The P-Style: Solving First World Climber Problems


In today’s post we solve one of those first world climber girl problems – peeing outdoors. How many times have I jealously eyed the guys peeing 10 feet away from the climb while I go tromping, deep into the woods, to try to find a place to squat? No longer my friends! Today, we feature a guest post on a contraption near, dear, and life-changing for one of our readers, climber and teacher, Marilina. Scroll to the end to find out how to win a FREE pStyle!

I’m at the top of the second pitch with one more pitch to go. My bladder is bursting, but there is no way I can take off my harness. I take out my pStyle, unzip my fly, tuck it in, point the tip down, and aaahhhhhhh! As I slide the pStyle out, it takes the excess pee along with it, so no need to wipe. I wrap it up in its designated kerchief and I’m ready to roll.

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Rock Roots: Anne Khuu & Lupe Martinez

3.5 Selfies

Lupe and Anne: Great friends, not great at taking selfies. Photo credit: Guadalupe Martinez.

Rock Roots correspondent Lily He brings us a tale of two friends and their adventures out West with none other than Steph Davis! Enjoy!

This is the story of Anne (pronounced “Annie”) and Lupe (short for Guadalupe), friends brought together by climbing in the Boston area. They are now in the midst of a “long distance relationship” after Lupe moved to Austin, Texas, but had their last hurrah in Moab, climbing at a women’s clinic run by Steph Davis this past spring.

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A Stronger Climber’s Core in 20 Minutes

sahsa core

You better believe she’s got a core of steel (Photo from Sasha’s Facebook page)

Sure, a strong upper body and all-around flexibility will make you a better climber, but what ties all of that strength and flexibility together is a strong core. To be clear, I’m not just talking about having strong abs. In climbing, we really don’t use our abs in isolation, so while doing crunches might give you a sweet beach-bod, it won’t do a whole lot for your climbing. Your abdominal muscles are part of your core, but as a climber it’s best to strengthen your pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen simultaneously. That’s why each Thursday at our weekly ladies climbing night we do a core circuit that leaves us feeling totally spent and satisfied knowing that we’re becoming stronger climbers because of it. We’ve taken our cues from climbing coaches and trainers (especially Steve Bechtel) and other core-intensive sports (read: several of us are ex-gymnasts) to create a 20-minute circuit that can be done with a group of friends or when you’re flying solo. We recommend doing the circuit twice a week, and if you’re on a periodized training program work it into your power or power endurance phase. Now let’s get to the details:

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Coxsey Becomes 3rd Woman to Send V14/8B+

"Psyched doesn't come close," says Coxsey of her first 8B+/V14. (Photo credit: Shauna's instagram).

“Psyched doesn’t come close,” says Coxsey of her first 8B+/V14.

In the last two weeks, Shauna Coxsey, took silver in the IFSC Bouldering World Cup, sent her second 8B at Magic Wood in Switzerland, and on July 12th became the third woman in the world to send 8B+! According to Shauna’s instagram, she sent New Base Line (V14/8B+) at Magic Wood, a line originally put up by Bernd Zangerl. “Psyched doesn’t come close,” said Coxsey of her send. Dave MacLeod calls New Base Line “one of the most iconic hard problems on the planet.” Just last week we reported on the second woman/girl to take down V14/8B+, Ashima Shirashi’s send of Golden Shadow. Clearly there’s nothing like seeing a 13-year old send 8B+ to inspire you to take down your own project. Whether Ashima factored into Shauna’s send or not, we’ve got mad respect for the 21-year-old British climber. It is interesting to note that Shauna’s first V13/8B, One Summer in Paradise, was Ashima’s 2nd V13/8B. For us everyday climbers, it is inspiring to see top level female climbers pushing, inspiring, and motivating one another to narrow the gap between female and male climbers. You go girls! ;)

Climb on! ~Cate

Information thanks to Shauna Coxsey’s blog,  Dave MacLeod’s blogPlanet Mountain, and Rock and Ice. (Photo credit: Shauna’s instagram)

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Ashima Becomes 2nd Female Ever to Send V14

Ashima on Golden Shadow, V14 (Photo from Ashima's Instragram)

Ashima on Golden Shadow (V14) in Rocklands, South Africa (Photo from Ashima’s Instagram)

About two years ago 34-year-old Tomoko Ogawa broke the female V14 barrier with her send of Catharsis in Shiobara, Japan, and now, at just 13 years old, Ashima Shiraishi has become the second woman (well, girl really) to climb the grade. On her Instagram she says, “I still can’t believe I did this! I sent my project Golden Shadow 8b+ (V14) My first V14!” Ladies like Shauna Coxsey, Alex Puccio, and Anna Stöhr have all been ticking off V13s lately, and I’m sure with a little inspiration from the youngsters we’re sure to start seeing these veteran climbers pushing their limits ever further. Ashima, you never cease to amaze us. Congrats on this amazing accomplishment and thank you for inspiring us to climb hard!

Climb on!

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The Rise of Miho Nonaka

Innsbruck Comp

Nonaka making moves during the Innsbruck, Austria leg of the 2014 IFSC World Cup.

This month, as you know from last week, we are crushing hard on all-around-badass, and winner of this year’s Bouldering World Cup, Akiyo Noguchi. But it was brought to our attention that there was another untold story from this year’s World Cup, a story so remarkable that we would be remiss not to tell it here. Today, guest contributor John Burgman brings us the story of 17-year-old dark horse Miho Nonaka.

If the 2014 IFSC Bouldering World Cup season taught us anything, it was that Japan’s Akiyo Noguchi has firmly cemented herself among the greatest competitive boulderers of our time. Aside from her physical mastery, Noguchi climbs with a degree of fluidity—a sort of natural technical polish—that harkens back to bouldering pioneer John Gill’s interest in style in a successful send. Noguchi deserves all of the attention and accolades that she is currently receiving, including headlines in just about every major world climbing news publication. But amid the buzz over Noguchi’s World Cup season, something is slipping under the radar: the remarkable effort of Noguchi’s teammate, Miho Nonaka.

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Your Guide to Making an Epic Climbing Video


Nothing proves that you’re a hardcore climber like a well directed and edited climbing video. And while here at Crux Crush we’re still waiting to make our film debut, we’ve analyzed the top climbing clips to bring you a step-by-step guide to making a climbing video. This tried and true formula is sure to get your video posted on Epic TV,, and and maybe take a run at Reel Rock 10.

You may be thinking this is just a stock PC desktop wallpaper, but in fact the blurred leaves are an essential fixture in climbing films.

You may be thinking this is just a stock PC desktop wallpaper, but in fact the blurred leaves are an essential fixture in climbing films.

Step 1 – Get the right vibe: Choose an obscure song, preferably dubstep, that no one has ever heard before so that people know you’re totally “in” with the underground music scene.  As an added bonus, this makes the canyon where your parents usually walk their dog look uber-thug-life-cool.

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Girl Crush of the Month: Akiyo Noguchi


Akiyo on the podium as the 2014 IFSC Boulder World Cup Champ

Just last weekend, 25-year-old, Japanese climber Akiyo Noguchi clinched the title of 2014 IFSC Boulder World Cup Champion for the 3rd time in her climbing career! Since 2008, she and Anna Stöhr have bounced back and forth as overall champ each year (’08, ’11, ’12, ’13: Stöhr; ’09, ’10, ’14: Noguchi), but this time Akiyo edged out the competition. You may already be thinking, “Okay, okay, another super strong comp boulderer;” slow your roll and let me tell you that not only is Akiyo an accomplished boulderer, she also has several podium finishes in Lead World Cup comps and some stellar outdoor sends on boulders and routes.

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Brooke Raboutou Sends Her First V13

brooke v13

Brooke climbing Fragile Steps, V13

13-year-old Boulderite, Brooke Raboutou, has sent her first V13, Fragile Steps, in Rocklands, South Africa. With this send she joins a small group of females who have conquered the V13 grade, including her peer, Ashima Shiraishi, who climbed Fragile Steps a few years ago. On Brooke’s Facebook page she says she was, “Happy to have had the help from my brother Shawn Raboutou and encouragement from my mother.” Brooke’s mom, Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou, was not only the third woman ever to send 5.14, but is also Brooke’s mentor and coach. For more on this incredible mother daughter duo check out our interview with Brooke and Robyn. Congrats Brooke – we can’t wait to see what you do next!

Climb on!

(Info and Photo: Brooke’s Facebook page)

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Climber Problems: Elbow Injury


Courtney Sanders putting those elbows to the test.

Got aches and pains? We’ve got Kristen DeStefano, our physical therapist, to the rescue!  Today she talks elbow pains, and how to deal with ‘em.

The outdoor climbing season is in full swing now, and you’ve been getting after it every week with gym sessions, hang board routines, and campus boarding in between. What you might not realize is these repetitive and high stress movements are a killer on your elbows. When it comes to climbing, whether you are a lifer or a top rope hero (What Kind of Climber Are You?), chances are your elbows are going to start to ache at some point in your career. Don’t worry! You’re not doomed. Here’s what could be going on.

The elbow is a joint made up of the lower part of the humerus and the upper ends of the ulnar and radius, which make up the forearm. Four movements can occur at this joint. They are flexion (bending the elbow), extension (straightening the elbow), supination (turning the palm up), and pronation (turning the palm down). At the lower end of the humerus, you will see two bony prominences on either side. These are called the medial epicondyle (on the inside) and the lateral epicondyle (on the outside). These areas serve as muscle attachment sites, and therefore can be common spots for injury, particularly in climbers.

Elbow 1

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