Alannah Yip bouldering in Squamish

Gear I love: a Canadian climbing champ’s bouldering essentials

Whether you like to pull on plastic or daydream about dry rock, part of what makes bouldering rad is the minimal gear requirements. We checked with Alannah Yip, Canadian Climbing Team member and MEC Ambassador, for her favourite gear picks for the gym or the crag:

Scarpa Crux Approach Shoes

These Scarpa Crux approach shoes are comfy and have Vibram rubber on the sole. That means you never have to worry about slipping when you’re scrambling up/over/around/below rocks searching for that climb the guidebook *definitely* said was around here somewhere…

(Looking for the men’s version? The men’s Scarpa Crux Shoes exist too.)

Scarpa Instinct VSR Rock Shoes

I like climbing outside in the Scarpa Instincts because of the stiffness and their amazing heel and toe hooking abilities. And when in Squamish, this is of great importance.

Sumi Boar’s Hair Brush

If you want a serious brush, the Sumi Boar’s Hair Brush is the best one out there. With one thick end and one thinner, angled end, you can reach every nook, cranny and nubbin on those crux holds on your proj.

Flashed Tool Bag Chalk Bucket

A simple bouldering bag that holds an entire 312g bag of Flashed chalk, plus a few brushes. What more do you need?

Alannah Yip chalk hands

Flashed Chunks Chalk

In my opinion, this is the best chalk on the market. It has no additives and won’t break the bank.

Flashed Podium Chalk

This is my favourite liquid chalk ever because it stays on and dries out my sweaty fingers for the longest period of time, hands down.

Flashed Ninja Crash Pad

I love the Flashed Ninja Crash Pad because it’s small, light and easy to pack up when you’re moving between boulders, yet still heavy duty enough to keep you safe on your project.

Picky Bars Smooth Caffeinator Energy Bar

I’m a terror when I’m hangry so I always bring snacks out climbing. The Smooth Caffeinator Picky Bar is one of my favourite energy bars ever because it’s delicious (coffee, chocolate, hazelnuts!) and doesn’t weigh you down like other popular energy bars. It also has a stellar ingredient list so you feel good about what you’re eating.


Sometimes I struggle to stay warm when I’m out bouldering because of the long breaks between attempts. A packable warm jacket is easy to throw on over top of my climbing top and keeps me nice and toasty – I love the new Uplink Hoodie, it’s warm, light and packable.

Nalgene Wide-Mouth Water Bottle

I don’t know about you, but I climb better when I’m hydrated properly. This Nalgene water bottle holds 1L of liquid and is the perfect size for a day outside.

Alannah Yip climbing outdoor
Alannah Yip

Member of the Canadian National Climbing Team. When she’s not climbing, she’s coaching, route-setting, or skiing and biking on the North Shore.