Why Do I Choose CAMP Products?

I have been a CAMP athlete for over TEN years now and in that time I have never thought about leaving. Why?

  1. Because in that time I have become a part of the family. I am not just saying that, because when you learn how its been run by the same family for over 125 years and get to know the owners personally and get to know the designers personally, you become attached to their passion for the product and the brand.
  2. Because I don’t like to carry more than I have to. CAMP products from harnesses to carabiners are the lightest and easiest to use in the world. Whether I am bigwalling or sport climbing, I know that I don’t have to carry extra weight. My personal favorites are the photon wires. These carabiners are easy to clip and plenty big for sport draws, trad racks and even work wonderfully in the cold! The harness system that prevents twisting of the belay carabiner is a simple but perfect way to solve the twisting problems during the belay process.  http://vimeo.com/59671003
  3. Loyalty. Simply put, they want to support me and my climbing and teaching as much as I want to support them with spreading the word about their great products. It is a situation where I don’t just use the equipment but where I believe in it. I will always be loyal to CAMP.
  4. Because with age comes wisdom and a desire to be the best. At 125 years old and supporting it’s small mountain community in Premana, Italy CAMP wants nothing more than to make its family proud of its product. If you ever get a chance to visit the HQ, it will change how you think about climbing companies.

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CAMP, made for the big mountains, the small mountains and everything in between!

Grand Valley Climbing Gym Update! Opens Sept 13!!!!

The gym from the outside. A new building designed for the gym, not the other way around like most older gyms. The heating, air conditioning and environment was designed to be pleasant and easy to move around in, in addition to allowing the members to see what their friends are doing!

After entering the gym, this wall will be on your right. At 44ft tall, it has been designed to be a great place for beginners and intermediate climbers learn to top rope and lead. Most of the wall is lower angle and vertical with some minor features accenting the climbing. There are about 20 top ropes that will be set which will keep everyone climbing and happy, even at the busiest times!

Still some construction going on (actually they are moving out the tools to build the walls because they are all done. Now it is time to install the state of the art Asana flooring system which will make climbing in the bouldering area worry free! Notice the free standing boulder behind the tools. It is large and in charge with great angles to climb on!

More of the bouldering area. The walls are over 10 ft tall which allows the routes to be more than 2-3 moves long! Again, the area was designed with big sweeping clean angles to allow for lots of variety in the setting. There is plenty of overhanging and vertical terrain to please everyone.

Boom! The pit at 50 ft tall (plus overhang distance). We have 40 routes up and will keep putting more on the walls. I had a chance to try some of the climbs in addition to setting a few and the wall just keeps going. It is a nice place to work on technique, endurance, leading and even falling! Notice the 10 +ft tall ladder in the lower right of the photo.

More of the pit. There are routes of all grades and styles on these beautiful walls.

This is how you access the pit. There are cubbies for your bags. Notice the lighting, there are no dark spots in this gym.

Again the rest of the pit. This wall is slightly overhanging to vertical and will allow some cool techy routes to be set.

Summit Grapevine (Dallas,Tx) Gym Review

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then… Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org  www.brewersledge.com  

So this is a great smaller gym with more top roping and leading than bouldering.
The routes that I climbed were well set and the grades seemed right on par with other gyms.
I really liked how the setters used the features in addition to the smooth paint vs textured features.
This made it challenging to grab them and to stand on them if it was the slick feature.

With respect to training there was a speed wall (where the kids excel at and often win national competitions. I had never seen one, it is set with just a few holds and the kids figure out how to move quickly up through the odd shaped holds.
Personally, I would have set real routes on it because it was just slightly overhung and very wide. Perfect to set any kind of route on.
The training area is a second thought. They have finger boards poorly placed in a corner, they have a weight bench with just a few weights, they have a pull up bar that is free standing that is not attached to the floor so it can fall over if you were to rock it to one side.

In all I like the gym but the training area is lackluster. No systems board, no campus board, no real equipment, no space and no instruction for what they do have.

The bouldering area was small as you can see below. Get a lot of people in there and you will be falling on top of each other. It had the right amount of angles and plenty of holds to make up your own problems if you wanted.

There was an arch in the lead area that was quite fun and again well set.

Slick feature

Textured feature

Classroom/yoga/party room


City Rock Climbing Gym: Training Review

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then… Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: www.arcteryx.com   www.camp-usa.com   www.scarpa.com   www.sterlingrope.com   www.americanalpineclub.org   www.brewersledge.com   www.windx-treme.com  

So, I rarely get to check out other climbing gyms. But family trips offer a few minutes after the kids go to sleep to sometimes try one out. Over winter break we found ourselves in Colorado Springs and I had an hour and a half at the City Rock Climbing Gym.

Because I was very excited to climb a bit, I made the best of that time at this cool place to train and climb. I was able to meet up with a random gym patron and trade belays instead of using one of the many auto belays. For me, the gym experience is about climbing with a partner and not trying to be alone inside a facility. The route setting was great and I had a good time trying to bang out pitches in such a short amount of time before closing.

The main climbing area was sectioned off from the rest of the facility which was nice. There was no worries about whether or not a slack liner, boulderer, other climber, or anyone would bump into you. Plus the walls were tall and slabby to wickedly overhung! I forgot what it was like to get pumped indoors (my local gym is only about 20ft tall which makes it pretty tough).

After my partner had to leave, I choose to explore the other facets of the the gym. There was a slack line area and a bouldering area that were spacious and popular. Lastly, the upstairs was the training area. This is what I was most interested in because climbing routes can only do so much.

 There were three adjustable systems boards that were operated by a winch.All were 12ft wide by 12ft or 14ft tall. SICK!! The board at my gym is also adjusted by the winch method and I feel that even though it serves its purpose and works that it is not the best set up. The reason that I feel it is not the best is that the winch is typically only attached to the center of the board. This allows any dynamic movements to create movement or oscillation in the board, especially if you are on one side or the other.
My other observation was that there was no pattern to the placement of the holds. There was no way to work a specific hold type size or movement in a systematic manner. I feel that the systems board is an amazing tool to utilize in a gym but that most gyms don’t set them properly.

 Systems board can be used in a number ow ways. One of which to complete repeated movements of a certain type. In doing this you can really improve a certain finger strength, hand strength or specialized movement. I have many of these explained in past postings.
The other way to use a systems board is to climb a problem that works a certain skill set or holds and to then slowly lower the angle until it becomes difficult. Then send it at the steeper and steeper angles. What you will find is that you will have to relearn how to climb the route and how to grip the holds and how to place your body with each angle increase. It is very powerful. This is one way that the European climbers have been training for years!

The yellow photo shows their extensive campus terrain! I liked it. The slopers were poorly made though in that the screws stuck out and you could rip your skin on your palms. They need to be deep set. The padding was nice and the boards were spaced properly.

 I really liked this set up, mostly. The bar is rigged on chains (which I don’t like) but is two diameters for pull ups and whatever else you want to use it for (stretching and such). Plenty of space for multiple people to use it.

 It is welded and painted.

In trying to use all their space efficiently, they have hung lots of training camps rungs for finger boarding. My problem is that you can rest your arm against the wall which effects your finger boarding.

Overall, it is a great place to train at and it has lots of potential!

Training with Piz: Rock Climbing Helmets

Contact Piz at pizem@hotmail.com for Motivational/Instructional/Entertaining Speaking Engagements, Climbing Instruction, Training and Periodization Programs

Until then… Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

 Andrew Burr Photo

Thanks to my amazing sponsors:



This could be considered the same old rant that you have heard in the past, but for whatever reason I am here to write it one more time!

Wear your helmets folks!

The combination of these points:

  • my high schools crisis team meeting this morning telling the staff about crazy gunman in schools  
  • and the fact that a friend who climbs more than all of us just having a bad climbing accident a day or two ago (still in the hospital)
  • and that while I was just trying my head point project and having all the gear blow during fall

makes me want to remind everyone that helmets save your life. I have pictures and links to the ones that I wear regularly.

It’s simple, wear them and be safer. Choose not to wear them and be a dope.

Accidents are called that for a reason, because you didn’t plan on it even thought that you took all the precautions that you needed to.

Maximum Climbing Book Review

Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

Book Review: Maximum Climbing by Eric Horst

When I first read the title Maximum Climbing, it made me want to read it cover to cover as soon as I had it in my hands. Eric Horst, who I consider a climbing guru has been climbing for over thirty years and who has trained many a successful climber, has written yet another reference book for climbing that can take you to the next level.

Initially, I thought that it would be a training book that would focus more on the physical aspects of climbing, but as I dove deeper into the pages, I realized that this text was all about successfully maximizing your brain use throughout the whole process of climbing, training and even life!

Horst breaks the book down into three main parts (I have paraphrased):

1.       Your brain,

2.       How to develop your brain,

3.       Programs of brain training techniques to adopt and adapt for your own life.

Each portion offers tips/strategies for the reader to include in not only their daily lives, but especially into their climbing lives. For me, I was struck with an inner happiness that I was doing what Horst has suggested in order to live a happier life and reach my personal potential as a climber.

There are plenty of technical terms in part 1 which strengthen and detract. I know many climbers who just want the information in layman’s terms rather than the technical jargon. They trust that the author has done their homework. I am one of those guys who appreciates the technical jargon and who will use it later in life as inquiring minds want to know the why behind what we should be doing.

Part 2 is the meat of the text and should be highlighted and reread often. The topics range from self-awareness, to goal setting, to improving your concentration and focus. For many people the managing fear and behavior modification will be sections that you reread and practice over and over.

Part 3 is the chapter that brings it all together. After reading it and reflecting upon the way that I approach my climbing and life, I realized that I can find many parallels in what Horst is saying in my own life. By using goal setting, visualization before and after climbing, and having a positive mental outlook not only about sending a route, but in life you can refocus, eliminate waste and negative feelings and focus all of your mental energy on your chosen route or path.

The message of the book is simple is simple; the challenge is to live and breathe it. Horst mentions those climbers who have accomplished great things including his conversations with Todd Skinner and makes the realization that Todd’s greatness came from the way he approached life, not that he was an extraordinary athlete by birth.

In conclusion, there are three factors that make a great climber. In no particular order, I believe that there is the physical, mental and technical aspect. By not addressing all three, a climber will never reach their personal limit. This book offers the power of understanding how to harness your mental game and take it to a new level.

CAMP Photon Video with Piz!

We sat down last week to talk about why the CAMP Photon carabiners are the best for your climbing.
You also get a sneak peak of my latest new climb called Blood Pulse in Escalante!
Check out the video and enjoy!


Get outside and have an adventure!

piz : )

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Arcteryx, CAMP-USA, SCARPA, Sterling Ropes, the AAC and WIndX-treme

Updating gear has never been so EASY!

 CAMP just sent me some new Photon Wire carabiners. It is time to upgrade the rack and make it hyper light and super easy to clip!

 In between working boulder problems, I was kicking it and changing out my old Nano’s which I love for the newest and most kick butt light weight full size biners in the world. It was a rough day.

 They come nicely colored to match your rack in 8 packs. Ah yeah!

 Before I switched things out.

Maybe I need to take some more time and start cleaning all that sand out of my camming units. A quad set of cams takes a lot of TLC.

Get outside and have an adventure!
piz : )

Gear Picks, Arcteryx, Sterling, CAMP, Scarpa


So, what are you to do when it’s raining all day and you still want to work outside. I had this problem this weekend and the solution is all in the backpack. First I get my Arcteryx rain gear, the Alpha LT top and Alpha SL pant. These two never let me down in a good rain! Then, I pull out my NAOS backpack, my big dog, my workhorse, my get r done pack. This thing is huge and handle the big loads and I can actually carry them comfortably. The best part is that the Naos is fully waterproof! Seam sealed zippers and a super tough construction makes this puppy take on the all the challenges that you can through at it in any kind of weather.
I start by filling it with 2 70 meter Sterling static lines, my Arcteryx R-320 harness a single or double set of cams, 10-14 CAMP quick draws including nano’s, my 36 volt hammer drill by Hilti with the rebuilt battery from Voltman and my drill kit and plenty of bolts and hangers. I can barely life the pack off the ground and I stumble as I put it on. After fine tuning the pack I am ready to bushwack up the steep and loose hillside to my next project. Even after hours of hiking the pack rides perfectly. My feet are psyched, because I have my waterproof and super comfy Scarpa Nangpa-La boots.
Once I finally get there I change from the sweaty clothes to the dry stuff that I will staying warm with on the wall and Arcteryx fills the void again with the Tau Pullover. This is one of my all time favorite tops that is for sure!
Then it’s finally time to get to the looking around and scoping from the end of a rope.
At the end of the day, I hope to have found what I was looking for on the wall. If not there is always tomorrow!
Get out there, play and use the best gear on the planet!
piz : )