A sampling of Middendorf Climbing Gear Designs:

Download the 1996 A5 Catalog which shows innovations that helped foster a huge breakthrough of big wall standards in the 1990's.

You can also download the first A5 Catalog (1988) and the second A5 Catalog (1989) which have some fun stories and gear tips.

A5 Haulbags were the most innovative of the time, and all current haulbags "borrow" ideas from A5, including the "tuckaway" shoulder straps (an A5 first), the waterproof closure, the offset clip-in, and many other innovations.

A5 design was an alternating process of field testing and building prototypes in the shop.  Above are Middendorf's notes written on a back page of  a book he was reading during an ascent of El Capitan with new ideas. But A5 was a team effort--below, the 1995 team and the orignal A5 "credos".

A5 Portaledge Development. A5 Portaledges enabled a huge boom in big wall standards in the 1990's because for the first time, climbers were able to withstand Himalayan type storms.  John's new D4 Portaledge Design: (http://facebook.com/bigwallgear)