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Climber Mark Synnott

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  Ask the expert
  What to do? Where to go? What to buy?

Big-Wall Warrior Mark Synnott Answers Your Climbing Queries

line Q: What gear would a newbie need to start aid climbing?
line Gearing up for aid climbing isn't too difficult, especially if you're a free climber. You just need to buy specific pieces of gear. Here are the items...full answer >>

line Q: I'm 15 years old. What's the cheapest, best way for me to get involved in climbing?
line The answer is so simple that I suspect you already know what it is—climbing gyms. I know for a fact that there are several excellent...full answer >>

line Q: Should I take lessons? Where do I climb in Washington, D.C.?
line I like to remind people that the first year of climbing is statistically the most dangerous. Start with a guide and then move on to top-roping and...full answer >>

line Q: Does height make a difference?
line It really depends a lot on the particular climb. The most important thing is strength-to-weight-ratio. A tall person can reach right past...full answer >>

line Q: I'd like to hook up with competitions in New Mexico, but have no contacts.
line Your best resource will probably be the American Alpine Club which is based in Golden, Colorado. Their telephone number is...full answer >>

1 | 2 |3 more questions

"A lot of people don't realize it, but the only thing you really need to climb big walls, or any big route, is determination," says Mark Synnott. OK. But what else does it take to best a big wall? Just e-mail Mark and he'll give you the skinny on everything from grub to gear to getting started. And he should know.

Mark has bagged more than 50 big walls including Argentina's Cerro Torre and first ascents on Canada's Baffin Island, southern Asia's Karakoram Range. And when he's not climbing, he's helping design new North Face equipment or contributing to magazines like NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, Outside, and Climbing.

Photograph by Gordon Wiltsie

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