Q: What are the best, most reasonably priced
climbing and hiking shoes?
For rock climbing, ice climbing, and hiking, I climb
exclusively with La Sportiva. I guess you could say
I'm biased...full answer >>
Q: After your best advice for getting into rock
climbing for me and my two sons, ages 8 and 11.
A climbing gym is often the preferred route if you have
children because it's a controlled
environment...full answer >>
Q: I'm having a hard time finding a
climbing buddy. Any tips?
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 >>
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?
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 >>
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?
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 >>
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"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