Uniting Canada's Largest Climbing Community

Stocking Stuffers For Climbers At Christmas

If you've ever tried to buy a Christmas gift for a climber, you've quickly realized how difficult it is to shop for these folks. Most climbers not only have very particular preferences when it comes to gear, but if they've been climbing for any length of time, they tend to already own most of the equipment they need. To help with this Christmas shopping dilemma, here are five stocking stuffers that will please almost any climber.
  • Metolius Finger Tape

Metolius Finger Tape (click for larger image)

Metolius Finger Tape
This year Metolius has introduced a half-inch version of their classic two-inch wide US-made climbing tape. While the previous two-inch version is ideal for crack climbing, this new half-inch width is better suited for taping split tips and supporting strained pulleys. Old-school climbers might point out that you can achieve the same result by merely splitting the wider tape, but anyone that's struggled to tear the correct width will appreciate this narrower pre-formed option. Available in four colours (blue, lime green, gold and pink) to better match your sending outfit, this gift is a no-brainer and will be appreciated by any climber or boulderer.
  • Metolius Upshot Belay Glasses

Metolius Upshot Belay Glasses (click for larger image)

Metolius Upshot Belay Glasses
Belay glasses have become a standard piece of kit for most experienced climbers. Not only do they minimize neck strain during those epic belay sessions, but they also encourage more attentive belaying as they make it easier (and less painful) to view the climber. The new Upshots from Metolius are optimized to view higher up the wall and thanks to their sport-style temples and low profile nosepiece, they easily fit over prescription glasses or sunglasses. Metolius also throws in a protective case and retainer strap, making the Upshots a top choice for anyone belaying in the gym or at the crag.
  • MSR WindBurner Stove System Combo

Organic Climbing Chalk Bag (click for larger image)

Organic Climbing Chalk Bag
Organic Climbing has been making colourful and durable chalk bags for over a decade, and they continue to build some of the best chalk bags and bouldering bags on the market. Other than the burly materials (1000D Cordura) and solid construction, what sets Organic's chalk bags apart from other brands is the fact that each bag has a unique colour pattern. You see, the colour accents on the bags consist of remnant fabrics (from other Organic products) that are randomly chosen, ensuring you get a one-of-a-kind bag. The upside to this construction is it also reduces landfill waste – smart! Still not convinced? Then consider that you can go to the Organic site and order a custom chalk bag in the colours that you choose! Finally, all Organic products are made in the USA in a modern solar-powered workspace by skilled employees that are treated with respect and dignity – a refreshing alternative to the offshore manufactured goods that are the norm in today's outdoor industry.
  • The Rattlesnake Point Sport Climbing Guide

The Rattlesnake Point Sport Climbing Guide (click for larger image)

Ontario Climbing: Vol 1.4 Sport Climbing Guide To Rattlesnake Point
New climbers looking to get their first taste of sport climbing will be ecstatic to receive a copy of Ontario Climbing: Vol 1.4 Sport Climbing Guide To Rattlesnake Point. This classic Ontario climbing area was recently updated with over 30 moderate sport routes. Throw in a short approach (there is a metal staircase leading to the base), a southern exposure that ensures warms temps and dry conditions, and an easily navigable base, and it's understandable why this crag continues to be so popular. And for anyone that prefers digital guides, you can purchase the complete Rattlesnake guide (as well as other Ontario climbing guides) from rakkup. Purchase a hardcopy of the guide at www.ontarioclimbing.com
  • Ontario Alliance of Climbers

Ontario Alliance of Climbers (click for larger image)

Ontario Alliance of Climbers Membership
Ok, some climbers might be a little underwhelmed when receiving this gift, but stay with me as I explain why it's important. As climbing has grown in popularity, so have crag closures and access restrictions. The Ontario Alliance of Climbers (OAC) fights to reverse these closures and maintain access to our local crags. Your membership goes a long way to legitimizing the organization in the eyes of local land managers; it's hard for land managers to ignore the OAC when it's representing thousands of members. And the best part is that a lifetime OAC membership only costs $5. So go ahead and do the right thing. Your membership will help keep your favourite climbing area open.
Join the discussion of this and other climbing related stories at www.ontarioclimbing.com/forum/
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Gus Alexandropoulos is a freelance writer who has been involved in the outdoor industry for over 35 years. During his career he has been the editor at Canada’s national climbing magazine, as well as the gear editor for a national cycling magazine, triathlon magazine and running magazine. His work has been published in Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, and he has been a guest on television and radio broadcasts. His passion for climbing began in Ontario in the mid-80s and he continues to travel extensively in search of crisp conditions and steep rock.