The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

Friday, 13 March 2015

Taking Coils

I've done a short video demonstrating how to take rope coils and tie them off.

How to 'Take Coils' and tie them off video

Sorry about the background noise.......but hope it helps!

Safe Climbing

Monday, 2 March 2015

Arc'teryx Psiphon AR Pant review

Psiphon AR Pant

Our new partnership with Arc’teryx has meant that we’ve had a good look at the range of kit they offer and the chance to test a number of great pieces.

I’ve been using a good spread of kit this winter from the Arc’teryx Mountain Guide Pro Shell jacket, their lightweight Nuclei and Atom Core Loft jackets, the new super light Alpha 45 back pack, gloves and the R320a fully adjustable harness.

I’ve also put the Psiphon AR Pant through its paces over the past 6 weeks of winter climbing.


The Psiphon AR Pant is a Burly™ Double Weave softshell fabric. The softshell fabric itself has a four way stretch weave combining the strength and durability of a nylon face fabric with the comfort and moisture wicking performance of a microfiber polyester fabric. The DWR finish that Arc’teryx gives the pant adds a water repellent finish that’s made the pant super versatile in all my icefall and mixed climbing activities this winter, I’ve hardly worn my Pro Shell over trousers ice climbing this winter even in heavy snow or when climbing a wet pitch on the ice! I’ve stayed warm and dry the whole time. (I’ve been wearing the Arc’teryx Phase AR moisture wicking base layer thermal bottoms underneath the Psiphon AR Pant for extra warmth and comfort on the colder days – the combinations great, even during high activity on the longer treks to the remoter icefall's)


It’s a simple but very tailored design with two low profile zippered hand pockets and a larger thigh pocket which is easily accessible and useful for carrying route topo’s! The pants have an interesting waist belt and buckle closure with the buckle hooking over the desired loop for the best comfort and fit. Again simple and works well feeling both secure, flush fitting and comfortable under the harness waist belt. Clients have also noticed how tapered and neat the Psiphon AR Pant looks from the knee down. This definitely helps ice climbing especially on the steeper pitches when you need to be able to see your front points for that extra security. I haven’t touched the trousers once with my crampon points even post holing in the deep snow getting to the base of some of the more remoter icefalls. A ¼ length ankle zip and gusset helps both with tightening up your boots after a long approach and before the steeper ice climbing and also for a more comfortable fit over touring ski boots for those powder days when the ice is bombed out!

Like I said for me winter climbing, layered with the Phase AR mid-weight thermal bottoms, the Psiphon AR Pant is a winner - a super comfortable soft stretch fabric, warm, breathable and repels most of what the winter has thrown at me so far. For the odd longer Alpine winter route which requires that extra commitment or working in the foulest of weather, I’ll just thrown over the top my pair of Alpha AR Gore Tex Pro shell Pants – Job done!

Safe climbing