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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.

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: 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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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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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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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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The Movie Screen Project
For the first time, BD employee Tyler Willcutt attempts a project outside of where he’s living, inspired by The Movie Screen Project in Summersville Lake. He learns how a single route and even a single move can make you feel obsessed and leave you wanting more.
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Dave MacLeod: The Unknown
Black Diamond Ambassador Dave MacLeod did not set out to be a route developer. But at a young age, inspired by an unfinished project, the course of his climbing career changed forever.
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Sonnie Trotter: The Prow Wall
Black Diamond Ambassador Sonnie Trotter’s climbing career is full of impressive first free ascents throughout his homeland of Canada. Earlier this year, he freed one of his proudest: The Prow Wall, a 200-meter shield of smooth granite on Squamish’s Stawamus Chief. The story behind the eventual free ascent was 20 years in the making and here, Sonnie shares the moments and people that were part of the experience.
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Access PanAm and the Patagonia Waste Management Initiative
Black Diamond is proud to support the crucial work of Access PanAm in the development and execution of the pilot study for Patagonia Waste Management Initiative. This initiative is a multi-year project to develop a viable, long-term human waste solution in order to protect and preserve the environment of high-use basecamps and other areas of Argentina’s Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, Zona Norte—home to the famed massifs of Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy.
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Roland Hemetzberger: New Zealand's First 9a
New Zealand is a wonderland of glaciers, rainforests, rugged coastlines and amazing climbing. Black Diamond Ambassador Roland Hemetzberger traveled to NZ to sample all that it has to offer, and ended up making the first ascent of Nebuchadnezzar. Rolo has offered the grade of 9a, which would make it the hardest route in New Zealand.
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Hazel Findlay: Life in a Tin Can
As a full-time climber on the road 365 days a year, BD Global Athlete Hazel Findlay has sorted out all of the best methods for living in a car or van. Here, she bestows upon us her hard-earned nuggets of wisdom for better life on the road.
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Why Support Bears Ears?
The Bears Ears area of Southeastern Utah encompasses 1.9 million acres of unprotected archaeological and recreational sites—including the crack climbing of Indian Creek. Help protect this vast and vulnerable desert landscape before it’s too late.
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Dumbarton Days: Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher Explore Sco
This year, Black Diamond Athletes Barbara Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher traveled to the famed crag of Dumbarton, home to a collection of iconic and extremely heady trad climbs in Scotland. They overcame whippers, weather, struggles and found success.
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Adam Ondra: Progression
This past November, Adam Ondra made the first ascent of C.R.S. (9b), the hardest sport climb in France. For Adam, this route meant progression, as it was the quickest he had ever redpointed 9b.
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QC LAB: OFF-AXIS AND TRI/QUAD-AXIAL LOADING
Recently, Kelly Cordes emailed KP and the QC crew, posing a lengthy question about the dangers of off-axis loading while at the belay. Our lab answered the question and got inspired to do a few more tests along the way.
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BDTV Episode 6: The Master of Moves
World Cup route setter Jacky Godoffe explores the moves in Fontainebleau.
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One Year Later: Hazel Findlay's Recovery
A year ago, Black Diamond Global Athlete Hazel Findlay had shoulder surgery, after climbing through serious shoulder pain for half a decade. Now, a year post-op, she explores how her life, and climbing, have changed.
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Ofer Blutrich: Keeping the Faith
Black Diamond Ambassador Ofer Blutrich learned to climb in Israel, a country with many crags that are off-limits to climbing. Recently, he became the first Israeli to climb 5.14c, with his send of Mind Control. This is how he does it.
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BDTV Episode 5: The Width of Life
Black Diamond Ambassador Dan Mirsky pays tribute to a hero.
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BDTV Episode 4: Sharing the Line
Global Athlete Babsi Zangerl and Ambassador Jacopo Larcher in the fourth episode of BDTV.
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Chris Schulte: Indian Creek and an Expanding Sport
"We can build gyms anywhere," Black Diamond Ambassador Chris Schulte says. "We can’t make another Indian Creek or Yosemite or Fontainebleau."
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Bootcamp: Joe Kinder
Global Athlete Joe Kinder had never really trained before. But after nearly 19 years of climbing, he was ready to make a real commitment to improving at the highest level.
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Bootcamp: Sam Elias
Black Diamond Ambassador Sam Elias had hit a plateau in his climbing. So along with athletes Joe Kinder and Dan Mirsky, he committed to a training program that would, hopefully, help him overcome. This is his story.
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Bootcamp: Dan Mirsky
Black Diamond Ambassador Dan Mirsky, along with fellow athletes Sam Elias and Joe Kinder, completed a three-month training program that ended up changing the way he climbed. This is his story.
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Project: Bootcamp
In June 2015, Black Diamond Athletes Sam Elias, Joe Kinder and Dan Mirsky committed to improve their climbing through an intense three-month training program. This is their story.
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Why We #liveclimbrepeat
We are alive in the mountains. Climbing shapes our bodies, our minds and our deepest friendships, and the mountains are a crucible in which we make the most meaningful moments of our lives. Because of this, we are relentless advocates for the wild places where we #liveclimbrepeat.
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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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Hazel Findlay Does Australia
Black Diamond Ambassador Cedar Wright follows Global Athlete Hazel Findlay's exploration in Australia as she quests to take down Final Departure.
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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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Patagonia Magic
After a slow start to his weeks-long trip to Patagonia, Black Diamond Ambassador Korra Pesce, along with four partners, completed the long-sought second ascent of Psycho Vertical (950m 6b A3 M8, 90° ice) on Torre Egger.
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Black Diamond Athlete Summit: Project Siurana
In December 2015, a group of Black Diamond athletes and ambassadors traveled to Siurana, Spain, working with the local climbing community to clean up the crag. The group installed toilets, cleaned up trash, rebolted routes and, of course, went climbing. Global Athlete Hazel Findlay describes the experience.
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Skiing in Northern Europe: An Insider's How-To
Black Diamond Ambassador Antte Lauhamaa views skiing as a means of self expression, and the unique experiences of skiing in northern Europe have shaped him as a ski mountaineer.
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Josh Wharton: Fatherhood and Alpinism
Black Diamond Ambassador Josh Wharton has long pushed the limits in alpinism, and after the birth of his daughter, Hera, he continues to do so. But many ask him how being a new father has changed his approach.
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Roland Hemetzberger: Madness in Madagascar
After seeing images of the towering walls of Madagascar in a book years ago, Black Diamond Ambassador Roland Hemetzberger knew that he had to visit the island. This year, his dream finally came true.
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The Salathe Sweep: House Cleaning on El Cap
For the second year running, Black Diamond athletes and employees teamed up with Yosemite NPS employees to clean house on the vertical walls of the Valley. As ambassador Tommy Caldwell puts it, "It's like cleaning out my basement."
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