A map of all the climbing walls in London! Please let us know if any are missing and the map will be updated.
The Petzl Kliff is a large capacity rope bag/Rucsac designed for sport climbing. The bag will hold up to 100 metres of rope plus all your sport climbing gear (shoes, harness, quickdraws, etc). The bag opens from the rear which stops your back from getting dirty when wearing it after use. The Kliff also features a rope tarp and a small zip pocket to hold smaller essentials such as your phone, wallet and guidebook.
The Kliffs rear zip and opening buckles look like they could be uncomfortable on your back however this is not the case. Strategically placed padding at the top and bottom of the sac protects the zip and makes the bag is very comfortable when full of gear. The large rear opening makes access easy and the outer material is tough enough to leave on the ground without damaging the bag. There are two internal gear loops which are useful for clipping your quickdraws and belay device to and help keep the contents of the bag tidy and accessible.
In summary the Petzl Kliff is a great, simple sport climbing rucksack that's perfect for a days climbing. It has more than enough room for your lunch and some extra clothes. We'd have no hesitation recommending purchasing the Kliff if you're looking for a new rucksack for taking to the crag or the climbing wall!
You can see further info and specifications for the Petzl Kliff by clicking HERE
See the video bellow for the main features of the Petzl Kliff:
This chart has been created to help you choose the right fit when buying a pair of La Sportiva rock climbing shoes. Most La Sportiva rock shoes are fitted similarly as you can see bellow however there are some exceptions. We have split the sizes into 4 categories.
Depending on the shoe we will only recommend wearing them for use in 2 of the categories. This is because Sportiva's most aggressive downturned shoes are made to be worn tightly and won't work properly if worn loosely.
To see the shapes of each shoe and La Sportiva's recommended use please see the images at the bottom of the page.
If you need any further help please don't hesitate to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message in the live chat!
See our latest La Sportiva shoe deals HERE!
|Rock Shoe||Super Technical (hard bouldering and top end sport routes)||Technical (upper grade trad and sport climbing)||Standard (for long days out on classic trad and multi-pitch sport routes)||Beginner (comfortable to get used to rock climbing)|
|Finale||Drop 3 Euro Sizes||Drop 2 Euro sizes||Drop 1 Euro Size||Buy Shoe Size|
|Futura||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Futura Women's||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Genius||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Kataki||Drop 2 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1 Euro Size||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Katana||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1 Euro Size||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Katana Lace||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1 Euro Size||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Katana Women's||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1 Euro Size||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Miura||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1 Euro Size||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Miura Velcro||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1 Euro Size||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Miura Velcro Women's||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1 Euro Size||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Otaki||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1 Euro Size||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Otaki Women's||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1 Euro Size||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Skwama||Drop 3 Euro Sizes||Drop 2 Euro Sizes||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Skwama Women's||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Solution||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Solution Women's||Drop 2.5 Euro Sizes||Drop 1.5 Euro Sizes||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)||N/A (they are made to fit tight!)|
|Tarantula||N/A||Drop 2 Euro Sizes||Drop 1 Euro Size||Buy Normal Street Shoe Size|
|Tarantula Women's||N/A||Drop 2 Euro Sizes||Drop 1 Euro Size||Buy Normal Street Shoe Size|
The Black Diamond ATC Pilot is an assisted braking belay device designed for 8.7mm - 10.5mm single ropes.
The ATC Pilot makes belaying a lot less strenous when the climber is working a route due to it's assisted braking. The dead end of the rope still has to be locked off however less strain is needed to keep the rope from slipping through.
Installing the rope: The rope is installed the same way as a normal tube style device making it easy and intuitive to use.
Lowering the climber: When lowering someone you have to have one hand on the device with your thumb on the 'thumb catch' to control the lowering speed and the other hand on the dead rope. This took a bit of getting used to but I was soon lowering the climber smoothly after a couple of routes. The speed can be easily adjusted by tilting the device towards or away from you.
Paying out slack: You can pay out slack the same way as a normal tube belay device or quickly by dragging the thumb catch foward whilst keeping hold of the dead rope. This can also take a bit of getting used to if coming from a Petzl Grigri.
Overal the Black Diamond ATC Pilot is a great device especially if you normally use a tube style device as it is fairly similar to use. The assisted braking gives you an extra bit of security which is always good! It is also light weight at only 86g.
See the video below for instructions or shop here!
The Petzl Coeur Pulse is a removable anchor that can be securely installed and removed quickly and easily. It's one of those products that turns up and you wonder why it has never been thought of before!
Ideal for jobs where a permanent anchor is not needed. There are a few simple steps to install the anchor (see video below for demonstration);
Step 1: A 6.5cm x 12mm hole needs to be drilled.
Step 2: Release the spring by twisting the 'finger trigger button' black part anti-clockwise.
Step 3: Pull spring back to place the bolt.
Step 4: Lock the bolt securely by twisting the 'finger trigger button' black put clockwise.
To remove the bolt, reverse the steps shown above.
The Futura is an aggressively down-turned but senstive, high-end rock shoe, making it perfect for steep technical climbing and bouldering. The soft leather and lorica upper along with a fast lacing velcro closure system makes for an excellent fit straight out of the box. The fit is similar to that of the La Sportiva Solution and the Futura utilises the same ‘no edge’ technology that has made the Speedster so successful.
So how does the ‘no edge’ system actually work?
The answer is fairly simple, and is best described in the illustrations below.
You can see with the edge rounded off, the low profile of the rubber fits more snuggly around the foot, thus reducing the distance between your foot and the rock. This creates an extremely natural feel and awareness of the holds you are standing on through the 3mm thick sole. You can also see that the ‘no edge’ technology helps to create a more uniform pressure with the toes, maximising your grip and contact with the rock in various positions with the heel up or down. Just bear in mind as with any new design concept, the ‘no edge’ system may take a couple of routes to get used to, but when you do, the La Sportiva Futura may just become one of your favourite climbing shoes.
All this combined with an excellent fast lacing system, and the La Sportiva P3 (Permanent Power Platform) system – A patented construction system that guarantees retention of the arched shape for the lifetime of the shoe – makes the La Sportiva Futura a truly groundbreaking climbing shoe, and one that you will look forward to using time after time.
Katy is currently working at Arc’teryx UK and is also sponsored by DMM and Five Ten.
We are moving along the technical ladder of climbing. In our first blog Training For Climbing: Part 1 we looked at footwork, last month we concentrated on stepping-through and this month we take a look at the drop knee.
We keep referring to the importance of technique and efficiency – and rightly so. When climbing, we want to use as little effort and energy as possible. Yet the majority of climbers are seen pulling their way up routes/boulders, wildly out of control which is far from being efficient. I highlight to clients on a weekly basis the importance of footwork, straight arms and keeping the hips in. One way of doing this is by using the step-through, which we looked at last month. Another option is the drop knee.
The drop knee, like the step through, is fairly self explanatory, but for those that haven’t heard of the technique or for those that are unsure on their methods, below highlights a series of videos demonstrating the process. You also see a lot of “good” climbers not using this technique to the full effect – slight in-corrections making the technique not so useful.
The Drop Knee
The drop knee is a very useful technique, which can be used on vertical walls for efficiency, but is far more useful and necessary on steeper ground. The key is to avoid being front on.
But how do you know when to use a step-through or drop knee? As mentioned in the last blog, the step-through is reliant on one foot hold, ideally positioned directly under the leading hand. However, when that foothold isn’t in the ideal place and is in fact far beyond the imaginary line coming down from the higher hand, using it as a step-through would transfer more weight onto the arm making the technique useless. The same goes for when the footholds are very high. A step-through would instigate a big crank/lock off with the leading arm. This is where the drop knee comes in…
When to use:
The video below highlights the correct technique for the drop knee. The first point to note is that there are two footholds for each move. This is essential as it creates the base of support for the climber. Secondly, and like the step-through, you can see that the arms stay straight. This may vary depending on the scenario and isn’t a golden rule – BUT faced with a drill, it is always a good idea to practice perfect technique – using the arms and hands as little as possible and making the hips, legs and core do more.
The drop knee foot should be the second placement. By doing this, it allows you to place the toe with more precision. This is essential as we have to be able to pivot and push off this toe once it has shifted from the original placement. Pre-empting the pivot is part of the finite skill.
When we place the toe, we use the inside edge and as we drop the knee, this inside edge rolls onto the outside edge. By doing this we create outwards pressure, like a bridge. This takes more load off the arms and generates the momentum for reaching up.
As we drop the knee, we twist our hips so that the outside of the quadricep is as close to the wall as possible. By dropping the knee the whole way in, we keep our weight close to the wall and on our legs. Twist so that your body is at a right angle to the wall.
By dropping the knee in a fluid motion and pushing off each foot we generate momentum. Simultaneously twisting we create a weightless position when reaching. If you reach too early, your knee will not be dropped and therefore your weight will be further from the wall. Secure the drop knee and reach up once in balance.
Once we have reached the next hold (on the same side as the drop knee), we can start looking at releasing the drop knee and getting ready for the next. This all starts with the feet and core. Start to pivot the both feet to create space so that you can lift your lower leg up to the next hold. Traditionally in drop knees these are far out to the side – highlighted by the second and third drop knee in the video. Always place the toe on the inside edge and pivot as you drop the knee. This generates the momentum and driving forces of the feet. Do not place the foot once the knee is dropped as many people try to.
Below is the same video from the side view highlighting how close to the wall we can get and how much you have to twist. Note, the first two foot placements are closer together (not far out wide) illustrating how this limits the distance from you and the wall. The wider the foot placements, the closer your body will be to the wall.
Many people are aware of the drop knee, but get confused by the finite techniques. Not using the correct technique will have you off the wall or using too much energy.
Mistake 1. Climbers do not pre-empt the pivot when originally placing the toe. Either using too much edge or stepping too high on the hold will either mean you cannot physically pivot the toe, or as you pivot your foot will pop off the hold.
How to correct it:
When you place the inside edge of your toe on the hold anticipate that you will be turning the toe inwards AND using it as to push away. This will mean it will be placed often on the side of the hold so that you can generate the forces to mimic a bridge.
Mistake 2. A lot of people try to place the toe once the drop knee has already happened in mid air. This is inefficient and doesn’t take advantage of the forces generated by the drop knee. It also puts too much weight through the arms during the transition.
You can see how awkward it is in the following video:
How to correct it:
Always drop the knee after the toe has been placed.
Mistake 3. Not dropping the knee enough. As discussed earlier, by not dropping the knee enough on steep ground will send your body weight further from the wall. As a result you will be reaching over the knee and pulling far too much.
Here are two videos from both the front and side view highlighting this.
How to correct it:
Do not rush the drop knee. Drop the knee and twist the torso as much as possible so that it is at right angle with the wall. Once the knee is dropped, the feet will be pushing in opposing directions allowing you to reach up with minimal effort.
Mistake 4. As climbers try to experiment with deeper drop knees, they start to experience their knees coming into contact with their elbows/arms.
Once you start to drill and perfect this technique it can completely revolutionise your climbing. Making steep climbs more attractive and less intimidating – being far easier than you once thought.
Get to work on your technique and watch your climbing improve!
Here’s Rob Cook drilling the technique at Surrey Sports Park. From video analysis Rob can see that he can pivot a little cleaner and drive with his feet more, thus relaxing the arms.
About Robin O’Leary
Robin is currently working as a freelance climbing coach. He has a wealth of experience with hands on coaching, working with beginner, intermediate and advanced clients including some of the UK’s most talented youth competition climbers.
For more information on coaching and technique sessions with Robin O’Leary, Click Here to visit his website.
On 25th April 2014, Neil Gresham hosted a Q&A session with one of the world’s best climbers, Adam Ondra for Urbanrock, at the Westway Climbing Centre, which included some insightful questions from both Neil and the audience.
What follows is a truly fascinating insight into Adam’s climbing life as he talks about what drives and inspires him to climb, what he’ll do if he ever runs out of hard routes, why he can climb so fast, and how to stay positive with the constant expectation to climb harder and harder routes.