Three months from now will mark the beginning of a 7-10 day climbing trip based out of Atlanta, Georgia. While I believe we’ll be traveling up to 6 hours for good climbing, Atlanta will be the home base where we’ll be staying in between trips (I think a couple of days trips are being planned, as well as one 2-3 day trip with camping).
Phase One of getting ready for “The Beta” is almost complete. I’ll finish lead climbing class tomorrow evening and be certified to lead climb and belay at the gym, which means I can start practicing without the supervision of an instructor and start working my way to lead climbing 5.10s consistently. Jonathan starts lead class on Monday and will be finished in three weeks.
Phase Two of “The Beta” involves equipment. My brother and I are both going to pick up a set of six quickdraws, which will give us twelve to use while in Atlanta (so we aren’t bumming gear off my cousin and his wife). I’ve been checking out the major websites (REI, EMS, HTO), and there are a number of options available in the quickdraw department. Having ZERO experience in purchasing quickdraws, I’d love to hear what you have and have not been happy with, in terms of cost, performance, reliability and durability. Wire gate or not? Tell me what you do and do not like.
The other integral part of the plan would be to purchase my own rope. This is yet another field I have little to no knowledge in. Is there a standard length rope that covers you for most casual outdoor climbing? Are some brands better than others? More reliable? More impervious to dirt and moisture, and ultimately longer lasting? Again, I would love to hear your thoughts on equipment you have used, and any recommendations you might have.
The other major piece of equipment I may pick up in the next few months would be another pair of shoes. You may remember, I picked up a set of the La Sportiva Nago’s back around Christmas, and I have absolutely fallen in love with them. However, I already feel like I want something a little more aggressive, something I can really get down and dirty with the toe. Being so happy with my current pair of La Sportiva’s, I have had my eye on the La Sportiva Solution, a velcro shoe in the upper tier of what La Sportiva has to offer. The downside, as I am discovering, is that not many stores in the area carry this shoe, and I refuse to purchase a shoe without trying it on first. I’m sure somebody has it, but it’s just a matter of tracking it down…