Pre-Launch | June 11. 2016 | Squamish, BC

Grade VII Equipment is a climbing company based in Squamish BC. Specializing in big wall climbing and Alpinism, Grade VII Equipment is dedicated to design and produce products that will help evolve the sport and enable climbers to push the boundaries of what was thought possible by previous generations.

Our Team

Nathan Kukathas

Nathan Kukathas started climbing in 1996 in Australia. Growing up unable to afford climbing gear, Nathan started designing and making his own gear including his harness, backpack, tents, sleeping bag, portaledge and haul bags. Soon his design flare brought him into the Outdoor Industry. Today he is a multi-award winning designer having worked for brands including: Arc'teryx, Sea To Summit and Black Diamond. Nathan is an experienced big wall climber and ACMG guide. Climbing routes up to A5, including first ascents and first repeats of routes from Baffin Island, Pakistan and his home town Squamish.

John Middendorf

John Middendorf arrived in Yosemite Valley in 1978 and was instantly hooked on big wall climbing. Learning big wall skills from legends such as Bridwell and Shipley he soon became an established local and started repeating the hardest routes. He made the first ascent of Atlantic Ocean Wall, A5, on El Capitan then teaming up with the Swiss legend Xavier Bongard they completed the first ascent of Grand Voyage, VII A4+, on Great Trango Tower, Pakistan. In 1986 he started A5 Adventures Inc, a climbing company specializing in big wall equipment. To this day the A5 Alpine Double Portaledge is the lightest, storm proof ledge that has ever existed. Used on nearly all remote big wall expeditions of the time and many of Yosemite's first ascents, John's A5 ledges were legendary.

Chris Trull

Chris Trull has been an avid climber since his creation in 1986. Traveling all over the world following the climbing seasons, Chris has dabbled in all genres of climbing (apart from gym climbing), climbing 5.13 as well as A4. Recently he just completed his first aid solo climb, South Seas / PO wall A3+ on El Capitan.

Design Process

As passionate big wall climbers and Alpinist's who are dedicated to improve the tools of our sport, we have a hands on design process that begins in the mountains. Turning these ideas into reality takes place in our design workshop situated in Squamish, nestled in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Every step of the design, research and development is put to test on our local big wall the Chief or on the big stone itself, El Capitan. We put our products through vigorous testing in all conditions with the aim to find faults with our design. We want to find ways to make our products as close to perfect as possible.