What’s Your Climbing Spirit Animal?


Get ready… your climbing life is about to change forever. Click through the majestic creatures above to find out your climbing spirit animal!

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Pack Review: Patagonia Cragsmith Pack 35L

Patagonia Cragsmith

Today’s review was written by CXC regular contributor Jess. Here’s what she thinks of the Patagonia Cragsmith.

After years of hauling my gear in tiny daypacks or oversized backpacking packs I decided it was time to finally invest in a specialized climbing pack. For me, the essential features of such a pack would include a padded waistband and a U shaped back pocket for easy gear access. I found these features in Patagonia’s fantastic Cragsmith.

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Get Stronger by Keeping a Climbing Tick List

The Crusher, 5.11d, at Rumney. Check.

The Crusher (5.11d) at Rumney. Check.

Some free-spirited climber types just don’t care about keeping track of the climbs they’ve on-sighted, flashed, or red pointed. While I love and admire these types, I for one, cannot relate. As a more quantitative, let’s look at the data type, I’ve come to appreciate tracking my progress, taking notes on climbs, and setting goals for new projects. Today we’ll explore how tracking your progress can make you a better climber and the best ways to do it online or on paper.

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Girl Crush of the Month: Heather Weidner


Photo cred: Jon Glassberg

“Life is short and fragile, go out and get it now”. Inspired by the words of her late mother, Dr. Heather (Robinson) Weidner did just that; as a former veterinarian turned professional climber she is pursuing her passions with abandon. Heather’s jam is to try hard on projects. With unwavering determination, focus and down-right stubbornness, she explains that those who know her call it “Taurus mode”. Jonathon Siegrist interviewed Heather and he’s crushing too (not like that—he’s good friends with her husband). Siegrist said, “I’ve had the privilege to climb with some of the world’s best, but no one that I’ve met has the ambition, persistence and follow through that Heather exhibits.”

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Perseverance: When Fear Raises Its Ugly Head…Again

The author, Hilary, in the background working Predator, 5.13b/c

The author, Hilary, in the background working Predator, 5.13b.

We all have struggles in life. Whether it be with family, relationships, injury, or something else – we all have our own battles. What separates us from where we want to be is how we choose to deal with our struggle. Do we accept it as just the way it is or do we fight for what we want?

November of 2014 I was the most confident climber I had ever been. I was leading climbs that would have previously seemed too scary to consider but I was able to push forward without a second thought. I was feeling safe, secure and strong. Maybe I was too confident, maybe I was bordering hubris. In an instant everything changed. I slipped on a wet hold on my warm-up prior to clipping the first bolt. A climb I had done hundreds of times before with ease now spit me off and sent me tumbling backwards off a ledge. The accident left me with two broken heels, a fractured vertebrae and a shattered ankle.

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Sport Climbing Likely in 2020 Olympics

2020 Olympic hopeful, Ashima Shiraishi

2020 Olympic hopeful, Ashima Shiraishi

The organizing committee for the 2020 Olympics met in Tokyo today and proposed that sport climbing be included in the 2020 Summer Games. The proposal also included karate, surfing, skateboarding, and baseball and softball (under a combined bid). The organizing committee says, “This package of events represents both traditional and emerging, youth-focused events, all of which are popular both in Japan and internationally.” The proposal is highly likely to be accepted by the International Olympic Committee, but the final decision will not be made until August 2016.

So, basically huge news for the climbing community this morning. One more way our dear sport is taking on a life of its own, evolving, growing, and spreading into mainstream media. It’s pretty lovable, no wonder everyone’s digging it.

Climb on!

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, BBC, IFSC, Ashima’s Instagram

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Fall Climbing Essentials

Ahhhh, fall. The most wonderful time of the year. Here are a few items we’re loving for this season of sends:


1. Friction Labs Chalk – Chalk is chalk, right? Not so much. Friction Labs has created a different kind of chalk that truly keeps your hands drier for longer. Still skeptical? Try it for yourself in fine, chunky, or super chunky and use code cruxcrush to get 20% off any order now through October 10th. Really make it worth your while by starting a subscription and get 20% off the first month!

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Shoe Review: Tenaya Oasi


While we love our trusty favorites from La Sportiva, Five Ten, and Scarpa, we also love trying out new brands to see what they’re all about. Today we’re featuring a shoe that you may not have see at your local climbing gym, but has made a serious showing in Europe and is starting to pop up in the States too. The Tenaya Oasi is an amazing all around shoe, great for edging, and incredibly sensitive for a downturned sport climbing shoe. This baby has fast become one of my favorites and here’s why:

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The Art of the Climbing Community

Today our guest contributor, Meg, combines her love for climbing, art and the community. She will be collecting images via email, Facebook or Insatgram using the hashtag #ConnectwithSmithRock, and then will transform those images into art. Get involved!

MKahnle-painting example

One of Meg’s previous pieces: a mixed media collection of maps, tickets, notes, and memories.

It was 2am on a Friday and I was just leaving the office. Coffee in hand, car packed and music blaring, I got on the highway with the windows rolled down and drove east. I was determined to get to camp like I promised. The Dollar Tree parking lot provided a great nap location and I had the car started again by sunrise. Physically I was exhausted, running on empty, and bubbling over with excitement as I awkwardly parked my Subaru on an incline next to our packed campsite. Success! I had made it in time for breakfast. These are my people. The folks I love to be around even if no one has showered in over a week. The guys and gals that share food, beverages, gear, laughter, rides, and stories around a campfire. The people that exemplify a spirit for adventure. These are climbers.

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Girl Crush of the Month: Mar Álvarez

Mar's most recent accomplishment, Esclatamasters, 9a/5.14d

Mar’s most recent accomplishment, Esclatamasters, 9a/5.14d.

This month we’re crushing on a firefighter. That’s right, a 35-year-old Spanish firefighter by the name of Mar Álvarez, who happens to climb 9a/5.14d in her spare time. About a year ago Mar became the fifth woman ever to climb 9a/5.14d with her send of Era Vella, and then just a few weeks ago she joined an even more elite group of women by climbing yet another 9a/5.14d. On 8a.nu she described Esclatamasters as, “A beautiful and demanding route that tested my limits.” Mar’s winning combination of dedication and deep personal connection to climbing is, without doubt, responsible for her success.

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