You can usually identify a climber at an early age. You come home from work and the energetic two year old is hanging from the top shelf of the bookcase. By the age of five, they’ve progressed to hanging off the edge of the roof and you’re on a first name basis with your doctor. Don’t even ask about the teenage years!
Since you can’t beat a climber, you might as well give in to their passion. Here are few climbing gift ideas.
1. Avalanche Beacon – A new climbing toy is an invitation to climb. Since yours will come in the form of a Christmas gift, the climber can be expected to immediately climb mountains, rock walls or iced over waterfalls. Don’t try to stop them. Just give them an avalanche beacon, an electronic device that sends out a signal if they happen to bring the mountain down on top of them. Backcountry is a good brand. You can expect to pay $100 to $500 to keep them alive.
2. Grip Strengthener – When it comes to hanging off the side of a cliff, the ability to grip the wall is literally the key to life. A grip strengthener is a device climbers can carry around with them to build up their grip by repetitively squeezing the resistance device. Grip Master is a good brand. You can expect to pay $15 to $20.
3. AvaLung – Back to our avalanche theme. Having an avalanche beacon is all well and good, but it doesn’t really help if you can’t breath while waiting for rescuers. The AvaLung is a very cool device that draws air directly from snowpacks and lets climbers breath in the life giving air even if they’re under ten or twenty feet of snow. Black Diamond is the best brand and you can expect to pay $100 to $150 or so.
4. “Fifty Favorite Climbs” by Mark Kroese. – This is an excellent book for climbers. The book lays out 50 climbs in North America and can be used as a “to do” list by even the best climbers. The book comes with narratives, photographs and detailed route descriptions. An excellent gift that will set you back $30 or so at any major bookstore.
5. Nomad Climbing Journals - Nomad Climbing Journals are great gifts for climbers. These writing journals allow climbers to keep track of their climbs, impressions, people the climbed with, routes, contact information and any additional information they feel necessary. Over time, the climbing journals become a history of climbs and a great keepsake. A great Christmas gift, you can see the journal by clicking the link in the byline of this article and expect to pay $15 for the journal with case.
As you know, there is simply no way to keep a climber from climbing. You might as well give in and give them a Christmas climbing gift.