For five years theDIHEDRAL has been offering spectacular gift recommendations for that climber in your life. We’re back again with the goods to take care of the pebble pushers, rock rangers, and big wall wallabies for another holiday season! If you want to catch up on past gift ideas, feel free to link your way back through I-IV starting HERE. The goal is to offer three recommendations apiece, with perhaps a few bonus ideas tossed in for good measure!
I’m guessing I’m not the only one behind on gifts this holiday season. Not to fear, I’ve got some quick and easy ideas for your climber loved ones:
- If you’re not sure what your climber already has or what your climber needs, you can’t go wrong with a cordelette. BlueWater makes 7MM accessory cord that is easy to find and afford. It’s like a gift card, but tangible. Your climber can do anything with it: make a quad, build a spicy anchor, or tie up some fancy rig…there are loads of options, and you can never have too much cord.
- Headlamps are really great, but there’s always a situation (camping or climbing) where you just wish you had a nice little light that you could set somewhere without it following your head movements. Solight has just the lantern that your climber will bring along every trip. This lantern is solar powered, collapsible (it self inflates/deflates by folding!), and light. It is an eco-friendly, inexpensive, and easy gift for any outdoor enthusiast.
- Maybe it sounds lame, but one of the most underrated gadgets out there is the bandana. Before you scoff at such a simple idea, hear me out. You can use it as a normal handkerchief (saving trees by not wasting tissues). You can use it to keep your hair back during the send or instead of a hat if you’re having a bad hair day. You can use it as an accessory on any other joint on your body. You can use it to tie things together. If you don’t have anything to wipe off your blood or sweat, you can also use your bandana. You see, there are so many options…so many ways your climber could benefit.
STOCKINGS! Stockings are the most underrated part of the Christmas Tradition. The amount of goodies one can pull out of a stocking is shocking. Stockings are like Mary Poppins’ suitcase, and like Mary Poppins’ suitcase each item offers an exhilarating WTF moment of joy! I love the stocking, and I am here to help you fill one up! From alpine draws to crampons there is a ton of gear for you to shove into the sock of your favorite rock climber and make their holiday one to remember!
- Climbers often have an abundance of time, especially on road trips. Oftentimes climbers are isolated from the distractions of modern life, giving them lots of extra time to read. My stocking stuffer book recommendation for this year is Chris Kalman’s most recent book Dammed if you Don’t. This book won the 2021 Mountain Fiction and Poetry category at the annual Banff Mountain Book and Film Festival. It is the perfect companion to those long, cold, post-send nights. Dammed if you Don’t is a great book that will give any outdoor enthusiast pause to consider just what it is that they are doing.
- A good stocking stuffer has to meet two conditions. It has to fit into a stocking, and it has to be somewhat of a surprise. The Tepet Firefly meets both conditions. This little gem will make the bail biner a thing of the past. A bail biner, in case you haven’t heard the term before, is the least costly yet safe piece of gear that you are willing to sacrifice to a climb. Oftentimes a route is too challenging to complete, and you need to be lowered off your last piece of protection. Until now that last piece of protection (the bail biner) would be a souvenir for the next climber who happens to be strong enough to finish that route. The Firefly is a brilliant device that allows you to retrieve your abandoned gear safely from the ground. The Firefly has the potential to safely save gear and thus safely save money.
- As a kid, the worst stocking stuffer in the world has to be underwear, no kid wants to find a pack of knickers in a stocking, ever. However, as a grownup the practicality of underwear in a stocking just makes sense. So, for stuffer #3 I recommend underwear! Not just any underwear though, I recommend merino running briefs by Runderwear. Now, if you aren’t one who spends days or weeks or months on the trail or at the crag, you may not appreciate the aroma which a human body can yield. With limited space and limited resources to properly wash, it doesn’t take long to achieve magnificent levels of funk. But we live in the 2020’s and modern underwear technology has found ways to combine comfort, moisture wicking, and odor reduction into one magical pair of undies, thus extending the UCR (underwear change rate). Merino Wool Runderwear is a gift not only for your climber, but also every person your climber interacts with!
What do you get the climber in your life that has everything? Well, if the climber you know is anything like me, they like goofy/kitschy crap that represents the sport they love.
- First, we have a Pinch Hold Mug. Not only will this help a climber exercise one of the most hated holds, but it’s a great gift for a coffee lover as well. Just don’t spill!
- Second on my silly gift list, is this Rock Climbing Christmas Sweater. I actually already ordered it for an ugly sweater party I have to go to. And since everyone and their mom is doing those kind of themed parties now-a-days (and since some of us are back at doing parties at all), this is a nice present for the socially minded rock climber you know!
- Finally, for those that love to travel and climb, this Climbing Map is amazzzzing. It lists dozens of different regions and grades around the world. You can mark on there the ones you’ve been to. It gives me the travel bug just looking at it online. I am hinting that I want this. Buy it for me. So what if you don’t know me? It’s the time of giving, right?
What an honor it is to be able to contribute to theDIHEDRAL’s annual Climber’s Christmas article. While I am relatively new to climbing (thanks to my wife for getting me into this), I do have some recommendations that any climber of any level would love to get their calloused hands on.
- Jimmy Chin’s book There and Back: Photographs from the Edge is such a beautiful collection of photographs depicting the essence of adventure and the height of adventure photography.
- If you are ever going to be hitting the approach on ice and snow, you are going to want a pair of MICROspikes. For me, even the approach from the workshop to the sleigh can be hazardous, let alone walking on all those rooftops, so I make sure to keep a pair with me at all times.
- Anyone who knows old Santa, knows that I am a sucker for a sexy carabiner. If you ask me, the sexiest carabiner on the market is Edelrid Pure Slider icemint locking carabiner. I used to think my elves made the finest carabiners on the planet, until Edelrid came along and proved me wrong. This biner is a must for anyone who cares about style as much as they care about safety!
I’m not even going to lie. I love the holiday season, aside from all the snow and smiles, I get one day a year where I don’t have to even talk to the big guy. Don’t get me wrong, I love him dearly, but sometimes mama needs a little time to herself. But you didn’t come here to read Ruth’s (my name is Ruth by the way, most people only call me Mrs. Claus, but it’s actually Ruth Claus-Joyner) autobiography, you came here to read about gifts. My advice on presents is to go BIG, if it works out great, and if not at least it didn’t hurt to ask.
- Kilter Board!
- Edelrid Tommy Caldwell Eco Dry ColorTec 9.3
- Misty Mountain Custom Cadillac Quick Adjust Climbing Harness
I Know this stuff is expensive, but every now and again Nick will surprise me with the goods. Happy Holidays everyone from Nick, Ruth, and all your friends from The North Pole!