Petzl Sport Catalog 2012
The new 2012 Sport catalog is comprised of three sections:
- Petzl's presentation: the company and its core values
- technical solutions: the technical information is presented as a series of Solutions, which puts the techniques in their context with detailed explanations. We hope this information easy-to-learn and useful. If you're interested in our previous tips, check out the technical pages in last year's catalog (see below)
- products: here you'll find concise descriptions of the full range of Petzl lighting and vertical products. For more information on specific products, you can find the complete specifications here at petzl.com
Download the new iPad-optimized 2012 catalog
The new 2012 sport catalog is now available as a PDF download that is optimized for iPad and other digital tablets. Features include enhanced reading comfort, zoom capability on technical images, product photos, lifestyle shots and links to online content.
To request a hard copy of the catalog, go to the Contact Page and select "Request Catalog".
Jason Nelson on the FA of West Mendenhall Tower's south faceWed, 27/11/2013 - 17:57 — Petzl America
On September 14th, 2013, Petzl regional ambassador Jason Nelson and partners Gabe Hayden and Ryan Johnson made the first ascent of the south face of the West Mendenhall Tower in Alaska. They named the route Balancing Act (5.11c, 1,400’). Following is Jason’s trip report.
Gabe Hayden counting calories as camp.
We hover over our bags, faces down to the wind. It's early fall, so not much snow kicks up. The glacier is mostly ice. With an ever increasing roar, the helicopter's engines rev and the bird lifts off. The wind stops almost immediately after the helicopter begins to fly away. Within a few moments it's gone and there is no sound. We stand up and begin to move our bags away from the landing zone and to our camp site. This year, a sizable rockfall has occurred and so there are a pile of boulders for us to make camp at.
"This is great!" I exclaim.
"This boulder will work like a picnic table".
"Yeah, we won't have to spend all of our time on ice." Says Gabe.
"Say, um… you think any more rocks will be coming down? I could use a chair boulder to go along with the picnic table boulder.”
"I think we're good" says Ryan. "It doesn't look like anything has come down for awhile" pointing at the crater the rocks have melted into the glacier.
"Yeah, that would be a drag if we got flattened in our sleep."
"Hey guess what, Jay?"
When Ryan says something like that I never know what to expect. Ryan can be capable of some wild antics.
"Umm, What Ryan?" bracing for what he might say next.
"I remembered the tent poles this time!"
"That's good because we don't have a shovel this time. Digging a cave in the ice for three with ice axes is not likely to happen.”
Now this is one of those moments where you need to know the history. The last time a helicopter dropped me off at the base of the Mendenhall Towers was with Ryan in the middle of winter. The first task is normally to set up camp and it was only moments before we realized we had left the tent poles at the house. With the helicopter gone, there would be no tent for us that night. We set about taking turns digging into the glacier with our one shovel. Halfway through a the project, our luck turned for the worse again when the shovel broke. We reassembled the shovel with the unbroken parts and finished a snow cave some four hours later.
Ryan Johnson and Gabe scope out the proposed route
"I'm so ready for a beer!" Gabe explains.
"You brought beer?" I said, my face lighting up.
"Hell yeah, after the week I've had."
"Which bag are they in."
"I don't know.”
For the next several minutes the three of us tore through our bags, but no beer appeared.
"Ahhh, did we forget the beer? No, don't let it be true!"
"Hey guys, we don't have any food either…"
"Ooooh, this is worse than forgetting tent poles!"
"OK, here are a few bars, some yogurt."
"We've got Mac n Cheese!"
A small pile of food appeared on the picnic table boulder.
"OK Gabe, you're the engineer, how fucked are we?"
"Hmmm… 100 times 10 plus 300 plus" some mumbling and other numbers followed.
"We've got about 1,000 calories per person per day for three days."
"How many calories does a person need a day? All I know is that I generally eat a lot of food."
"We're gonna die!" says Gabe, whose metabolism also burns through food like a HumV burns though gas.
"So no dinner tonight."
The evenings celebrations more or less died down after that and we all went to bed early.
Our morning's breakfast ration of yogurt was short lived. Without any coffee it's miraculous we even got out of bed.
The 'shrund was easy to cross and we danced up gorgeous granite cracks. The cracks and rock texture was so good that Ryan began singing "Friction is just another word for, nothing left to loose…" as he climbed alongside me.
"Dang, if only that phrase was a little shorter. It would make for such a good route name."
By early afternoon Gabe and I stood on the summit. Ryan's friction gave out and he had fallen to his death a couple pitches back. Ah, just kidding. So the three of us stood on the summit taking in one of the best summit views ever.
The Juneau ice field extends for 100 miles and is full of rock spires. Glaciers pour out of valleys and off of summits. Far below we can trace the contours of the Mendenhall Glacier all the way to Juneau. Beyond that, the channels of the inside passage and mountainous islands stretch across the horizon.
Ryan on the summit ridge.
"Hey Gabe, so there are about 10,000 crevasses we'll need to negotiate between here and our walk back to town."
"Yeah, your point?" he replies.
"How many calories per crevasse will that be?"
I see Gabe start to process the equation and interrupt him before he can come up with an answer.
"Never mind that, let's just down from the tower for now."
The three of us turn around and begin our descent.
And that folks, was one story in the making of our new route, Balancing Act (5.11c, 1,400’), the first ascent of the south face of the West Mendenhall Tower. We named the route in honor of having to balance work, women, and finances in order to have these great experiences. Not to mention, balance our depleting lack of calories.
Balancing Act – 5.11c, 1,400' South Face of the West Mendenhall Tower
FA: September 14th, 2013, Ryan Johnson, Jason Nelson, Gabe Hayden
Gear: Cams from #00 to #5, doubles tight fingers to #3, stoppers, runners (some double-length).
Route overview for Balancing Act.
After waiting a week and a half for a weather window the three of us flew up to the towers. We chose to climb the line up the South Face of the West Mendenhall Tower because it was one of the biggest, cleanest and steepest sections of unclimbed rock on the South Side of the Mendenhall. We had a narrow weather window to work with in between storm systems and this route was done late in the year. We climbed the route in a day and were back at camp just before nightfall.
P1 - Cross the 'shrund to begin in the primary weakness in the center of the south face. Climb up into the groove and escape right via a 6" crack (#5 Camalot works). Climb the wide crack for 30' to a ledge. Escape right into the next crack system. Watch rope drag. Continue up to a ledge. 180', 5.10.
P2 - Climb final steep crack to reach the ramp system above. Belay on ramp system. 120' 5.9.
P3 - Climb the weakness up the ramp. Easy 5th class, 200'.
P4 - Climb up dirt-covered ledges to the base of the wall, just right of the gully and right of a snow patch. 4th class, 200'.
P5 - Climb cracks and corners aiming for a triple, right-facing flake system. Belay on ledge below this system. 5.8, 120'.
P6 - Climb the left of the three flakes, a clean finger crack layback. 5.10, 120'.
P7 - Step left, big reach, into overhanging right-facing tips corner. Above this, the crack gets wide. Negotiate a offwidth section to chimneying behind a large flake. Traverse the top of the flake and up a golden right-facing corner with thin gear, then traverse right under the roof on some wet holds to a hanging belay. 5.11, 120'. (Variation: It might be better to belay at the top of the flake if you can find an adequate belay. It might also be possible to continue out the roof instead of traversing right.)
P8 - Step right from the belay and make difficult moves up the ramp into the prominent right-facing golden dihedral and ledge above the belay. Place some gear and make hard moves left around the arête. Continue up the thin crack on the arete and belay on the ledge above. 5.11, 110'
P9 - Climb overhanging corner to ledge, then up past some blocks and onto summit slabs. Belay on the ridge. 5.11a, 110'
P10 - Traverse lichen-covered summit ridge until you are out of rope. 5.6, 220'.
P11 - Unrope and hike to the summit. 3rd class, 200'. Enjoy one of the best summit views anyone could possibly ask for!
Descent: We more or less rappelled the line of the route.
Philippe Batoux in Yosemite: Plan BMon, 25/11/2013 - 16:32 — Petzl
Geneva International Airport, October 2013. Philippe Batoux, along with a few members of the FFME national mountaineering team (France), takes off for Yosemite. The goal of their trip is to perfect technique for placing nuts and cams, as well as to gain aid-climbing experience. This will prepare them for a future expedition up a highly technical route on a 6000m high peak in either China or Alaska in 2015. The very full schedule in California includes trying to free a route on the legendary El Capitan, to climb an aid route, and to link the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome and the Nose in a day. Unfortunately their original plan is derailed by the closing of all national parks due to the government shutdown. Philippe Batoux talks about the ascents from their plan b.
The government shutdown
Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress are unable to reach an agreement on the budget. As a result, all non-essential federal employees are furloughed. All national parks are immediately closed. In Yosemite, a park ranger calls through his loudspeaker from the base of El Capitan, "The park is closed, you have 48 hours to descend from the wall." The unthinkable and the unimaginable have happened. I wonder what I would have done if I had been halfway up the wall. In any case, for quite a few routes, the only way off the rock is up. We need to come up with a plan b somewhere outside the national parks. It's too late in the season to head to the High Sierra, where the temperatures are below freezing, snow is already on the ground, and we are not properly equipped.
Magic and sorcery...
We decide to head for the Southern Sierra Nevada, to the Needles of California: a series of spectacular golden-colored granite spires. The Needles adorn the cover of the book, "50 favorite routes of North America;" a noteworthy place to climb, even if little-known on the other side of the Atlantic. Each needle has a mystical name like the Sorcerer, the Witch, the Magician, the Necromancer, and the Warlock. A magical climbing experience awaits...
The climbing in the Needles is both stout and highly technical. Thin finger cracks with tiny features for your feet, tight dihedrals that require unusual body positions to make upward progress, technical faces with committing sections of climbing where missing a cam placement means that you will be in for quite a scare… The lines are pure and the rock of outstanding quality with only a few thin suspect flakes that in the end never moved. The must-climb routes are Thin Ice (5.10), Don Juan Wall (5.11), Romantic Warrior (5.12, take plenty of offset nuts!), and Pyromania (5.13)…
With a snowstorm in the forecast for the Needles, it is time to head to the Utah desert. The 10-hour drive to Moab is nothing out of the ordinary in the USA. Moab is the capital of this red-colored desert, and a Mecca for mountain biking and perfectly symmetrical sandstone cracks. We fill up on gas, eggs, and bacon, drive for an hour to Indian Creek, the holy temple of crack climbing.
Indian Creek is a small river at the southern entrance to Canyonlands; it is bounded by mesas, the red sandstone towers so common in John Wayne westerns. The tens of kilometers of cliffs are striated by cracks of all sizes, one after the other ever 5 meters. The guidebook details more than 2000 cracks and several valleys are not even documented! From seams, to finger cracks, to ring locks, to hand and fist cracks, to offwidths, to squeeze and regular chimneys, whatever your pleasure, you will find it here! Indian Creek is the ideal spot to perfect your crack climbing technique. With no holds or features outside the cracks, you have no choice but to jam. If your hands are the right size then the climbing is relatively easy, the challenge comes when the cracks are too big for fingers but too small for hand jams. Then there are those impossible cracks that are just too small for your fingers. For the same route, depending on hand and finger size, the crux sections are completely different from one climber to another. In general, women cruise red Camalot-size cracks, suffer on rattly hands, and fall on perfect blue #3 wide hands…
Indian Creek is a fragile area located on private land. A local non-profit association, "Friends of Indian Creek," manages the area and maintains the anchors. Here, only the anchors are bolted; all sport climbs are prohibited.
White Rim Road
After three days of suffering cracks that proved more photogenic than easy to climb, we learn that the parks in Utah plan to open, financed by the state government. We drive immediately to White Rim Road, a 100-mile long dirt road in the heart of Canyonlands that follows a very hard layer of white sandstone. For three days we climb the towers just above the road: Monster Tower, Washer Woman, Moses, and Standing Rock. The drive takes us along hundreds of kilometers of magnificent cliffs, past tens of thousands of potential routes…
The desert towers offer a truly wild climbing experience. Sections of good-quality rock alternate with sections of crumbly sandstone that, in spite of the moderate rating, requires focus and technique. Sandstone can provide great friction or be completely smooth. As it disintegrates, the grains of sand act like ball bearings beneath climbing shoes and even fingers. Only solid jams provide for reassuring hand holds.
The most incredible tower is Standing Rock. Located in Monument Basin, a vast area where the plateau collapsed, there are only a few towers - mixes of mud and different colored layers of sandstone. Standing Rock Tower is at least one-hundred meters high, a stack of more or less consistent layers of sand and mud. This tower appears to magically defy the laws of solid mechanics; unique climbing in a unique place.
The last tower along White Rim Road is Moses Tower, located at the far end of Taylor Canyon. We cross paths with Steph Davis who, after climbing Primerose Dihedral, makes an unreasonably quick descent… She has started jumping again just two months after her husband died wingsuiting. She is definitely addicted. A park ranger who saw her jump wants to search our 4x4 for a parachute, mistaking us for BASE jumpers. The French do not have the best reputation here when it comes to respecting the rules.
Renaud and I climb Pale Rider. The climbing is difficult and tenuous on the final section of smooth white sandstone. My hands and feet slip at the same time, but I am halted quickly by a micro stopper that I had not thought so solid.
The shutdown is over
At the tower's base we learn that the shutdown is over and the parks have re-opened. We eat a burger, fries, take a shower, and start the 14-hour drive back to Yosemite. We have one week left.
Lessons from the Ice Knife: Daniel Woods on pushing limitsWed, 20/11/2013 - 05:30 — Petzl America
Dave Graham, Jimmy Webb, Jamie Emerson, and I went hiking two years ago in Guanella Pass, Colorado. Our goal was to find new boulders. Towards the end of the day, Jimmy and I got separated from Dave and Jamie. When we met back at the car, Dave explained that he had found a worthy boulder with a few potential lines on it, the main line being this prominent prow with just enough holds to make it possible. The black gneiss was littered with white bands of quartzite, along with splashes of green lichen. It looked beautiful and we were psyched to return.
Daniel Woods on The Ice Knife. Photo: © Beau Kahler
Out of our crew, Dave was the only one that went back to see if it was possible. After spending some time developing a sequence that worked, he made the first ascent of The Ice Knife, proposing 8C (V15). Another year went by, and The Ice Knife remained unrepeated. Nathan Bancroft produced a short film called Scarred for Life, featuring the FA of the Ice Knife. I had totally forgotten about this line until after watching this movie. It inspired me to pay it a visit, along with Paul Robinson. The Ice Knife was just as stunning in person as in the video.
We went to work figuring out the sequence, but Dave's method was too “morpho" for us. Luckily, there was another solution to solve this puzzle. I found a small, quarter-pad edge for the left hand that allowed me to eliminate the big move and post up to a right hand three-finger quartz sloper. From here I could toe hook out left, bump my left hand up to the high hold, compress in with my right to a half-pad flat sidepull, and do the finishing left-hand move to the full-pad gaston. This sequence required more moves, but was the only way possible for us. Paul and I came close to sending the first day, but would have to return and finish it off. We returned the next day to perfect conditions. We warmed up then started making attempts. After a few slip-ups here and there, Paul and I made the 2nd and 3rd ascents of The Ice Knife. After sending, I started to look at the line from a low start.
The stand started halfway up the wall, but it would be cool to do it from the sit and complete the full line of the boulder. The sit starts with a left-hand, three-finger pinch and a right-hand full-pad edge. You plug in a right knee scum and do a long left arm lock off to a right hand half-pad undercling. From here you take out your knee scum, build your feet higher, come into a left-hand undercling pinch, bump left hand again to a two-finger sloping dimple, then bump again left hand to a flat quartzite edge. This sequence adds an 8A+ boulder into the existing 8B+/C. There’s not a rest to separate these two sections, dramatically increasing the stand's difficulty. I was able to do all the moves of the sit, but would have to come back and put it together.
I returned, determined to link the bottom moves. After some time revisiting the individual moves, I was able to connect them into the stand start. When I arrived into the stand, I was already loaded and breathing hard. It was crazy to imagine doing the crux of the stand this tired. The sit zaps most of your core and shoulder strength, which is what you need to be fresh for the stand's crux. I was content with day two’s progression on the sit, and realized I was going to need some serious fitness to complete this beast.
Multiple training sessions and sessions on the project went by. I was feeling strong, had bullet proof skin, and felt as if I could do it any day. I was climbing efficiently through the bottom, but kept falling on the crux. Finally, I was able to stick the crux but fell on the final move to the gaston. This allowed me to realize that the full was possible. Sadly, I could not try anymore due to leaving for Australia for the summer.
Another angle on The Ice Knife. Photo: © Beau Kahler
Summer went by and fall started to approach. The temperatures were dropping in the high country and it was soon going to be alpine season. I knew I had one month of perfect conditions to complete this boulder before the snow came. At this point, eight days were already invested into the sit. I warmed up, then tried each section to become familiar with the moves. They did not feel as good as before. Doubt entered if the line was going down this year or not. I vowed to return.
During the next sessions, I struggled with finding the right conditions. It was either too hot or cold. I kept falling on the crux move of the stand, pulling back on, and climbing to the top. The game turned into a mental challenge rather than physical. I knew I was in perfect shape, but my mind was weak. This was detrimental to my overall performance. Your brain is the strongest muscle within your body. It is hard to flip that switch and climb with confidence, especially if you have already dug yourself into a hole. I knew I had to regain confidence to complete this boulder. There is a boulder problem above Boulder Falls that Chris Schulte established called The Right (8B/+). I had not tried this before and decided to pay it a visit. The line was involved and hard. I went to work with a free mind and was able to send within a session. I needed that euphoric release to be psyched again. Now I was ready to return and try hard.
The next session on the project was different. I felt confident and eager to climb on the moves rather than forced. I pulled on and began to flow. The rock felt sticky and the moves felt natural. I stuck the crux and continued on. I stuck the final gaston move (the first time I had ever done this) and believed this line was about to go down. Excitement entered as I threw for the lip of the boulder, followed by depression as gravity pulled me back down into the unpadded talus. I was numb inside, blocking the pain of my now bloody ankles. My mind was confused. What happened? As I was going for the lip, my right foot slipped at the last second. This feeling was something that I had never experienced in climbing. I tried to shrug it off and give the line more attempts, but my brain now had a boot on it. I left the boulder and reflected on what happened. The next four days predicted five inches of snow to fall. After, there were two days of sun before more snow came. I had one last shot before everything turned into a disaster. I used these snow days to train and brutalize myself. I ignored the last session and tried to start fresh. The only thing holding me back was my head.
The snow passed, temps remained cold, and the sun was out. Today presents 42 F, 20 m.p.h. winds, and ground snow to add in some humidity. Everything was perfect, and this was the best condition that I had felt on the line. My head was empty. I did not know if I was going to send or fall. I pulled on and enjoyed how the moves felt under these pristine conditions. I stuck the crux move, then stuck the gaston move. De ja vu as I threw for the lip. Instead of gravity winning, I controlled the final hold, lowered my heart rate, and topped out the boulder. The full line was now complete. I just smiled and felt free. The project won many battles, but I won the war.
To celebrate, I established another line to the right calling it Carnage (8B). After having climbed for 19 years, I still deal with new obstacles in my climbing. Experiencing the journey and enjoying it is what keeps me going. There will always be something harder, and the challenge is to not let failure get the better of you, but learn from failure to create success.
Learn more about Daniel Woods
Video of Daniel Woods and Paul Robinson sending The Ice Knife stand-start