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What’s in Margo Hayes’ pack?

At the beginning of 2017, Margo Hayes sent La Rambla (9a+/5.15a), becoming the first woman to successfully climb at the grade. A part of Team Petzl since 2016, this elite climber has a penchant for sport climbing at cliffs both near and far. Today, she shares with us the gear she packs when heading out for a typical day at the crag.

March 20 2019

Rock climbing

  1. North Face Backpack: When I go sport climbing somewhere with an approach, I always bring my mid-sized North Face Pack. It has a lot of volume, but is really lightweight. My favorite thing about it is how comfortable it is. The waist belt tightens enough to hug my hips and take a lot of the weight off of my shoulders. The extra pockets help me stay organized with my gear and food.
  2. ARIAL 9.5mm Rope: The Arial is my go-to rope. Unless I am climbing somewhere with extraordinarily long pitches, I tend to use the 80 meter length. I like this rope because it is supple and the diameter is a width I’m comfortable with. I lean towards thicker ropes, because I feel like they are more durable and it takes longer before I have to cut the end. I like the way it feels when I grab and pull up rope to clip with the 9.5mm diameter and I like how it smoothly runs through the GRIGRI. I always tie a knot in the end and I make sure to note when I have cut it and by how much.
  3. SITTA Harness: I almost always climb in the SITTA harness. It is comfortable and lightweight!
  4. North Face Puffy Jacket: No matter where I am going, I bring a down jacket. I tend to get cold at the crag, because I often climb until dark. It’s important to stay warm between climbs. When I keep my core warm, the rest of my body, including my fingers, tend to stay warmer as well. Also, you never know when you may get stuck in the cold or come across unexpected weather. It’s best to be prepared for the unexpected!
  5. Hangboard: I like to bring my special hangboard with me when I go to the crag. It makes it easier to warm up and prevent injury. I like to use it for pull-ups as well as finger activation. I use it before I climb and between routes if I have taken a long rest.
  6. METEOR Helmet: I bring my helmet with me on every sport climbing trip. I am especially careful of ledges and inconsistencies in the rock. The METEOR is lightweight and it’s one of the few helmets that you can forget you're wearing halfway up the rock face.
  7. GRIGRI: The GRIGRI is my favorite belay device, and pretty much the only one I ever use. Although I am always prudent while belaying, I like to know I have a back-up locking system. I feel confident with how the device feeds and takes in slack. I also feel more secure climbing when I know my belayer is using the same GRIGRI device.
  8. SPIRIT Quickdraws: 95% of the time, I climb on my SPIRIT quickdraws. They are lightweight and durable. I like the way it feels to clip the biner. I also find them to be much more comfortable than other draws when it comes to grabbing them to pull up on while projecting. They are the perfect width. I also bring a sling and a locking biner or two. It’s important to have the option to abandon a route safely if you are unable to reach the summit.
  9. Utensils: I usually bring utensils with me, because I am a big snacker. I like to eat throughout the day at the cliff and I keep this little box containing a fork, knife, spoon, and chopsticks in my bag at all times. Food is fuel!
  10. Bobo’s Oat Bar: Bobo’s oat bars are one of my favorite snacks at the cliff. They are full of the carbs that I need for a long day, and the sugar helps keep my energy up. They give me what I need, both in energy and tastiness!
  11. CU Belay Glasses: I like to use these glasses to save my neck from getting too sore from looking up while belaying.
  12. TIKKA Headlamp: I really like the TIKKA headlamp. The battery lasts a long time and the different settings work well in various types of light. It’s especially useful when I’m running down the trail in the dark of night.
  13. SWELL Thermos Bottle: I bring my Swell bottle with me most days. It is insulated, so my tea stays hot all day! If the weather is too hot for tea, it keeps water at a cool temp as well. I also love the color and durability!
  14. Finger Kit: I keep my little pink finger kit in my bag at all times. It includes clippers, tape, a razor blade, hand cream, lip balm, and any other little items I may need while I’m out climbing.
  15. Warm-up Ball and Band: I use my orange therapy ball to warm up my fingers before I start climbing or hanging on the board. I think it’s important to activate the blood flow at least 10 minutes before actually climbing. I use the red band to stretch my shoulders and warm up my rotator cuffs. It’s pertinent to take the time to do exercises to avoid injury.
  16. La Sportiva Solutions: When I’m climbing outdoors, I always wear my Solutions. They fit my foot well and I like how they edge and cup my heel. They are great shoes, especially when it comes to precision.
  17. SAKAPOCHE Chalk Bag: I use my SAKAPOCHE chalk bag. I like the size and how light it is! I also use the handy brush holder for my Faza brush.
  18. Friction Labs Chalk: I use Friction Labs chalk in my bag. I also carry around extra chalk in case my friends need to refill their bags. I like the way Fiction Lab feels on my skin compared to other chalks. It seems to stay on longer. 


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