Outside's resident winter climbing expert, the aptly named Jon Winter, takes us through his top selection of Christmas Gifts for Perverts Winter Climbers.
Need more inspiration? Check our full Gift Guide
Petzl : Lim Ice £62.50
Sharpening your ice screws is a fiddly job. Get the angles wrong and you may as well not bother. Unfortunately, fickle UK ice conditions means bottoming out is easily done. The Petzl Lim Ice is brilliantly simple and works on all standard diameter screws. Portable enough to start up every route with razor sharp screws.
If you’re rapping off multiple Abalakov threads, this clever jig makes sure your holes are aligned, and comes with a threader to make it easy to poke your tat through with a sharp serrated edge to cut it to length.
Probably the best crampons in the world. Definitely the most versatile, you can set them up as monos or dual points (with the points long, short or offset) and they come with both a wire toe bail and a flexible front binding so they should fit almost any mountaineering boot.
It's pretty standard to get through at least one pair of gloves in a season, either by shredding them or dropping one, so a new pair is always appreciated. These aren't the warmest by any means, but they are incredibly dextrous and dry out quickly. The leather palm is aggressively curved for gripping your shaft. Our top glove for the serious mixed climber.
An aluminium tube saves a lot of weight over a steel ice screw, these are around 30% lighter than the standard Laser Speed. The business end is still steel though, so it'll bite into the ice and can be re-sharpened.
Jez has been running rings around the Peak for years - here's his list of the best Christmas presents for the runner in your life. If you need more choices, why not check out the full Gift Guide for Runners?
Let’s start with the big one. I’ve been lucky enough to have been loaned a Fenix 2 to run with this summer. It is a phenomenal piece of equipment, and I’ve only used a small proportion of its capabilities. Although it is large, it is light and fits securely, so even on my skinny wrist it was comfortable. The main screen gives you all the info you need at a glance and when you get home and plug in, Garmin Connect gives you enormous amounts of data to digest – linking it to a heart rate monitor would be even better.
In summary; expensive but brilliant!
I bought mine 2 years ago and it has been a perfect purchase. It does everything you could want; it is superbly comfortable and stable, it holds a lot of kit, the 2 x 500ml soft flasks are perfectly positioned and work really well and it’s still in good condition.
I would choose to wear this for virtually any length of run where I need to take clothing, food and drink – it has no downside that I can see.
Whilst the RXP doesn’t have the power of the latest Petzl Nao, this is more than adequate for most running activities. What it does share with the Nao is the reactive lighting, the programmability and the rechargeable L-ion battery. The 6 different lighting modes (3 x reactive and 3 x constant plus red) cover all options and are more than adequate for moving quickly over rough ground. Although all the weight is at the front, the split rear headband works really well at keeping the torch steady and is very easy to adjust on the move. For longer events, taking a spare rechargeable battery (£20.50) is worth it as well.
A running gaiter is easy to overlook but on longer runs and events, it is well worth it. It will stop the vast majority of grit, stones, vegetation, snow and sand from getting into your shoes and causing inevitable discomfort or damage. Your ankle bones also get some protection and some insulation. These are neat and well fitted and will make a difference.
Most beanies are fine for running but this one has had a lot more thought put into it. The crown has a nylon shell to increase wind resistance and has a stretch fit, whilst the headband is Merino wool with a small amount of stretch, so you stay warm and can hear everything you need to. It also drops low over the ears and the nape of the neck. It’s light, warm and breathable but never too hot – really well designed.
Not sure what Christmas gift to buy for a boulderer? Phil Parker (our web sales guy) wrote a letter to Santa. Sorry Phil, I don't think Santa got your letter despite the spiffy Christmas jumper; looks like you're getting a lump of grit, if you're lucky.
Need more inspiration? Check our full collection of Christmas Gifts for Boulderers
Aside from the incident that we don’t talk about which wasn’t technically my fault ANYWAY (despite what the policeman and my mother said) I have been a very good boy this year. Please may I have:
A new pair of Anasazi Pinks (£99.00), to improve my footwork and remove one of my few remaining excuses for being rubbish. They’re like a much better version of the Anasazi Verde, with an actual proper heel that fits!
A Lapis Brush (£5.00), the king of bouldering brushes, to gently clean my favourite projects and remove the tickmarks of unscrupulous pebble wrestlers. An excellent tool that no self-respecting boulderer should be without.
One of Mountain Equipment’s nice new Lumin Jackets (£169.00) to keep me warm whilst I’m undertaking the most time-consuming part of any winter bouldering session i.e. standing around watching other people try things first and stealing their beta. Water-resistant down is ideal for when rain stops play and the stitch-through construction means it packs away nice and small for those rare days when it turns out sunny after all.
A nice new belted chalk bag for those long traverses – maybe the Wild Country Grand Illusion (£14.00)? Pink for preference, but anything that makes me look good in photos will be fine. There’s even a handy little zipped pocket in case I manage to get a hands-off rest and need a snack.
Dave Flanagan’s Bouldering Essentials (£20.00) guide, so I can figure out exactly what I’m doing wrong (probably everything) and what I can do to improve (probably anything).
Dave Graham’s finger strength (preferably not still attached to Dave Graham) (priceless).
Phil (aged 35 ¾)
What to buy for an avid hillwalker? Rob Turnbull, shop manager at our Hathersage store, gives us his Christmas wishlist. Want more inspiration? Check our full Christmas Gift Finder!
The ultimate Christmas present! Comes with all of GB at 1:50,000 OS mapping and when used in conjunction with the free downloadable Garmin BaseCamp gives you the ability to view the mapping on your PC. There is also a Christmas promo price on these at the moment as well (ends 31st December 2014). This gadget would certainly keep you busy over the Christmas period!
Very useful, not only for walking to the shops during those slippery winter days but as a lighter, more flexible alternative to a full crampon. You'll be amazed what you can do with a set of Microspikes and a pair of walking poles. They fit over pretty much any footwear, wellys, running shoes, walking boots and climbing boots. You can’t use icy weather as an excuse not to go out any more. Nanospikes are also available for running or occasional use.
During the winter months my wife jokes about the fact that I permanently walk around the house with my head torch still on my head ready for use, even if I’m taking the rubbish out or going to the car it’s on my head. Everyone should own one for DIY jobs around the house to running at night. With the new reactive lighting they get brighter and lighter, and the USB rechargeable battery will save you a lot of money in the long run! This is actually on my Christmas list as I’m wanting to replace my old Tikka XP with a brighter reactive version!
I know socks can be seen as a boring present but not these socks! Whether it is the heavy weight for boots or the light for walking shoes the way they hug your foot is just amazing. Certainly not boring, or smelly as they are made of Merino wool which means you can get loads of days use from them (maybe)!
One of the few jackets available that would actually fit in your Christmas Stocking. 800 fill hydrophobic down with a 10 x 7 denier face fabric produces a warm mid layer that weighs less than 200g, good colours too!
What to buy for the climber in your life this Christmas? James Turnbull has a few suggestions below, or you can check out the Outside Christmas Gift Finder:
Simple, light and safe. The Pure Slider is what’s missing from most people's arsenal. It’s a locking krab that works like a normal krab so it can be used on quickdraws and belays. They are mega and even Climb magazine agree with me and voted it gear of the year.
Also, it'll fit in a stocking perfectly!
Another Edelrid offering is the amazing Aramid cord sling. I have probably bored you with before but it’s essentially a stiffer sling, it sounds simple and it is but so effective. Threads are easier, knots come undone easier and you can hook spikes from below. Try one, you will want more!
We have been raving about the innovative Totem Cams for a while now but for Christmas I’ve gone back to basics. Beautiful, narrow headed, flexible and sticky in flared cracks. The red is perfect for peg scars.
Perfect little 18 litre sack. Great for shoving your gear in your pad for bouldering days. Even better for climbing multi pitch routes, as it's tough and sits high on your back, allowing access to your gear loops and your chalk bag.
Also, amazing colours!
People never get around to changing their harnesses often enough, so this would make a great present.
It is probably the best all rounder going, great for trad, sport and winter. With the two waist buckles the harness is hugely adjustable in each size so you will more than likely guess right first time (and there will still be space for some Christmas podge).
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