole with the Epic Sport Stick Clip and the Superclip attachments:

     

    Read more →

    July 16, 2014

    Tiffany's Climbing Tips for Short People

    Rock climbing tips for short people

    When it comes to climbing we’re all “vertically challenged,” but some of us are...well, more vertically challenged than others. :)

    If you’re like me, some days it feels like life’s just not fair! We struggle on a reachy route with a hold that’s just out of reach, then see a tall person with long arms come along and grab that hold like it’s no big deal and we say “Oh, if only I was taller, then I could climb [insert grade level you’re aspiring to]…”

    Being tall and having a large ape index may be helpful in climbing, but you know what’s not helpful in climbing? Making excuses and feeling sorry for ourselves. Climbing is about overcoming challenges, so it’s a much better use of our time to work on things that we can improve. Being smaller doesn’t stop child prodigies like Ashima or Brooke Raboutou, or legends like Lynn Hill, so why should it stop us? It can even be an advantage, if we let it.

    So let’s work together to make the world of climbing easier for vertically challenged folks by sharing some tips for honing our strengths. Here are a few of my own for starters:

    1. Get amazing at finding and using intermediate holds.

    If you climb with taller people, their beta might not work for you. In the gym, try using footholds as handholds. Outdoors, get really good at finding those hidden finger pockets or crimps that aren’t covered in chalk; they might be just what you need to bump up to the next hold.

    2. Master the art of the high step.

    What you lack in height, you can make up for in flexibility! Being able to do a stellar high step can make a tricky route much easier. You won’t have to use as many intermediate footholds, and it expands your range of possible foot placements.

    In the same vein, practice hand-foot matching, where you place your foot on the hold where your hand is, then transfer your weight over your foot and straighten up. Ta-daa, vertical yoga! (I'm a fan of yoga too, and think it's a great cross training activity for climbers.)

    Rock climbing tips for short people

    (This pic is from when I just started climbing so it's not the best technique, but I was already digging the high steps!)

    3. Dynamic movement is your friend.

    A tall person might be able to just reach up and grab a hold, while a shorter person might have to make a dynamic reach to grab the same hold. In the gym, practice hanging on two handholds and footholds, with your knees bent. Identify a hold above you that is just out of reach, and launch yourself up to it using both your legs and arms. Push up onto your tip-toes, and stretch your arm long as it can go. If you’re spot-on, you’ll reach the hold at your dead point and stick it like a pro.

    The dead point is that moment where you launch yourself upward and grab the hold just as your body slows, but before it starts falling downward. In that fraction of a second you’re weightless, and it’s much easier to grab a hold and stick it. If you get skilled at judging the distance you need for a dynamic launch and dead point, you’ll be able to stick those way-up holds that used to seem so far away.

    You may even need to do a full-on dyno to some holds. A dyno is where you launch off your foothold completely, to grab the next hold. However, be careful to avoid finger and shoulder injuries by practicing these carefully, and avoid dynoing to sketchy holds that aren’t jugs, unless you’re confident in your strength and technique. If it’s at all questionable to you, just skip the route or find an alternate way to get to the hold.

    4. Static movement is your friend too!

    Static movements are also valuable for maximizing your reach. For instance, flagging and drop-knees use diagonal force to extend your height.

    Flagging consists of extending your leg to balance your weight, so you can reach your arm in the opposite direction. If you’re hanging with both arms, with your right hip to the wall, and your right foot on a foothold, extend your left foot out to touch the wall. Push off of both feet to reach up and to the right. Alternatively, if your right foot is on a foothold and your stomach is against the wall, extend your left leg down and to the right, and reach up left.

    Drop-knees are handy on overhanging routes, where your arms don’t quite reach the next hold. Twist your knee inward as if you’re kneeling, as you rotate your torso sideways and into the wall. At the same time, reach up with the arm closest to the wall, and voila, the unattainable hold is now within reach!

    5. When in doubt, get your feet higher.

    In order to reach the next hold or make use of an intermediate hold, you may first have to get your feet higher. This allows you to transition your weight up and over your hands, so you can make the next reach. It may require some balancey ninja moves, but who better to do this than you? A tall person might not be able to curl up into a little ball and then explode into a flurry of movement the way you can!

    Rock climbing tips for short people

    If there aren’t any higher footholds to be seen, smearing comes in handy for reachy situations. Or if you have one foot high, but your other leg is dangling, use the classic foot bump (that’s what I call it, but I don’t know if there’s a technical term for it). This is where you slowly inch your foot up by bumping your toe up the wall bit by bit, until you can transfer your weight over your other foot and lift your body.

    My friend also recommends the “frog jump” approach. Get both of your feet underneath you as high as possible, while keeping your arms extended. Then launch up to your next hold, and repeat!

    6. Be like Gumby. 

    Most of us don’t realize just how far we can reach. Try rotating your torso to the left or right as far as you can go. Then see if you can rotate it one millimeter further… then another millimeter… be sure to stop if it hurts and be mindful of any injuries, but chances are, you have a lot more mobility than you give yourself credit for!

    Try the same practice by reaching straight up and then to the side. Then bending backwards. Then stepping your legs as far apart as they go, both forward and to the sides. Maximize your mobility, and your reach will expand significantly.
     
    Body Awareness is Half the Challenge
     
    If you know exactly how high you can high-step, how far you can reach on a deadpoint, and how you can balance your body to get your weight over your feet, you’re halfway there! The other half of the challenge is to keep pushing those limits, to improve your skills and strength. As mentioned I’m a fan of yoga and martial arts as cross-training for climbers, they're great ways to enhance your mobility and fine tune body awareness.

    As you tune into your strengths and expand your arsenal of movement, the excuses will start to fade away. Who knows, perhaps the next time you climb, you’ll hear someone mutter, “If only I was shorter…!”

    These are just some of my own tips, but as always, be aware of your own body and its limits to avoid injury. And please, share your own tips in the comments!

     

    Get more climbing tips and product news by joining Blicard's newsletter! You can unsubscribe at any time.

    Click here to Shop Blicard Climbing Gear

     

     

     

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    July 15, 2014

    Dan's #1 Climbing Tip

    Dan's #1 Rock Climbing Tip

    Hi! If you're reading this I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you're a rock climber, you like cool climbing gear + finding something new and useful to help you with your climbing.

    We want to help you with that. If I find something cool that you might like, we'll share it with you here on this blog!

    FOR STARTERS ----> here's the best tip I've ever had in climbing. 
    Ready?
    Really ready…?
    Really, really, ready………?

    BREATHE.


    Mind blowing right? There's a little more to it :)

    What do you think about when you climb? Do you think about the route, the moves or what's for lunch maybe?

    Like all climbers you think about lots of things like….. "OMG I don't want to fall!", or "Okay the crux is coming I better chalk up…", or "I'm hungry what should I eat for lunch...", or "OMG I REALLY DON'T WANT TO FALL I'M GONNA DIE WAAAAA!"   <------ maybe that last one is just me.

    The point is we forget to breathe correctly to optimize our climbing. 

    The technique:

    1. Breath in slowly and deeply for a count of say 7.
    2. At the top of the breath (lungs full of air) hold without breathing in our out for a short 1 count.
    3. Breath out slowly (but slightly faster that in in breath) for a count of 5 to reach full exhale.
    4. Repeat while climbing.

    Seem simple? It is! 

    It helps focus the mind and keep you calm + maintains the flow of oxygen to your muscles while you're climbing. Hope it works well for you. Try to keep it going through the crux for a challenge!

    I also highly recommend the book Training For Climbing by Eric Horst for very thorough training techniques specific to rock climbers. 

    Love to hear any thoughts, comments or tips of your own! Send us a note or connect with us on Facebook to keep the conversation rolling.

    Rock on,

    Dan

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    April 20, 2014

    Why Get Into Rock Climbing?

    Belay Shades Belay Glasses - why you should get into rock climbing
    Hi! This is Dan and Tiffany from Blicard. We are excited to share our passion for climbing with you! It’s transformed both of our lives for the better.

    We can’t think of a better way to get fit, get healthy, and enjoy life. Climbing is probably the best all around workout I can imagine. There’s really nothing like it. The nature of the sport leads to a healthy lifestyle by default. You can’t climb well and be unhealthy. Just look around the gym. Do people there look healthy? Do they look like they’re having fun?

    Climbing is just so much fun, you don’t realize how healthy it’s making you!

    Here are our stories:

    Dan:

    I grew up in a small northern town in British Columbia, Canada. We didn‘t have a climbing gym. I did try rock climbing once or twice
     indoors with a school group in a town several hours away. I ended up relocating to the same town for work in my early twenties. I bought some climbing shoes, a chalk bag. I started out bouldering and traversing in the gym and was immediately hooked. I'd spend hours climbing until my arms gave out just traversing laps around the gym. There was no looking back!

    Later I moved to Vancouver, B.C. where there was multiple indoor climbing gyms and some world class outdoor climbing less than an hour away! I was in heaven. I had never been the type of person to spend much time lifting weights, or running to stay fit. These activities bored me and always struck me as work. Climbing on the other hand was fun! I was exercising, gaining in strength, flexibility and having more fun than ever.

    Dan bouldering at Lighthouse Park, British Columbia

    Climbing has kept me healthy and fit during some hard times in life. I've given up smoking and other unhealthy habits, because they were detrimental to my climbing. Looking back over the last decade, many of the best friends I've met and best times I've had are thanks to climbing. Climbers are often the most humble, down to earth, and nicest people you will ever meet. I think the sport keeps people this way. There a special kinship within the climbing community that I haven’t really seen in anything else. I sincerely hope this little blog helps you find some new pleasures in your life through climbing. Climb on!


    Tiffany:

    I tried climbing once as part of a group event with a hiking club, and I fell in love with it. I decided right then that I wanted to get into it. The combination of physical and mental challenge was right up my alley!

    But...it still took me over a year to actually “get into it.” Why? I simply didn’t know how to get into it. I didn’t know all the lingo or even how to climb, I didn’t have any friends to climb with, and it was all very intimidating. Hopefully this blog will eliminate that barrier to entry for you!

    Belay Shades Belay Glasses - why you should get into rock climbing
    Tiffany climbing in Krabi, Thailand

    I was already very active when I first started climbing. I hiked a ton, did martial arts,  and practiced yoga regularly. But after just a few months of climbing, I lost more weight and got fitter than I’d ever been before.

    Climbing is also a great cross-training activity, since it sharpened my reflexes in kungfu and strengthened my legs for hiking. It’s a full-body workout, and it took my fitness up a notch faster than any other activity I’ve tried!

    More Reasons to Climb:

    1) Climbing is fun!

    Nothing’s worse than forcing yourself to do 100 situps before bed because you “have to.” With climbing, it’s so much fun that if anything, you have to remind yourself to take rest days to avoid overworking your muscles.

    2) It doesn’t have to consume your life.

    You don’t have to climb or work out every day to experience the physical benefits. In fact, it’s important to take rest days to allow your muscles to rebuild. Two or three climbing days per week is plenty...though of course if you discover you love it, you could very well let it consume your life. That’s not a bad thing either!

    3) You can track your progress.

    Climbing routes are graded. Easy climbs are 5.5, 5.6, and 5.7. Moderate climbs are 5.7, 5.8, and 5.9. It usually takes a few months to progress from 5.5 to 5.9, so you experience the immediate gratification of seeing your progress. And each time you make it to the top of a climb without falling, you get an immediate sense of accomplishment, which is a reward in itself.

    Difficult climbs start with 10a, 10b, 10c, and 10d, then go up from there: 11a/b/c/d, 12 a/b/c/d, and so on. The hardest route any human has climbed so far is 15c. You can easily track your progress as you get stronger and skilled at climbing. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the first to climb a 15d!

    4) It’s a mental challenge, not just physical.

    Hiking and running are a blast, but they aren’t that mentally stimulating. In contrast, climbing is as much a mental challenge as it is physical. Not only are you defying your natural instinct to fear falling, but you have to figure out the right sequence to get to the top. Once you get into the moderate grade levels, you won’t just be able to haul your way up with brute strength. You’ll have to think creatively, be a problem solver--cultivating focus and mental fortitude every inch of the way.

    5) It’s affordable.


    Once you have the basic gear, you’re pretty much set for indoor climbing. It can cost $125 - $200 to get the gear you need for a year or two of gym climbing. Outdoor climbing requires more gear, depending on which type of climbing you do, but it’s still very reasonable compared to sports such as skiing or mountain biking.

    So what are you waiting for? If you haven't tried it yet, give climbing a try!


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    For more climbing tips, product updates, and special offers at Blicard. Plus, get $5 off your first order!



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    April 19, 2014

    Why we created the Clip Stick Trekking Pole

    We've been hard at work developing the Clip Stick Trekking Pole™, and at last we get to share it with you!

    We developed this rock climbing tool out of our own desire for a lightweight, extendable stick clip that wouldn’t take up weight and space in our climbing bags. We combined it into a lightweight trekking pole--to make it twice as useful!

    The trekking pole feature helps you maximize energy to get to the crags quickly and easily. And then once you start climbing, the pole extends to 9 feet long so you can clip those high first bolts. 
    “Why would I want a stick clip,” you ask? Good question!

    The short answer is, to climb safe, particularly in sport climbing. Avoid taking dangerous falls before clipping the first bolt or two, by clipping them while you’re still on the ground.

    Stick clips aren’t just for high bolts - you can use them to project a hard route, allowing you to clip the tough sections and conserve energy to work those sequences. 

    You could just rummage around in the woods to find a piece of wood when you need a stick clip, but you can’t always assume the perfect long, strong stick will be there when you need it. Why fritter around to make your own stick clip when it’s convenient and easy to bring one with you?

    And if you don’t have an Epic Sport Stick Clip attachment already, we sell this as well to make it even easier to fasten your quickdraw to the bolt.
    “Why would I need a trekking pole?” Another excellent question.

    The short answer is, to save energy and get to the crags faster!

    Trekking poles use your arm strength to help propel you forward, like a third leg. This increases your overall hiking speed.

    Trekking poles also steady you on uneven or slippery terrain to avoid sprains and falls, and reduce overall impact on your ankles and knees. And they can help you “bushwhack” through foliage on overgrown trails.

    The Clip Stick Trekking Pole also comes with the Epic Stick Clip attachment
    Our mission at Blicard is to offer unique rock climbing gear that we genuinely believe will help our fellow climbers (as well as ourselves!), and make climbing more fun for everyone.

    The Clip Stick Trekking Pole
    ™ does just this by making rock climbing safer and more accessible. And as with Belay Shades belay glasses, we’ll be donating a portion of proceeds to Climb and Conquer, helping kids experience the joy of rock climbing!

    Check out the Clip Stick Trekking Pole here!

    Climb on,

    Dan

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    March 22, 2014

    Our Climbing Adventures in Southern Vietnam

    We've been pretty quiet here on the ol’ Belay Shades blog, but at least we have a good excuse. Canada gets pretty cold during the winter, so we decided to just avoid it for a few weeks and travel around southeast Asia!

    We spent most of our time in the south part of Vietnam. We would have gone to northern Vietnam, where the famous limestone karsts near Halong Bay host lots of epic climbing! But with our bones still feeling the chill from Canadian winter weather, we opted for the warmer beaches in the south :)

    Southern Vietnam doesn’t have much developed climbing, but we did find some rock to climb in Da Lat, a lush mountain town, and Phu Quoc Island at the very southern tip of the country.

    Da Lat is a popular place for Vietnamese vacationers since its higher elevation keeps it relatively cold compared to the lower altitudes. But “cold” is a relative term; I’d say it’s “cool” but definitely not cold by our standards at least!

    We didn’t bring our climbing gear on the trip, so booked a private tour through the tour group Groovy Gecko Adventure Tours. It was only $50 per person including guides, transport from our hotel to the crag, entrance fees, equipment, lunch and water, for a full day tour for two people. The group climbing tours were cheaper but more for beginners, centering around learning how to rappel down a waterfall and swimming in the water. We just wanted to climb, so the private tour was well worth the extra cost.

    Our tour guides took us to a canyon about 10 minutes outside the city, and the approach in was about 20 minutes, down steep stairs and trails. 


    Our trusty guide hiking through the canyon

                          Lots of waterfalls in the area
    Scoping out the routes

    The guides came well equipped with rope, gri-gris, anchor equipment, and harnesses, though we opted to use our own shoes and chalk. Sadly lead climbing wasn’t an option, but we had a great time wrestling our way up the beautiful rock walls of the canyon. They showed us three main walls, with routes ranging from 5.7 to 10.c. 


    What a picturesque place to climb!

    And the lovely picnic lunch they provided...


    Yum Yum, bahn mi sandwiches and lots of fruit!
    I don’t know if there are other crags around Da Lat, but it was definitely helpful to have guides to show you where the walls were. One wall involved fording two small streams, so it was not well-marked to say the least :) Tiffany managed to fall in the water, and pull one of the guides in too! 

    Falling in the water; all part of the adventure! Everyone was okay :)

    There’s definitely potential for some great climbing in the area, and hopefully more will be developed over time. But even the few climbs that are available are worth the trip if you’re in the area!

    Also, if you happen to visit Phu Quoc, it’s worth checking out a few boulders on the Long Beach on the southwest side of the island. They’re fairly small, but fun to play around on nonetheless.

    The boulders are about a 10-minute walk north of Famiana Resort. It’s easy to see the point where the rocks are, since they jut out clearly from the otherwise straight, long beach. 

    Unfortunately, a restaurant decided to use the boulder as a backdrop for their evening buffet table, so we had to move the table out of the way to get access to the best of the boulders.
    It made for a fun afternoon, and if you get hot from climbing, you can just jump in the ocean to cool off!

    In other news, we just launched the new Clip Stick Trekking Pole! If you like sport sport climbing, now is the time to upgrade your stick clip in a major way!

    Check out the Clip Stick Trekking Pole

    Cheers,
    Tiffany & Dan

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    September 26, 2013

    Gear Love

    Climbers are gear nerds by default. We depend on our gear to protect us and preserve our lives. I think something about that makes us become even more attached to our gear. What's your favorite piece of climbing gear?

    As far as love for climbing gear goes, a lot of people pay particular attention to their ropes. Proper care and storage of a rope is vital for ensuring it lives a long and happy life with many routes climbed and many redpoints reached. 

    I'm particularly attached to my GriGri as well. My boyfriend Dan gave it to me for Christmas, so it has sentimental value. It's also a vital piece of equipment that reminds me of the importance of climber safety every time I use it. It reassures me that my climbing partner is safe with me when I belay them, so I have a lot of good feeling associated with it.

    Climbers also seem to be passionate about their shoes. Shopping for the perfect pair of climbing shoes is almost worse than shopping for the perfect pair of jeans. There might be a lot of decent pairs that just don't fit perfect...but sometimes you strike gold and find the Cinderella pair that fits like a charm! 

    And I haven't even mentioned cams, quickdraws, or harnesses! Oh, and of course belay glasses. Once you've tried belay glasses, you'll realize what a crucial part of your climbing arsenal they can be. A lot of folks say that as soon as they've started using Belay Shades
    , the belay glasses soon become one of the first things they pack for climbing! 

    And if our (very affordable) price for Belay Shades
    is still holding you back, consider splitting the cost of a pair with your climbing partner. That comes to just $22 per person. 

    Twenty-two bucks for a healthy neck and better belaying? These two gear nerds say count us in! :)

    - Tiffany & Dan

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    September 09, 2013

    Belay Glasses: Save Your Neck for When You Need It!

    Studies indicate that athletes have a higher pain tolerance than non-athletes. This is a crucial skill in rock climbing; if you quit as soon as the going gets tough, you won't improve. Climbing is about overcoming obstacles! But--there's a big difference between good pain and bad pain.

    Good pain is when you're pushing your limits in order to become stronger and healthier.

    Bad pain is doing something that will debilitate you and make you weaker.

    Belayer's neck is bad pain. It can cause joint irritation, muscle strain, and nerve irritation, among other issues (see here for more info).
    Neck pain can affect your climbing too--for instance, on overhanging routes where body tension is key, or while looking upward to find the next hold.

    If you have a stiff, achy neck, Belay Shades may help: 
    • Minimize neck pain from to belaying
    • Save your neck so you can climb harder!
    • Help you belay safely, so you can focus all of your attention on your climber (and not be tempted to look away to give your neck a rest)
    Skip the bad pain so you can focus on the good pain. And with Belay Shades'™ affordable pricing, you don't even need to feel pain in your pocketbook to enjoy the benefits of belay glasses!

    Click here to buy Belay Shades!

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