Friday, May 21, 2010

Interview > Karl Guthrie > Climb Tech

Rock Candy
As soon as we see something like this:

ClimbTech Co-Founder Falls 50ft Using ClimbTech Removable Bolt from Vinny on Vimeo.
We feel we have to talk to the person that a) innovates products and b) has confidence within that product to take a pretty big fall onto it!

Meet Karl Guthrie, he's been climbing a while and has been making some climbing products stronger and safer. We'd not heard of the company and maybe you've not either... lets have a chat

Name and job
Karl Guthrie – Co-Founder, Head of Sales

How long has Climb Tech been in business?
Since 1998

ClimbTech isn't a company that'd we'd heard of before, someone sent us the link to this video of you taking a 50 footer onto one of your removable bolts.... why per-chance did you feel the need to go all Dan Osman?
I took the jump using our industrial bolt, mainly because I get lots of people asking if I personally trust our anchors – I did the video to prove it – plus it’s great for marketing!

So you're that confident in the gear?
Yes – absolutely! The jump proved I trust my life to it.

How long have you been climbing?
Started in 1974

So you’ve seen it all! What would you say has been the biggest and best advance in climbing technology?
For climbing equipment, I think the best advance was sticky rubber shoes. As far the sport itself, the advancement of Sport Climbing tops my list.

Where abouts is your favorite place to climb?
Yosemite, CA.

Checking out your line there are a whole bunch of really innovative products, who's responsible for them or the ideas behind them?
Both myself & my partner, Joe Schwartz. We identify a need in the industry that lacks innovation and develop products to fill the gap.

We assume there is a lot of trial and error involved in making a new product. How long does something take to R&D and then to hit the market?
Anywhere from 6-12 months.

Let's look at some of the stuff you produce:
Permadraw, is the steel braid stronger than say a dyneema sling?
No - it's not stronger, but it's much more durable

The Permadraw with quick-link and carabiner is a good idea; why not offer it as a double carabiner with the permadraw? Wouldn't it be stronger and safer?
We don’t sell those as a quick-draw because of the heavy steel & cable. Ours is a durable, permanent anchor for inside gyms and sport climbing.

The removable bolts come in some different sizes? What's the pull force on those?

12kn, 22kn, & 44kn

What are the "superlock" and "twistlock" features on your carabiners?
They’re similar to others on the market – but at a 25-40% lower price than the competition, we'd like to become known for offering "every man's pro deal".

Why don't you make normal anchors? (Expansion bolts / glue in anchors) It seems that you'd have some nice variations on the standard product.
Our market is construction/industrial. We make the climbing RB’s because many climbers use them to put up first accents. We don’t make much money off of those, but we enjoy contributing to the sport in this capacity.

Most of your products are construction based; the beam walker and concrete anchors are pretty amazing. Have you ever thought of making products for route setters?
We actually do - the ½” RB was designed for route- setters as well as our bolting ladder which is like a etrier with hard rungs and is used for putting up steep overhanging routes.

What are you guys working on right now? Or is it Top Secret?

We’re working on quite a few things right now, at the top of our list are some extremely cool flexible ladders with a very innovative rung system that does not kink when you apply weight to them. They will come out at the end of this month and should be great for big wall climbing, establishing sport routes, photography and video rigging

Where is the best place to see or to get Climb Tech products?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The ClimbTech anejo draws are my all-time favorite quick draws! They're super light, have a very sleek finish, and clip better than Petzl Spirits for half the price. Unlike Petzl, ClimbTech doesn't have to pay to sponsor 200 athletes around the world, so their prices don't have to offset marketing costs. Better product. Better deal. Once you try these, you'll be hooked! I promise! Get em at