Rock Roots: Tiffany Skogstrom

Rock Roots highlights the every day female climber who inspires us in our every day climbing. Today Crux Crush contributor, Lily He, highlights Tiffany Skogstrom. 

Tiffany at Squamish

Tiffany taking advantage of a great photo op on Star Chek (5.8+) in Squamish. Photo Credit: Josh Squire

 “My friend Tiffany Skogstrom has been climbing for over a decade and has been an inspiration to many women over the years. Besides being an accomplished New England climber, she’s taught many women’s trad climbing clinics and even gets a nod from Arno Ilgner in his sequel to Rock Warrior’s Way. What sets Tiffany apart from other climbing partners is her incredible support of women in the sport. When we first met and chatted about sharing a rope, she said that climbing with women “is really inspriring” to her. And although her husband is an incredibly strong climber and willing belayer, she most often seeks out female partners. With her, I found myself trying and succeeding on tough trad lines I would never have attempted without her encouragement.” – Alissa Doherty, Tiffany’s nominator

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A Step-by-Step Approach to Conquering Lead Climbing Fear

Feeling the nerves as you get ready to climb? You don't have to!

Feeling the nerves as you get ready to climb? You don’t have to!

When today’s guest contributor,  Josh Thompson, approached us with this piece about dealing with fear, I (Missy here today, hey guys!) was on board right away.  As a person who a) has terrible fear of lead climbing, b) is even more afraid of belaying than climbing, and c) has had a lot of negative experiences with climbing in a short period of time, his approach of focusing on belayer competence, rather than the sink-or-swim, take-a-bunch-of-whippers-and-you’ll-feel-better school of thought that is the common wisdom just clicked with me.  Some of it may surprise you, but keep an open mind, and read on! Here’s Josh:

Have you ever tried to reason yourself out of fear? There you are, on the wall, ready to make a move, and suddenly you are flooded with doubt and what­-ifs. No matter how the climb unfolds (i.e. you send, you fall, or you take) you’re enduring this fear for at least some of the climb. We’ve all been there, but here’s the thing – if you wait until you become consciously aware of fear to deal with it, you’ve missed your opportunity.

Here’s my gutsy proposition: The only way you can conquer fear while climbing is by doing NOTHING that causes fear.

You may ask. But how can that be true?  Doesn’t trying to get over a fear of falling mean taking falls, feeling fear and facing up to it? That’s not exactly how it works, here’s why:


Happy calm belayer = happy calm climber

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Why I Dropped Everything To Start A Climbing Company (and How You Can Too)


Natalie climbing Mt. St. Helena in Napa Valley.

Today we have a guest post from the dynamic Natalie Siddique, co-founder of Moja Gear, and all around bad ass.  Sure, we think about forgetting our degrees, ditching our career paths, and pursuing a dream job, but this lady actually had the guts to do it!  Read on to hear about how she made it happen.

Sitting beside a campfire with an impeccable view of the Eastern Sierras, my high school best friend and I had reunited on the Volcanic Tablelands of Bishop, California. With a couple of IPAs and a meal cooked over camp stoves, we sat on our crash pads to catch up on the major events that had altered our lives over the past two years. Little did I know, by the end of that night, I would commit to making a 180 degree shift from my career path and begin building Moja Gear: a business dedicated to a sport and culture that we both deeply care about. I dropped everything in my “life plan” to start a company that I love. And so can you.

Taking the plunge into the unknown is challenging—daunting to say the least. But, I’ve gained a few insights that can help you chase your wildest dreams, whatever they may be.

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Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide for Climbers


Wait, what’s that? It’s December 9th and you’ve got zero gifts for the climber in your life? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here’s five great gifts that you can order online and get in time for the holidays.

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Project Mina: Interview with Jen Randall & Mina Leslie-Wujastyk

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Today we’re super excited to share an interview with not only one, but TWO totally rad ladies, filmmaker Jen Randall of Light Shed Pictures and world-class boulderer Mina Leslie-Wujastyk. Over the past two years Jen and Mina have been working on Project Mina, which follows Mina through the 2013 World Cup as she tries to balance her love for outdoor climbing and her incredible desire to find success as a competition climber. The finished product is a compelling must-see and a breath of fresh air for climbing films. 

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Girl Crush of the Month: Angy Eiter

Angela Eiter on Hades, 5.14d/9a. Photo credit: Red Bull.

Angela Eiter on Hades, 5.14d/9a. Photo credit: Bernie Ruech.

We were already crushing on Angela “Angy” Eiter long before she sent 5.14d/9a (Hades). Prior to this epic October 2014 send, Angy had been on the podium at various climbing comps 42 times, including winning the World Cups three times in a row (2004 to 2006) and winning four World Championships. Just this weekend, as we Americans were polishing off our Thanksgiving leftovers, we heard about Angy’s second 5.14d (Big Hammer). And Big Hammer is no joke: Christian Bindhammer freed the route in 2005, commenting, “Up until now I’ve never come across a single move [sic] which requires so many different types of strength and such a complex sequence of moves.” Despite Christian’s description of the route, Angy took it down over the course of ten days. Let me put this all into context: just six women in the world have climbed 5.14d/9a. Of those six, only one other woman has climbed TWO routes at 5.14d/9a – Sasha DiGiulian – and one of Sasha’s routes (Pure Imagination) was recently downgraded to 5.14c/d. So yes, Angy Eiter is kind of a big deal.

Eiter on Zauberfee (5.14c). Photo credit: Red Bull.

Eiter on Zauberfee, 5.14c/8c+. Photo credit: Red Bull.

What we love about Angy is that, despite climbing since age 11, her outdoor climbing career is just getting rolling. Last year, at age 27, Angy announced her “retirement” from comp climbing in order to focus more on coaching and climbing outdoors. “Training for competitions means intensive training on indoor walls, in the gym and right now I’m no longer willing to sacrifice everything for competitions,” said Angy. It looks as if all of the years of sacrifice are paying off. In addition to her strong work outdoors, Angy has also partnered with local Tyrol climbers to develop and run K3 Climbing Services. Pretty rad to send two 5.14d routes in your first year of “retirement”. We’re excited to see what else Eiter’s golden retirement brings.

Climb On! ~Cate

Info thanks to Angy’s website, Planet Mountain, DPM and wikipedia.  Also check out this sweet video of Angy sending Zauberfee (just make sure you click “cc” on the bottom right if you don’t speak German and need some subtitle action).

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Thank You from the Ladies of Crux Crush **And Thanksgiving Gift Giveaway**

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We have a lot to be thankful for here at Crux Crush. We’re thankful for amazing, strong, inspiring female climbers. We’re thankful for a climbing community who has supported our quirky, sometimes silly posts. We’re thankful for our friends and families who have patiently listened to us talk incessantly about climbing, and are always ready for a spot or belay. And we’re thankful to all of our readers who have supported our endeavor of connecting the female (and male) climbing community. As a THANK YOU to our readers and fans, (and thanks to our friends at Metolius, Practical Climbing, Primo Chalk, climbOn, Crimpme, and pStlye), we have a sweet gift give-away for one lucky Crux Crush reader. Head on over to our Facebook page for the details on how to “win our thanks”.

Happy Thanksgiving & Climb on! ~Cate, Mary, & Missy

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The Kim Kardashian Guide to Climbing Holds


Thanks Kim!
Climb on!
-Mary, Missy & Cate

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Crux Crush Commits to the Pact

Preserving our crags in light of the recent influx of climbers has been on our minds for some time now. (Check out our crag commandments). We are thrilled to see our climbing community grow, as more and more people are exposed to and fall in love with climbing. As climbers, we have been given incredibly beautiful cliffs to climb. However, as the saying goes, “To whom much is given, much will be required.” We are responsible for taking care of our climbing areas and in doing so, preserving climbing opportunities for the future. We stand with the Access Fund in Committing to the Pact. Will you join us?


Climb on! ~Cate

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Interview with Connie Lightner (AKA Kai’s Mom)

Connie Lightner belaying son, Kai, on Still Life, 5.14b (Photo credit: Mike Williams)

Connie Lightner belaying son, Kai, on Still Life, 5.14b (Photo credit: Mike Williams)

Kai Lightner has taken the climbing world by storm over the last couple of years. If you have been fortunate enough to watch Kai climb, you also most likely saw his mom, Connie Lightner, who is equally as inspiring in her dedication and support for her son. If you had the opportunity to see Kai and Connie interact, you know that the rapport these two share is one of discipline, sacrifice, respect, and love. For today’s post, we chatted with Connie on what it’s like to be raising one of the world’s best climbers. 

CXC: It’s clear that you work very hard to and have a vision to raise Kai to be a good person. How do you, as a non-climber, see climbing complimenting Kai’s development as a person? How have you used climbing as a tool for parenting or teaching Kai?

CL: I tried to push Kai into basketball, soccer, football, and baseball. He tried them all, but insisted that living at the climbing gym (and now crag) is his passion. The more he got into the sport, the more I realized how climbing inherently involves so many life skills that one needs to excel in any career path. That realization got me 100% on board.

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