Ahead of the Pack

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The Autobot of the crag-pack world is surely the MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR SPLITTER ($170, mountainhardwear.com). It carries like any other sturdy (630-Denier Ballistics nylon), comfy, 35L pack, but lay the Splitter down and it transforms into a gear-organizing friendo. The panel-zip design and pull-out tarp let you split the pack, place it flat, and sort gear atop the dust, thanks to internal pockets — one made of mesh and another with a roll-top, clip-shut closure that guards against chalk-bag spills. An internal compression strap corrals your rope against the back panel, and racking loops organize draws, cams, and biners. Decepticons, fear this!

—Kristin Bjornsen

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Film: How Matt Cornell Free Soloed One of America’s Classic Hard Mixed Routes

"The Nutcracker" explores the mental challenges of solo climbing and the tactics Cornell used to help him send the route.