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Jared Leto’s Great Wide Open Documentary

For a whopping 23 years—longer than any other event of its kind—the International Climbers’ Festival has drawn passionate climbers from all over the country and the world to the remote, western town of Lander, Wyoming for an unforgettable lineup of clinics, events, speakers, and, of course, beer-drinking celebrations.
This year was no exception. The 2016 ICF, held from July 13-16, was yet another absolute hit in this event’s long-standing legacy within the climbing community.

Related: Climbing Destination Guide: Lander, WY

As if the unlimited pocket-pulling climbing at the epic limestone crags of Wild Iris and Sinks Canyon wasn’t enough to fill your days with joy, then surely, events like the opening party, art crawl, Trango trail clean-up, dyno comp, or athlete presentations (from Steph Davis, Sam Elias, Sonnie Trotter, Matt Segal, Chelsea Rude, and Jon Cardwell) filled your climber stoke level to the brim.
A photo posted by International Climbers Fest (@climbersfestival) on Jul 15, 2016 at 3:27pm PDT
And don’t just take our word for it, here’s what some attendees of the festival have to say about this special annual event:
Lander, to the visiting climber, is an embarrassment of riches. The ICF, then, is a bacchanalia. There’s not just something for everyone, there’s enough to keep everyone busy and then some. It is, by far, the most pure fun I’ve had at a climbing event.
– Spenser Tang-Smith of The RV Project
The International Climbers’ Festival in Lander is one of my favorite events of the year! The people that come are always so down to have an adventure and a good time and it shows. And Lander is such a beautiful, historic climbing area with so much to offer, in a town that welcomes climbers with open arms.
A photo posted by Alex Johnson (@alexjohnson89) on Jul 17, 2016 at 12:39pm PDT
This was my 8th year being involved in the ICF, and it’s gotten better with age, and is quickly becoming the gold standard. The powerful duo that is Brian and Mandy Fabel changed the trajectory, and this year Elyse Guarino took into orbit. Can’t wait for my 9th!

See you next year?

Want to experience the incredible climber stoke that the ICF fuels? Then do yourself a favor and minimize the FOMO, by preemptively planning on loading up a vehicle with your gear and your best friends to attend the 2017 International Climbers’ Festival.
For more information about the International Climbers’ Festival, visit the website here.
Are you a crack addict? Do you constantly dream about jamming your hands and fingers in all sorts of wild places? If so, here are 10 crack climbs around the country worth sticking yourself into.
Featuring routes from many of the most spectacular spots in the United States—you won’t be disappointed to climb your way up any of these magnificent, moderate lines.

1. Autumn (5.9-), Red River Gorge, KY

Most people come to The Red to test themselves on long, pumpy pocketed sandstone routes—but don’t be fooled: there’s a lifetime of exceptional trad climbs to explore there too.
Autumn, in particular, is a RRG route that you don’t want to miss. This classic, strenuous line heads up a thick, left-facing flake on a corner that requires some exciting girth and attention. Some consider it more challenging than the grade might suggest, so you’ll want to be a comfortable 5.9 climber. Also, unless you want to finish on a bit of a spicy runout to the anchors, beta advises that you bring a #3.
Maybe I’m being blasphemous… But, I dare say I like this more than Rock Wars. Awesome handcrack that alternates between lay backs and jams.

Related: Climbing Destination Guide: Red River Gorge, KY


2. Straight Shooter (5.9+), Pine Creek Canyon, Red Rock, NV

Notorious for the often arduous desert approaches, climbing in the canyons of Nevada’s Red Rock Conservation Area guarantees an adventure. While the hikes can sometimes be demanding, those who venture out will be rewarded with truly world-class sandstone cracks (and loads of face climbing, too).
At Pine Creek Canyon, climbers can find the 60′ Straight Shooter—a short, but perfect little finger crack who tends to favors those with smaller hands. And if you’re sick of jamming after you reach the top (doubtful!), consider setting up a TR on the .11a thin slab to its right.
Really fun 5.9 finger, ring, and tips locks. Good feet. The rock quality is perfect. I only wish it were longer. Led on 3 pieces and felt quite safe.

Related: Climbing Destination Guide: Red Rock Canyon, NV


3. The Coffin (5.9), Little Cottonwood Canyon, Wasatch Range, UT

The quartz monzonite rock found in Little Cottonwood Canyon offers a tremendous array of bouldering, sport, trad, and ice climbing worth trying; however, one experience that no crack fiend should overlook is The Coffin. 
This 80′ finger crack perfectly splits the face of the hard-to-miss feature that is the Coffin Buttress, reaches a roof, and offers two options: traversing out left or to the right to finish. To warm you up for the delight of this line (and make the approach more fun), it’s suggested to reach the buttress by climbing Crescent Crack (5.7, 2 pitches) to reach the base of the climb.
Some folks just don’t like a nice granite crack climb….but if you do….this route is a GREAT, MUST DO LCC classic. aproach keeps the lighweights out but is no big deal, or for a more varied outing do Cresent/final link to the Coffin…or better yet, lead the coffin and the second pitch corner all as one! great stuff!

4. They Died Laughing (5.9), Cathedral Ledge, NH

For the New England trad climber, Cathedral Ledge—located just outside of North Conway, New Hampshire—is the premier destination for gear plugging and crack climbing. But don’t take its trad climbs lightly; many of the routes here were established in the 60s and 70s; meaning you’re bound to feel some serious stiffness in the grades.
Nevertheless, They Died Laughing surely is one line you must climb. This 100′ single pitch classic follows a beautiful finger-to-hand crack with some sustained movement that leads up to a triangle shaped hole in the rock. While this route saw its FA in 1972, of course only using the protection of nuts, it swallows gear, making it a safe lead … in fact, some even claim to have plugged 30 pieces in this single crack!
When I did it it was called 5.9+, which everyone knows could be anywhere from 5.9 to 5.11. It was stout for a .9 I thought … Great route though!

Related: Climbing Destination Guide: Cathedral Ledge, NH


5. Golden Locks (5.8+), T-Wall, Tennessee Wall, TN

Tennessee Wall, located in the climber haven of Chattanooga, serves as the go-to trad climbing destination for the Southeast. Riddled with a high concentration of quality sandstone single-pitch routes, climbers of all abilities (from 5.6 to 5.13) will find routes that suit them well.
But for a crack connoisseur of any level, Golden Locks should not be missed. This instantly recognizable splitter crack provides incredible exposure just above the Tennessee River and serves as a great warmup to the harder cracks that surround. Some note it to be a rather stiff 5.8, especially due to a somewhat boulder-y start, but don’t let this early crux keep you from getting into the superb hand jams above … A spotter might be nice though!
A photo posted by Baxter (@baxtartarsauce) on Nov 25, 2014 at 4:32pm PST
Superb in every way! A perfect introduction to southern crack climbing…and, a must send!!!

6. Rye Crisp (5.8), Elephant Rock, City of Rocks, ID

If you’re fortunate enough to venture out to City of Rocks in Idaho, then you know that the name truly illustrates the magic that you will find there: rocks, rocks, and yes, you guessed it, more rocks. While you can certainly find plenty of high-quality granite sport climbing in the area, make the trip to City of Rocks for the gorgeous and unique trad routes.
As most of you know, cracks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and one unmistakably unique feature to find on a route are flakes—especially ones like Rye Crisp: a 120′ long flake system that calls for a variety of techniques, including laybacks, hand-stacks, foot stacks, and finger jams. Need I say more?
This is hands down the coolest flake in the world. So fun I climbed it twice right in a row – great pump!

7. Sail Away (5.8-), Real Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree, CA

Joshua Tree needs little introduction as a paradise for funky and unique granite crack climbing. And while it holds countless classics, Sail Away is one of the best.
Located on a standalone rock, this climb is an absolute must-do for any trad climber—whether you climb 5.8 or 5.13. This gear-eating line comes fully stocked with great jams, locks, and face holds that keep it exciting, yet secure … plus, an impeccable view at the top.
What an absolute joy of a route. I can’t recall having that much fun on such a beautiful hand and finger crack! It only has one weakness…it’s over too quickly.

Related: Climbing Destination Guide: Joshua Tree, CA


8. Bishop’s Terrace (5.8), Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, CA

While Yosemite offers more classic routes than perhaps any other destination in the world, it’s worth ensuring that Bishop’s Terrace makes it on your tick list. Prepare to see parties on this route, but don’t be deterred: it’s well worth the wait.
Rarely do you get to experience 150′ of utterly delightful crack climbing with an enduring double crack section; a feature in itself that makes it an immediate classic. This moderate route, like most of the others on this list, can be sewed up. Just make sure you bring enough gear to make it to the top—it’s a long one! Also remember: it’s Yosemite 5.8, with an FA that came in 1959.
A photo posted by Bob (@bostonshmoston) on May 16, 2013 at 6:34am PDT
Marvelous crack climbing; spectacular! Solid at 5.8. Takes all the pro you would ever need—or want.

Related: Climbing Destination Guide: Yosemite Valley, CA


9. Ant’s Line (5.9-), The Trapps, The Gunks, NY

Less than two hours outside of NYC, The Gunks is a popular destination no only because of its proximity. This gorgeous area offers unique horizontal crack and roof systems that lends itself to a completely different style of trad.
Whether you’re a regular or a first-timer to the area and a confident 5.9 leader (another old school graded place!), then you’d better plan on trying Ant’s Line to experience a taste of what the Gunks is all about. This is a fantastic, pumpy, and surprisingly steep route that climbs a corner with a mix of stemming and jamming to the top.
A photo posted by PLEIN D'AIR / Citrus Holds (@citrusholds_pleindair) on Apr 4, 2016 at 12:00pm PDT
One of the most aesthetic lines in the gunks… just screams “Climb me!” a certain must do for the 5.9 gunks climber

10. Incredible Hand Crack (5.10c), Indian Creek, Moab, UT

If you really love cracks, then I need not tell you much about Indian Creek. It is crack paradise.
Narrowing down what to try might prove challenging, but one that certainly deserves your attention is Incredible Hand Crack. The name of the climb speaks for itself. It really is an incredible crack that offers 100′ of laybacking and hand jamming up a corner and over a roof. Get after it!
A photo posted by @and40kaz on Sep 10, 2015 at 11:51am PDT
Oh my god. This climb is sooo much fun. I want to mate with the Incredible Handcrack and make baby IHCs that will hopefully resemble the original.

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First established in 2011 by legend Dani Andrada, Corazón de Ensueño (5.14b, 8 pitches)— found on Getu, China’s wild limestone “Great Arch”—stands as one the longest and steepest climbs in the world.
This is definitely the best climb I have ever created. It’s hard, long, and so unique.
– Dani Andrada
Until this year, this incredibly demanding route hadn’t seen another ascent. That was before Alex Honnold and Brazilian climber Felipe Camargo came out to give this demanding route a shot this April.
Felipe managed to achieve the second ascent, and the following day Alex snagged the third (… while coping with a broken back). All in all, the strong duo spent five days working the moves and cleaning the route before making ground-up sends. Watch the process unfold, as captured by the ever-talented, Jimmy Chin.

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Watch as Hazel Findlay and Johnny Dawes give Alex Honnold a tour of the renowned slick slate climbing located in Llanberis, Wales.
It’s unique. It’s its own special type of climbing that is certainly worth checking out.

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Want an inside look at the newest and most noteworthy gear coming to the climbing and outdoor world this year? We’re currently scouring the 2016 Summer Outdoor Retailer Show to bring you the top picks for new gear to come out in 2016/17. As the show continues through the week, you can expect to see products and information added, so be sure to check back for updates.
Last updated August 3, 2016; the show ends August 6 and this guide will be updated throughout.

Belay devices

Petzl GriGri +

Available April 2017; MSRP: $149.95 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news GriGri +

Key features

There’s been a lot of hype over this one, so let’s get down to the details. Petzl’s all new GriGri + retains the same structure as the GriGri, but with additional features, primarily intended to improve safety margins for newer belayers.
The most noteworthy addition to this belay device is an anti-panic function in the handle, which causes the device to lock if a belayer pulls too hard on the handle while lowering a climber. A second change is that that GriGri + features 2 modes of operation: lead climbing mode and toprope climbing mode. In lead mode, the spring tension is similar to the current GriGri; smooth with less tension on the rope. Alternatively, tope rope mode, (which can be locked into place) offers a different spring tension that ensures locking on the rope even with minimal slack out.
While this new device likely adds little to those already comfortable with a GriGri, this new version is ideal for climbing wall operation and climbers still learning proper principles of belaying. The GriGri + also offers a wider rope diameter range: now spanning from 8.5-11mm ropes (although it is optimized for 8.9-10.5 ropes). The GriGri + weighs 200g, while the regular GriGri is 170g.

Edelrid OHM

Available November 2016; MSRP: $129

Key features

Intended for climbing parties with large weight differences amongst partners, the Edelrid OHM—an assisted-braking resistor—is meant to be clipped into the first bolt of a climb to provide added friction in rope in the event of a leader’s fall. The OHM enables a climber to belay a leader who weighs up to 100% heavier than them.
How does it work? Essentially, the OHM locks on the rope through a cam in the device, which creates additional friction on the rope to lessen the impact on the belayer—keeping them from being lifted off the ground or thrown into the wall. This device does not impact the climber and only activates in the event of a fall. The OHM includes an attached quickdraw and carabiner.

Wild Country REVO Belay Device

Available early 2017; MSRP: unknown Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Wild Country REVO

Key features

Claimed to be the safest belay device on the market, the REVO—the first bi-directional assisted-locking belay device—offers an alternative that eliminates common concerns of other popular devices.
First and foremost, the REVO can be loaded in any orientation, which reduces confusion as to which end of the rope needs to be placed into the device. Secondly, in the event of a fall, the device provides assisted locking on the rope. The device also features a panic-proof locking mechanism, which serves as a safety backup system when lowering. This device is also suitable for both left and right-handed users and weighs approximately 245g (compared to a GriGri 2 at 170g).

Black Diamond ATC Pilot

Available spring 2017; MSRP: unknown Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news ATC Pilot

Key features

The ATC Pilot is Black Diamond’s version of a “semi-automatic tuber.” While this still demands constant handling on the brake end of the rope, the Pilot provides fluid feeding, assisted locking, and support through added friction while lowering a climber.


Black Diamond Zone Harness

Available January 2017; MSRP: unknown

Key features

Intended to serve as high-end sport climbing harness, Black Diamond’s Zone also features ice axe loops to support alpine and mountaineering endeavors. It’s designed with Fusion Comfort Technology, which distributes weight to provide for a comfortable fit in the waist band and leg loops.
This is also Black Diamond’s lightest harness ever. The men’s version weighs just over 300g, while the women’s comes in just under that—making it a lightweight harness usable for a variety of high-performance adventures.

Edelrid Loopo Light Harness

Available spring 2017; MSRP: $79.95 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Best New Climbing Gear: Highlights from 2016 Outdoor Retailer Show

Key features

Now, the lightest harness on the market (less than 80g / 2.8oz), Edelrid’s Loopo aims to serve as the go-to ski mountaineering, backcountry touring, or via ferrata harness. Designed to make it easy to put on without removing your ski boots or crampons, this Dyneema-constructed super light harness also features 4 minimal gear loops, reflective tie-in loops, and removable and adjustable leg straps.

Climbing shoes

La Sportiva Miura XX

Available spring 2017; MSRP: $200 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news New La Sportiva Miura XX

Key features

In celebration of the Miura’s 20th Anniversary, La Sportiva will release the Miura XX —a limited edition shoe created in collaboration with Adam Ondra.
While the shape will not differ, this shoe will feature Sportiva’s robust P3 Permanent Power Platform, intended to maintain the shoe’s shape integrity even after extensive use. The design also integrates Ondra’s signature on the shoe. These shoes will only be produced once, and availability will depend on the amount of orders placed by large retailers—so stay tuned!

La Sportiva Mythos Eco

Available spring 2017; MSRP: $155 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news La Sportiva Mythos Eco-min

Key features

This eco-friendly version of the classic and beloved Mythos shoe from La Sportiva offers the same design, only revamped with an all-out array of sustainable, biodegradable, recycled materials. The Mythos Eco comes with a leather upper, processed without the use of any heavy metals, its laces and webbing use recycled fishing nets, and its sole comes from rubber recycled from their factory. This now better-for-the-environment shoe will be available in both a men’s and women’s version.

Five Ten Gambit

Available spring 2017; MSRP: $120 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Five Ten Gambit Shoe-min

Key features

Built for comfort and all-day climbing for both beginner and advanced climbers, Five Ten’s Gambit comes designed with a wider last and lower overall volume to create a flatter, less aggressive shoe. This comfort-minded design also features a stiffer, heat-activated thermoplastic midsole, which helps the shoe remain rigidity over time.
A perforated tongue offers breathability and Five Ten’s signature C4 Stealth rubber ensures top-quality friction. The Gambit comes available in both velcro and lace closure options.

Five Ten Anasazi Blanco

Available spring 2017; MSRP: $195 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Five Ten Anasazi Blanco-min

Key features

This year, Five Ten is bringing back the beloved Anasazi Blanco—the most aggressive shoe from their Anasazi line. This updated version returns with its powerful edging capabilities and heel tension, with a few updates that make it better designed for hard


and sport climbing.
The shoe’s new thermoplastic midsole will help retain its rigidity, a perforated neoprene tongue provides added breathability, and a welded eyelet stay helps reduce excess material. This shoe also features Five Ten’s signature C4 Stealth rubber on the outsole.

Tenaya Mundaka

Available fall 2016; MSRP: unknown Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Tenaya Mundaka

Key features

The Mundaka shoe by Tenaya—made with both leather and synthetic material—is structurally similar to their Oasi model, only featuring a softer midsole and more sensitivity in the toes. Nevertheless, this shoe maintains stiffness in the front so you can count on it for edging on small features. The heel rubber is also reinforced under the rand to ensure it stays with you when you’re cranking on heel hooks.

Other climbing gear

Black Diamond Ropes

Release details and pricing information coming soon. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news New Black Diamond Rock Climbing Ropes

Key features

Notably, Black Diamond has chosen to enter the climbing rope game, coming out with a line of ropes a variety of ranges: 7.8mm twin ropes, 9.2mm, 9.6mm, and a 9.9mm. All ropes feature a midpoint marker and are available in a full-dry or non-dry treatment.
BD manufactured their rope offerings with two different sheath constructions; their high-end nylon “endurance” shealth, which is more abrasion-resistant, and another less tightly woven sheath design that is less durable and intended to be an easier price-point rope. Length sizes vary according to diameter and intended use, but offerings range from 35-80 meters.

New DMM Dragon Cam

Available now; MSRP: $69.95-$84.95

Key features

The much-loved DMM Dragon cams come revamped with a few notable updates in this version, including a wider cam designed to catch more surface area on the rock, and the replacement of the anodized coating with a raw aluminum finish, which provides better grip in slick rocks like limestone and reduces the likelihood of cams walking. They’ve also integrated radial machining grooves to ensure that the cam can get better and deeper contact with the rock.
The new Dragon Cams still come with the single-stem, ergonomic trigger, and convenient extendable slings that minimize the amount of draws needed when trad climbing.

Mammut Magic Sling

Available summer 2017; MSRP: TBD Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Mammut Magic Sling

Key features

Mammut’s new Magic Sling features a Dyneema core with a nylon exterior—essentially a hybrid sling that can withstand the elements better than a purely Dyneema one. The concept is that the Dyneema core provides superior strength within the center of the sling, while the nylon offers added durability. Unlike a regular sling, which loses 40% of its strength when tied off into a knot, the Magic Sling only loses about 20%. For frequent multi-pitch climbers, this is a worthwhile piece of gear to consider, especially if you often find yourself climbing on coarser rock or in harsher weather conditions. These slings will be available in 60cm and 120cm lengths.

Other noteworthy outdoor gear

Petzl Noctilight

Available January 2017; MSRP: $19.95 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 11.42.04 AM Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Images: PetzlImages: Petzl

Key features

Petzl’s Noctilight serves as a protective carrying case for your headlamp, as well as a light diffuser—essentially allowing your headlamp to serve as a lantern that you can place on surfaces or hang in your car or tent.

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Tommy Caldwell climbed the Dawn Wall in them; they’re the trusted shoes of choice for daring free soloist Alex Honnold; and many of the world’s hardest crushers—including Joe Kinder, Daniel Woods, and Jonathan Siegrist—depend on La Sportiva for their hardest sends. There’s no denying: La Sportiva shoes are among the best in the world.
While they’re often found with a steep price tag (discounts being strictly limited), La Sportiva shoes are on sale right now for 20% off … making it an opportune time to snag a pair.

Last updated: August 2, 2016. Deals will expire—please leave a comment or contact us if you spot an error. Get our weekly climbing newsletter for future offerings.


Categorizing La Sportiva’s shoes

To help simplify the buying process, we’ve classified the shoes into two broad categories: all-around/trad climbing shoes and bouldering/sport climbing shoes (if new to the sport, you can learn more about the styles of

rock climbing


All-around & trad shoes

These shoes are typically characterized as being less downturned and more comfortable on the climber’s foot–the type of shoe you can wear for extended periods of time without pain. Shoes in this category often perform well for all styles of climbing, whether that be bouldering, sport, or trad. Specifics to each pair are detailed in the descriptions below.

Bouldering & sport shoes

These selections fall into the category of “aggressive” climbing shoes. These models are more downturned and not well-suited for wearing for hours on end. While downturned shoes are typically considered less comfortable, the aggressive profile is particularly helpful on steep or overhanging boulders and sport climbs. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news la sportiva chart


All-around & trad shoes, by model

La Sportiva TC Pro Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news La Sportiva TC Pro

$179.95 $143.96 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Buy Now
Developed in collaboration with Tommy Caldwell, many climbers consider the TC Pro to be one of (if not the) top performing shoes in the world. This model is impressively comfortable and can perform at a high level on slick granite, thin edges, and while jammed into cracks. The TC Pro is a very high-performance shoe made of the best materials and highest quality craftsmanship.

La Sportiva Miura VS Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news La Sportiva Miura VS

Men’s: $169.95 $135.96 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Buy Now
The Miura is an edging machine and all-around pick that does well on rock and at the gym. It is reasonably downturned yet still manages to perform on slab terrain, too. If climbing cracks, you’d likely want to veer toward a laced shoe, as the velcro isn’t as well-suited for sliding into foot jams. View La Sportiva’s Fit Guide for further information.

Related: This Week’s Best Rock Climbing Gear Deals


La Sportiva Miura Lace Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news La Sportiva Miura

Men’s: $159.95 $127.96 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Buy Now Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news La Sportiva Miura Women's Lace

Women’s: $159.95 $127.96 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Buy Now
A sibling to the velcro model mentioned previously, the Miura Lace is a high-performance shoe that works well on overhanging, vertical, and slab terrain. This shoe can edge on the tiniest of footholds and it’s also a great gym climbing pick.

La Sportiva Mythos Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news la sportiva mythos climbing shoe

Mens: $139.95 $111.96 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Buy Now Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Deal Alert: 20% Off All La Sportiva Shoes

Women’s: $139.95 $111.96 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Buy Now
The soft leather on La Sportiva’s Mythos naturally conforms to your foot, increasing the comfort of these shoes throughout their lifetime. With a low-profile and toes-flat-fit, the Mythos truly shines on cracks, where you can squeeze these into even the thinnest of splitters. It’s important to note that the sole rubber on the Mythos is relatively soft, which some climbers find makes them an inferior edging shoe. View La Sportiva’s Fit Guide for further information.

Related: This Week’s Best Rock Climbing Gear Deals


La Sportiva Oxygym Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Deal Alert: 20% Off All La Sportiva Shoes

Men’s: $98.95 $79.16 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Buy Now
As the name implies, the Oxygym is a low-cost option designed for climbing in the gym. Velcro closures provide easy on/off mobility and a funky pattern will have you climbing in style. If you’re looking for a first climbing shoe on a budget, the Oxygym is a nice pick to get acquainted with the sport.

La Sportiva Tarantula Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news La Sportiva Tarantula

$87.95 $69.96 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Buy Now
The Tarantula is designed with no downturn and offered at a very reasonable price point for the new rock climber. Well-suited for any style of climbing, this is a good entry-level option. View La Sportiva’s Fit Guide for further information.

Bouldering and sport climbing shoes, by model

La Sportiva Genius Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news la sportiva genius climbing shoe

$189.95 $151.96 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Buy Now
Proudly called “The highest performance climbing shoe on the market,” by La Sportiva themselves, the Genius is undoubtedly a shoe for the serious boulderer or sport climber. The concept behind the new No-Edge technology used with the Geniuses is that even on less-than-perfect foot placements, greater surface area (correlated with more friction) of the shoe will be in contact with the rock. It’s also especially useful for small smudges where a stiff-edged shoe may be unable to gain adequate surface friction.

Related: This Week’s Best Rock Climbing Gear Deals


La Sportiva Solution Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news la sportiva solution climbing shoe

Men’s: $174.95 $139.96 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Buy Now Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Deal Alert: 20% Off All La Sportiva Shoes

Women’s: $174.95 $139.96 Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Buy Now
Solutions offer a relatively similar closure system to La Sportiva’s Futuras, but without the No-Edge technology (read the Genius description above for details). This is another significantly downturned shoe ideal for steep overhangs in the gym or outdoors. View La Sportiva’s Fit Guide for further information.

Related: This Week’s Best Rock Climbing Gear Deals


Last updated: August 2, 2016. Deals will expire—please leave a comment or contact us if you spot an error. Get our weekly climbing newsletter for future offerings. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Photo: Pete MerchantPhoto: Pete Merchant
Czech-born climber and photographer, Kamil Sustiak, first happened upon a camera when he found himself with no rope, no shoes, and no

climbing gear

on a trip to New Zealand.
Before long, that initial curiousity and intriguing challenge for capturing adventurers and wild places grew into a profound passion that paired perfectly with his first love: climbing. Combining his life’s two greatest “addictions,” he has since double dosed on the two activities that fuel his happiness. And lucky for us, the results are awe-inspiring.
In this Featured Photographer interview, Kamil shares his journey with climbing and his lens, his perspective on BASE jumping as an observer and capturer, and what makes one of his photos a definite favorite:

Quick bites

  • Age: 36
  • Hometown: Leura, Blue Mountains, Australia
  • Years as a climber: 15
  • Years as a photographer: 5
  • Favorite climbing destination: Blue Mountains, Tasmania, Indian Creek
  • Preferred style of climbing: sport & trad Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Kamil Sustiak photography

Tell us about your journey to becoming a photographer—what places, people, or events inspired you to become the photographer you are today?

It started about fifteen years ago back in the Czech Republic where I was born, when one day, my friends made me put on some weird ballet shoes, pointed at a cliff and said climb up! I got addicted to climbing right away and let it change my life.
The movements, the fear, the camaraderie, add the lifestyle and beautiful nature on top of that, and you end up with an awesome adventure cocktail of possibilities to kill your time. In fact, since then there have not been many weekends where I haven’t had

rock climbing

gear in my backpack—except for one notable break.
In 2005, I spent a few months in New Zealand with no rope, no climbing gear, and no climbing mates. Being without climbing would have been a disaster but for one small thing—a camera. For the first time, I was the proud, though very confused, owner of a camera with manual controls. All of a sudden, taking photos was not a point­and­shoot activity but a challenge as to how to capture the moments I could see or feel and translate them into a photograph. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Kamil Sustiak photography
I loved the fact that photography allows you to freeze these little moments, ideally in some kind of creative way and store them forever. The tricky part was that I had no idea how to achieve that. I was facing a new puzzle, in a way not that different to solving climbing crux sequences. Again I got completely hooked on something, this time replacing

rock climbing

magazines with all the photography literature I could find in the New Zealand public libraries.
So when coming back home to the Czech Republic, I found myself with two addictions to manage and ended up doing what a proper addict would do. I combined my drugs and took them in double doses. And to some extent, it has stayed this way since. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Kamil Sustiak photography Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Kamil Sustiak photography

Do you consider yourself a climber or photographer first?

I have never been a 100% pure dirtbag climber but climbing has shaped my life more than anything else. It changed how I live, where I live, what I do and where I can see myself in the future. Through climbing, I also started with adventure photography.
Climbing to me is like an anchor I can always come back to when I need to switch off and relax or get scared, one of those. I still have my climbing wishlist and goals but it’s not the number one priority anymore. Now when I think about it, I have sacrificed too many climbing days for photography shoots to call myself a climber first. But it is pretty comforting to know that there is something so awesome as climbing to come back to and have fun. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Kamil Sustiak photography

You have a lot of variety in your photography: all styles of climbing, highlining, BASE, culture, nature, etc. Is there a specific style/activity you most enjoy shooting?

I love to hang around with people who are passionate about their lives, whatever activity they do. Where there is passion, magic moments usually follow. Be it action, emotions or just the sheer ridiculousness of the situations people end up in while pushing their limits.
After living in Sydney for almost a decade, I recently moved to the Blue Mountains, which is a national park two hours west of Sydney. It is a beautiful place with an amazing scenery of wild sandstone cliffs, ancient rainforests, waterfalls, and canyons. On top of that, the relatively easy access makes it an ideal place for various adventure activities, which of course attracts adrenaline addicts from all over the world. There is also an amazing local community of climbers, BASE jumpers, and nature lovers who keep coming up with crazy ideas for photo shoots. It is actually kind of hard to shoot just climbing here, definitely not something to complain about.
Even though where I live is amazing, I love going on trips, carrying large packs into remote areas to capture passionate people doing their thing. There is so much more going on around adventure sports than the actual action, which is just a little part of the whole experience. It sometimes takes us days of hard work just to get to a location before the action starts to unroll, and this time gives plenty of opportunities to shoot the story, lifestyle, nature, or those precious little moments in between. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Kamil Sustiak photography

What outdoor gear do you not go into the wild without?

A very, very warm sleeping bag and a good book.

What is your most treasured piece of photography equipment?

Really it all comes down to my Creativity Hat; when I have that it only matters that I have some kind of camera in my hands. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Kamil Sustiak photography

Do you always bring a camera along with you? Or do you separate your climbing days from photography days?

When I started with photography I used to take my camera along everywhere, climbing days included. The problem was that I often did not end up climbing as much as I would want to. I often caught myself thinking about the best angles for shooting a route, which would have been fine if I was not in the middle of the crux of my project. It started to feel a bit like taking work home if you know what I mean.
These days I tend to separate photography from climbing. It helps me focus on the story and not miss those precious moments in between the action. And on the days when I leave the camera at home, it has the opposite benefit of allowing me to feel like a climber.
Living in the Blue Mountains with the very easy access to amazing locations and incredible climbing where you can just pop out for an afternoon or wake for a pre­dawn shoot before work makes it easy to separate the two. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Kamil Sustiak photography

Is there something you always ask yourself/think just before you push the button?

In my photography beginnings, I used to have this mental checklist. You know, the usual rules you read in all the photography books.
Is your subject in the middle? Are there any leading lines? What about the foreground?
Some people have a feel for the composition right away, I had to train my eye the hard way and learn from mistakes … lots of mistakes.
After a while, this checklist has become automatic. It is more like an intuition than conscious thinking, which creates more room for focusing on telling the story of the scene I am capturing. That means that the questions are different now.
What is the story? What are the basic elements that make this shoot special? How do I eliminate the rest?
I guess this is the evolution of a photographer and in a way, it is a beautiful thing to know that there will always be new challenges and puzzles to make a photographer’s life interesting. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Kamil Sustiak photography

What photograph are you most proud of and why?

I do not think there is the one photograph I would be super proud of, it also changes with time. I love to inspire people to get out and push their limits (whatever they are) and I guess I get the most satisfaction when I hear that someone climbed a route or went for a hike because they got inspired by some of my work. It is like when you hear a song and it makes you go running or go to the gym instead of watching TV.
If I did have to name just one picture right now, it would be the one below of Lee Jackson BASE jumping off the Frenchmans Cap in Tasmania, Australia. This was a special trip for me with amazing people where everything happened pretty organically. Including the shot of Lee, which for me personally shows the beauty of the Frenchmans Cap and puts into perspective how fragile, but at the same time, how courageous people are. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news base jumping

What’s your view toward the sport of BASE Jumping?

There is no question BASE is a dangerous activity with not much room for a mistake. If you look at the stats it is crazy. At the same time, I have been following my friends closely, seen their progress, their hard work to improve their skills and also how calculated their approach to every jump is. I have seen them casually jumping when everything was OK and backing off when something did not feel right.
I guess there is a certain parallel with, let’s say, trad climbing. You cannot always totally eliminate the danger but with experience, technical skill, and judgement, you can make it safe enough to have an enjoyable experience. The same experience may look super risky to a person who has never climbed.
By watching my friends casually jumping off the cliffs, I for the first time understood the worrying feelings of my parents watching me having fun while climbing. It is all relative, and in the end, it is up to us to decide how far we want to push it. It does not matter if it is climbing, BASE or any other activity where we have to trust our skills and judgement to not get hurt. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Kamil Sustiak photography

How does being a photographer affect your relationship with nature?

Haha, I do not think that it affects my relationship with nature as much as it affects my sleeping patterns while photographing it … those pre­dawn shoots are killing me Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news 😉

Finish this sentence: If I weren’t an adventure photographer, I’d be …

… hopefully on my way to becoming one. Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news Kamil Sustiak photography

To learn more about Kamil and see more of his photography, visit his website, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr.
All photos courtesy of Kamil Sustiak

Related: Other inspiring Featured Photographers


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Likely, many of you have been somewhat surprised to see actor, singer-songwriter, and director, Jared Leto appearing in Instagram posts with some of the world’s greatest professional climbers over the past couple of months …
A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on Jun 27, 2016 at 11:50am PDT
A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on May 14, 2016 at 9:28am PDT
Well, a primary reason he’s surrounded himself with these climbers is to film his Great Wide Open documentary—a series that aims to celebrate America’s National Parks and the incredible adventurers who explore its beauty.
The first two episodes of the series (which you can watch below) have been released, and profile two of the community’s most prolific talents: Tommy Caldwell and Renan Ozturk.

Episode One: The Conquistador, featuring Tommy Caldwell


Episode Two: The Dirtbag, featuring Renan Ozturk


Episode Three: The Rockstar


Episode Four: The Wolfman


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In the winter of 2013, talented climber Alex Johnson made a full throttle commitment to tackling The Swarm (V13)—a highball boulder problem in Bishop’s Buttermilks that powerfully infatuated her from the moment she laid eyes on it. That season, Alex moved to Bishop; fully engaging herself into the process and putting in countless hours and attempts on the line.
While Alex made significant progress, The Swarm evolved into a multi-year project—one with ups and downs that she shared publicly through social media; undoubtedly adding a layer of external pressure.
In this interview with Alex in September of 2014, she told us:
When it’s ‘go time’ for The Swarm for me, it’s really serious … and all of the pressure just comes from myself. Sometimes you get the illusion that other people are putting pressure on you, but it’s just made up in your head.
While The Swarm remains an unfinished battle for Alex—one that she remains eager to complete—she has certainly learned and developed as a climber in the process. This film captures the steps of her journey and what all climbers can learn from the beautiful “art of failure.”

Related: 5×5 Revelations with Alex Johnson


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