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Climber Mark Synnott


E-mail Mark




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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 are the best, most reasonably priced climbing and hiking shoes? line For rock climbing, ice climbing, and hiking, I climb exclusively with La Sportiva. I guess you could say I'm biased...full answer >>

line Q: After your best advice for getting into rock climbing for me and my two sons, ages 8 and 11.
line A climbing gym is often the preferred route if you have children because it's a controlled environment...full answer >>

line Q: I'm having a hard time finding a climbing buddy. Any tips?
line Yours is a dilemma that I hear frequently, often from the guys that I guide. In fact, I have one client who is really quite a good climber... full answer >>

line Q: My experience is limited to indoor gyms, but I'm anxious to get outside. Also, can you give me tips on techniques and strength?
line The safest and most traditional way to learn how to climb outside is to hire a guide. Climbing on real rock is a lot different than climbing plastic...full answer >>

line Q: I heard you were a cave-dwelling climbing bum in Yosemite. Do I really have to live like Fred Flintstone to improve my climbing chops?
line Indeed, I spent a few years groveling under some dark, rat infested boulders in a certain well-known valley in California. I was in my early to mid 20s...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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