This story originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of our print edition.
Dogs do not make good belayers, but the well-behaved provide other benefits at the cliff. From moral support with endless licks to encouraging tail wags to stress-relieving belly rubs, a good crag dog can be an integral part of your climbing team. Here are some four-legged climber companions submitted by our readers.
We’re teaching Layla the basics of Grigri use in Golden, Colorado. Obviously, she’s a natural.
Goldie the crag dog-ess is a good belayer—when she stays awake.
My crag dog Teddy is an escape artist, but he wasn’t getting out of this one.
Layne Potter raps with Bess the Jack Russell after the first ascent of Snakes and Arrows Tower in the Northern San Rafael Swell.
Brown has been my partner since he was 8 weeks old. Best belay a soloist can get.
Tucker’s version of helping me pack for a weekend of ice climbing in Bancroft, Ontario.
When other people are around, we anchor Lu and Ellie while we climb.
Aiden is used to big-mile days. Here at Deception Crags, he’s giving me a look that says, “When are we going to start hiking?”
Miss Nelly in search of some classic trad lines down at the Ultimates, Pumphouse Wash, Arizona.