The Professional Association of Climbing instructors (PACI) in Australia has compiled a rather amazing library of technical articles related to knots and rigging. If you want to take a deep dive into climbing knots, this is a gold mine.
Most of us would probably like to learn the names of more backcountry flowers and trees, but who really wants to carry a botany book and take the time to key out a flower? With this app, you don't have to. Point your camera at a plant, and this app tells you what it is in seconds.
It usually works to hike an approach trail or moderate snowfield in the dark, but when things get technical, you probably want to see where you're going. Knowing the time of the first usable light in the morning can be useful for all kinds of outdoor adventures. Here’s a clean and simple phone app that tells you exactly this info.
The rabbit runner is a handy and under-appreciated bit of kit. If you climb a lot, you might want to spring for a couple of new ones, but that can get expensive. To try out the concept, or if you're a hard-core cheapskate, it's easy to tie your own.
It's a good idea to protect a fixed rope that's loaded over an edge. Here's a inexpensive and quick way to do it with a short piece of 1 inch webbing.
An “elevation profile” is a sort of sideways look at your route, showing distance and elevation gain on a graph. It's a very handy tool to study your route, and making one with the great mapping software Caltopo takes just a couple of clicks.
Camping is great. Free, secluded camping on public lands you already pay for with taxes is even better. Here’s how to use some modern mapping tools to find camping options.
If you’re out of slings on a long pitch, get creative - stoppers and other trad gear can be used as runners in a pinch.
This amazing photo project stitches together more than 2,000 images into one single, super high resolution photo of El Capitan. Add onto this redlining of routes and over 2,000 more photos of a climbing team going up the nose, and you have some serious rock climber eye candy.
The “VT prusik”, invented by canyoneering expert Rich Carlson, is increasingly popular with SAR teams and riggers. It has a some big advantages over the traditional perlon cord prusik loop. Learn the two key knots, some applications, and see a video on all the ways to use it.
Need to move your team from a safe spot out to an exposed rappel station? From the crafty rope trick experts at Petzl, here’s one way to do it.
Weather forecasts don't have to be boring. Windy.com shows you worldwide weather patterns at a glance, and also gives pinpoint local forecasts that are easy on the eyes. (Works on mobile devices and shows webcams, too, take that, mountain-forecast!)
The search and rescue (SAR) experts in the National Park Service, with techniques developed over decades of experience, have a technical rescue manual. It's available online as a free PDF download. If you have more than a passing interest in self rescue, this is a good place to take a deep dive.
There may be a few rare times when you need to make a stopper knot semi permanent, but still have a way to easily untie it when needed. Answer: zip tie.
Extending a rappel anchor master point over a ledge can make for an easier rope pull, but a tougher start to the rappel. Rigging a “courtesy anchor” can make things easier and safer for just about everyone. (Sorry there, last person . . . )
You top out on a pitch, and see a perfect tree anchor 10 feet back from the edge. Here's how to quickly rig a stout anchor that will position you in the perfect spot with a ready-made masterpoint to belay or haul.
Part tensioning hitch, part rope sorcery. Plus, it has a great name. You don't need to learn the “voodoo hitch”, but you should. Tie it 10 times, you still probably won't figure out how it works.
The bowline can be a helpful knot for climbers to fix a rope around a tree or boulder. But, many people it tricky; the “rabbit coming out of the hole and running around the tree” thing is not as easy as it might sound. Check out the “snap bowline”, where a slip knot and little bit of rope sorcery semi-magically cause a completed bowline to “snap” into place.