Metolius Portaledge Platform
This one’s definitely not for the fainthearted. Instead of climbing all the way to the top of the cliff before pitching tent, why not just camp halfway up? On a platform that hangs precariously from the anchor hardware you've used to protect you so far. Best use the whole rack if you want a decent snooze!
The Metolius Portaledge platform sleeps one (a two-person version is also available) and is made from aircraft-quality aluminium tubing and heavy-duty Polyester. Use it with the optional Bomb Shelter flysheet (£270) for full comfort and protection against the elements. Just don’t look down.
£540 | Urban Rock
Stave off altitude sickness by keeping tabs on your height using this stylish digital wristwatch from active-sports specialist, Suunto. The Vector is a tried-and-tested mountaineering-specific watch that features an altimeter with altitude logging facility, a barometer with weather trend indicator, a temperature gauge, chronograph, compass and vertical speed meter. Its electro-luminescent display is easy to read in all weathers and it operates in even the most extreme conditions, from -20ËC to +60ËC. Oh, and, rather handily, it also tells the time.
£170 | Suunto
These cool-looking flexible climbing shoes offer supreme grip when the going gets steep and precipitous. Being able to bend and grip with your toes as if using bare feet is a crucial element when scaling vertical rock faces. Well these new Scarpas are just the ticket: their high quality Lorica upper material aids precise toe placement and excellent levels of feedback while the VIBRAM XS Edge rubber soles provide mountain goat-like purchase and reassuring firmness on even the slimmest of ledges.
£125 | Go Outdoors
When you’re far from a power source, halfway up a mountain in the middle of nowhere, you’ll rue the day you didn’t take along a solar charger for your phone and GPS unit. The newly launched Powermonkey Expedition’s tough aluminium waterproof casing houses a 10,500mAh lithium polymer battery capable of charging a multitude of USB devices from DSLRs and phones to tablets and GPS units. And when its own juice runs low, simply open the supplied clam-shell solar panel or give the hand crank a vigorous 10-minute whirl and your gear will be juiced up and ready to go again.
£450 | Power Traveller
Given that your hands and fingers are going to be very busy dealing with precipitous ledges, ropes and ice axes, the last thing you need come nightfall is a torch buried somewhere deep in a pocket. Wear this top of the range head lamp, and when darkness or inclement weather creeps in you’ll not only be able to see where you’re going but, come camp time, you won’t be stumbling over guy ropes or tripping over the cliff edge. The Myo runs on three AA batteries and offers three lighting modes, a maximum beam strength of up to 90 metres and up to 53 hours of battery life on its brightest setting.
£75 | Cotswold Outdoor
Mountaineers need a compact cooking system that doesn’t take up valuable backpack space, is practical, efficient, light and, above all, easy to use. The all-in-one Jetboil Sol’s neoprene-coated, one-person, 0.8-litre cooking pot also serves as a container for the burner, stand and propane canister so everything is nicely stored in one tidy package. But it’s the speed and efficiency of the Sol’s unique burner that impresses most. Like an industrial blow-torch, this thing boils water in seconds rather than minutes, and in temperatures as low as -6ËC. And when you’re done cooking, simply eat the contents straight out of the pot. Job done.
£130 | Jetboil
Climbing is a dangerous business so it makes sense to protect one’s bonce from falling rocks, poorly executed abseils and accidental falls. The Salamander is equipped with a robust, subtly ventilated ABS outer shell, a shock-absorbing polystyrene inner lining and a head torch bungee attachment. It’s comfy and light enough for long hours at the rock face and its highly visible bright yellow colour is a major plus should, heaven forbid, you end up in a precarious rescue situation.
£55 | Ellis Bringham
The Click Up is a new Italian-made belay device designed for fluid, fuss-free feeding and locking of climbing rope. Its innovative design allows climbers, and beginners especially, to quickly feed rope and, more importantly, arrest accidental falls without getting into a fluster. With are no moving parts to seize up, there’s little risk of it jamming, while its clever V-shaped design means that it’ll work even when used incorrectly. And that’s very reassuring when you’re having a senior moment halfway up Devil’s Tower.
£60 | Climbing Technology