Girl Crush of the Month: Martina Cufar Potard

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Martina climbing Je Bourrine Donc Je Suis, 8b/5.13d. Photo by FotoVertical.

Finding her obsession at 11-years-old, the now 39-year-old Slovenian climber Martina Čufar Potard, has had a life full of climbing. Like many of our girl crushes she has a long pedigree of accomplishments on both plastic and real rock, but what stands out is her unwavering love and excitement for climbing. After so many years she still says, “Climbing is my life! New challenges, new routes, new moves, new places, new friends every day!” Like great food or a warm shower after a cold day, climbing to Martina as she puts it is, “Simply the best!”

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In Defense of University Climbing Walls

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Crowds gather for a competition at the UD climbing wall.

Today’s post comes from Laura Donohue, a student at the University of Delaware and Vice President of the Outing Club. In a country where our “leaders” see university climbing walls as a waste of recourses, many, like Laura, see incredible value and importance in these sacred spaces. 

Every college student goes through the same stresses and pressures: the endless onslaught of assignments, final examinations, and the pressure of the future looming ahead. It is a constant struggle to find time for relaxation. Every climber, hiker, and explorer alike finds themselves gazing out the windows during lecture yearning for the mountains. At the University of Delaware, tucked into a very small and a very flat state, climbers have found refuge from the stresses of everyday college life.

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#ClimberGirlProblems

Our silky, smooth, totally holdable hands.12930987_1740964396190426_437748357_n

 

Out-lifting dudes in the gym.
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Coxsey & Gelmanov Win World Cup #2 in Japan

Photo credit: Shauna's Instagram

So far Shauna Coxsey is 2 for 2 in the 2016 Series. Photo credit: Shauna’s Instagram

120 climbers competed in the 2nd IFSC Bouldering World Cup of the 2016 season in Kazo, Japan this past weekend. Hope you guys all got a chance to enjoy the live stream. Here are the podium winners and US results from the past weekend.

WOMEN:

  1. Shauna Coxsey (UK)
  2. Melissa Le Neve (France)
  3. Miho Nonaka (Japan)

MEN:

  1. Rustam Gelmanov (Russia)
  2. Michael Piccolruaz (Italy)
  3. Kokoro Fuji (Japan)

US Results:

21. Sierra Blair-Coyle (one attempt away from making Semi-Finals)
52. Juliana Price
68. Peter Erard

After topping all the finals boulders Shauna earned a well-deserved victory, her 2nd of the season! After an injury last year she had to sit out many of the competitions, but has now recovered and plans to attend all the events this season. Previous bouldering world champion and Japanese favorite Akiyo Noguchi placed 20th, after not topping any of the semi-finals climbs, but the 18 year old Miho Nonaka stepped up for Japan and managed to make it onto the podium with 2 tops in finals. Sierra Blair Coyle is the only US climber who will be continuing on to the next competition this coming weekend in Chongqing , China. Tune in next week for more climbing goodness!

Climb on!
Sarah

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Shoe Review: Five Ten Team VXi

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When it comes to climbing shoes, I’m pretty high maintenance about comfort. It’s hard enough to trust my feet, let alone when they are shrieking in pain. I’ve got a low tolerance for long break-in periods, but want the performance of an aggressive shoe. Add to the equation that I’ve got small, flat, and wide feet which makes sizing in women’s shoes (which tend to be narrower) a challenge. Enter the Five Ten Team VXi. Before trying these on, I’d never fallen in love with a climbing shoe a mere week after trying them on. They aren’t an everyday shoe, but are a worthwhile addition to your climbing shoe arsenal for optimal performance on slick indoor holds and slabby routes.

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Women on Lead: Cara Dozier, Owner of Virginia Beach Rock Gym

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Cara and her family outside the Virginia Beach Rock Gym

Climbing gyms are perhaps the most valuable tool that we climbers have to build strength, improve technique, and prepare us physically and mentally to get out and crush on real rock. Gyms are probably where most of us started, and where a lot of people will end up staying, as indoor climbing quickly becomes a sport of its own. So while we love spending hours in these buildings with ever-changing routes, perfect conditions year-round, and an atmosphere that encourages and builds our beloved community, it’s easy to forget that climbing gyms are a business, and running one takes a lot of hard work. While it’s still a very male-dominated industry, more women are taking leadership roles in building these places up. As business owners, climbers, and very often wives and mothers, they juggle more than we would ever guess from the outside. Blending your passion and career is tough, but those who take it on are strong, confident–and they’re a force to be reckoned with.

I had the chance to sit down and chat with Cara Dozier, co-owner of the family-owned and operated Virginia Beach Rock Gym in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and one of those very women making an impact in the climbing community. Cara’s personality exudes kindness, warmth, and a very notable confidence, which serves her well in dealing with the challenges of owning a rock gym in a place as foreign to climbers as Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach isn’t exactly known for its climbing–it’s flat, featureless, and the closest elevation gain is about 4 hours away. Despite those challenges, Cara has spent almost her entire life helping to build the passionate and eager climbing community that exists here today.

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Mindfulness in Climbing

Photo credit: flowingspiritjourneys.com

Bringing a meditative mindset to the crag.  Photo credit: flowingspiritjourneys.com

Today’s post is from guest contributor Anna Enright, a climber, mother to 2 climbers, and a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist. She works with the youth team at MetroRock Climbing Centers on mindfulness practice for competition performance. We’re lucky that she’s shared some of her tips for honing your focus and awareness to send your next project!

A few summers ago, after years of watching kids in local and national competitions trying to perform their best, I became interested in learning what qualities enable certain climbers to succeed in a high pressure setting and others to falter in the same situation. How can an athlete cultivate those qualities if he/she is having difficulties when performing under pressure? After scouring the literature on the topic of peak performance, I found articles in the fields of neuroscience, positive psychology and mindfulness. Key mental skills include focus/attention, confidence, empowering thoughts and the ability to regulate emotions and energy.

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Role Reversal: Interview with Emily and Tim Harrington + Film by Petzl

When I first saw Role Reversal it left a major impression on me: I want a dad like that. No offense to my own dad (I love you!), but how rad would it be to share a passion like climbing with your parent? Sure, my mom went to the climbing gym with me once, but I’m talking about traveling, exploring, and sharing the joys and frustrations of projecting with your mom or dad.

This is exactly what Emily Harrington and her dad, Tim, did for two weeks in Spain. In fact, they have been doing this since she started climbing. During their time in Spain, his objective was to send his first 5.12, and she had her sights set on another 5.14. While they worked out beta and ripped open fingertips, what really shined through was their connection and support for each other, the similarities between them, and the snarky banter that is uniquely characteristic of a father and daughter.

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Lessons from Dating in the Climbing World

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In today’s post guest contributor, Anna, shares her sage advice for dating in the climbing world.

“I saw this guy climbing at the wall last night, and he looked so hot on the wall, but then he came down and I thought ‘My God, that’s a face only a mother can love!'” – yes, my friend actually said that to me once. This perfectly describes dating in the climbing world – they all look just so hot mid-climb, but things aren’t always what they seem, and coming down to earth can be a major anticlimax.

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Girl Crush of the Month: Margo Hayes

At age 17, Margo Hayes exudes a maturity beyond her years. Photo credit: Bruce Wilson

At age 18, Margo Hayes exudes a maturity beyond her years. Photo credit: Bruce Wilson

Maturity tends to come with age. Having just turned 18,  Margo Hayes, defies this belief in both her climbing and perspective. Not only has she podiumed in 11 different national and world youth sport climbing championships, five different bouldering climbing championships, but she has also climbed six 5.14 routes and three V11s. As Margo told Crux Crush, “I really like the ever-changing aspect of rock climbing. The learning curve in climbing is really steep and so I know that with each climb, there will be more lessons learned!  I also love to be in nature, and when I climb outdoors, I can take in the world around me and keep things in perspective.  It is humbling to stand at the bottom of a wall and look up!”

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