Sometimes, you just want people to know you’re a climber. Like, it’s easy enough for skateboarders to signal that they grind or shred or whatever, when they wear those goofy looking skateboard shoes around town; and runners with their awkward little condom-like caps and short shorts are pretty unmistakable; but for climbers, does the general populace really know that an approach shoe isn’t just some over-designed sneaker? Thankfully, if you deck yourself out in El Cap’s Hippy Tree Collection—a series of garments adorned with a full-on topo of the Big Stone—the message should be loud and clear: Here stands a climber.
I have the El Cap Collection swim trunks, woven short-sleeve button-up and windbreaker. (Other available items in the collection are a t-shirt, chalk bag and hat.) I’ve yet to wear all the pieces together, which would be quite the look, but I’ve used each piece individually and throughly enjoy them.
Let’s be honest: the main draw of this line isn’t climbing performance; it’s about looking good. Until you really look closer at the topo, it can just come across like some cool esoteric wall-papery pattern. Wear that button-up on the golf course and you’ll blend right in.
Still, the El Cap Collection pieces are fully functionality as climbing apparel. The button-up feels a bit overkill for much anything on the rocks, but hey, sport climbers and boulderers take their shirts off anyway, right? Call it a good approach shirt. A polyester-cotton blend, it’s light and airy against the skin. On warm weather bouldering days the trunks are perfect for a few laps followed by a dip (in the Merced River, perhaps?), and the windbreaker is light and comfy if you need just a thin layer when the temps drop.
In all seriousness, the artistry of the topo something to behold. Created by Clay Wadman, it is detailed and informative, yet still beautiful.
This collection is unabashedly aimed at the climbing obsessed. For those with El Cap aspirations, nothing could be better than being able to study the topo of your dream route at literally all times—whether it be the Nose, Mescalito or the free Dawn Wall (hey, it never hurts to aim high!).
El Cap Woven Shirt
El Cap Windbreaker
El Cap Chalkbag
El Cap Hat
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