Thursday, June 25, 2015

What can I do to make a difference?

This question comes up a lot when talking to people about our project. People are incredibly supportive of the work and then ask "What can I do to help a cause?"  The answer, although obvious, often surprises people. 

Tiffany Hensley taking the last moments of the day into her hands
Credit: Gaz Leah

It's that simple. Begin making a change, begin telling your friends about your change, why you do it and what it means. Inspire others to follow suite. Look at the resources your have available and decide how you want to make your difference in your life. 
Time, equipment, skills, advice, networking and money are all a way in which you can contribute towards a cause. Whether you want to spend you time focused on curing cancer (Climbers Against Cancer) or preventing the recruitment of child soldiers (Escalando Fronteras), there are already causes out there working hard to make the world a better place and every addition to their cause strengthens their message.
You needn't chain yourself to a fence, or hitch a ride above the green peace boat to make a change. Wearing a simple T-shirt with a cause that matters to you or even bringing up a discussion with your friends is all it takes. If you want to do more, AWESOME, take it as far as you want. 
A couple of months back I was in El Potrero Chico and a gentleman from New York, Chalu Kim gave me 2 pairs of his old climbing shoes and an old rope as a donation to Escalando Fronteras. This may seem like a nice gesture on the surface, but this is a MASSIVE help. That alone will help enable more children to rock climb and allow us to continue our work without the worry of finding or funding more equipment.
So here is my challenge to all the people out there that say there is nothing they can do to make a change. I challenge you to try. Just begin. You will be find that by doing something good you will not only inspire others to follow suite, creating a better world for us all,
You needn't look far for inspiring and incredible opportunities. Take Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell's recent accomplishment of climbing the Dawn Wall. They spent 7 years working together on one mind blowing goal. Many people thought they would never complete it, that it was a pipe dream, but look who's laughing now? If they had listened to nay-sayers, If they had taken the easy path and simply not tried, they would not be receiving phone calls from the president and would not be written forever into the history books. So here it is, 3 easy steps, from me, to you:
Step 1. 
Google something you think should be changed / done better / you would like to do
Step 2. 
Find out what they need to continue their work
(you can email them / call them)
Step 3. 
Take the information you have and act upon that.
Thats it! 
That is all you have to do. Believe in yourself and what you are capable of and in doing so you will

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


There are quite literally hundreds of harnesses on the market, so what sets this one apart from the rest?

Credit: Tiffany Hensley

DMM's Renegade 2 is an upgrade to the previous version in both aesthetics and functionality. They ditched the plastic gear loops for the better handling fabric ones, changed the color from a dismal grey to a fresh looking red trim and added a floating waist belt to allow a more adjustable fit, whatever your body shape. Harness don't really have a huge amount of room for drastic innovation but DMM have managed to come up with some neat features that certainly make it more versatile.

Separate elasticated leg bands may not sound very interesting, but when you need to go the bathroom on a big wall, you'll soon see the beauty in them. Adding a little extra padding also sounds a little mundane, but after sitting in a harness for 5 hours or taking the same whip 30 or 40 times in a day, you'll appreciate the little things that go into making this possibly the best all round harness our there.

Cost: $$$
At close to $100 RRP, this harness needs to provide a lot and to compete with the competition and I feel it delivers in both performance and versatility. Being designed as an all rounder, it's certainly not the lightest harness but it is comfortable and loaded with neat features.

Performance: 4/5
I've used this harness in a ton of scenarios from overhanging sport climbs, to bolting big walls and trad multi-pitch, each time performing better than I expected. The 7 gear loops make organising gear a breeze and due to its thick padded waist, you don't suffer from the dreaded harness sag whether i'm loaded up with my bolting gear or a big wall rack. The only downside to this harness is that it doesn't have a dedicated haul line attachment which although isn't very useful for the majority, It's a huge advantage when climbing big routes.

Value: 5/5
DMM are world renowned for producing the very best quality gear, created to a meticulously high standard and this is no exception. I've put this harness through hell and back and it has no signs of wear or tear.