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Old 11 Nov 2007
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the art of rock climbing and motorcylce travel

As I am trying to stuff all my gear into a couple of panniers for my travel through Latin America up through to Canada next year I continue to look wistfully at all my rock climbing gear...
I'm not really good at it but it is one of my favourite past times. Definitely no room for all of it (20+ kgs in a large back pack) but I wonder if I'll be able to squeeze in my climbing shoes and maybe even my harness, but maybe it would just be a waste of time/space. There will be plenty of other rocks/cliffs to climb when I finish my trip i suppose and I will be filling my time with many other things but what about all those great climbing spots I might ride by. Will I be able to resist??
Any thoughts or experiences from others? (I realise rock climbing isn't such a popular sport so if you don't climb you will probably find it hard to respond to this thread, but if you want to go off on a tangent that's fine with me...)
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Old 11 Nov 2007
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Hey Bruce,

With shoes, harness and a chalk bag you could pretty much roll up to any top roping spot and get in a few climbs by acting real nice and using your foreign accent. Heck, park your bike in any campground near a climbıng spot (for example the Chief in Squamish) and for the price of a few lies around the camp fire you would be able to hook up with someone. Don't know where you are headed but I could see the same luck in Smith Rocks etc. The rack and rope are overkill as you say. There's a lot of dirtbag clımbers looking to hook up with someone for a climb or two, even a guy on a motorbike!
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Old 11 Nov 2007
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I'd agree with that - you can always find locals to climb with who will lend you rope and rack. You might not even bother taking a harness

My old 5.10 'VX' shoes are stupidly soft and light, and pack totally flat.... Of course you can guarantee that if you dont take your shoes you will ride straight into Latin Americas answer to Fontainbleau and will be kicking yourself, but taking a full rack would mean you never even see a rock! Thats just the way sods law works - I took a full rack and two ropes to Ecuador in the hope of doing some new routing, but the girlfriend destroyed my plans in favour of visiting a butterfly reserve for a week!

I can't comment on what climbers in the US will be like about lending kit, but I imagine the international comraderie will prevail - I've rocked up at quite a few crags around the globe with nothing more than my shoes and always had plenty of people to climb with.

Watch how you package chalk for going through south american borders - nothing looks incriminating like a large zip-lock bag of white powder!
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Old 11 Nov 2007
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Trails of the unexpected.......The Americas

I'm pretty sure Brian (site above) mentioned he took rock climbing shoes with him on his trip to the Americas, it's maybe worth trying to email him for his opinion.

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Old 11 Nov 2007
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Hi, I would take your shoes, and borrow anything else. I used to love rock climbing and did quite a bit along the cliffs of my native Cornwall.
The Cornish cliff vary. much of it is granite and very reliable, there is also slate, shale and clay which are all unpredictable as water oozes out the cliff face..
It has reminded me of a time when training at Sennen on teh granite cliffs. In about 1960 Sir Edward Hillary came down to visit our unit and demonstrate to us how to get up over the top. He put his knee on the top to lift himself up.. and dislocated his kneecap.
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Old 12 Nov 2007
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personally, I would never borrow a harness, It is a personal bit of safety kit, I suppose if came from a reputable source, or was new, the risks would be minimal, same goes for the krabs, can you be sure they haven't had a major fall factor on them?
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Old 13 Nov 2007
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Definatly take your shoes, you can use them for anything so they are well worth it, beg and borrow the rest. I hitched around New Zealand and carried all my Snowboard equipment with me it was a real pain in the ass. I may as well just rented the gear as and when I needed it. As the years go by I am slowly packing lighter. While in Spain I just boarded in my bike jacket.

I met a guy in Asia who carried a toothbrush and a book, now thats traveling light.
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