• Life is an Inherently Dangerous Sport

    Been a while since I’ve posted here, but this is a piece I’m particularly proud of from my main blog Dreaming of Gnar:   Once again I find myself out visiting my favorite routes, enjoying the day, cranking the tunes through my earbuds, occasionally singing along out of tune to the amusement or dismay of those nearby, when someone suddenly yells at me “Get down from there! You have so much to live for!” Yes, I know. I’m doing it right now. I am a free soloist, and I’m not the only one. Climbing is inherently dangerous. We mentally hit “I accept” every time we see the big red warning in a guidebook or climbing gym, but it never feels Read More

  • Grayson Highlands Bouldering Guidebook: A Review

    Absolutely amazing…Brayack has done it again, but better!!!    Around 10 years or so ago, the climbing guidebook industry started to see a revolution. Wolverine Publishing started producing some of the first real “climbing porn” style guidebooks…by that I mean an obvious change away from the basic black and white, crudely-drawn-on-a-napkin-at-the-Mexican-joint-after-being-at-the-crag-all-day line topo style guidebooks, to the detailed, computer generated, cant-get-lost-photo-topo-and-heres-some-of-the-best-action-shots-you’ve-ever-seen guidebook. Most remember the first Red River Guidebook and the effect it has on them after first seeing it, and for me, it made me never want to look at a basic stick drawing again. Sure there’s less adventure in route finding and it keeps things closer to what the FA’er experienced many moons ago, but many climbers and 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

  • 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

  • Kick Off -10.01.12

    This weekend I finally made it out to Rumbling Bald for my first outdoor climbing experience! I went up there with Katie, two of our climbing buddies Josh & Shannon, and Brian, a friend of ours from the gym who also acted as our guide. We were very concerned with the weather condition for the day since the forecast was calling for rain. Luckily, we decided to chance it, and all of the boulders were dry! There was the occasional puddle and the constant concern for keeping mud off of our rock shoes, but it turned out to be a very successful day. We only stayed up for about 3 hours, but everyone got to send something cool. The highlight of my day Read More

  • Burden of the Beast

    A view from atop Hueco. Burden of the Beast. Better Eat Your Wheaties. Crown of Aragorn, with a monkey on his back. Wheaties Burden Burden Crown Read More

  • Splitter Video!

    I made a short little video for the American Alpine Club’s “Slice O Pie” video contest.  Check out my video above and if you like it please hook me up with a vote and “sharing” it with your friends!  Thanks a ton! VOTE:  Splitter on Facebook and “like” the screenshot.  If you reaaaally like it, please “share” the screenshot on facebook as well.  Much appreciated. Read More