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Tag Archives: Climbing

Rab's Momentum Short performs well in a range of activities, like climbing.

Rab Momentum Short Gear Review

Lightweight, quick drying, and comfortable, the Rab Momentum Short is the perfect short for a summer of adventures. The elastic waistband and stretchy fabric provide supreme comfort, and the shorts are UPF protectant and water resistant. Rab’s Momentum Shorts come in five different color options and have two front pockets and a zippered back pocket. All this is available in one lightweight package at an affordable price. It might seem too good to be true, but it’s not.

Utter contentment arises from wearing the Rab Momentum Short


The Rab Momentum Short is one of the best things you could wear this summer. I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of shorts and, pardon my French, but the Momentum shorts have a certain je ne sais quoi that puts them a leg above the others. Imagine a world where you feel young, free, and freshly rejuvenated no matter what is going on around you. That is exactly what it feels like to wear these shorts. I have climbed rocks, run 10Ks, spent many hours on my yoga mat, and even binged an entire season of Lost in one sitting while wearing the Momentums. Through all of the activities I have never been limited by the fabric of the short.

Similar to  James Cameron’s Avatar, the Tsaheylu (bond) that the wearer and the shorts have is unbreakable and only makes both parties stronger. By the time I have finished one activity and gotten ready for the next, the shorts have already dried off and are ready to start again. Which brings me to my next point: they do not need washed often. They wick away sweat at such an impressive rate that they can be worn day after day. (To be honest, I end up washing mine a little more frequently due to my incredibly messy eating habits). If you feel that something is missing from your life this summer, I would guarantee with 87% certainty that it is because there is a Momentum-Short-shaped hole in your heart. 

The lightweight and versatile Momentum short is ideal for long bike rides.


I didn’t even know I was in the market for new shorts until I tried on the Momentum. The moment I put them on I knew I wouldn’t be leaving the store without them, and with a surprisingly low price tag I didn’t feel bad about it. This is without a doubt the most comfortable pair of shorts I own. They’re lightweight and fit incredibly well, providing comfort no matter where I wear them. The elastic waistband has a well-designed and low-profile drawcord that fits comfortably beneath a climbing harness or hipbelt. These shorts have performed well climbing, cycling, hiking, working out, and simply lounging. They’ve kept me comfortable after hours on the bike, in the rain, and in the heat. I find myself wearing them multiple days in a row because no alternative feels this great.

I could heap endless praise on the Rab Momentum Short, but I won’t have time to write more because I’ll be too busy swapping every other pair of shorts in my dresser for a new color of the Momentum. I’m about to redefine what everyday apparel means, maybe a little too literally. I highly recommend this short and hope you’ll discover just how great they are, too.



Outdoor sport climbing opens up the opportunity to explore beautiful places.

6 Tips for Beginner Outdoor Sport Climbers (5/8)

With warm weather upon us, you’re bound to want to take your climbing from the gym to the crag. Here are 6 tips for the beginner outdoor sport climber as you expand your horizons.


1. Learn to Lead Climb Indoors

Lead climbing involves bringing the rope up with you while climbing instead of climbing with the rope already attached at the top (toprope climbing). Lead climbing can be dangerous; you should learn from experienced climbers before attempting to lead on your own. When you lead climb inside, you clip the rope to preset carabiners as you make your way up the route. Taking a lead clinic in a gym or practicing indoors is a great way to familiarize yourself with the clipping motion and proper technique in a controlled environment.


2. Know What Not to Do

When learning to lead, you need to understand the dangers of back clipping and Z-clipping. When done correctly, the climber’s side of the rope should be on the outside of a quickdraw. Dangerous back clips occur when you clip the climber’s side of the rope on the inside, creating potential for the rope to unclip itself if you fell. Z-clipping happens if you clip rope from under a previously clipped draw, creating a “Z” with the rope which can amplify the length of a fall and increase rope drag.

Kentucky's Red River Gorge has excellent outdoor sport climing.

3. Catch a Fall

An inevitable part of lead climbing is falling. Lead falls can be longer and more dangerous due to factors such as rope stretch, distance above a bolt, amount of slack present, and comparative weight of climber and belayer. With that in mind, catching a lead fall is paramount. As you learn to lead, you’ll also need to learn the ins and outs of lead belaying. Rather than taking in slack, you’ll be feeding out slack, managing the rope, and checking your climber’s clips. Communication and trust with a partner are key. With practice, you’ll soon be comfortable catching a lead fall and learn the quickest ways to take out slack.


4. Understand Safety Protocols

As you learn to lead, you’ll come to understand methods for properly placing quickdraws. You don’t need to worry about placing the anchors when leading inside since draws are pre-placed. Climbing outdoors, however, you’ll need to set up your own anchors that are Opposite and Opposed. Make sure the gates of your quickdraws are facing opposite directions when you set the anchors. Check that both gates face out and away from the route and the gates form an “x” when opened, which ensures the rope can’t come unclipped from the anchors. A final tip is to ensure the draws are Equalized. This means that the bottom of the carabiners should be at the same height so that the two draws bear the weight of your rope equally. You may need to adjust where one draw is placed on the chains to accomplish this.

Clipping is an essential skill in outdoor sport climbing.

5. Clean Routes Effectively

Cleaning after climbing consists of taking all your equipment off the climb and getting back to the ground safely. Cleaning is the most dangerous part of climbing. At the top of the route, you’ll transfer your rope to a new safety system and remove your gear as you descend. To clean properly, you’ll need two slings and two locking carabiners to create a Redundant system. I personally like 120 cm Dyneema slings because they can be used in many variations. I also prefer auto-locking carabiners like Petzl’s Sm’d Twistlock because they’re easier to take off than screwlock ‘biners.  There are a number of methods for safe and effective cleaning, and you’ll need to learn one from an expert and practice extensively before doing it on your own. Regardless of the method, any safety system should be opposite and opposed, equalized, and redundant. Always perform every safety check while cleaning and don’t rush the process.


6. Assemble Your Gear

Now you know all the basics of leading and cleaning a route and you’re prepared to climb sport routes outside! But first, it’s time to buy all your gear. Assuming you already own a harness and shoes, the next steps are to buy quickdraws, rope, and a helmet. You can always split your purchases with a consistent climbing partner to break up the cost. A great rope is the Tommy Caldwell 60-meter by Edelrid. You’ll also need quickdraws. There are endless options to choose from, but I recommend Petzl’s Djinn Axess Quickdraws. Twelve quickdraws is desirable for most routes near Cincinnati. Finally, safety is always a priority, so a climbing helmet is a necessity. This will protect your noggin from a fall when climbing or from loose rock while belaying.


These tips should help you transfer your skills to sandstone, granite, or limestone sport routes outside. The next blog in this series will open your eyes to crack climbing through tips for traditional climbers.


by: Sean Masterson



Opposite: The gates of carabiners face different directions. Even if one gate is unintentionally opened, the rope cannot come unclipped from both carabiners.

Opposed: Carabiners are oriented in the same direction (Top to top, bottom to bottom). In this way, if both gates are open and overlapping they form an “X.” In this manner, even if one carabiner were to rotate so that both gates faced the same direction, the gates would still open differently (up versus down), reducing the chance that the rope comes unclipped from both.

Redundant: Every weight-bearing system- ropes, carabiners, slings- need to be redundant. If one fails, there should be a backup. This means setting anchors with two carabiners, building an anchor from multiple points, and cleaning with two slings. Even if the extra piece of gear isn’t absolutely necessary, it could save your life.

Equalized: In an equalized system, both points of protection should be bearing your weight evenly. If one were to fail, this prevents shock-loading the system and causing system failure. Both slings when cleaning should be taut under your weight, and both carabiners should hang at the same level to cradle the rope.


*Climbing is inherently dangerous, even in a gym. All techniques should be learned from an expert. This blog is not meant to be a how-to guide, but rather a source of clarifying information and advice.


Because it’s There: Finding Purpose for Adventure

When asked why he desired to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, legendary mountaineer George Mallory allegedly replied, “Because it’s there.” Does one need any more reason than that? Of course, we all know how Mallory’s story ends- he disappeared on his summit attempt and his remains weren’t discovered until half a century later. It is still hotly debated whether or not Mallory reached the summit of Everest on that expedition, but most adventurers will agree Mallory’s three simple words were a strangely elegant, sufficient answer: because it’s there.

For many of us, our outdoor pursuits give us something we can’t find anywhere else. They make us feel a certain way, a euphoric yet peaceful je ne sais quoi. Whether it be backpacking, climbing, biking, or paddling, our experiences outside leave us fulfilled. We know inwardly why we do these things, why we push our bodies past their limits, suffer through the elements, and emerge with a tired smile on our faces. But how do we explain to parents, friends, and strangers why we do this? For them, Mallory’s answer is insufficient. So we must find the words to explain what drives us to set out on expeditions into the unknown.

I’ve done my fair share of adventuring and found ways to enjoy even the most grueling days. But I can’t claim to have an enlightened answer for why I climb and hike. Truthfully, there probably is no way to accurately describe my ambitions, to ease the worries of my parents with an eloquent arrangement of words about why I wanted to hike the Pacific Crest Trail or climb Mt. Washington in the dead of winter. For the uninitiated, “because it’s there” answers nothing. We each have unique and individual reasons for setting out on adventures. I’ll try to capture some of the shared reasons we set out into the wilderness.

I get a certain enjoyment out of pushing my body and mind to their limit and then discovering possibilities beyond those limits. Adventures are an escape from routine, an opportunity to experience something new. The feeling of freedom on a backpacking trip is amazing. It is refreshing to wake up to a mountaintop sunrise and realize you have no obligations- no texts to respond to, no work, no deadlines; your only obligation is to hike. An adventure is not just an escape from routine, but an escape from people. The woods provide an opportunity to release stress, a place where your limited interactions with people are genuine and you don’t have to adhere to social norms. 

The simplicity that comes from living out of a backpack is unbeatable; the knowledge of having everything you need on your back empowers you. The thrill that comes from being 100 feet up a rock wall, looking down on the trees, will make even the longest approaches worthwhile. The sense of pride that comes from sending a route or finishing a trail leaves me wanting to do it all over again. There is a certain beauty to fog sifting through the woods or of an early morning on the river, a beauty that can’t be found anywhere else.

I love starting my day with a steep climb and ending it soaked in sweat; I love the feel of wind in my face, staring up awestruck at the Milky Way from the comfort of my sleeping bag, and falling asleep to the steady murmur of a mountain stream. Time and time again I go out there for the sunsets and waterfalls that inspire my adventures. Without fail, I return from a trip exhausted but content, renewed by my time in the woods.

Our backcountry adventures might seem reckless or dangerous, but they bring us something that nothing else can. No amount of climbing at the gym is as exciting as a weekend at Red River Gorge; an hour on the stair-stepper pales in comparison to summitting a rocky peak. Each time we embark on one of these trips, we feel as if we’re going home. There is a sense of familiarity in the backcountry, even in unexplored places, that implores us to return. 

I’m not sure any of this really explains why we do what we do, but maybe that’s the point. We do it because it can’t be explained. In the end, Mallory might have done about as well as anyone in explaining our adventures. Why do we pursue longer and more remote trails, climb harder and more technical routes, or find faster flowing rivers? Because they’re there.


by: Will Babb

Backcountry permits are required for camping in many national parks.

A Reason for Regulation: The Science Behind Backcountry Permits

The outdoors is regrettably full of barriers to entry: far-away destinations, expensive equipment, learning barriers, and, frustratingly, permits. We’ve all run into the permit barrier, forced to waylay plans as we become tangled in red tape. As the popularity of outdoor recreation increases, so too does the impact on the forests, waterways, and peaks we choose to explore. Growing numbers of visitors lead to eroding trails, trampled vegetation, disturbed wildlife, polluted streams, and an ever-increasing list of degradations. And thus stems a reason for backcountry permits.

The outdoors is a welcoming place of escape. It is an escape from inhibitions, so it is frustrating when permits inhibit us from adventuring at will. Increasingly, the most popular places to camp, fish, hunt, backpack, paddle, and climb are being restricted to permitted users. Paddlers wait years for a coveted permit to paddle the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, hikers line up for permits to scale Yosemite’s Half Dome monolith, and climbers sleeping on a portaledge in Zion must first obtain a permit. Hunters and anglers have long been subject to competitive lotteries for permits, tags, and licenses, particularly for out-of-state travelers.

Restricting the number of hunters and anglers seems intuitive, since harvest quotas are structured to maintain fish and wildlife populations which can only withstand so much loss. Permits to climb, paddle, and hike in remote areas aren’t so different. Despite our best efforts at Leave No Trace, visiting fragile ecosystems has an impact; we take something away on each visit. The woods, walls, and waters we seek, like wildlife populations, can only handle so much loss.

The Dolly Sods Wilderness Area in West Virginia has long been a favorite getaway for me. Few people seemed to know of the area’s glamour, yet that is changing. The past few years, I’ve noticed more crowded trails and parking lots. Vegetation is trampled as hikers skirt around mud puddles, and secluded campsites hold multiple parties at once. Once, in my own effort to dig the perfect cathole, I uncovered someone else’s refuse. On another trip, I arrived at my favorite trailhead to find “No Parking” signs and overnight parking permit requirements where there had historically been free parking. These are the prices we pay for overcrowding. Some are merely an inconvenience to us, but others inconvenience the ecosystem.

Alpine areas are especially sensitive to overuse, heightening the importance of permit restrictions.

Biologists speak of the carrying capacity of an ecosystem. A forest can only handle so many coyotes, and there’s only room for a certain number of bluebirds in a field. When wildlife populations are above or below that carrying capacity, nature has a way of balancing things out. Disease, competition for food, limited habitat, and predator/prey relationships tend to push populations back toward that magical number.

The lands we recreate on also have a carrying capacity. There are only a certain number of hikers a trail can handle before it becomes irreparably eroded, so many catholes before a campsite is fouled, and a limited number of alpine baths before a lake becomes polluted. Natural checks occur before wildlife populations damage an ecosystem, but there is no such check on human visitors before degradation occurs. It falls on humans to place those checks on ourselves.

Land managers, wildlife biologists, social scientists, botanists, soil scientists, hydrologists, and others collaborate to determine the maximum number of visitors an ecosystem can handle. Backcountry permits are then instituted to keep visitors at or below that number. These numbers are not arbitrary; there is more science than you could imagine behind them. This collaboration of experts weighs human impacts on wildlife, vegetation, soils, waterways, and trails to determine this number.

They consider the human experience and at what number of visitors an area feels overcrowded. How many people can a trail handle, or a river? What’s the maximum number of cars that can fit at a trailhead parking lot? Perhaps park managers and rangers can only deal with so many patrons per day. This number may stem from limited campsite availability or the ability of soils to bounce back from use. A thorough analysis of diverse impacts is completed before land managers make the difficult decision to institute or adjust permits.

Increasingly, backpackers on trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail are subject to permit requirements.

Be forewarned that more and more of our getaways will be subject to backcountry permits in the coming years. It is altogether a good thing that more people are finding refuge in the outdoors, for we all benefit from time outside. We each deserve the chance to see a mountain sunset and drink from an alpine spring. And support for our treasured places will only grow as their visitors do, which can only be good.

Most permits have a nominal fee associated with them, although some are free. Luckily, this fee is usually small enough that it doesn’t create a financial barrier for visitors. When there is a fee, rest assured that your money goes back to protecting the land— establishing campsites, improving trails, building latrines, and restoring damaged habitats. Keep in mind that the first rule of Leave No Trace is plan ahead and prepare. Do your research and be aware of any backcountry permit requirements before you leave and take the steps to secure any necessary permit.

But there will be a time when we don’t get the desired permit. Take each frustration in stride and remind yourself of the science behind that permit. It is there for a reason, with the good of the earth at stake. Be patient. Find another place or time to recreate. Don’t sidestep the permit or break the rules, because the temporary relief it brings is not worth irreversible damage to a place we love. We’re all bound to be frustrated, angered, bamboozled, cheated, fooled, screwed, and hurt by the red tape of permit requirements. When that happens, remember that the permit is there for the benefit of all—the plants, animals, soils, rocks, waters, visitors, and even you.

California’s spectacular High Sierra is restricted to visitors with backcountry permits.

A permit is designed to protect natural spaces from us because despite our best intentions, damage is inevitable. Backcountry permits, done well, should strike a balance between natural and human interactions. They should allow wildlife, vegetation, and ecosystems to flourish unimpeded, but they should also enhance our own experience in those places. After all, these wild spaces are not there solely for our use as hikers, climbers, paddlers, hunters, and anglers. They are there to protect all that is natural and wild, and we are drawn to those places because they are natural and wild. If permits are necessary to keep them that way, then so be it.


by: Will Babb

8 Tips for Beginner Climbers

With the addition of rock climbing to the Olympic Games, the sport has exploded in popularity. Here are 8 tips for beginner climbers as you discover the possibilities of the sport.

1. Go to your local climbing gym

If you live in Cincinnati, you have tons of climbing gyms nearby. The area’s great gyms include Mosaic in Loveland, Rockquest in Sharonville, Climb Cincy in Northside, Climb Time of Blue Ash, and my personal favorite, Climb Time of Oakley. At the gym, you’ll sign a waiver, get a basic orientation, and embark on your first climbs. Start by renting shoes and a harness from the gym to see if you enjoy climbing enough to warrant a purchase. Here’s a bonus tip: it’s okay to be scared. I’ve been climbing for five years and still get scared on some routes; the trick is to keep climbing despite the fear and reap the rewards of doing so.

Mosaic Climbing in Loveland is an excellent resource for beginner climbers

Climbing in a gym allows you to learn in a safe environment

2. Purchase climbing shoes

The first gear purchase for new climbers should be climbing shoes. Climbing shoes have a specialized shape and rubber that allows you to stand on tiny footholds. Renting shoes works at first, but some shoes will perform better. I’d recommend La Sportiva’s Tarantula and Scarpa’s Origin for beginner climbers. Both are comfortable for long gym sessions but still have good rubber to help you stick to the wall.

3. Add to your gear collection

After you buy shoes, you should purchase a harness and chalk bag. While any climbing harness will get the job done, comfort is what separates a harness you may buy from the ones you rent at the gym. I recommend Petzl’s Corax, a comfortable, long-lasting harness at an affordable price. It has plenty of gear loops (the loops found on the side of the harness) which will be necessary if you transition to outdoor climbing.

Petzl's Corax harness, Scarpa's Origin shoes, and a Neon chalk bag are great for beginner climbers

4. Show your style

A chalk bag holds Magnesium Carbonate chalk that is used to dry your hands while climbing. Chalk bags are an opportunity to show your sweet sense of dirtbag style, so find a fun bag that fits your personality like these vibrant Neon chalk bags.

5. Work on your movement

Developing technique will help you improve quickly. Many new climbers rely on their upper body, but footwork is the most important part of climbing. You should be using your hands to balance and your legs to move up the wall. Be intentional with your footwork— look at each foothold before you place your feet. Another common mistake is over-gripping out of fear, which tires you out. Relax, breathe, and trust your feet to hold your weight. The best ways to learn technique are watching experienced climbers and simply climbing more.


6. Learn to belay

You have the basics down, so it’s time to learn to belay. Essentially, you pull the rope as the climber gets higher on the wall. There is a specific technique you need to follow to belay safely. Most gyms offer classes on how to belay. Another way to learn is through an experienced, detail-oriented climbing mentor. Make sure you are confident in your technique before taking a belay test at the gym or belaying others.

Belaying is an important skill in a climber’s progression. Image courtesy Chloe Huggins

7. Start a belaytionship

A “belaytionship” is the close pact a climber and belayer have with one another. This person holds onto your life, so make sure you trust them. Like any relationship, the foundations of a close belaytionship are mutual trust, communication, and respect. It also helps to have a partner that supports you, pushes you harder, and keeps you excited about the sport.

8. Progress your skills

You now know how to climb topropes (climbs where a rope is already anchored at the top, like in a gym). Now it’s time to learn lead climbing. Lead climbing is where you bring the rope up with you and clip into carabiners as you climb the route. All climbing can be dangerous, but lead climbing is where danger becomes more present. Lead belaying technique is just as important to learn as lead climbing, and lead belayers must be attentive to their climbers. You can learn more about the basics of lead climbing by reading blogs or watching others, but you’ll need to take a class or learn from an experienced climber to do it safely. Lead climbing opens up incredible opportunities to climb in spectacular places like Kentucky’s Red River Gorge.

Now it’s time to take your newfound expertise from the gym to the cliffs and crags! The next blog in this series will have tips on sport climbing outside.

by: Sean Masterson

Rock Climbing, PBR and Overcoming Fear

Climbing is a ridiculous sport. It involves humans scaling up rock formations against gravity, sometimes without any apparent reason. If you’ve ever had to explain your rock climbing hobbies to a non-climber, their expressions and questions confirm that what you’re saying is absurd. Have you ever tried to describe a cam to your non-climbing uncle? “Oh yeah this is a super expensive piece of gear that I jam into cracks, and if it pops out when I fall I could die. Cool, right?” Have you found yourself skimping out on spending money on anything other than climbing gear? Quitting your job because you need more time off for your road trip?

….Have you ever stopped yourself and thought, “why the hell am I doing this?”


Stoked on the summit of the south face of Sixshooters, Indian Creek, Utah

I ask this especially when frustrated with a route. I often exclaim that climbing is stupid. I have to walk away and put my ego in check. I feel this way especially when bouldering. I can usually just walk to the top of the rock, so why am I choosing such a difficult way to ascend it? Because well, it’s not really about ascending the rock, is it?

Climbing is definitely fun; it’s adventurous, it can be really cool and social, but it’s also extreme, terrifying and sometimes dangerous. It is rewarding and frustrating. I see it primarily as a solo sport, but one that requires other people around for safety and logistical reasons. It has a unique and wonderful community base, and while there are many different types of climbers, we are all the same weird rock wrestlers at the core. We gotta stick together. Nobody else understands and they don’t even know how to belay.

Sure, I love sending routes and seeing progress and feeling strong. But I also love being challenged. It’s in these moments of frustration that the reasons I climb occur to me. It’s somewhere in the moments of feeling very high gravity and my excuses for not sending, and then actually sending. In doing something I once couldn’t do and all that motivational jargon.P1050381

Honestly, climbing is ridiculous and that is part of the appeal. It doesn’t need to be defined or rationalized in order to do it. Stripping down the essences of why we climb kills the fun in a way. It’s an escape from having to explain ourselves, from having to think and conform. It’s climbing up rock formations for fun and it’s completely awesome.

This April I had the opportunity to grow as a climber. I’ve been primarily a sport climber for the last several years, and sometimes I think I boulder too much. I’m very attracted to big wall and traditional climbing and it’s the more appealing end goal for me. I spent 3 weeks climbing in several amazing places: Boulder Canyon, Colorado; Moab, Utah; Indian Creek, Utah; Red Rocks, Nevada; and of course the home base, Red River Gorge, Kentucky. I finally learned to lead trad, and to be a useful partner in traditional multi pitch climbs. Basically, I learned how to scare myself on an even larger scale than before with higher consequences and more expensive gear. It was an emotional roller coaster in a very rewarding and productive way. I had moments of genuine fear and total discomfort, coupled with rewarding and beautiful memories of significance all within minutes of each other. I had the type of “vacation” that would confuse and worry most people and is difficult to explain to non-climbers. In climbing there’s a glorification of overcoming fear, dirtbaggin’, expensive gear, PBR and whiskey. I love most aspects of it: the routes, the gear, the people, the adventure, the variable climates, even the fear. There’s something masochistic about saying you love to be afraid. I prefer to call it a humbling adventure. 


On the summit of Bedtime for Bonzo, RRG, Kentucky, minutes before this photo I was crying hysterically over exposure fear, and uncertain gear placements and then saw this sunset and realized I had finished it.

I haven’t figured out why I climb exactly, but maybe I’ll tell you one day on the summit of one of my dream walls, 10ft or 1,000ft tall. I don’t know why, but I do know I’d rather have shredded finger tips than soft hands. I’d rather sit on a rock with a beautiful view than a recliner chair and TV. You have good days and bad days, send days and injury days. All of them should end with your friends and PBR around a fire or over a pizza at Miguel’s. Climbing may be ridiculous and terrifying but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” -Jack Kerouac

Gear Review: La Sportiva Miura VS

La Sportiva Miura VS Gear Review

By Kayla McKinney, featuring photos from Eli Staggs

There is a myriad of styles and techniques in the sport of rock climbing. Everyone has their own style and every route has different features. Different climbing shoes fit better for different styles, distances and formations. It can be difficult to know which shoe will best fit your needs, so reading reviews and testing out products if possible is a great place to start. The Miura VS is immensely popular, and for good reasons. The shoe comes in a women’s and men’s version with the major distinction between the male and female versions of the shoe being the colors and size of the shoe.


Eli getting precise foot placements in his Miura VS shoes.

The La Sportiva Miura VS, winner of the Rock and Ice – Best in Gear, does not fit into every niche, but is an excellent intermediate to advanced climbing shoe that excels in precise edging and placement on slab to overhanging face-climbing.

The ideal terrain: Overhanging sport routes, bouldering, gym climbing and technical face climbing.  I do not recommend these shoes for trad climbing, especially with the triple Velcro system.

Personal Review:


Precise foot placement and smearing.

After my first pair of climbing shoes got too old and smelly, I decided to bump up to a more intermediate climbing shoe. The Miuras were the right choice for precise toe performance on small footholds, heel hooking and edging. I feel like a ballerina because I’m so on point with my toes. Toe chips that once seemed impossible are comfortable ledges compared to the flatter toe box shoes I had previously. When I first got them and put them on, I thought I horribly misjudged the size and that I could never climb in them, because they were so tight and painful. It took almost a month of climbing once or twice per week for the shoes to break in “comfortably.” I went down a full size from my street shoes, which was painful at first but perfect after the break in period. The shoes are still painful in the toes to this day, and not comfortable to walk around in. I am actually forming a callous on both of my big toes from the shoes, but I am weirdly proud of it. I chose the VS (as oppo


Bend near toe bed after prolonged use.

sed to the original Miura’s) because of the micro seconds saved with a Velcro system. Who has time for laces? The triple Velcro system enables a precise fit and is a perfect compromise for laces.

Update: I have now had the Miuras for about 4 months and I climb 2 or 3 times a week and my opinions have changed since I first started this blog. They have started loosening in the heel and a peculiar damage is occurring in the leather around the toes, as shown in the photo, from bending my foot. I worry about the longevity of my shoes because of this bend. I also regret having gotten the VS Velcro system because I believe that laces would fit better around my narrow, small foot now that the leather has stretched even more. Regardless, these are still my go-to shoes for sport and bouldering and I still highly recommend them to anyone looking for an intermediate shoe. When these retire, I will likely get the Miura Women’s instead of the Miura VS.

For specific shoe specs visit the La Sportiva website:

For the Men’s VS:

For the Women’s VS:


When things get chossy, it’s good to have a shoe you can count on.


Climb On!!

Climb On!!
Climbing in the Tri-State
Written by: James Mobley

My wife will tell you that I’m obsessed with climbing.  I say I’m passionate about climbing.  Either way it is a key part of my life!  I’ve been climbing for over 13 years and continue to get more involved in the climbing community.  It challenges me to grow my mind, body, and spirit every time I climb, all year long.  I fail more times than I succeed but when I do achieve a particular goal it is very gratifying and I grow as a person.  I enjoy going to climbing areas and meeting new people in the climbing community.  I meet people from all over the world and we all have a common bond, our passion for climbing.Amarillo Sunset 5.11b

Bouldering At Springfield OhioSo where do I go to fulfill my passion to climb?  I moved to Cincinnati mainly to be closer to The Red River Gorge in Slade Kentucky.  The Red is a worldwide destination for climbers.  Gritty sandstone, pocketed lines, and steep roof routes make it the mecca of Midwest climbing.  Climbing guides for the Red River Gorge are available at Roads Rivers and Trails, located in downtown Milford.  The guide will give you ideas for climbing, camping, and restaurants.  My favorite place to find all three is Miguel’s PizzaMiguel’s Pizza is an icon around the world for supporting the climbing community.  Their dedication to climbers is evident through their business; gear shop, food, climber camping, and their ongoing support in all the yearly climbing events that take place in the area.  On top of all of that, they make the best pizza on the planet, no joke!

But wait, there’s more!  Living in Cincinnati gives me access to a number of other great climbing destinations.  You can urban climb right in Cincinnati, at Eden Park.  The New River Gorge in West Virginia offers features, such as, splinter cracks, ledges, horizontal cracks, and clean lines.  On a hot summer day the New also offers great places to jump into the water to cool off after a day of climbing!  All this is available within a short drive. Just north of Cincinnati, in Springfield Park, you can boulder limestone rock.  Just west of Cincinnati, in Muscatatuck, Indiana, you can boulder along a creek bed.   A southeast day trip offers bouldering in Athens, Ohio. In summary, amazing climbing surrounds the Cincinnati area.

Funkadelic 5.10bIf you’re looking for a new way to get fit and meet great people I encourage you to try climbing; be it in one of the local gyms or one of these outside locations! I feel lucky to live in a place with so many great options!