Review: Black Diamond Stance Belay Parka & First Light Hoody

I have long been a dedicated fan of synthetic insulation. The last 12 years of winter climbing in Scotland have taught me many things about surviving brutal winter conditions in the mountains. Among the most critical, is that if you want your insulation to fight with you to the very end as you do battle on …

The Sharp End: testing top of the range pro shells from Black Diamond

As I packed my bags to return to the wild mountains of Patagonia this winter it became pretty clear to me that I was going to need a serious clothing system. With some ambitious plans in the pipeline, I needed hard shells that could do everything. I needed  comfort for the brutally long approaches, as …

Patagonia winter solo attempt: Aguja Guillaumet

Mention solo climbing to anyone and you will inevitably get mixed reactions. Most people will immediately conjure up extreme images in their head of the most insanely epic freesolo climb they have ever heard about, before promptly calling you crazy. Others will take a more pragmatic approach in their judgement, considering the practical issues and …