The holiday season is upon us and most folks have begun the dreaded task of shopping for the mountain climber they know.  It’s an arduous task.  Personally, I field lots of questions from well-meaning family and friends about which piece of gear is best this year or what would be a welcome addition to their climbing friend’s gear room.  This year I’ve agonized over making my own list (I could always use something!), so I’ll spare you some of the trouble.

Here are my suggestions for 2012:

  • New Climber: A helmet that fits.  A gift certificate is probably best here.
  • Trad Climber: A gift certificate for the upcoming Black Diamond X4 cams.
  • Ice Climber: Petzl Lynx crampons — super-adjustable; they fit more boots.
  • Sport Climber: Petzl GriGri 2 — lighter and works with smaller diameter ropes than the old model.
  • Boulderer: A set of soft bristled brushes to scrub old tick marks from their project.
  • Alpinist: Black Diamond Compactor Ski Poles. Save those knees.
  • Backcountry Skier: An avalanche airbag backpack.  New models by Mammut, BCA, and ABS are all great.
  • In-bounds Skier: A helmet.  Take them to the ski shop and find one that fits.
  • Armchair Mountaineer: Beyond the Mountain by Steve House. A page turner.
  • Everyone:  A day of guiding or instruction with an AMGA certified guide!

Happy holidays!