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Holiday Gift Guide for the Climbers in Your Life

From down jackets and warm booties to ice boots and more, here are some great gift options for this season

With the holidays only a few weeks away, here are some great winter gift ideas for the climbers in your life.

Mountain Hardwear Compressor Hoodie: A perfect layer for anyone looking for a lightweight and warm jacket. The well-made wrist cuffs pair well with the four pockets as standout features. The internal chest pocket is small, which is nice for having things close and easy to grab. The hood has a three-point adjustment system and small brim. The waist has the standard two-point cinch system. A great option for climbers looking for a belay coat or backcountry skiing. ($340)

The North Face ThermoBall Laceup Women’s: These are one of the best general use winter boots on the market this year. They’re stylish, will keep your feet toasty, are lightweight, lace-up, are water-resistant and have the plushest insulation. You won’t find a more comfortable boot this winter, especially if you’re the kind of person who gets sore feet in boots – because you won’t in these. Great for walking to the climbing gym or casual rest day strolls. ($155)

CAMP Cassin Scorpio: Every ice climber needs a tool that allows them to make V-threads or No-threads. Without this, a climber could get stuck on top of an ice climb until a rescue, or until they come to terms with leaving ice screws to rappel. This mini weapon is perfect for clearing ice from screw holes and for feeding ropes and cord through screw holes. It has a little plastic cap to prevent it from snagging your pants. If you want to rappel off of an ice climb, don’t leave the ground without the Scorpio. ($20)

RAB Fulcrum Glove: Like all of RAB’s excellent products, the Fulcrum Glove is made with nearly perfect craftsmanship. They’re great on cool days down to -10 C, when heavier gloves would be too hot. They’re made with waterproof technology, making them a solid option for long-day ice climbs. They have a durable stretch outer and high pre-curve to ensure excellent tool handling on more technical routes. They have a sticky palm to help when the pump creeps in on steep mixed lines. A great glove for any ice climber who needs a little extra knuckle protection and a nosewipe. ($170)

The North Face Sherpa Nuptse Jacket: This one-of-a-kind insulated jacket is unisex and comes with 500-fill down. The fleece is 100 per cent recycled and it comes with a stowable hood, a relaxed fit, secure-zip hand pockets, secure-zip internal pocket, and adjustable hook-and-loop cuff tabs. This might be the most wearable and comfortable jacket on the market. ($430)

Patagonia Arbor Zip Pack: Everyone in your life needs more packs, that’s just a simple fact. Whether it’s for long days out climbing, short days at the climbing gym, or for travelling, climbers need a lot of bags. This new one from Patagonia fits in the category of “simply cool.” It’s compact clamshell-style design is good for everyone, really, but especially those climbers in your life heading to the gym this winter. It’s durable and sleek, and will fit a laptop, bouldering shoes and a chalk bag just fine. ($109)

Petzl Kit: Do you know someone in your life that is hoping to start climbing? Well, this three-in-one kit provides them with the basics to get started, minus the climbing shoes. This package comes with a Corax harness, a GriGri belay device and a carabiner. The harness is extremely comfortable and easy to adjust, in case you’re taking out a group of new climbers and are sharing the harness between them. A great starter kit for the new climber in your life. ($220)

Metolius Locking Anchor Draw: Another of Metolious’s smart tools for climbers, the Anchor Draw increases safety for sport climbers when they’re cleaning bolted anchors. It’s easy-to-use and very safe when used properly. It has two screw-lock carabiners on a 178 mm sling with captured eye carabiners to prevent off-axis loading. It comes in at 108 grams and can handle 22 kN. Every sport climber should have one of these on their harness for their end-of-climb routine. ($40)

Arc’teryx Alpha Parka: It seems like a lot of money for a belay puffy, but trust us, this park is 100 per cent worth the price. It’s Arc’teryx’s warmest down-insulated parka they’re selling this year. Yes, it’s sheds cold and will keep you protected from the wind, but there are so many great features that make this the highly recommended jacket that it is. It has 850-fill goose down that’s complemented with mapped synthetic insulation for added breathability in moisture-prone areas, which is as amazing as it sounds. The brand’s description of the jacket includes the line, “A proprietary fabric we created to redefine the standard for superlight alpine durability, Hadron is engineered with a liquid crystal polymer ripstop grid to deliver abrasion resistance rivaling fabrics twice its weight.” If you or anyone that you know wants to stay warm this winter, buy this jacket. ($999)

Keen Howser III Slide: Slippers are some of the most important pieces of footwear that you can own in winter. And we stand by this: these will be the most comfortable slippers that you’ve ever owned. They’re so cushy, plush and cozy, that you won’t want to take them off for bed or to go climbing. The size is spot on, they’re light and the bungee cinch is a sweet little touch for optimal snugness at the cuff. Keep those feet warm, get the Howser III Slide this season. ($95)

Mountain Hardwear AirMesh Women’s 1/4 Zip: This is a shockingly light pullover that will make for a great layer at the crag or in the gym. It’s made from a mesh that has hollow, tube-like fibres with small extensions that absorb moisture. It’s an advanced piece, but the quick-drying capabilities and insulating qualities make this a warm and cozy sweater. You’ll love the low-profile thumb holes and the range of mobility that it offers. ($90)

Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro: Much like the La Sportiva Spantik, the Mont Blanc Pro have become somewhat of a piece of climbing culture. If you’ve been ice climbing for very long, then you’ve seen someone wearing these amazing single boots, whether on a steep WI6 or running up a fun WI3. For approaches, they hold their own on scree and icy rock, offering all the grip that you’ll need. Your feet won’t get wet from the elements, only from your sweat if you get sweaty feet. They’ll keep your feet plenty warm while on the move. If you’re planning on standing and belaying for long, then layer up some warm socks. They fit wide feel well with no heel lift. As always, these are an amazing option for ice climbing in Canada. ($630)

La Sportiva Spantik: There are a lot of ice climbing boots on the market, but one of our favourite pairs over the years is the Spantik. The double boots reign supreme on the coldest days, but still aren’t that heavy and have good dexterity for technical climbing. While these belong on huge alpine climbs in the Rockies, Alaska or Andes, you just can’t get a warmer boot that works great on waterfall ice in Canada. They’re comfortable, toasty and will not exhaust your legs on the approach or climb. ($999)

Black Diamond Reactor: If you’re familiar with Black Diamond tools, then imagine a cross between the Black Diamond Fuel and the original Black Diamond Fusion. It’s a technical tool designed to excel on steep ice, which it does, but to also be used for tricky mixed sections. The open angle gives it a smooth swing, one that doesn’t demand a big wrist flick, and allows you to drive it into ice, whether soft or brittle. Like many tools these days, the offset grip helps you to fight the pump when moving through steep terrain. Unlike many extremely technical tools, the shape of the Reactor makes it perform well on less than vertical ice. The Reactor is one of the best tools available today and recommended for new and experienced climbers. ($330)

Salewa Piume 3.0: The Piume 3.0 helmet is the lightest in Salewa’s line-up at just 175 grams. Nonetheless, it has enhanced protection on all sides, and especially on the top, including more expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam than most lightweight helmets, and a polycarbonate shell with an added insert for more protection against rock and ice fall. With two sizes, one for heads 53 to 58 cm and one for 57 to 62 cm in circumference, a removable, aerated foam lining and an adjustable back of the head strap and sliders on the sidestraps, it’s easy to customize your helmet’s fit. On the head, it felt light, and low-profile. I hardly noticed it, even on hard climbing, an observation shared by top alpinists who have tested it. The ventilation channels will also keep this cool on hot days, and there are channels to keep the air moving between your head and the helmet, a feature lacking on some foam helmet designs. Extra features include headlamp or goggle attachments, making it a versatile piece of kit that could be used for alpinism and ski touring as well as rock climbing. ($155)