• Rendezvous Recap

    After skipping a year for the first time in 10 years, the New River Rendezvous was back and better than ever this past weekend!  For those of you not familiar with it, the ‘Vous is a climber’s festival that raises money for the New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC).  It’s also a great excuse for the climbing community to get together and celebrate living near some of the best stone this country has to offer!   Though it was the 5th Rendezvous for Steve and I (and Cragbaby’s 2nd), it was my first time attending as an athlete for Trango, which made for an entirely different experience. First of all, the ‘Vous started earlier for me than it had in Read More

  • Here’s What You Can Learn From a Rock Climber…

    The writer in me loves metaphors and analogies, which is one reason why I love writing about climbing. Time and time again I’ve been able to apply concepts from the rock climbing world to my life as a mother, wife, and friend. What a lot of non-climbers don’t realize is that there are actually several different disciplines, or styles, of climbing – some of us may have an end goal to climb Mt. Everest, whereas others of us may aspire to touch every piece of local rock that we can. Each discipline has a different set of values, ethics, and goals, and the following is a concise attempt to summarize what life lessons can be gleaned from each… The Mountaineer: Read More

  • Central NC Guidebook Update – and Sneak Peek!

      After turning in a giant lump of manuscript to Earthbound Publishing at the end of the summer last year, my work on the guidebook has been pretty sporadic the past few months. Mostly I’ve just tweaking a few revisions here and there and wrapping up some interviews. However there has still been one large item on my punch list that had remained unchecked for a long time, mostly due to logistics…The North Face. Not the jacket company (although one of those would have come in handy!), but the North Face of Stone Mountain. For most climbers, it’s always been something to gawk at on the way the ever-popular South Face. The rock is steeper, colder, and more polished than Read More

  • 3 Ways to TRY HARDER So You Can CLIMB HARDER!

    This just in: If you try harder, you can climb harder! At first glance, this might seem glaringly obvious, but it was rather eye-opening for me a few weeks ago after my hubby (tactfully) pointed out that it looked like I “gave up before I even tried” on a route that was giving me trouble at the New River Gorge. That statement prompted a very reflective and enlightening discussion on the drive home that caused me to develop a new mantra for pushing my limits on the rock. And though simple, I’ve already seen improvements from it, so it seemed worth sharing! Basically it all boils down to the mantra of TRY TRY TRY… TRY SMARTER: After replaying my efforts Read More

  • Hit List for 2013…

    With 2012 in the archives, it’s time to look forward to another year…and another Hit List! Each time I write out a year’s worth of climbing goals, I get a little bit nervous. What if I fail? What if I am nowhere close to any of these goals by the end of the year? The truth is, that could easily happen. Maybe the logistics don’t cooperate for me to be able to put in the time needed to cross some of these routes off. Or worse, maybe I’m able to invest plenty of time into a project, and still come up short! Goal-setting can be a very rewarding thing, but it can also feel very vulnerable and exposed, especially when Read More

  • 2012 Hit List – The Year in Review

    Well, another year has come and gone, which means another Hit List has drawn to a close. This was the second time I’ve put my year-long goals out there in cyber space (for 2011 Hit List click here), and once again, it was a wild ride, with plenty of bumps (and bruises) along the way! After an unexpected injury started the year off on the “wrong foot” (sorry, couldn’t help myself…), I found a lot of my mental battles this year revolved around fear. Fear in trusting my ankle again, fear in getting my lead head back, along with an unexpected one that kept creeping up – fear of failure. I mentioned it in a previous post, but I learned Read More

  • Twelve 5.12′s in 2012 – And Fashion Makes it a Dozen!

    Some of you may be familiar with my quest for “Twelve 5.12′s in 2012″ this year. For those of you that aren’t, here’s the skinny…At the tail end of last year I managed to eek my way through my very first 5.12a (TKO at Crowder’s Mountain) for the “send.” (Non-climber translation: leading a route from the ground-up with no hangs or falls on the rope) With one under my belt, the next logical step was to establish myself a little more firmly within the 5.12 grade. I figured averaging one per month would be a reasonable expectation. Plus, twelve 5.12′s in 2012 kinda had a nice ring to it! I knew that some routes that catered to my strengths might Read More

  • Why You Should Have a Pair of Tenayas in Your Climbing Shoe Quiver…

    When I found out a few months ago that Tenaya would be joining Trango under the Great Trango Holdings, Inc umbrella, my first thought was, “YES!!!  Free shoes!”  But then my second thought was, “Geez, what if I don’t like them?!?”  I mean let’s be honest here.  Though at first glance many climbers may seem like easy gear junkies who will try anything and everything if its free, the majority of our flirtations with gimmicky swag is just temporary before we toss it aside in favor of our old stand-by gear.  And there’s probably no piece of climbing gear that is more personalized to a climber than their shoes.  They have to fit perfect.  They have to perform perfect.  Well, Read More

  • The Smoooooth Quickdraw from TRANGO

    Trango has a new quickdraw called the “Smooth Quickdraw.”  To be honest, my initial thought was that their marketing department must not have been trying very hard. I mean, when you call something “smooth,” all you’re really saying is that said object has a continuous, even surface, free of bumps or ridges, right? If that’s our working definition, then every quickdraw I’ve ever owned would be considered “smooth.” It seemed like Trango’s naming system was similar to those people that name boulder problems based on some obvious, over-used characteristic (“The Arete,” “The Egg,”, or “Big Crack.”)  Descriptive, yes.  Creative, not so much.  But as we all know, first impressions don’t always stick. My old draws were in desperate need of replacing, Read More