Rob Greenwood (24) and Alex Haselhurst (22) have been working at Joe Browns' in North Wales for 6 years and a year respectively. Both are very keen climbers and this last October they went on a trip to Yosemite, California.
They climbed many classics, including East Buttress of Middle Cathedral, Southern Man on Washington Column and they teamed up to do the Shield on El Capitan. The Shield is 2,900 feet, 30 pitches of free and aid climbing, and the Shield headwall is described by Supertopo.com as "the most spectacular place on El Capitan." Rob and Alex decided to tackle this spectacular climb, graded 5.8 and A3, hammerless and clean, just hand placing pegs (angles being the most useful) and using nuts for upward progress rather than banging home metal with metal.
It can get cold and windy up there, especially for the belayer who dutifully safeguards the leader on those long leads up old peg scarred cracks.
Both Rob and Alex wore the RAB Generator Alpine Jacket. Below is Rob's review of this piece of kit.
At Joe Brown's we like equipment that's functional and hassle free.
Throughout the past few years Rab's range of Pertex/Primaloft clothing has been evolving and has now reached the pinnacle of its achievement in the form of the Generator Alpine.
On a recent trip out to Yosemite, Alex and I decided to put it to the test.
Our route of choice was 'The Shield' on El Capitan, consisting almost entirely of aid climbing and we knew it was going to involve some pretty lengthy belay sessions (3hrs+). Just to add to the interest, throughout October there is an increased risk of storms in the Valley, just two days before we set off on the wall one such storm came through: snow lined the hillsides just above valley floor and El Cap was clearly getting a hammering with the ice and wind. We needed solid kit that would work regardless of how wet, mouldy and cold it got.
The Rab Generator Alpine was THE risk free option. Filled with silicone coated Primaloft One (100g/m2 body and 60g/m2 hood+arms) it is about as near to down as synthetic insulation gets and more importantly keeps you warm when wet. It doesn't matter whether walking in the Quantock hills of Somerset (which I infrequently do I've got to admit) or totally out of your depth half way up the Shield headwall: getting cold and wet is a massive inconvenience – at such times you want something that is going to do the job. Furthermore, the Generator Alpine is lightweight, warm, and extremely compressible.
Rab have made a number of improvements to make the Generator Alpine a superior jacket for climbers and mountaineers. The Pertex Endurance outer is more wind/water resistant and durable than previous fabrics used. If you do get a snag, look on the bright side - it just become more breathable!! The hood is generously sized, helmet compatible, and has a wired peak – in our opinion there is no point having a small hood because they just don't work!
The design department at Rab have once again have pulled out the stops by producing a superb cut: fantastically long arms, a nice high collar (with an aesthetically pleasing fleece lining at the front) and a long fit, enough to make it feel bigger than it really is. Another feature we liked on the wall was that it had a clip in point in the chest pocket (which doubles as a stuff-sack) this was perfect for big walling where it was crucial for everything to be attached at all times.
In short, we felt that the Rab Generator Alpine embodied what we want out of all our kit – functionality in a wide range of settings and the ability to use it without concern of 'if it gets wet' or 'if it rips'. It will just keep going and going...
Joe Brown's and RAB have a Rab Generator Alpine Jacket to give away (it's in black).
Competition now closed. The questions were:
1. In what year were the Joe Browns' Shops founded?
2. Who founded RAB?
3. Which route on El Capitan was first climbed by Warren Harding, Wayne Merry, and George Whitmore in November 1958?
4. Name a RAB product that is sold at Joe Brown's online shop?
This winner was Andrew McQue.
Colours: Red, Marin, Fig, Black
More info at RAB
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