We tested the latest crop of bouldering gear for experienced climbers in Yosemite Valley. It’s the start of peak season, and climbers from all over are flocking to the national park to get their hands on its smooth granite rocks. There’s no better way to put gear to the test than the world’s most famous boulder problem, Midnight Lightning, a 25-foot highball that stands proudly in the center of the historic climber’s campground, Camp 4.
To succeed on Midnight Lightning, which gets more difficult the higher you go—all while climbing without the safety of a rope—requires fingers of steel, a powerful core, and years of dedication to the sport. Plus you need the right bouldering gear. Below is the top kit for bouldering in and around Yosemite (and, well, anywhere else you like to boulder).
1. Trango Status Crashpad
Just released, this large (51x39x4.7-inch), three-layer foam landing zone is beefy enough to absorb impacts from highfliers and low-ballers alike as they work out moves. Made with 45-degree fold lines that minimize soft spots, an adjustable carrying system, a kangaroo pouch for carrying essentials, and a harness system that allows you to stack pads, the Status has it all.
[$289; trango.com]Get it
2. SCARPA Furia Air Climbing Shoes
SCARPA likes to call its Furia shoes, “sensitivity redesigned.” They breathable performance slipper is ultra-light at just 150 g. Made with a thin, sticky Vibram XS Grip2 sole and perforated microsuede uppers, these feel like precision tools on your feet. We noted all-day comfort climbing at Yosemite Boulder Farm in Mariposa. Simply throw them in the wash; they’ll keep showing up.
[$209; scarpa.com]Get it
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