• Climbing Coaching Catching Up

    I sparked a conversation with some local climbers about the strong youth climbers coming out of the Midwest. As many online forum conversations often go, this one took a slight turn in a different direction, to coaching (or sometimes lack thereof). In that exchange I received this very solid quote from one of the strongest climbers out of Minnesota, Nic Oklobzija. The First Ascentionist of The Raven (V12) and co-author of the upcoming Midwest Bouldering Guide. “The only things holding [climbers] back in the Midwest are that our facilities are ill equipped to train at the same level as our counterparts out west and our coaching. I think the coaching is more a national level problem not just the Midwest. Read More

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    The Mangrove Tree

    A while back, likely last March based on the date stamp, I read a blog post from Sean McColl about a French Training Camp he participated in. Right away I was intrigued by one of the activities he described as “Mangrove Power” or as my poor French translating from the diagram to the right, “The Mangrove Tree”. At the time I was guest routesetting at a local Lifetime Fitness climbing wall. This wall is actually pretty decent compared to other fitness center walls I’ve seen. They had 9 top-rope set-ups and some pretty good variety of angles. I thought of using this Mangrove Tree concept at that wall for 2 reasons. First, to increase the volume and variety of routes 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

  • Three Punch Combo

    Now, let’s be honest. I am NOT the only one that has fallen off the wagon with my good intentioned plans, training or otherwise. For this winter, I have planned a quite structured training program. But for the past 2 weeks, I have fallen behind and ad libbed (dictionary: v.intr. – to engage in improvisation) ad nauseam (dictionary: adv. – to a disgusting or ridiculous degree). In this instance, the anecdote is climbing related. But guess what … this is Life! Success Principles are Universal!!! Whether its business, relationships, health, or any number of real world categories, there will always be instances where we fall short of even our own expectations of ourselves. It is our perspective and response to Read More

  • The Birthday Challenge Part 2, Training

    “Do you think there’s someday you’ll be content with just going for a hike?” Badger asks me in the midst of our training session yesterday. I reply that I hope so, but for now, I know I must climb rock for my satisfaction. No other form of physical activity provides “the fix”. We’ve been in the routine of hitting up the Golf Wall, an overhanging chunk of limestone 15 miles north of Durango, Colorado, for our “birthday challenge” training 2-3 times a week this summer. We’ve altered the rules of the game, our birthdays aren’t until the winter, but for motivation and fun we’ve allowed ourselves to do our challenge this summer, or if summer fades away, the fall. I’m Read More

  • In Celebration of a Comeback

    Our climbing escapades this past weekend were a little different than most. We headed north to Pilot Mountain, with the intention of getting on some lesser travelled routes for guidebook research, but most importantly to support a good friend celebrating a physical and mental comeback from injury. So instead of a typical trip report I decided to post an interview instead. Although today’s interview is not about a fellow Cragmama, keep reading and I promise you won’t be disappointed. I first met Bennett Harris in January on a day trip excursion to the Asheboro boulderfield in central NC. Of course I knew who he was before that though…the NC climbing community can be a pretty tight knit group, and when Read More

  • What I get out of climbing…TRY HARD!

    I was running last night.  I’ve done most of my best thinking while running.  In college, I came up with a superb and innovative connection detail for a steel bridge competition while running.  Oh wait, off track. SO last night I was running and it was hot. I’ve really been pushing my body lately.  I’m getting ?closer on sending my project at the New River Gorge – see this post Now.  I’m no runner.  I’m actually a pretty terrible runner and I think that fact helps my goal, which is to be a better, stronger and most importantly a SKINNIER climber.  I’ve never been skinny in my life.  In-fact, I walk up to the crag and most of the time, Read More

  • 8 things you would do if you were REALLY dedicated to climb harder

    Frustrated by leaving the crag with burnt tips, rubber arms, and eyes burning from the sand the bullies kicked in your face? So you want to climb harder, do you? Well, smarten up, girlie-man, because this shit doesn’t come cheap! You think the Grahams and the Ondras of the world got there just by eating their Wheaties? HELL NO. They eat a bowl of nails for breakfast, and then the box the nails came in, and then the bowl and the table to wash it down. If you really want to climb harder, you’ve got to be willing to sacrifice. How much, and where to start? Take a gander at these handy tips and tricks, and kick-start your climbing career Read More

  • A Tip For Improving Your Climbing

    I’m not a pro climber. Not a coach. Or a trainer. In fact, I’m a pretty mediocre climber by most standards. But, I do love it. And like many climbers, I wanted to get better. After my first year of dabbling in rock climbing (I was really into running that year, see also: this post), I started doing it more frequently.  I joined a gym (the awesome Spot bouldering gym), and tried to get outside a little.  I spent the next two years climbing well within my comfort zone. For me, that meant bouldering V0, an occasional V1, perhaps a poorly-graded V2, and sport climbing around 5.9. On a good day, I’d be able to finish a 10a or 10b with some Read More