What’s In Your Pack is a series where we speak with some of climbing’s leading athletes to learn about the gear that fuels their success.
This time around we’re digging into the pack of Babsi Zangerl—an all-around, fearless crusher of every terrain and style of climbing. From becoming the first female to boulder V13 (Pura Vida) and the first female to complete the Alpine Trilogy, to sport climbing routes up to 5.14c and recently freeing El Cap’s Zodiac (5.13d), Babsi humbly crushes any and all that she puts her mind and heart into.
Black Diamond Creek 50
When headed out to climb, Babsi packs her gear into the spacious, top-loading Creek 50 from Black Diamond.
“There are two sizes available (35 or 50); I prefer the bigger one because in that one fits my rope and everything else that I need for sport or alpine climbing.
I like the full-length zipper system because you don’t have to search a long time in your pack for any items … just open the zipper and you can grab everything, including gear from the bottom of the pack.
The fabric of the pack is really durable. And the big front pocket offers a lot of space for smaller things like a phone, keys, chalk, or belay glasses.
The carrying system is comfortable and the pack is really easy and fast to open and close with the cord-system on top. I also used this pack for hauling on one-day multi-pitch routes—it is not as durable as a haulbag, but for one day multi-pitch climbs it works pretty well.”
Sterling Evolution Aero 9.2
I love the handling of this rope. It is really soft and not too thin at 9.2mm (I don’t like the super thin ropes at all).
I use this rope for alpine and sport climbing. It is a light rope, which lasts pretty long and is my favorite from Sterling.
Black Diamond Solution harness
This is Babsi’s go-to. It weighs just 11 ounces and utilizes BD’s low-profile and load-distributing Fusion Comfort Technology; a three-stranded webbing system designed for a precise fit to avoid pressure on sensitive spots.
You can use this harness for alpine, trad, sport or ice-climbing. The solution is a real all-rounder! For me, personally, it is the best harness when it comes to hanging on belays for a longer time or sending your hard sport climbing project.
“I use this harness for almost everything because I prefer to have a bit more comfort but at the same time, the Solution is a really light harness. Also, for big wall climbing, it has a small gear-loop on the back of the harness to attach your tagline.”
La Sportiva Skwama and Kataki
Depending on terrain, Babsi climbs in one of these two La Sportiva models …
The Skwama: This shoe is my absolute weapon.
“I use the Skwama for training in the gym, sport climbing, or bouldering outdoors. This shoe works perfectly for toe and heel hooks. The rubber is different compared to most of the other shoes I’ve tried before. It is really sticky and soft. I also climbed with the Skwamas on El Cap. There I tried a few different models and when it comes to standing on friction—this shoe is simply the best.”
Watch the story of Babsi’s recent free ascent of Zodiac (5.13d):
For granite climbing I use only that model, but for slabby or technical limestone climbing I prefer to climb with the Kataki.
“This shoe is a much stiffer model but exactly that quality helps with small, sharp footholds on vertical walls. The Kataki is the perfect shoe for climbing in Rätikon, the Dolomites, or Voralpsee …”
Black Diamond Ultraight Calamots or the X4s
As a multi-disciplined climber, Babsi often finds herself racking up for bold trad adventures.
The Ultralight cams are the lightest cams on the market—I use them because I want to climb light and not feel like a Christmas tree—with all the heavy gear around my hips.
Especially on granite or sandstone in Indian Creek, these cams are perfect and handle really easily. I really like the finger loop!
For trad climbing in Europe it is sometimes more tricky to find solid placements, especially if you’re face climbing and you have no proper crack. If there are horizontal cracks or pockets, then I prefer the X4 cams because of their flexibility.
Watch Babsi’s FFA of Prinzip Hoffnung (5.14a)—a wildly heady trad route:
Black Diamond Nitron Quickdraw
The Nitrons from BD weigh just under 4 ounces a piece and come equipped with a nice, sturdy 27mm vari-width polyester dogbone.
They are perfect for sport climbing. I like that you can grab the quickdraw with the bigger dogbone 🙂 … and I love the black and purple color combo! They look pretty cool.
They are also light and I prefer the hot-forged gates compared to the wire gates … I just like the feeling when I clip the hot-forged gates. Very easy to clip!
Black Diamond apparel
Babsi has a number of favorites from the BD apparel line …
Black Diamond’s Alpine Light pant is my favorite pant for alpine and sport climbing. I like the Campus Tank for training in the gym and sport climbing outdoors, and the Alpine Start Hoody on big walls when it is windy.
I wear the Crux Hoody for climbing in colder temps and the Stance Belay Parka is always in my back on every climbing day—doesn’t matter if I go bouldering, sport or alpine climbing—that is the warmest parka I have.
Hafervoll bars and avocado-goat cheese-tomato sandwiches!
Other special gear
I can’t go without belay glasses and my special Faza brushes. I also bring along gummi toe cover protection 🙂 and my phone for taking pictures.
If you liked this article, we think you’ll also enjoy:
- What’s In Your Pack: Brad Gobright
- What’s In Your Pack: Peter Croft on Gear and Alpine Efficiency
- Video: Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher’s Ascent of Bellavista (5.14b/8c)
- Video: Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher on El Cap’s Zodiac (5.13d)
- Video: Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher in Scotland