• 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

  • Father’s Day “Supplies”

    No, its not a typo, its just my most quoted line from the 1989 Weird Al comedy UHF. But in all seriousness, I did have a great Father’s Day Surprise this year. My wonderful wife made some secret plans for a climbing outing, and even my 5 year old and 3 year old didn’t spill the beans. The real story started about a week prior. And actually further set-up back in January. As you may have read in one of my earlier posts, I had set some climbing related goals for 2013. One such goal was to get outside climbing more days in 2013 than previous years. Twenty days to be exact. Well, guess what didn’t cooperate with my plans… Read More

  • 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

  • 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

  • Birthday Challenge, Part 3, The Big Day

    My favorite thing about climbing is that if you try hard enough you can always be a champion. It doesn’t matter if you are the best, it matters how it feels. The Birthday Challenge is a concept passed from climber-to-climber, and I was first introduced to it by my good friend Shaun Matusewicz, at the age of 25. The format is simple, climb as many routes as the age you are turning. Nine years later I finally completed my first true climbing Birthday Challenge at 34 years young. I’ve always been psyched on the concept, but my birthday is in December, a month when rock climbing and weather don’t always align. Last spring, while climbing with a relatively new, but Read More

  • A Perspective From the Rim

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    A few weekends ago my girlfriend Sara and I went up to see our friends at the New River Gorge.  I must say it one of the best climbing weekends I’ve ever had.  I didn’t send anything hard nor did I climb a ton of routes.  It was simply the people who made the climbing trip so spectacular.  The temps were perfect and we were psyched.  We went to Beauty Mountain the first day and climbs some routes on the Brain, then went over to Burning Calves which is quite possibly one of the best 5.10 trad routes in the world (maybe I’m a bit bias).  Next day we crewed up and went to Endless Wall.  We had a full day

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