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Category Archives: Climbing

Mom Guilt and Type 2 Fun…aka Making Lemonade

Mom Guilt and Type 2 Fun…aka Making Lemonade

“Well, this sure is some slip-sliding fun!” I said with my best fake smile to both of my kids as we made our way down the gully to the base of the cliff.  We’d been hiking for about an hour along a trail that featured a steep incline, several hundred wooden steps, and LOTS of wet leaves.  Our pace had been slow but consistent, in a cold, misty drizzle that didn’t look like it had any intention of letting up any time soon, despite what the radar/forecast showed on my phone.  We were on our way to meet up with…Read the rest of this entry →

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2016: Tis the Season for a Year in Review

2016: Tis the Season for a Year in Review

In my tick list for 2016 I stated that one of my main goals was to “focus more on the process than crossing something off the list.”  And by that I meant that I wanted to be more picky in the routes that I invest extra time on, choosing quality over quantity.  At the end of 2015 I found myself easily frustrated at the amount of routes I had “unfinished business” on.  Our family’s climb time is at a premium, and the logistics of getting back to certain climbs with an extra partner often ends up being a crux.  So this year I made…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Tick List for 2016

The Tick List for 2016

For our family this year, the holidays have involved sharing a little more with each other than we had intended – our winter break started with a stomach virus that violently ransacked it’s way through our entire household in a matter of hours.  The next two weeks were a blur of family, friends, and Christmas cookies…LOTS of Christmas cookies.  As far as climbing goes, we did manage to squeeze in a few days at the gym here and there, as well as a laidback day outside on the first day of 2016.  But overall the ratio of Christmas cookies to climbing…Read the rest of this entry →

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Climbing in 2015 – The Year in Review

Climbing in 2015 – The Year in Review

For many of us, the end of a year marks a time to reflect on the goals we had for the previous year, as well as make new ones for the next year.  With regards to climbing, I’d left my goals for 2015 fairly open-ended, so as not to get bogged down with all the crazy logistics that go hand in hand with family craggin’.  I basically had 3 items on my list – take a “big” family climbing trip, find some 12c/d routes that played well to my strengths, and send some 12a/b’s that forced me to work on my weaknesses. Overall I’d…Read the rest of this entry →

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Big C’s First Project: Big Emotions, Little Body

Big C’s First Project: Big Emotions, Little Body

“BUT I WANTED TO SEND IT!!!!!!!!!”  A distraught Big C let out while fighting back big crocodile tears.  He was trying to put up a brave front on the way out of the climbing gym, but the waterworks let loose once we got to the car. It was the end of Day 2 of Big C’s very first “legit” bouldering project (ie, only using holds that are “on.”)  For a while now he’s been able to climb the easier routes in the gym using the intended holds, but bouldering had always been a free for all “rainbow” session, using any holds…Read the rest of this entry →

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From 1 Kid to 2…How Outdoor Adventures Have Changed…

From 1 Kid to 2…How Outdoor Adventures Have Changed…

A couple of weeks ago I received a question from reader Patricia T. that really made me stop and think.  She basically wanted to know specifics about how life has changed for us since adding another child to our family.  In her words – “…I’ve had so many people tell me that the second one really shuts your life down.  Now, I’m trying to take that with a grain of salt, b/c I think we (I’m assuming she meant outdoorsy folks) are cut from a different cloth.  But it still worries me.  What’s your take on this?”   I wrote a…Read the rest of this entry →

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To All the Guy Climbers: A Rant and a Salute…

To All the Guy Climbers: A Rant and a Salute…

It was pretty crowded in the gym last Sunday.  The weather was crappy and there were a LOT of birthday parties going on.  I was patiently trying to maneuver through my fairly extensive warm-up routine before retreating to the training area to do some Power Enduro laps.  I was almost ready, just needed to do a handful of more challenging problems that I had really dialed. There was already someone (a 20-something guy) working one of the boulder problems I was interested in doing.  He tried several times, and kept getting stuck at the crux, 3 moves in.  I waited until he took a break…Read the rest of this entry →

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Climbing Goals for 2015

Climbing Goals for 2015

Now that our family of 4 has settled into a new “normal,” it’s  tempting to try and make up for lost time with a mile long tick list for 2015.  But I still want to make sure my life stays balanced.  Family climbing time involves FAMILY first, CLIMBING second.  That means that when it  comes to planning climbing trips, there are far more logistics to consider than my own tick list.  That being said, here’s what I personally would be delighted to accomplish in 2015. Since we almost always climb as a party of 5+, (mom, dad, 2 kids, and 1 or…Read the rest of this entry →

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Climbing Hit List for 2014 – Year in Review

Climbing Hit List for 2014 – Year in Review

Considering that I was a large and in charge, 30+ weeks along pregnant mama last year at this time, my climbing goals for the year were pretty low key.  I wanted to find that balance between motivating myself and overwhelming myself!  Anyway, I ended up choosing 3 broad goals that seemed doable with a little bit of work and committment.  Here’s how I fared… 1.  ESTABLISH A TRAINING ROUTINE It took some trial and error, and those first few months we were all flying by the seat of our pants, but at nearly 10 months postpartum, our family feels pretty…Read the rest of this entry →

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How to Keep Warm on Winter Climbing Days

How to Keep Warm on Winter Climbing Days

Contrary to popular “non-climber” belief, the best weather conditions for climbing often occur during cold weather.  The crux moves on your project on a hot (or worse yet, hot AND humid) summer day can easily feel several letter grades harder than it would on a cool, crisp winter day.  With that in mind, sending odds can sometimes be dramatically increased for those that are willing to brave the cold.  And while how cold is “too cold” to climb varies from person to person, here are some ideas for turning miserable, finger-numbing weather into perfect sending conditions.  (Unless of course you’re a mountaineer…in…Read the rest of this entry →

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Slab Climbing Lessons – Both Literal and Metaphorical…

Slab Climbing Lessons – Both Literal and Metaphorical…

Ah, slab climbing.  Levitating your body up a lower-angled section of rock while relying almost entirely upon the friction created between the rock and the rubber on your climbing shoes – actual holds are few and far between, and after a hard day of slabbin’ it’s your calves that are sore rather than your guns.  Most people either love it or hate it, but regardless of which side of the spectrum you fall in, everyone can usually agree that there’s no better teacher for learning to trust your feet. As for me, though I don’t want a steady diet of…Read the rest of this entry →

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Climbing Mantras From a Toddler

Climbing Mantras From a Toddler

Sometimes as climbers it’s easy to get bogged down with training philosophies, number chasing, or even just overzealous trip planning.  All of those things have their place, but too much focus on any of them can lead to burn-out pretty quickly.  Every now and then it’s good to take a step back and remember the basics of climbing… 1.  Climbing should be fun.  If it’s not, pick a another route.  Or do something else different entirely.2.  Sometimes climbing is easy.  When it’s easy, relax and enjoy it.  3.  Sometimes climbing is hard.  When it’s hard, you have to try hard.…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Murky Ethical Waters of Onsight Climbing…

The Murky Ethical Waters of Onsight Climbing…

Nothing earns you more street cred in the climbing world than an onsight near your limit.  Because let’s face it, figuring things out on the fly is hard!  Odds are good that on your first time through, you’re gonna botch a few sequences, or at the very least, do them less efficiently than you would if you were more familiar with the route.  Once you’ve touched all the holds you start to piece the route together in chunks, and can usually make a better plan of attack (figure out clipping stances, find rests and shake-out spots, etc).  Not to mention…Read the rest of this entry →

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Life Lessons You Can Learn From a Rock Climber

Life Lessons 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…Read the rest of this entry →

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3 Ways to TRY HARDER So You Can CLIMB HARDER!

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…Read the rest of this entry →

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Hit List 2013

Hit List 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…Read the rest of this entry →

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Hit List for 2012 – The Year in Review

Hit List for 2012 – 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…Read the rest of this entry →

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Cragbaby Highlights for 2012

Cragbaby Highlights for 2012

It’s been a big year for C, who went from a curious, craggin’ toddler to a big boy with his own agenda at the crag (which may or may not have anything to do with  climbing…).  So in honor of Highlight Week 2012, here’s a look back at some of C’s favorite moments from this year (from his perspective, of course!)… 5.  Big Boy Climbing Gear – This year I had my very own climbing gear – shoes, chalkbag, harness, and helmet.  Just like Mommy and Daddy!  Even though I don’t always use all of it, having my own gear…Read the rest of this entry →

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Greatest Hits 2012 (and Taking Requests!)

Greatest Hits 2012 (and Taking Requests!)

It’s tradition around here to designate the beginning of the new year as “Highlight Week.”  And I figured there was no better way to start the week AND end the year than with a “Greatest Hits” post. For those of you that are relatively new Cragmama readers (or for those interested in a walk down memory lane), here’s a look back at the most popular posts over the last year.  ”Popular” in this case means high traffic and a lot of overall buzz – via hits, comments, and social media.  I chose some from multiple categories… TRAINING:  This was a…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Pilot Mountain Legend: Lloyd Ramsey…

A Pilot Mountain Legend: Lloyd Ramsey…

This is the second time in under a month that I have had to post about the loss of a North Carolina climber.  It’s definitely not getting easier, and I certainly don’t want to make this a habit.  This one really hits me hard because Lloyd Ramsey is someone whom I knew very well.  In fact, I can probably count on one hand the number of times that I’ve climbed at Pilot Mountain and haven’t ran into him.  Lloyd was a staple figure at the park, and anyone who has climbed in the area with any amount of regularity would recognize him.   Not…Read the rest of this entry →

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In Memory of Eric Metcalf…

In Memory of Eric Metcalf…

This post was intended to be a trip report from our adventures at Moore’s Wall this past Sunday, but in light of the events that transpired after we left, the usual recounting of the routes we climbed hardly seemed relevant.  The North Carolina climbing community suffered a tragic loss Sunday evening.  Eric Metcalf, a 19 year old from Cary, NC, fell over 250 feet to his death in a rappelling accident in the Sentinel Buttress area of Moore’s Wall.  A lot of the details are still unknown, but I felt led to share my perspective.  My husband, son, and a…Read the rest of this entry →

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Lessons Learned from the Fifth Planeteer – aka Groove is in the Heart

Lessons Learned from the Fifth Planeteer – aka Groove is in the Heart

For those of you readers that are on the other side of 30, you may remember a TV show called Captain Planet.  The heroes of this kid’s series were 5 environmental good guys, known as “planeteers,” each possessing a magic ring that controlled an element of nature (earth, wind, water, fire) that they would use in their valiant battle against pollution.  Then there was the fifth guy – his magic ring supposedly gave him the power of “Heart.”  As kids we always thought this guy was dorky – the other planeteers were all much more suave and cool.  In fact I…Read the rest of this entry →

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Slabster’s Lament 5.12a/b – The Lament is Over…

Slabster’s Lament 5.12a/b – The Lament is Over…

Every now and then a route deserves to be memorialized by a post all to itself. In the case of Heresy (5.11c) out at the Obed, it was because of my first impression of it when I first laid eyes on it, several years before I was strong enough to even think about sending it. With Dave the Dude (5.11d), it was because the line was just that good – not only was it a classic in every sense of the word, but it was a culminating finale to a fantastic trip in the Red River Gorge, and thinking about…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – 7 Lessons Learned.

Tales of a Broken Talus – 7 Lessons Learned.

So it’s been 75 days since my ankle went snap, crackle, pop on an otherwise delightful winter afternoon at the crag.  Since then I have been on a rather emotional roller coaster ride of thoughts, feelings, and mental processing.  Thankfully for me however (as well as everyone who has to put up with me on a daily basis…), that roller coaster has slowed down substantially in the last few weeks as my life has slowly but surely crept back to “normal.”  Looking back throughout the recovery process, Ive realized that this whole ordeal has been quite a learning experience for me, so I…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #4

Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #4

For those of you that want the quick version, here’s the skinny – I’m finally out of the boot! Yay! For those that want the nitty gritty, here’s the play by play… Day 31-32:  Feeling strong on the hangboard, as I’m back up to 7-10 seconds again, despite the added weight.  Today I also added weight to my offset hangs on the large  edge.  My plan is to stick with this for another week, then next week toss in another weighted bean bag.  The warm spring weather has me frustrated because I’m afraid by the time I’m back up to par it’ll be…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #3

Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #3

  I’m hoping that this will be the last update that ends with a boot… Days 18- 20 – After the good news at my doctor’s appointment, I spent the latter part of the week exploring my newfound freedom to attempt some cardio.  Although me boot-legging my way around the neighborhood could hardly be described as heart-pumping, it at least felt good to get out.  It took me 27 minutes to walk the .85 loop, but I had zero pain, and even got stopped by a little old lady who informed me that I was “doing the right thing” by trying…Read the rest of this entry →

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PETZL Helmet Campaign – Round 2!

PETZL Helmet Campaign – Round 2!

Those of you that have been loyal readers for a while now may remember a post I did last October about my stance on helmet usage, as part of a Helmet Campaign from Petzl and their marketing guys over at Pemba Serves.  It certainly got quite the response – 107 comments even!  While I’d like to assume it was my literary prowess and creative wordsmith-ery that compelled such a reaction, in truth I must admit that it probably had more to do with the fact that Petzl was giving away a free helmet to one lucky commenter.  Excerpts of my post were melted into…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #2

Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #2

It’s been an interesting week, less emotional than the first one, and with an end goal in sight that I can live with. Day 10:  Being that it was President’s Day, Steve had the day off.  Being that it was a clear, gorgeous day without a cloud in sight, the big boys all went climbing.  Of course Cragbaby incorrectly assumed that meant him too – he got really excited when he saw all the backpacks and climbing gear come out, and enthusiastically helped his Daddy load the car.  But when everyone said good bye and hopped in the car without…Read the rest of this entry →

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An End to Winter Recreation in our State Parks?

An End to Winter Recreation in our State Parks?

So I usually tend to stay out of politics, but there’s been a recent issue that’s come up that I just can’t ignore.  A lot of you North Carolinians may have seen it already, but there’s been a nasty report going around social media circles recently about NC State Parks, and the government’s latest and not-so-greatest budget-cutting ideas.  The whole report can be found here, while a short synopsis can be found here.  But for the gist of it, and my (fairly strong) opinion, read on.  (And feel free to comment – I’d love to hear everyone else’s thoughts). Basically,…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #1

Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #1

In light of my latest footwear trend, all trip reports to climbing destinations, exotic or otherwise, will be on hiatus for a quite some time.  However, since injuries are an unfortunate and inconvenient fact of life for everyone at one time or another, I thought it might be worthwhile to document how I’m getting through this without going crazy (more or less).  I’m certainly not the only one that’s been sidelined for a while, and since writing has always been a therapeutic outlet for me, I thought that weekly injury “trip reports” might be a healthy coping mechanism, as well…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Valentine’s Day Rant

A Valentine’s Day Rant

Well, it’s Valentine’s Day everyone – the time of year where society tells men that they should shower their significant others with chocolates, flowers, and other superficial gestures in the hopes that they can build up enough good will to carry them through a year’s worth of doghouse-worthy escapades.  Florists put in 12 hour days, restaurants are booked solid, and Hallmark employees are on the verge of going postal from seeing only red and pink for the past month. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not one of those bitter romance-haters that has given up on love.  In fact, I’m quite…Read the rest of this entry →

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2012 Hit List

2012 Hit List

Although a large part of what makes crag days special involves the amazing people I’m with and the spectacular setting we’re in, another big part of it for me is the personal satisfaction that comes from working towards and achieving goals that I’ve set for myself.  Sometimes those goals revolve around specific routes, grades, and/or areas, and other times they are more vague (ie, getting better at _______ technique).  Other times they are things that are personally applicable to me in my current life phase.  For example, during my pregnancy I challenged myself to see how many weeks into my…Read the rest of this entry →

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Cragbaby’s Year in Highlights!

Cragbaby’s Year in Highlights!

With all of the end of year Highlight Week talk that’s been going around our house, Cragbaby wanted in on some of the action as well.  But considering that his verbage is rather limited still (actually its more untranslatable than limited….), I thought it would be easier to share his highlights in the form of pictures and captions… 5.  An Adventure Suit – This spring Mommy got me an Adventure Suit so that I can play all day in the rain and not get wet! 4. Photography Lessons – Manuela let me be her special assistant. This will come in handy…Read the rest of this entry →

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Highlight Week Continues…with the 2011 Highlight Reel!

Highlight Week Continues…with the 2011 Highlight Reel!

Our family is grateful to have had the opportunity to get a lot of time out on the rock this past year.  In fact, we managed 5 trips to the New River Gorge, 2 trips to the Red River Gorge, 2 trips to the Obed River, 2 trips to Grayson Highlands, and of course numerous day trips to various crags across North Carolina. Its no wonder that loads of fun were had by all as 2011 played out.  In keeping with the “Highlight Week” theme, and in honor of our family’s time-honored Highlight Reel tradition, our family decided to wade through…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Hit List for 2011 – The Year in Review

The Hit List for 2011 – The Year in Review

I mentioned before Christmas that the first week in January was going to be celebrated as “Highlight Week” here at Cragmama.  It seemed appropriate to kick things off with the Hit List.  Some of you may remember  my 2011 Hit List that I published last March, where I listed 10 goals (some very specific, some rather general) that I had my sights set on for the year.  I remember at first being a bit hesitant about posting them for the world to see, since I wasn’t entirely sure that some of the objectives were even in my realm of ability.…Read the rest of this entry →

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Greatest Hits and Taking Requests

Greatest Hits and Taking Requests

In the spirit of the new year, I thought it would be a good time to do some reflecting on my site content.  So the point of this post is really two-fold – a chance to look back, as well as the opportunity to move forward… GREATEST HITS: For those of you that are relatively new Cragmama readers (or for those interested in a walk down memory lane), here’s a look back at the most popular posts over the last year.  “Popular” in this case means high traffic and a lot of overall buzz – via hits, comments, shares on…Read the rest of this entry →

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Choosing an Off-season – aka The Importance of Rest

Choosing an Off-season – aka The Importance of Rest

What’s the best part about being a climber in the Southeast?  Climbing is a year round sport!  What’s the worst part about being a climber in the Southeast?  There’s no off-season… I grew up in a family that followed multiple sports – baseball, basketball, volleyball…pretty much everything but football.  (And thankfully my hubby never got into football either – which works out well since football season also brings some of the best weather weekends of the year!)  I remember that my “favorite” sport would always be whatever sport was currently in season at the time.  I remember anxiously awaiting the…Read the rest of this entry →

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Dave the Dude 5.11d – From a Dudette’s Perspective…

Dave the Dude 5.11d – From a Dudette’s Perspective…

While every climbing trip we take involves fun and uniqeness, not every trip contains a moment like this one.  It’s 5 days later as I write this and my heart still skips a beat when I think about this line.  When I first sat down to write up my trip report from last week’s trip to the Red, I knew Dave the Dude deserved way more love than a brief mention in a weekend recap, so I decided to memorialize it as a Classic Climb. Just like the old adage that says you can’t judge a book by its cover,…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Highlight Reel…

The Highlight Reel…

If you’ve ever climbed with our family, then you’ve probably experienced the end of day mental pat on the back otherwise known as The Highlight Reel. It’s a long time tradition that Steve and I established years ago, back when we first started climbing. At first it was just something we talked about with each other on the way home from the crag. We gradually introduced it to our other climbing partners and it just sort of took on a life of its own… Here’s how it works. After a hopefully long and fun-filled day at the crag, each person…Read the rest of this entry →

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Life Lessons Learned on a Slackline

Life Lessons Learned on a Slackline

A slackline is really an interesting idea.  Very popular amongst the climbing community, and more or less unknown to everyone else.  The concept is quite simple in theory – picture a circus with a tightrope walker high above the spectators, hands out to the sides, balancing her way across the rope to the other side.  Now, take out the “tight” part and picture the same person walking across a piece of webbing about an inch wide, as the webbing sags low underneath their weight and wobbles from side to side.  Welcome to the curious world of slacklining. Invented by a…Read the rest of this entry →

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Helmets – Heck No or Essential Pro? (and a GIVEAWAY!!!)

Helmets – Heck No or Essential Pro? (and a GIVEAWAY!!!)

This is a post about brain buckets, aka helmets.  And guess what – in honor of Petzl’s October Helmet Campaign, I’ve been authorized to sponsor a free giveaway of a Petzl Elia  or Elios (winner’s choice) to one lucky reader, courtesy of the folks over at Pemba Serves.  Interested?  Read on… The majority of climbers have helmets – the real question is does it ever end up on your head, or is it merely dead weight in your backpack?  The subject of helmets can be a controversial one for some climbers – it seems as though there are two extremes,…Read the rest of this entry →

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What Corner of the Earth Smiles at YOU?

What Corner of the Earth Smiles at YOU?

“This corner of the earth is like me in many ways I can sit for hours here and watch the emerald feathers play On the face of it I’m blessed when the sunlight comes for free I know this corner of the earth, it smiles at me.” – Jamiroquai Perhaps I’m dating myself a bit by admitting this, but one of my favorite musicians is British acid jazz/funk guru Jamiroquai.  In fact, as I wrote this I imagined everyone reading this post pensively while listening to the song in question in the background, but then I realized that would out…Read the rest of this entry →

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Exposure On and Off the Rock

Cragmama

In looking for relevant posts to use while out of town, I stumbled across this post I did a couple of years ago on exposure.  Even though I ended up not using it while I was in Michigan, I felt like it still applied, so I tweaked it a little, and voila! Exposure is a commonly used term in rock climbing that might not be familiar to those outside of the sport. I found an online dictionary that defined it as “being in a situation in which you are very aware that you are high off the ground.” In other…Read the rest of this entry →

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In Celebration of World Breastfeeding Week

In Celebration of World Breastfeeding Week

In case you weren’t aware, this week is World Breastfeeding Week, which is meaningful for our family since Cragbaby is 16 months old and still nursing away with no signs of stopping.  So to celebrate, I wanted to do a post about breastfeeding – but not about the benefits of toddler breastfeeding, or how to find support in your area (you can find a lot of that information here, however).  My intent is not to judge those that formula feed, nor is it to  sound preachy towards folks that breastfeed for longer or shorter time than we have.  Everyone is free to make their own decisions about what is best…Read the rest of this entry →

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What Can Your Earth-Suit Do (aka Perceptions on Body Image)

What Can Your Earth-Suit Do (aka Perceptions on Body Image)

  I think most of us tend to focus on what our body is and what it isn’t.  That’s how I used to think anyway, especially a few lifetimes ago back when I was a personal trainer at a gym filled with a bunch of testosterone-driven meatheads…For example – my body IS/ISN’T able to fit into those jeans today.  My body IS/ISN’T as pretty as that girl at the gym.  My body IS this, it ISN’T that – put in your own words, I’m sure you have some. One of the first things I noticed when I started climbing was…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Heresy Saga

The Heresy Saga

At some point I think most climbers develop what I like to think of as “Daydream Projects” – routes that for whatever reason, almost seem to call your name.  Maybe its because the route is particularly aesthetic or has a famed notoriety associated with it.  Perhaps the route speaks to you because you know it will  push either your mental or physical abilities (or both!).  Or maybe you keep obsessing over it because you’ve gotten on it so many times and keep falling off at the same dang spot.  You have a connection to the route on a personal level.  You rehearse the crux…Read the rest of this entry →

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Don’t Forget to Look Out!

Don’t Forget to Look Out!

  I’m a little better about it now, but when I first started climbing outdoors, I was notorious for climbing to the top of a route, getting lowered down, and then proceed to hear every person that climbed after me rave about the spectacular view they had when they turned around to take in the gorgeous views of the world around them.  I would tell myself as I was tying in and putting my shoes on, “Make sure you look out this time,” and invariably, it would not come to my mind again until I was back on the ground untying…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Perspective on Risk Assessment

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 frappucinnos 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…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Hit List for 2011…

The Hit List for 2011…

Now that the weather has been so nice, we’ve been starting to line up some climbing trips for the coming months. Since our move to Charlotte a few weeks ago, we are getting pretty psyched about being so much closer to the rock. I’ve decided to put all of this newfound mental energy to good use and come up with a 2011 Hit List. I hesitate to call it a “Project List” because I don’t want to take it too seriously. I dont want to get caught up in the the overtraining, number-chasing, and ego-driven mentality that so many folks…Read the rest of this entry →

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Exposure = risk realized, but not increased

Exposure = risk realized, but not increased

Exposure is a commonly used term in rock climbing.  I found an online dictionary that defined it as “being in a situation in which you are very aware that you are high off the ground.”  In other words, standing on a large summit that is capped by lots of soil and very tall, thick trees would not be considered as exposed as a summit consisting of a 3 foot wide pinnacle several hundred feet off the deck.  A steep route traversing across a narrow ridge would be more exposed than a route that meanders up a low-angle slab.  Exposure typically intensifies a…Read the rest of this entry →

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Gaping Similarities, not Petty Differences

Gaping Similarities, not Petty Differences

So in my last post, I mentioned that we made some new friends at Pies n Pints during our visit to the New last weekend.  We overheard the couple at the table next to ours talking about their day at the Bridge Buttress, another New River Gorge climbing area, so we decided to see what routes they had gotten on.  We ended up talking to them the rest of the time while we ate – Josh and Erin were their names, and they were from Johnson City, TN.  We compared notes on our activities from the day, discussed our plans…Read the rest of this entry →

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Risks and Consequences.

Risks and Consequences.

It has been a sad week in the world of climbing.  The climbing community suffered a loss of a legend this past weekend.  On Sunday, July 5th, John Bachar fell to his death while free soloing in Mammoth, California.  If you don’t know who he is, you can click on the link to find a quick bio, but this guy was one of the greatest climbers of all time, some might argue THE greatest.  This tragic event combined with my injury a couple of weeks ago in Utah brings to the forefront an issue that most climbers don’t like to…Read the rest of this entry →

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Faith, Rock, and Gear…

Faith, Rock, and Gear…

This morning I was meditating on the idea of God being an “everlasting rock”, and I was again struck with the similarities that that spiritual concept had with my favorite hobby. This is a personal excerpt from my journal, so its a little on the deep side, so bear with me… 🙂 “Putting my trust in an Everlasting God is a little like doing a really hard trad route with bomber gear placements on perfect rock. I know the protection is sound, so I’m not afraid to keep going, even if it gets hard and I think I might fall. Just…Read the rest of this entry →

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