Most Recent

  • Lessons Learned: Routesetters Clinic

    A month ago, I was invited to participate in a 3-week routesetting clinic for prospective new routesetters at our local Climbing Gym Franchise. It was a tremendous experience. I learned a ton about movement, mindset, and my own climbing. There are lessons to be learned in every experience and in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” And so is born the first in series of posts, Lessons Learned. Lesson from Week #1 – K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Setters What I learned first is that not every route/boulder needs to be comp style or gimmicky. My personality tends toward the analytical side (as if you haven’t picked up on that already). When I look at 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

  • The New Normal

    Six. Weeks. Six Weeks. Six weeks gone, carving a living out of the sky itself, defying the ire of gravity by the hour, and cursing the sun’s lazy attitude. That fool has a bad habit of quitting before we’re finished. I guess it sounds rather interesting when you word it like that, but to me it’s just another day, and another dollar. Another cell tower climbed, rigged, and ready. Except for this day. This day is Friday. And not just any Friday, this Friday I get to go home. Ugh, I get to go home? now? Who’s idea was this? Right. Mine. fool. I’ve been up since 5am, we just put in a 12.5 hour day, and the schedule says Read More

  • Not your typical pro-climber

    I’ve always dreamed of becoming a professional climber, traveling the country, living out of the back of my truck, and climbing in whatever crag I happen to find in my vicinity, but I truly understood that I wasn’t strong enough to pull it off… and I have never been so happy to be wrong! 6:30 AM Time to load up in the truck and pick up the rest of the crew. Don’t be late. You will be left behind. If you don’t feel like climbing today we don’t need you. It’s bitterly cold, damp, and dark, but as many have said before me: “this IS what we came here for… right?”   7:30AM Everybody is in the truck, it’s time 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

  • 2013 … Goals

    I am a big advocate of setting goals. I also am notorious for setting extremely lofty goals. This year, I’m setting goals that are progressive yet attainable. [Vegas odds of 70% +] I’ve heard of (from several sources) climbers setting yearly goals revolving around their birthday that year. An example would be: I’ll be 31 years old this year, so I’ll climb 31 routes above 5.11. Or the Birthday Challenge: Climb 31 pitches in the 24 hours of their birthday. (IMPRESSIVE) I’ve also come across yearly goals corresponding with the Calendar Year. Example: Climb 20 5.11′s in 2011. Or send 12 5.12′s in 2012. CragMama has a few years of track record documented on her blog, both with the setting Read More

  • Gear Review – Black Diamond Mission 50 Backpack

    This is the mother of all technical backpacks.  I would describe this pack as comfortable, versatile and feature rich.  Heavy loads are no problem, stripping weight is no problem, carrying a rope, ice tools, crampons and all the usual alpine/ice gear is no problem and even skis can be carried by the Black Diamond Mission 50.  This pack really does everything you need it to do and more.  I highly recommend it for everything from high alpine mountaineering to ice cragging in Ouray, CO. I have always be a proponent of Black Diamond packs.  Whether it is the old school Bullet or the tried and true Sidewinder I have always found Black Diamond’s packs to be comfortable and feature rich. Read More

  • Leaping Lizards!

    Friday evening I was preparing myself for a bouldering trip to Moore’s when I received a text message from Javier Licon telling me that he had all weekend to climb. Javier lives in Asheville, so this would mean a trip to Rumbling Bald to send ” Pumping In Rhythm ” and get on some new stuff as well with one of my favorite partners. I threw what few belongings I would need in a bag and headed west on I – 40 to Asheville late Friday night. 4 hours of facebooking, coffee, and avoiding speeding tickets brought me into town around 1:30 A.M. ” Shredded Wheat ” 5.11a An early morning wake up to several cups of coffee compliments of Julie 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