Rope Up

Why Would a Climbing Company Make Denim?

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Denim was invented for the outdoors. Sailors, tradespeople, miners and cowboys wore the earliest iterations of the material to stay protected against the elements as they toiled in harsh environments. It was decades later that rock stars and fashionistas adopted denim (and companies began tearing it before selling it). Lately though, makers of outdoor equipment and apparel are bringing denim back to its roots; climbing-centric Black Diamond is the latest, with its Forged Denim Pants.

Of course, Black Diamond couldn’t just stitch up a few yards of fabric and call it a day. It had to make pants worthy of scaling the granite walls of Yosemite, so it used Cordura Denim, which has stretch built-in and is lighter than some of the raw stuff favored by collectors. The pants are also slim and tapered so that they don’t get in the way — and include a sleeve in one of the back pockets for a climbing brush (you might put a pen in there when you’re off-wall).

Though Black Diamond’s Forged Denim isn’t exactly the same as the stuff worn a century ago, it has the same spirit: it’s rugged and made to aid those who work and play in harsh environments.

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Tanner Bowden

Tanner Bowden is a staff writer at Gear Patrol covering all things outdoors and fitness. He is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School and a former wilderness educator. He lives in Brooklyn but will always identify as a Vermonter.

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