Spotlight - equipment views and reviews from the AK team
Spanish Rock Climbing Flair
By Ashleigh Naysmith
26, Jun, 2015
Welcoming Fixe and Roca to the UK, exclusively through us.
Back in November, we were all giddy and buzzing with excitement over the new Roca ropes we had just got in. We all had a favourite; there were a few squabbles about which one we liked best (Rainbow Rope, obviously), but most of all we were all itching to have a play on them.
Our sponsored athletes often get first dibs, and Ramon certainly did not disappoint with his monumentally awe-inspiring send of Steel Koan, M13+, Canada’s hardest mixed climb and has been spending the summer touring the UK ticking off some prime routes using the Roca Ropes, Fixe quickdraws and Alien cams.
To fully kit out quick and light alpine ascents we introduced ice axes- perfect for ski-mountaineering and a more technical axe, Black, for classic mountaineering. Plus spiffy ice screws with funky coloured handles and reverse threading for wide dispersion. Keep your eyes peeled for more as we move back towards the winter season later in the year.
And now we have even more! We have an enthusiastic climbing coterie here at Alpkit, from hard-core boulderers, regular Scottish winter climbers, competition climbers and sun-searching sport climbers- so you can imagine our glee at the humongous box from Roca that arrived the other week.
So in recent months, we have gradually been expanding our range of Fixe/ Roca equipment. As the exclusive UK distributor for Fixe/ Roca, we are making the most in indulging in everything their range has to offer.
Carabiners, quickdraws and belay.
On the shiner side of things, we now have a beautiful array of quickdraw sets in stock. For our eager sport climbers and lightweight kit lovers, the Minor Quickdraw Set will keep you rack light and wallet heavy. It even comes with alluring dyneema to tie it together nicely. For a throwback to 80s colour schemes we have got the frankly awesome Fixe Orion Quickset in- simple and cheery, excellent for building up your climbing rack.
Other lustrous aluminium includes a select lineup of carabiners and belay devices. Something that spans most disciplines of climbing and even delves into caving, kayaking and ski-mountaineering; a necessity to most- so now you have lots to choose from:
Symmetrical/oval; ideal for industry, aid climbing and caving.
HMS/ pear shape; great all rounders for belaying, setting up anchors and tying off on sports routes.
Light and strong D shape carabiners; ideal for most types of climbing and hold load of centre.
Furthermore, although our Nottinghamshire situation may not be ideally located for Yosemite, Zion or other jaw-dropping meccas of bigwall climbing, we know a few a people who manage to hop across the pond regularly. For those inspiring people (and aspirants), we have a few ascenders and descenders to choose from. Fixe Capitan mechanical ascender complements Fixe Dome chest ascender perfectly. They even come in our favourite anodised red- we wouldn’t want you jumaring without style!
As exclusive distributers for Fixe/ Roca, we also get to stock Alien Evolution cams and most recently - Alien Original Offset cams! With all the brilliant features of Original Aliens but offset- perfect for the flared cracks found in Yosemite. These are the preferred choice of aid climbers and big wall climbers.
Explore the current range of climbing hardware.
Another multidiscipline necessity is the trusty sling. With dyneema and polyester slings of every shape and size, you will be able to decorate the crag with them. The most intrguing of which is the Chain multi-loop lanyard - the ingenious versatile lanyard made up of 7 loops, each of which is rated to 22 kN.
Explore the current range of Roca ropes and Fixe Slings
We begun with a rather diverse collection of harnesses: from the Skitrav über-lightweight ski-touring harness at only 145 g (also makes a great scrambling/confidence harness), to our heavyweight comfort industry harness; Arnasa Evo for those spending their days doing vertical work, rope access, route setting and so on. I must say, the Spanish names for the harnesses do have an enticing ring to them, don’t they?!
For all those mini-people we know and love, we are also stocking Kid harnesses. Whether you have kids of your own or have to borrow them from friends, there is something mesmerising about watching them scramble up the rock with such ease and finesse. Until, of course, you realise that they are better than you- it becomes bitter-sweet after that.
Explore the current range of harnesses
The thing that every one of us is going to use in the boulder-bucket load is chalk. We now have smooth chalk, crunchy chalk, ball chalk and even liquid chalk- whatever your preference for MgCO3 is, we’ve got it!
And for those who think they are tough enough, we even have a gnarly fingerboard to get your muscles going! (Note: beginners can use this board the correct way up for jugs rather than slopers).
So that's it for the time being, but there will be more to come we are sure. Enjoy your climbing!