When I headed for MEC this afternoon, I only meant to get some stuff for the trip to Kentucky next week: a big widemouth carabiner for belaying because I was tired of my little Hera carabiners crossloading, and a Black Diamond #13 stopper to replace the one of David’s that I kinda sorta dropped down a crevice yesterday. And some wire gates that I could finally hang my cams and nuts and hexes on so I could rack them in smaller sets on my harness. And maybe a camp stove. That was it.
But then I started looking at the Scarpa Helixes and remembering that I have a hole developing in the toe of my Technos, and I’m going on a week-long trip as of Easter Friday, and even if I don’t buy the shoes now, I’ll need to by the middle of the season anyway. So I tried some on, and then grabbed a pair (climbed in them later, and while they’re tight now, the Scarpas break in amazingly fast in my experience – the Technos took about three sessions before they were fine).
Then I went upstairs with Jex, “just to look around,” and I was being really good – I was – until I was on my way to the fitting room to check out some clearance-rack cycling pants, and I passed the Outdoor Research Ferrosi climbing pants on the rack, and even though MEC generally only goes up to size 14 in their technical clothes (grumble grumble) I figured, why not, I can at least try them on (since yesterday I actually climbed in a pair of stretch jeans – comfortable enough but not ideal). I grabbed the last 14s from the rack and headed for the fitting room.
The cycling pants I’d grabbed from the clearance rack were. . . depressing. The Ferrosi pants, though . . . fit me perfectly.
Climbing pants – technical climbing pants – that fit me? That breathe and move and actually pull up over my butt? I felt like I’d stumbled into some wacky alternate universe. Normally, they just don’t make climbing pants – athletic pants of any kind – that fit me. I think I’ve got a strange width-to-depth ratio. MEC doesn’t often carry any pants over size 14, except for their “hiking” and “leisure” pants, and even those generally just don’t fit. I’m just not a shape they plan for, apparently. So finding these was like discovering El Dorado. I didn’t even bat an eye at the price. To have nylon, durable, breathable, soft shell pants designed for climbing? For the first time in my life? Shut up and take my money, MEC.