Ryan F.

Ryan F.

Hey there Sidebar!

My name is Ryan Ferro and im an outdoor enthusiast out in Virginia, at the foothills of the Blue Ridge parkway. Iv been exploring the mountains and valleys of this area for many years. Some ways I have have done this is through bikepacking, mountain biking, white water raft guiding, trout fishing, backpacking and climbing. These adventures have allowed me to spend many days on the AT, on the river and able to climb many pitches out on the rocks. I also own and run my own climbing guide service called Nomad Mountain Guides. This has allowed me to work as a professional climbing guide, certified by the PCGI and has given me the opportunity to establish some local climbing areas.
All this has helped fuel my passion for the outdoors and share that passion with people in the outdoor industry.


Amherst Virginia

Products I Love

Misty Mountain Cadillac Harness

Misty Mountain Cadillac Harness My Review

Misty Mountain Cadillac Harness review.

The Misty Mountain Cadillac Harness can be described in 2 words.... WORK HORSE!

This harness is truly made for those folks wanting durability along with comfort and even some style as Misty designs it in a multitude of colors. I have done everything from evening crag trips to route development and hours of guiding multi pitch in this harness. Here are some pros and cons on this sweet harness.

-Comfortable. Due to its awesome, comfy hip belt and leg loops this harness is one that you can spend hours in while sending those projects or doing big days in the mountains.
-Quality in material and workmanship.
-Locally made in NC! 🤙
-6 gear loops. (Super handy for the trad climbers out there.)

-Weight. With all that comfy padding comes some addition weight.
-Size. This comes in addition to the weight as that comfy padding also adds some bulk to the harness.

Well that’s all the pros and cons!

I truly believe that this harness is an amazing piece of equipment for those racking up that trad gear of spending long days on multi pitch climbs. It is the most comfortable harness I have had and gives plenty of room for that trad rack.
Hope this helps you out on your next harness choice and climb on!! 🤙


Black Diamond 9.9 Rope

Black Diamond 9.9 Rope My Review

Black Diamond Equipment!!!!

They have been a pretty big innovator and a golden standard in the climbing industry for many years. Something new to their awesome product line are ropes and here is some of my experience with their 9.9mm dynamic climbing rope.

So let’s dive right in!
The Black Diamond Equipment 9.9mm is a decent rope right off the bat. It comes in several different length options, but due to my use needs I own the 70m length. Out of the box you notice a few things. The rope is a sick bright blue color, it’s supple and the middle mark is very distinguishable. These are some awesome traits but let’s break them down a little.

Using the rope in a lot of different terrain and putting it through the abuse of guiding climbs, iv been able to get to know it’s strengths and weaknesses.

Here are some of its strengths:

1. Affordable cost.
Let’s be honest we all think about price points when it comes to gear. This rope is priced at a fair and affordable cost for its quality. This makes it already a good choice.

2. Supple construction.
Now this is a catch 22. The pliable construction of the rope makes it soft to the hands and makes it easier to handle/tie. Now this can cause a draw back and I’ll tell you why in the weakness section. But for cragging and moderate use, it’s a nice rope.

3. Weight.
This is for those who enjoy some nerdy facts. (I sure do) The 9.9 is decent in the weight category. At 64g per meter or 2.3 oz, it is ok on the weight. So, I don’t know if this is truly a strength or not, but hey where going to give it to them! 🤙

4. Like anything else that comes from Black Diamond it’s made well. The quality of the material is high and I have not experienced anything such as sheath slippage or material breakdown.

5. Bright color.
This rope comes out of the box as an eye popping bright blue.That is the first thing you notice about it! This is a pretty good advantage when climbing outdoors, especially during those dawn patrol missions or into the wee hours of the evening!

Here are some weak points of this rope:

1. Supple construction.
As mentioned above this is a catch 22 for this rope. Where the rope excels in its soft and pliable construction it loses a little in its lack of durability. Now as mentioned earlier, it’s great for cragging and general, moderate use that most climbers will need it for. For more heavy abuse and use, it might not be for you. While guiding many single and multi pitch routes with this rope Iv noticed that it’s sheath can get abrasions easily. This isn’t a product quality problem as it is more so a con to it being nice and soft. (Don’t let this scare ya off)

2. The middle mark.
When just out of the box and after a few uses this middle mark seems forever permanent. With its bright blue rope color and a dark middle mark it also seems super obvious where it is. My experience though has been that the middle mark eventually fades away and it become very difficulty do distinguish the middle. This is obviously something that can be fixed with industry approved middle marking pens, markers or threads.

3. It’s not dry treated.
This is not a weakness for some but can be for other. Climbing a lot in the southeast it tend to get pretty soggy at times. This can be somewhat problematic for the climber as the rope will get damp or wet often. This can lead to some rope damage if your not taking care of the rope well. This can also be a problem for those who enjoy ice climbing where having a non dry treated rope is not a good option. But for those who are climbing in dry conditions and also those who take good care of their rope (ie use a rope tarp, ground cloth) this should not be a really problem.

That’s all in the weaknesses category. There aren’t many!

So.....if your looking for a good rope that is a general all around gem, then this is one you should for sure look into. Hope this helps you out on your rope searching needs and as always climb on!
Ryan 🤙🤙

Petzl Meteor Climbing Helmet

Petzl Meteor Climbing Helmet My Review

A tried and true helmet from the petzl family. The meteor has shown how amazing it is through its comfort and light weight construction for many years.

In my pursuit for a great, lightweight helmet beginning when I started getting outside leading climbs, I found the meteor to be the ticket. I have owned several different models of the meteor over the years and now own the latest 2019 model. Petzl continues to impress with its newer model and I’m stoked to own such a great helmet.
Here are a few things that make the meteor an amazing helmet that you should check out.

-It’s light weight construction (7.9 oz) makes it easy and comfortable to wear all day. Working as a professional climbing guide I can find myself wearing this helmet for 8+ hrs while guiding clients on bigger days. I have had no problem doing that with any model of the meteor.
-It’s adjustable helmet suspension and straps make it easy to get that perfect fit.
-It is able to accommodate a head lamp with ease and the 2019 model comes with an elastic band on the back for better security of the lamp.
-The 2019 model was designed with ski goggles in mind and is also the first CE certified ski touring helmet.
-The 2019 model is rated for not only top side impacts but also side impacts, which make it very safe.
-As stated earlier it is an extremely comfortable helmet and comes in eye catching colors.

So if your in search of an awesome, stylish, lightweight and safe helmet, then look no further then the petzl meteor. You won’t be disappointed! 🤙🤙
Climb on and climb safe!

Five Ten Guide Tennies

Five Ten Guide Tennies My Review

The 5.10 Guide tennie is a hard approach shoe to beat!
This shoe has had an impact on the climbing community like no other. If you have ever walked around a climbing camp anywhere in the world, I’m sure you have seen these shoes on someones feet.
Sporting an awesome leather construction and 5.10 stealth rubber sole, they will keep you going for miles and miles. They excel on all day climbing missions and long approaches, as well as just cruising around town.
I have had my guide tennies now for over 2 years and they are still going. I wear them almost every day! I do everything from working as a professional climbing guide, crag hoping, hiking, mountain biking or hanging around in them. With their heavy duty construction these shoes are sweet for 4th class scrambles and even lower 5 class climbing. The stealth rubber sole and somewhat stiff platform also make them fairly decent at edging. Somewhere they do shine is with any crack climbing needs. They hold very well in foot jams and are super comfy. The only disadvantage to these shoes are their weight.
Weighing 13.2 oz each, they are not the most compact or light approach shoe on the market. But with all their other amazing features and performance abilities, I believe you will love them even despite their extra weight.
If you are looking for a great all around approach shoe that has shown a history of performance and relatability, then check out the 5.10 guide tennnie. You won’t be disappointed!

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