Outbound Tested: Spotting Climbers on El Capitan with Maven Optics C.1 Binoculars

If you want to watch climbers on this behemoth, you're going to need more than your naked eye.

I've spent hours watching climbers make their way up El Cap from the Meadow, but from thousands of feet below, you can just barely make out the climbers heading up the wall. They basically look like ants. That is unless you've got a nice pair of binoculars. Enter the Maven C.1.

The general consensus among the group as they tried them out was a resounding "damn, these are nice!" The ants on El Cap were suddenly full-grown humans! 

What was even more impressive than the magnification of the climbers was the clarity. We could see incredible details from where their anchors were set up to the color of their helmets. It really was a much more exciting experience.


The C.1s fit comfortably on your eyes and aren't heavy enough to really even notice that you're holding them up. Maven says the C Series is "one of the lightest mid-sized binoculars in its category" and I believe it. The design is sleek and beautiful and they move smoothly when adjusting the fit and the focus. Bonus: they're waterproof.

I would primarily use binoculars for this type of situation - basically, when I have a vehicle nearby or for short outings - but I wouldn't want to take these on a super long hike or backpacking as they're not exactly small. For more mobile-friendly binoculars, Maven has a wide range of smaller products.

Published: September 21, 2018

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Liam McNallyAdmin

San Francisco

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