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The Black Diamond Experience

Welcome to the Black Diamond Experience, an organic presentation of inspirational stories, photos and videos from our athletes, employees and partners. The Black Diamond Experience is where we showcase climbing, skiing and hiking adventures from around the world, plus event news, advocacy efforts and product and technology highlights—all in one dynamic smorgasbord of stoke. Enjoy.

Pavel Blažek: Behind the Scenes on the Dawn Wall
Every rock star needs a sideman, and every great climber needs a solid belayer. Pavel Blažek, the man who held Adam Ondra’s ropes on the Dawn Wall, gives us an inside look at belaying on the world’s hardest big wall.
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Jordan White: Finding the First Turns of Winter
Black Diamond Ambassador Jordan White explains why the old phrase, “you don’t know ‘til you go,” is everything when it comes to early season ski touring.
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ROCK Project: Our Athletes are Committed and Here's Why
As this year’s ROCK Project tour comes to a successful close, our Athletes and Ambassadors explain why being involved in this movement is so important.
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Colette McInerney: Get Psyched on the Women's Climbing Festi
BD Ambassador Colette McInerney explains why you need to attend this year’s Women’s Climbing Festival.
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Jordan White: Skiing the 13ers of Colorado's Elk Mountains
Black Diamond Ambassador Jordan White has climbed and skied every 14er in Colorado. Now he’s set his sights on the rugged 13ers in the Elk Mountains.
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Adam Ondra: Dispatches from Yosemite
Tune in here for exclusive Yosemite updates from BD Ambassador Adam Ondra.
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Yosemite Facelift: The Camp 4 Scrub
This fall, Black Diamond athletes and employees joined a record-breaking 750 people to participate in the 13th annual Yosemite Facelift, where we rapped for trash and gave the Camp 4 boulders a well-deserved scrub.
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Adam Ondra: School is Out and the Dawn Wall is Calling
Black Diamond Ambassador Adam Ondra admits that there’s one major hole in his climbing resume. “I’m a little ashamed that I haven’t been to Yosemite yet,” he told BD. But that’s about to change. Ondra rolled through our global headquarters in Salt Lake City on his way to the Valley and gave us the low-down on his Yosemite plans…
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Adam Ondra Preps for Yosemite in SLC
Black Diamond Ambassador Adam Ondra stopped through Salt Lake City on his way to Yosemite Valley to tour Black Diamond’s headquarters and crank on the local boulders.
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Babsi Zangerl: Surprise Send in the Verdon
Black Diamond Global Athlete Babsi Zangerl dispatches Golden Shower (5.14a), one of the hardest multi-pitches in the famed Verdon Gorge.
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Copp-Dash Inspired: Craig Muderlak’s Alaskan Adventure
At Black Diamond, we’re passionate about empowering climbers to not only push their limits in the mountains, but to also share their stories of inspiration when they come home. That’s why we sponsor the Copp-Dash Inspire Award. Established in the memory of Jonny Copp and Micah Dash—two leading alpinists, BD brothers and storytellers who lost their lives in the mountains in 2009—the award is a way to keep their vision alive. Craig Muderlak, a filmmaker, artist and climber, won the 2016 Copp-Dash award to document a rowdy plan to put up first ascents in Alaska … but that was only half of the story. His team would also travel by homemade skis, burn ‘em to lose the weight and then pack raft back to civilization. This is his story, told with the help of artwork he created after his adventure.
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Live.Ski.Repeat
We’re all looking for something out there. Success, happiness, meaning, the perfect line—call it what you want. Where is it hiding? And how far will you go to find it? Watch why we Live.Ski.Repeat.
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Chris Schulte: Back to Trad
Black Diamond Ambassador Chris Schulte has spent a lot of time bouldering in Indian Creek over the past few years. He always knew he would come back around to trad climbing, but didn't expect it to happen through bouldering. With a homecoming-kind-of-feeling, Chris comes back around to trad climbing in the Creek, putting up new hard lines for the first time in 15 years.
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Bhagirathi III: Extreme Alpinism in the Garhwal Himalayas
This summer, Black Diamond Ambassador Corrado “Korra” Pesce threw down on the remote alpine big-wall of Bhagirathi III in the Indian Himalayas. Pesce’s team endured storms, sub-zero temps and heady climbing for five days before walking away with the fourth and fastest ascent of Estrella Impossible.
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Joe Kinder: Out of His Element and Into the Ratikon
This past summer, Global Athlete Joe Kinder and his best friend, photographer and fellow climber, Tim Kemple, traveled to the Ratikon to attempt the 240-meter, six-pitch Silbergeier. Joe and Tim have been friends for a long time, and for them to both have the chance to come together and try this route was something special, send or no send. While there, Joe kept a diligent journal, documenting his experience of what it was like to step away from being a sport climber and into the alpine. Here are excerpts from that experience.
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Hang Just Right: Shoulder Maintenance for Climbers
Physical Therapist Esther Smith joined BD Bootcamp for a few days to work with BD Athletes Babsi Zangerl, Daila Ojeda and Colette McInerney to address any injuries they had before training. This article will highlight Babsi’s treatment protocol as her shoulder injury was limiting her ability to climb and train. Esther shares what optimal shoulder posture looks like when climbing, hanging and training.
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Bootcamp: Colette McInerney
In the past, Ambassador Colette McInerney could dedicate a lot of her time to climbing on real rock and that was how she continued to improve. Now, with her life revolving around other things, training is her avenue to reaching her goals. She finds a lot of motivation in climbing with women and committed to BD Bootcamp because she wants to be better. This is her story.
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Bootcamp: Daila Ojeda
Global Athlete Daila Ojeda has never really trained before. For her, climbing is less about planning and regiment and more about being in the outdoors, inspired by an aesthetic line. Through BD Bootcamp she learned she really can commit to a training plan and realized how much she truly loves to climb outside. This is her story.
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Remembering Kyle Dempster
It is with much sadness that we say goodbye to Kyle Dempster, one of our climbing ambassadors and a dear friend to many of us in the BD family. Kyle, along with his climbing partner Scott Adamson, disappeared in late August while attempting Ogre II in northern Pakistan. After an exhaustive, close-proximity helicopter search of the mountain yielded no signs of Kyle or Scott, the extremely difficult decision was made to call off the search. Kyle and Scott are not coming home, but their spirit, stoke and smiles will live on in the hearts of many. We, the employees of Black Diamond Equipment, send our deepest condolences to the friends and families of Kyle and Scott—we grieve with you. We asked one of Kyle’s close friends and former BD employee, Andy Anderson, to write the following tribute in celebration of Kyle’s vibrant and passionate life.
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Bootcamp: Babsi Zangerl
Global Athlete Babsi Zangerl has unwavering climbing focus. She is calm, collected and crushes. Training with women was a new experience for her. Through BD Bootcamp she found value in the motivation of others and learned to listen to her body more than anything else. This is her story.
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Project: Bootcamp
In the spring of 2016, Black Diamond Athletes Babsi Zangerl, Daila Ojeda and Colette McInerney committed to a three-week training cycle to improve their climbing. This is their story.
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Life in the Gunks: A New Perspective
After 14 years of competitive gymnastics and a life-changing medical diagnosis, Black Diamond Ambassador Whitney Boland has a new view on climbing.
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Will Cardamone samples Japan with PowderWhore Productions
Black Diamond Athlete Will Cardamone joins Jay Beyer, Dan Abrams, Megan Michelson, Eric Balken, and Jonah Howell of PowderWhore Productions for two weeks of legendary powder in Niseko and Fursno, Japan.
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BD athlete Will Cardamone and the Skiers Chalet
Will is spending his winter in one of Aspen's last ski bum strongholds, the Skiers Chalet.
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Ice Training: How to Build a Plice
As the ice season approaches, Black Diamond Ambassador Will Gadd offers advice for building a Plice, a.k.a plywood ice.
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Will Gadd: Return to Send
Black Diamond Ambassador Will Gadd has been mixed climbing for more than two decades. Now, he returns to two of his old mixed lines, musing on the evolution of the game and its grades.
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BD Athlete Will Gadd Climbs Niagara Falls
In a headline-grabbing first, Will Gadd and Sarah Hueniken made the first ascent of the most iconic waterfall in North America.
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Yosemite Climber Stewards repair Medlicott trail
In desperate need of some love, the trail to Medlicott Dome got a full rebuild thanks to over 200 hours of work put in by 26 volunteers from the Yosemite Climber Stewards, NPS Rangers, YOSAR and the Access Fund.
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LIVE.SKI.REPEAT
A tribute to the skiing life.
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Thomas Gaisbacher skiing in British Columbia
Thomas Gaisbacher heads to the Skeena Mountains of northern British Columbia to ski untracked pow and epic pillow lines.
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Getting Squamished: A Primer
Squamish encompasses a lot of things: For Ambassador Colette McInerney it was a good venue to get more versed in plugging pro, and for Ambassador Whitney Boland, its fickle weather forced a lesson in patience.
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A Love Letter to all the Gunkies
Black Diamond Ambassador Whitney Boland writes a platonic love letter to those that came before.
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Climbing in Urban Rio de Janeiro
The story of Jonas Silva, one of the most dedicated students in a climbing school located in the largest slum of Rio de Janeiro
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From China with Love
For Black Diamond Ambassadors Felicitas Feller and Rahel Schelb, Li Ming, China, brought both a wild climbing experience and a unique cultural collision.
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#LIVECLIMBREPEAT
A tribute to the climbing life.
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