Most Recent

  • Mudslide – Leavenworth

      Generally when you think Leavenworth, WA you think of one of two things. Either the gaudy Bavarian theme that the entire town prides itself on, or the world class granite boulders, sport climbing, and trad Leavenworth has to offer. Unfortunately if you are planning on climbing in Icicle Canyon this year be prepared to be stopped short of several popular areas. This is the scene that greeted us this weekend after a landslide covered a 1/4 mile stretch of Forest Road 76 (Best known as Icicle Creek Road) just upstream from 8 mile campground. Several campgrounds, trailheads (Stuart Lake & The Enchantments) and the upper put-ins for kayaking the icicle are all effected. Mother Nature has greatly reshaped the Read More

  • Review: Misty Mountain Gorge Pack

    Misty Moutain Gorge Pack Well they’ve done it again.  Believe it or not, Misty Mountain has developed more killer gear.  This time it’s a new line of crag packs; the Gorge & Traverse packs.  Not to worry, Misty still carries their beefy Power Pack (check out Brian Payst’s review here). I was extremely glad I had my trusty Gorge pack with me while I was at the New River Gorge this past weekend.  The beauty of this design is the simplicity.  It’s got a burly zipper that spans the entire length of the pack.  Getting your shoes or water bottle out of the bottom of your pack just got a whole lot easier.  The main zipper is just so damn Read More

  • Master Cams Review

    In an effort to take some weight off of my rack and modernize a bit (aka get rid of the 20+ year old rigid stem friends) I bought a couple Metolius Master Cams when they first came out a couple of years ago. Since then I’ve been adding them to my rack and now own from the #00 up to the #3 and they are key go-to pieces for my trad climbs. With their relatively narrow heads, Master Cams will go places where a TCU will, but the 4 cams and longer stem make for a more stable and confidence inspiring placement. The #00 and #0 are awesome pieces and I’ve breathed a sigh of relief more than once after Read More

  • A Perspective on Risk Assessment

    “Do you take less risks in climbing now that you’re a mom?” If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me this since Cragbaby entered on the scene…well let’s face it, I wouldn’t be rich, but I would definitely be able to buy more $4 frappucinos at Starbucks! The funny thing is, I never really feel like I have a good answer for this question. I feel like the “correct” answer is, “Yes, the responsibility of raising a little person has made me less risky of a climber.” But if I’m being honest, I don’t really think much has changed with regards to my risk assessment. But before you start throwing stones, let me explain. In a Read More

  • First of 2011

    The chilly mornings of early Spring convinced us to drive to the New River Gorge on Saturday morning, rather than our usual Friday night.  We learned last Fall that climbing wasn’t all that fun until 10 or 11 am, once the sun had come out to warm everything up and you could feel your fingers!  This turned out to be the best decision of the trip.  The New saw heavy rain on Friday night but Saturday was perfect.  We (Gaelyn and I) figured our first trip would be best if we focused on mileage.  I haven’t been climbing for three and a half weeks due to a nagging figure injury and Gaelyn hadn’t climbed at all since early December due to wrist Read More

  • Sometimes we fall

    My friend Bill and I headed up to Looking Glass the other weekend to get in some time on the big granite gumball that is the Glass. Bill hadn’t been there for years and I had gone back a couple of years ago and rediscovered how much I like the area. We got there late Saturday afternoon, grabbed a rack and ropes and hightailed it up to The Nose. When we got there we had the whole end of the cliff to ourselves (a rarity for that area). Guess getting to the base of the route at 5 PM is a good crowd-avoidance maneuver. We cranked off the 3 pitches to the Parking Lot ledge in screaming winds that sounded Read More

  • “Off Season” Cross Training

    Unlike the lucky folks up in the Highlands of North Carolina and Virginia that are just now hitting primo bouldering conditions, the time is already upon South Carolina boulderers to get their projects finished before the oppressive heat comes in and makes everything unbearable to climb.  Its usually this time of year that I give up on the leftover projects I didn’t get finished and just fall into a pit of depression because the local boulders are better used as saunas than for climbing.  Down here at the foot of the Blue Ridge, bouldering season usually gets cranking in October and lasts until the following March or sometimes April.  But I always pull myself out of that depressed bouldering pit with other outdoor activities that keep me Read More

  • An Interview with Chris Dorrity, Author of the ‘Rumbling Bald Bouldering Guide’

    I was fortunate to meet Chris D. not long after I started bouldering at Rumbling Bald in 2007. I had recently moved back to Asheville after a stint in SC and was just starting to climb again after Labrum (shoulder injury) surgery forced a 3-year hiatus. I bumped into Chris at the Bald one day while I was bouldering solo and he quickly became a good friend who showed me tons of problems in the field and introduced me to a great bunch of Asheville climbers who I’m still friends with today. Chris pulled off an amazing feat by authoring and designing a full-color bouldering guide book to Rumbling Bald bouldering by himself, which was published in Fall 2007. In Read More

  • Searching for Sandstone

    Every spring I make a pilgrimage to the desert in search of sunshine and warm sandstone to run my fingers across. This is no small undertaking, it usually results in a 10 day trip to visit as much of this beautiful skin pleasing red stone as I can find. (To see all of the pics from my adventure click on the photos until you see my portfolio show up) This year our first climbing stop on the spring 2011 Epic Adventure was St. George, Utah. More specifically we stopped out side of St. George near Leeds to camp at the Red cliffs Campground. It’s a long standing favorite place of mine that is managed by the BLM and is just Read More