With the fall sports season coming to a close, the Milton Academy Outdoor Program brought a group of students to Whitehorse Ledge to sample some of the finest slab climbing in Northeast. The initial colder autumn temperatures and wind did not discourage the crew from testing their skills on climbs like Standard Route, Wavelength, and Sliding Board.
Thanks to our friends at Mammut, the guides, outfitted in The Ultimate Hoody, stayed warm and comfortable. The Ultimate Hoody was perfect for such a day: the Gore Windstopper material blocked the wind; it breathed well, particularly as the temperatures changed throughout the day; and it enabled us to move freely for climbing, belaying, and rappelling.
Some students, who were trying multi-pitch climbing for the first time, focused on the basics and took their climbing experience to new heights (both literally and figuratively). Going higher off the ground than usual can be intimidating for newer climbers, but the students trusted the systems and relied on their technique, reinforcing the skills they had worked on for the past few months.
The veteran climbers, on routes like Wavelength, reached new heights, executing moves further from the ground than usual. After completing their initial route in fine fashion, they headed over to Echo Roof to climb some more.
At the end of the day, the group stopped in town for a quick bite. Physically tired but mentally recharged for the coming week, the group headed home. Thanks to all the students for their energy and enthusiasm and to Kendall for organizing all the logistics and making the day happen.
For whatever reasons, I am harder on my harnesses than other types of climbing gear. After a few seasons of regular use with my Mammut Togir 3 Slide, I decided to purchase a new harness even though the Togir seemed to withstand more abuse than other harnesses I have used in the past.
The tie-in protector, a small piece of plastic connected to the lower webbing, helped minimize the damage from regular use, and the belay loop was only slightly frayed. Since it still had some life left, I figured I would ease the old harness into retirement while breaking in a new one.
The Togir 3 Slide in its new color: Pine Green
Pleased with the fit and the adjustable leg loops of the Togir 3 Slide, which made it easier to use with the wide range of clothes for both rock and ice climbing, I purchased the same model. The same functions that I enjoyed of the original version remained: the buckles made for simple and fast adjustments, the downturned plastic gear loops made it easy to clip and unclip gear, and the padding provided enough comfort without feeling too bulky. In addition, the harness has loops so that the climber can clip on four ice screw carabiners for the winter months.
A few subtle enhancements, however, left me even more impressed. Mammut added just a little more padding on the waist belt near the enclosure, making it more comfortable. At first I thought that it felt better because it was a new harness, but when I compared the waist belt to my previous one, I realized the slight difference. The belay loop is a little longer and rotates more easily so that the climber can spread out the wear and tear from the carabiners rather than using the same section of the loop. Like the other Mammut harnesses, the Togir contains the indicator technology to alert the climber if the belay loop is too worn down. In addition, the gear loops are shaped differently so that the carabiners do not stack together down at a certain point. This improvement has made it easier to unclip gear.
The Togir 3 Slide is a solid all around harness that has endured a good deal of mileage over the years. It’s a true workhorse and one that I am looking forward to using more and more in the coming year.