Valentine’s Day will be upon us in a mere few days! It’s this week! Three days away from where I’m sitting, as a matter of fact. So what do you get your climbing sweetheart (or yourself, if you’re the love of your life at the moment) for the big love day? Here are some ideas:
First of all, the new Petzl GriGri is out! This is the GriGri that should be legitimately named the “GriGri 3”, or even the “GriGri 4”, in terms of where it falls in the progression of things, but it’s definitely NOT the original! I purchased one for my sweetheart self and it is sweet! It has the features we loved about the GriGri 2 – the smaller size than the original GriGri, the smooth handling, and the die-hard auto-assisted braking – without the features we hated about the GriGri Plus – no “flip the switch and get locked out”, no “flip the switch” at all, and the basic design of the GriGri 2. What’s different from the GriGri 2 is a place for your name (retained from the GriGri Plus), the rope size accommodations, a steel plate for the brake strand to wear against, a smaller lip on the brake hand side at the top of the device, and the safety brake if you pull back too hard, too fast on the descent lever to keep your partner from descending too fast (retained from the GriGri Plus as a safety feature, but not as hard a jolt to your partner on belay if you do happen to trigger it). This is definitely a good option for a gift for your Valentine if you have $90 (some websites have it on sale right now so shop around, regular MSRP is $110). Save your money from dinner and that expensive bottle of wine and get them a Petzl GriGri instead!
Next up, check their climbing shoes! Do they need a new pair? Lots of new climbing shoe models are coming out right now and the “oldies” are really on sale for huge discounts – up to 40% and 50% off MSRP! So you could potentially get into a pair of La Sportiva Solutions (the 2017 model) for $135 instead of $180! Depending on whether or not your shoe is on sale, you could find some major deals! Even shoes that aren’t receiving an upgrade are on sale right now on various internet sites. Again, shop around and see what you can find! Climbing gyms often carry used shoes for sale on consignment, too, so if you’re looking for your own sweet self or your sweetheart doesn’t mind a mildly used pair of climbing shoes, check out your local climbing gym! I’ve run across a lot of great deals in a lot of places both online and off leading up to the big day this week.
Another idea is approach shoes. How are your sweetie’s approach shoes holding up? Many climbers (as you may well know) wear their approach shoes everywhere, just in case they get that oddly-timed opportunity to climb and because they’re comfortable. Are they “too comfortable”, though? Do they have holes in the soles, sides, and toes? Again, there are great sales online and off right now, and that goes for approach shoes, too, because new models of those are coming out as well.
Winter gear is a fourth option. We’re not out of winter by any means here in the U.S. yet, but the retailers are trying to make room for their spring inventory and have a lot – I mean A LOT – of great winter gear on sale right now! Any layer your sweetheart may desire and bottoms to go with, as well as skis, snowboots, winter gloves, you name it, are on sale online and off right now. That’s another place to look. If they’re planning an expedition, it doesn’t matter what time of year you buy their gear as long as they have it when they need it! This sale season would be the perfect time and Valentine’s day is the perfect excuse! Don’t be afraid to check international websites, either! They’re having sales, too!
The best idea I can think of, though, is to just flat-out ask your Valentine what they want for Valentine’s Day. They’ll appreciate it and if they say, “I dunno,” or “Surprise me,” then you have free license! Even better! So Happy Valentine’s Day to all, and to all a good night! A tip, though, if you’re ordering online, order it TODAY with EXPRESS SHIPPING!