Maddy Cope: Climbing the unknown in Mongolia
Mammut UK athlete and climber, Madeleine Cope, has just returned from a three-week trip to Mongolia – not the first place you think of as a climbing location!
We have assembled a team with diverse climbing backgrounds to review climbing and mountaineering gear at UKClimbing.com. These climbers are all active and participate in the whole range of climbing activities; bouldering, trad, sport, alpine, Scottish winter, water ice, mixed, dry tooling, and greater range mountaineering. All are keen as mustard and all can write.
So how will we be dealing with gear? It hardly needs to be said that as climbers gear is very important to us. Yet it is quite amazing how often some of us place blind faith in it without fully understanding how it works or how it is made and are often influenced by fashion, price and word-of-mouth rather than function, performance and advice from experts.
We will have four gear departments at UKClimbing.com which as a whole will be a rich resource of information on all things climbing gear.
Gear Showcases will give you the technical specifications and an image of a product, its price and availability. Each Showcase will be announced down the Gear forums (here) at UKClimbing.com. If you have experience of the product featured please feel free to add your comments to the thread. If you have a positive experience of a piece of kit, say why. We are only allowing climbers who are registered at UKClimbing.com to comment and we ask that if you have any criticism of a product please make it constructive criticism. Just saying, "it's crap" won't cut the mustard and any mindless posts will face the moderator's axe.
There's an example of a Gear Showcase here
Gear will go out to the gear testers and they will use the product. We are encouraging them to do an early review after one month's use then to revisit the review after six months use (and maybe beyond).
Our gear testers will be in touch with the gear manufacturers and distributers and their brief is to include as much technical information about manufacturing process, materials, design and performance as they can.
Many manufacturers and distributors at UKClimbing.com have Commercial Profiles and they are being encouraged to take part in any gear discussions. All gear articles, reviews and showcases will be announced at the Gear forums (here) so that we can all have the opportunity to have our say.
With feedback from you, the gear testing team and people in the outdoor industry we will all surely learn from this accumulated gear wisdom, and this is the intention, to provide enough information from a variety of sources so that we can all make an informed decision when buying our essential outdoor equipment.
To help even more we will be also inviting guest reviewers and experts from the outdoor industry to bring us all up to speed on on a multitude of gear topics from how ropes are made to "how long should I keep my harness?" to how karabiners are made to "I want to start ice climbing, what gear do I need?" or even "what's the best brush for cleaning the chalk off my proj at the Bowderstone."
All the features at UKClimbing.com are free to use; the forums, photo galleries, databases, articles, logbook and the news. Many climbers contribute to UKClimbing.com by writing articles, supplying photographs, feeding us news and contributing down the forums. If you would like to help with 'Gear' at UKclimbing.com make sure you read articles and reviews that are of interest to you and if possible contribute to gear discussion at the gear forums. Also support companies that advertise at UKClimbing.com by reading their Premier Posts and clicking on their banners and having a good look at the services and products they offer.
All at UKClimbing.com