Dave Alie: BACKPACKING, CLIMBING
My childhood home of Newton, Massachusetts, is hardly a proving ground for the outdoors, but it was close enough to the beautiful scenery of the rest of New England to get me started. As a kid, I spent plenty of hot summer weekends on various day-hikes around neighboring states. As a high school student, I was looking to expand my hiking interest to include easy technical climbs and scrambles on various peaks around the state. To this end, I learned the basics of rope management and traditional gear placement and explored easy technical terrain whenever I had the chance.
Years later and out of college, my wanderlust took me on a handful of backpacking and climbing tours that spanned Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and, more locally, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Cascades before eventually depositing me in Denver, my current home.
Colorado has been an amazing place for me as a climber, with no shortage of classic lines to climb or footsteps to follow in. For reasons of convenience, I climb in Clear Creek and Eldorado Canyon most regularly, with Rocky Mountain National Park, Shelf Road, Vedauwoo, TenSleep, and the Utah desert coming in close behind. While my time is roughly evenly split between clipping bolts and placing gear (and I love both), larger alpine objectives and all the challenges that come with them are always my favorite trips.
As a grad student in engineering at DU, I spend my rest days doing materials research for renewable energy applications.
All Content by Dave Alie
If you’ve ever complained about a rope or crag bag, you should get in touch with Boulder5.
See why Blister’s climbing editor calls the Black Diamond X4 his “all-around favorite small cam.”
When it first debuted, the Metolius Master Cam was touted as the piece to end the CCH Alien’s reign as the most beloved small cam on the market. About five years later, it’s still holding its own in the competitive arena.
Mammut’s Infinity, a 9.5mm single with exceptionally fluid handling, sets the bar pretty high for the one-rope quiver.
Though not an edging machine, the Five Ten Stonelands VCS strikes a good balance between sensitivity and performance. It also marks a new step in climbing shoe design.
The Metolius Gatekeeper is a very good cross-load-proof belay carabiner. (But just how useful is this safety technology, in general?)
The Westcomb Crest Hoody is an impressive achievement that doesn’t leave much room for improvement.
From Active Placement to Usable Range, all you wanted to know about cams, defined.
There’s a lot of information and nuance out there when it comes to cams. Here are some things to consider when standing in front of a wall of cams at your local shop.
If you haven’t considered offset cams, we’ll explain why you should. The Metolius Offset TCUs are a great addition to your rack, allowing you to protect sections of rock that would otherwise be unprotectable.
Not every shoe should try to do every thing. The Evolv Astroman is a high-top-style designed with long trad routes in mind, a goal it certainly achieves.
If you’re going to carry a pulley as part of your rescue equipment, it makes sense to integrate that pulley into a carabiner. How much sense? Reviewer Dave Alie takes the DMM Revolver into the lab to find out.
The Metolius Dirt Bag and Porta-Cord rope bags are both solid options to make life at the crag a little easier.
The DMM Demon Cams have a combination of features that may put them high on your “next cam” list. This design is worth a look.
The DMM Dragon cams bear a striking resemblance to the Black Diamond C4s, but in practice they’re different from anything reviewer Dave Alie has used before. (And that’s a good thing.)
While switching rope brands might seem unthinkable, for anyone considering making the jump from single ropes to half ropes, the Sterling Evolution Duetto Half Ropes perform beautifully. Might be time to rethink the unthinkable.
The Wild Country Helium Friends are touted as being among the lightest and best cams out there. So how do they stack up against the other brands? Dave Alie explains (with logarithmic spirals, to boot).
If you’re going to use one climbing shoe for damn near everything, or you climb rock that necessitates both “sport” and “trad” techniques, the SCARPA Vapor V is top notch.
Sometimes in life, you gotta boil stuff. The Jetboil Sol Ti is quick, easy, compact, and lightweight. It’s also perhaps the best canister stove on the market.
The Miura VS takes the mechanics of the Miura lace that made sport climbers embrace them, and ramps them up a few notches. Sport climbers, rejoice.