The Mechanical Advantage

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Every so often the standards of climbing “jump” to a new level. Such jumps in climbing standards often follow an innovation of tools and techniques, which then become standard modes of vertical ascent.

This story will be researched and published here in installments. Comments welcome!

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John Middendorf

Subscribe to Mechanical Advantage: Tools for the Wild Vertical

The history of engineered tools for climbing and alpinism. (Looking for D4 portaledges? See


John Middendorf

Climber, Designer, Inventor of A5 and D4 climbing tools.