Gifts to send your climbing partner

The MEC gift guide is a big help to find the perfect gift for all your loved ones. But now a challenge arises – the crux of your gift list: your friend who loves to climb.

Don’t sweat it. We sat down with a crew of eight climbing ambassadors to get the beta to solve your gift-giving problem:

1. If the shoe fits

Scarpa Furia S Rock Shoes are my favourite shoes to climb in! They’re the perfect combination of aggressive and soft, which allows you to both climb on steep angles and wear them for long periods of time without your toes falling off. The soft rubber sticks to everything, from small footholds to volumes, so they’re the ideal performance shoe.

– Alannah Yip, National Boulder Champion

2. A serious commitment

If you’re ready to take your belaytionship to the next level, maybe it’s time you treat your climbing partner this holiday season with the Petzl GriGri 2 Belay Device. This reliable gem comes in three different colours – yellow, turquoise and grey – to perfectly accent your partners stylish climbing pants. This assisted braking device will help you smoothly be lowered, directly into their arms.

– Tosh Sherkat, MEC Climbing Ambassador

3. Extra grip

When it comes to gripping holds, look nowhere else than Flashed Chalk. It keeps your hands dry (no matter how much the rest of you is sweating) and because it’s chunky chalk, you can take a piece and smear it on your fingertips or crunch it into your chalk bag to bring up the wall with you.

– Kindar McNamee, MEC Climbing Ambassador

4. One pack to rule them all

The MEC Crag Daypack is my all-round bag for travel and trips to the climbing gym. It easily holds all that I need for long training, and work days. With a generous 30L volume and large zipper opening, it’s easy to pack and unpack whatever I need for the day.

What’s inside my pack? Foam roller, water bottle, chalk bucket, climbing shoes, harness, extra chalk, approach shoes, wallet, phone, notebooks, change of clothes and even lunch.

– Lucas Uchida, MEC Climbing Ambassador

5. All-season insulation

Whether I’m getting a head start to the season or trying to extend it for as long as possible, mornings and late afternoons start feeling a lot cooler. Thankfully I can keep linking up progress on my project with the Uplink Hoodie.

It’s long enough to cover my bum and stay put under my harness during my warmups, and the hood cinches down close to my head to trap in extra heat. The Uplink provides a ton of warmth and packs down small enough that it doesn’t take up much room in my pack.

– Sabrina Chapman, MEC Climbing Ambassador

Guy McNamee climbing in the Uplink Jacket

Guy McNamee bouldering in the Uplink.

6. H2O on the go

Because every climber needs a convenient place to show off all of their stickers at once. A 1L Nalgene is the perfect size to put in your backpack and head to the gym. Besides, we all know that sending is easier when you’re hydrated.

– Cat Carkner, MEC Climbing Ambassador

7. Stretchy pants for every occasion

The Ferrata pants get my pick. They’re excellent to climb in and are very stretchy, so you don’t have to worry about them hindering you at all. They’re also great on cold days since they provide a nice layer of warmth. Plus they come in orange, which is awesome.

– Guy McNamee, MEC Climbing Ambassador

8. A radically RAD Kit

The Petzl RAD Kit is the absolute lightest kit for glacier travel, and also happens to include my all-time favorite piece of climbing hardware, the Petzl Micro Traxion. If you’ve never used one, learn how. They are invaluable on the snow and on the rock.

– Sarah Hart, MEC Climbing Ambassador

9. Cool climbing shades

As much as I love looking up at a beautiful limestone face, my neck, shoulders and back can do without the extra strain during long belays. My belay glasses are an absolute staple in my climbing bag. The angled lenses let me keep my head forward while watching my partner, so I can memorize that right leg drop knee beta they keep forgetting on redpoint without sacrificing the health of my body. I stay pain free, so I can give attentive catches to my partner and strong burns on my routes.

– Sabrina Chapman

10. A thicker skin

ClimbSkin is my favourite thing to use when my skin is getting thin. You can use it before climbing (about two hours before) and it helps dry out and harden your fingertips, which in turn helps preserve the skin you have left. And of course, you can also use it after climbing to help speed up recovery and regrowth of your skin.

– Alannah Yip

11. Happy hands

You can’t let your partner’s soft, warm hands (and by that I mean rough, calloused hands – I mean come on, we’re climbers here), get torn up by the rope while belaying. Stylish and functional belay gloves will make belaying a million times better this cold Canadian winter. Make sure to stuff a pair of belay gloves in their stockings to keep their hands, well, rough and calloused!

– Tosh Sherkat


Tosh Sherkat showing hands

Tosh Sherkat (and said rough, calloused climbing hands).

12. You can’t touch this gift

This just in: looking cool at the crag is so passé. It’s all about being warm, at any cost. The MEC Below Celsius Insulated Pants come with me for cold days in the climbing gym, in the boulders, at the crag and single-pitch ice climbing. These pants may look like MC Hammer balloon pants when you fit them over your other clothing, but you’ll be toasty warm, and you’ll probably send your project because of them. Just sayin’.

– Sarah Hart

13. Super sensitive sending slippers

La Sportiva Skwama Rock Shoes are perfect for anyone looking to combine comfort with high performance. The slipper’s velcro closure allows for easy on and off access while the sticky rubber allows for seamless foot switches and toe hooks.

– Cat Carkner

Alex Honnold signing climbing shoes for a small kid

Every great climbing partner starts somewhere. Alex Honnold stopped by our MEC Toronto store for a meet and greet, and signed the climbing shoes of a mini-sender (and lots more) while he was there.

14. A gift to keep them rolling

I bring the Fitterfirst Travel Roller with me wherever I go. I use it as part of my warm up and cool down every single day. I love that it’s hollow but has drawstrings on either end, so you can store other things inside it. Foam rolling, mobility work and stretching are often overlooked but extremely important parts of being an athlete.

– Alannah Yip

Climbing is exploding in popularity, and it’s never been a better time to assemble a great crew of climbing buddies. Holiday break is also an excellent time to hit the climbing gym – if you’re reading this and aren’t a climber (yet) and want to try it yourself, check out how to start rock climbing.

Cat Carkner rock climbing
MEC Ambassadors

Aficionados of the outdoor sports MEC promotes. They pioneer and innovate, test gear in the field, and inspire all of us to get outside.