It’s so much more satisfying to make fun of fashion when it hits close to home. GQ upset the apple cart recently when it used members of The North Face’s athlete roster for a shoot called “We Took Fall’s Crunchiest Designer Clothes Rock Climbing in Joshua Tree National Park”–but only men. The women in the feature served as props (aside: and the men didn’t?) and didn’t climb, only watched the men or stood around looking good.

This did not go over well in the climbing community, but unlike much of the commentary on social media, Outdoor Research used humor to make its point, which, it must be said, it did rather well. Photos are by Elise Giordano, OR’s in-house photography savant.

Urban climbing walls are exploding nationwide, and mountaineering clothes are showing up on fashion runways. But none of that compares to venturing into one of America’s national parks and hitting the rocks. So we took three premier climbers and a couple of cute friends weekend warrioring in the country’s grooviest high-desert town: Joshua Tree, California.


You’ve seen it at the bouldering gym, and maybe even on the runway–that outdoorsy look is so hot right now. But that’s nothing like seeing these outfits in action, in the wild. So we took three A-number-1 climbers and some adorable friends out for a weekend jaunt where all the far-out cool kids go: Vantage.

It should be obvious which is GQ and which is OR.

For more, visit GQ and OR.

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