How to Send the Ultimate: Grade 5.FUN


What’s the first word you think of when pondering your project? Hard? Inspiring? Frustrating? How about fun?!

I’ve been climbing for about a year and a half now. True to my nature, I went climbing at a local gym, got hooked and dove head first into all that is climbing. I’m fortunate to have a circle of climbing friends who have mentored me and shown me the ropes (pun intended). These friends took me climbing outside early on and would describe routes as ‘delicate’, ‘burly’, ‘balance-y’, ‘spicy’. With my limited knowledge at the time, this made no sense what-so-ever. When I was asked about the climb, I could only answer as my genuine, psyched outta my mind newb self, “fun!” or “super fun!” with the occasional “really effin fun!”

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10-Year-Old Angie Scarth-Johnson Now Youngest to Send 8c/5.14b

Angie on Welcome to Tijuana, 8c/5/14b. Photo from Angie's Facebook.

Angie on Welcome to Tijuana, 8c/5/14b. Photo from Angie’s Facebook.

Nipping at the heels of kid prodigies like Brooke Raboutou and Ashima Shiraishi, Aussie climber Angie Scarth-Johnson has now become the youngest person to climb 8c/5.14b with her send of Welcome to Tijuana in Rodellar, Spain. Back in November 2013 Angie took another “youngest to” title by sending 8b/5.13d, Swingline in The Red. Of Welcome to Tijuana Angie’s mom tells, “The climb took her a 1 1/2 weeks including rest days to work it out, she got the first crux fairly easy. The thing that shut her down was the final move to the anchors which was quite reachy for her but she managed to find a way though it. She didn’t really prepare that much for the trip, just her usual training which is about 1 hour 4 days a week. We built her a bouldering wall at home and she just plays a lot on it everyday when she is bored.” Her send yet again highlights just how strong the up and coming generation of climbers is, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for them. For more on this young gun check out the video profile below. Congrats Angie!

Climb on!

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Climb on!

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Alex Puccio’s Controversial Crowdfunding


Alex competing in the 2014 World Cup series, where she placed 5th overall. Photo: Seb Lazure.

While crowdfunding may be commonplace amongst start-up businesses, bands, and filmmakers, it has rarely been used by climbers, until last week when Alex Puccio posted a request for donations on the crowdfunding website RallyMe. Setting her goal at $10,000, Alex plans to use the money to fund her 2015 World Cup circuit travel expenses, where she hopes to, once and for all, clinch the title of World Cup Champion. Her request for funding has received a range of responses from the climbing community, from “I couldn’t think of a better cause worth supporting! So honored to be able to donate to see this hero make her mark on the world!” to “I feel insulted that Miss Puccio feels she’s entitled to money that could go to better causes.” With these two opinions and many in between it got us thinking about why the climbing community seems to be so polarized about Alex’s crowdfunding.

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Strength is my Weakness

Alex on a trail run in La Grand, Oregon

Today we feature a guest post from Ultra-runner and climber, Alexis Crellin, pictured above in La Grand, OR.

It was mile 29 and I was lost. The trail that I thought led to the top off Grove Creek Canyon had taken me to a literal cliff side high above it. “What an idiot.”  I said out loud to myself as I peered down into Utah Valley. I absentmindedly sucked on the tube of my hydration pack and was quickly reminded I had been out of water for the last two miles… It was the first time running this trail backwards and I clearly hadn’t paid enough attention.

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Climbing and Culture in Catalunya

Haley climbing in sector Esperó Primavera in Siurana

Haley climbing in sector Esperó Primavera in Siurana.

Ever wanted to drop everything, find some work in Spain, and live out your climbing dreams? Guest author, Haley Ross, did just that, and today she’s giving us the inside scoop on living and climbing in Catalunya. 

Spain, and more specifically Catalunya, has gained world-renowned climbing status with its legendary crags like Siurana, Margalef, Oliana, and Montserrat. In recent years, the climbing community has grown dramatically, with professionals and novices alike moving here to take advantage of the endless opportunities. If you’re lucky, you’ve gotten the chance to explore some of the truly exquisite climbing, but what if you decided to call Catalunya your home? I had barely dabbled in the climbing world before moving to Spain in 2012 to try my hand at teaching English abroad. I imagined staying for a few months, maybe a year, but that all changed the day I started climbing. I was instantly hooked on the sport for all of the common reasons: physical exercise, being in nature, the sense of community and positive atmosphere. But climbing here seemed to posses something distinguished, one-of-a-kind, with an extremely fanatical, almost (and by ‘almost’ I mean totally) addictive quality. I’ve now been living, teaching, and climbing in Catalunya for the past two years and have no intention of leaving. You’ve probably heard about the “magic” of Catalunya, or even had the chance to visit, but what is it really like to call it home? Why has it become such a climbing “mecca” and what makes it so special?

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Girl Crush of the Month: Jewell Lund


Jewell and her sunny outlook on climbing.

This month we’re seriously swooning over Salt Lake City crusher, Jewell Lund. Climbing for 11 years now, she first got into climbing back in high school with a group of girlfriends who were all stoked on adventure. They had learned how to snowboard, mountain bike, and backpack together, but when climbing was thrown into the mix it was different for Jewell. As she describes, ”[Climbing allows me] to connect my mind with my body, myself with my environment, and myself with my partner. It’s a beautiful way to experience whatever the moment is.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!

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How To Break In Too Tight Climbing Shoes


Ashima could not do a sick heel hook in ill-fitting shoes!

You know that feeling when you get a fresh new pair of climbing shoes, and they are so pretty, and you are so psyched on them?  And you insist that this is the correct shoe for you, as you cram and contort your foot to get the shoe on.  Then you start to climb in them and you’re thinking to yourself “Did my feet get bigger? I know I’m usually a size 38.” You make it through one climb, and wincing you take your shoe off, and your foot is already starting to look like something from a horror film.  Yeah, I’ve been there too.

I know for many of you diehards out there the solution for too tight shoes is “Suffer!! No pain no gain!” and that you in fact pride yourself on your feet growing weird new protrusions, and your toes folding over themselves, etc.  But what if you’re like me and you are basically…a huge baby when it comes to foot pain?  I’ll admit it!  If my feet are absolutely killing me, it’s hard for me to focus on climbing hard.  So what’s a gal to do when you plunked down a hefty chunk of change on shoes and you realize they don’t fit?  Today I’ve got some tips for all you tender-footed folks out there.

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Ashima Strikes Again! Ciudad de Dios 9a/+

Ashima sending Ciudad de Dios (9a/9a+). Photo credit: Ashima's Instagram c/o Cross Road Studios)

Ashima sending Ciudad de Dios (9a/+). Photo from Ashima’s Instagram c/o Crossroad Studios.

Less than a week after sending Open Your Mind Direct (9a+*), becoming the first female and youngest person to send 5.15a, Ashima is at it again. We’d barely had time to pick our jaws up off the ground, when Ashima posted her ascent of Ciudad de Dios, (9a/+), and in only three days. According to her Instagram, she actually fell on the last move after just one day of working the route, evidence that despite being only thirteen years old, this young lady is a force to be reckoned with. Ciudad de Dios links two routes Ashima is quite familiar with: Open Your Mind Direct and La Fabela (8c+), which Ashima sent last year.

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