Climbing Destination: Hatun Machay, Peru

HatunMachay1Hatun Machay is a remote, high altitude (14,000 ft!) sport climbing, hiking and cultural playground, about two hours outside of Huaraz, Peru. With over 400 bolted routes, and counting, and seemingly unlimited bouldering you could spend weeks there without repeating a climb. The sunrises, sunsets and alpine hiking are stunning enough to attract non-climbers. That said, you’ll be almost entirely removed from civilization, including internet, and even consistent power supply (they run the power a few hours at night in the refugio), which I really relished, but you may want to bring a good book, a sketch journal, and a desire to find supreme relaxation.

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Women on Lead: Interview with Jessica Mor, Founder of 3rd Rock

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Jess sporting a 3rd Rock sports bra that she designed

The climbing industry is full of innovative and creative people who use their talents to come up with ways that we climbers can have an even better experience on the wall. The past few decades have given us lighter gear, better and harder ways to train, and opened up countless new routes in beautiful places that will keep us climbing for as long as we could possibly want. And now, thanks to a fun new company out of the UK called 3rd Rock, we even get clothing designed specifically for climbing! We sat down with the founder of 3rd Rock, Jessica Mor, to learn a little more about the climbing-focused, responsibly-made clothing her company produces.

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8 Tips for Adventure Filmmaking

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We caught up with one of our favorite filmmakers, Jen Randall of Light Shed Pictures, to get her tips on adventure filmmaking. Jen’s films have won tons of awards at Banff, Edinburgh, and Vancouver Mountain Film Festivals, and she’s got a new project in the works called Psycho Vertical. To learn more about the project check out her Kickstarter.

1. Work Out What Your Film is About
My most successful film so far has been Operation Moffat – it’s been in a load of festivals, is for sale online and won 16 awards. It’s also the only project where, very early on, my co-director and I spent 5 days in a hut working out what it was we wanted our film to explore and why. This meant that during the shoot we had more focus and a clearer idea of what we were making. It also made the edit a little more straight forward because I had an outline of our story ready and waiting – often a whole film is worked out in the edit room which is also exciting, but certainly more time consuming.

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Crag Dogs of Crux Crush

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A girl’s best friend

While we’re out having fun at the crag, our pups are lucky enough to be on an adventure of their own.* Like climbers, crag dogs each bring their own personalities and strengths to the crag, whether demonstrating proper rock-napping technique, or establishing D.F.A.s (dog first ascents) of little-known boulders. Today, we present a few of our favorite crag pups of Crux Crush (#cxccragdogs), with contributions from our friends on Instagram!

*Disclaimer: All dogs in this post are well-behaved, kept on leash if necessary, and present only at dog-friendly crags. Please respect your fellow climbers and crag dogs, anticipate any issues that may arise, and clean up after your pup!

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My Hand Care Routine with Get Giddy + Giveaway!

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From torn pulleys to split tips to flappers, we tear up our hands, inside and out. Today, with the help of Get Giddy and a few other techniques, we’re taking some time to give our hands the care and attention they deserve. While you’ll have to figure out the specifics of your own hand care routine, here’s what I like to do keep my hands happy.

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Girl Crush of the Month: Alex Puccio

Alex on Free Range (V12), just one of so many boulders she's conquered.

Alex on Free Range (V12), just one of so many boulders she’s conquered.

It’s pretty amazing that after more than 3 years of Girl Crushes we have yet to feature Alex Puccio. It’s probably because we thought “Duh, of course we always crush on her, like all year round, not just for a month”. So today, on the heels of Independence Day, we’re giving props to the one of the best American climbers of all time. For the newbies out there Alex is a 9-time national bouldering champion, 13-time World Cup medalist, and has claimed countless boulders outdoors including V14s, Jade and The Wheel of Chaos. This time, we’re inspired by her consistent optimism and drive to perform, despite a few serious injuries along the way, which nearly every climber can relate to.

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Your Best Cup of Crag Coffee

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Me, manically hand-grinding coffee beans in Lovell Canyon, NV, at dawn.

Coffee & climbing! If you’re like me, you really can’t have one without the other. Let’s be honest: for some of us, climbing without being properly caffeinated is effectively a safety hazard. (Sure, Alex Honnold purportedly does not consume caffeine, but… we all know he’s some kind of robot/behemoth/super-human).

Over the years, I’ve experimented with many different methods of making coffee while in the wilds, with various tools at my disposal. In my search for caffeine while backpacking in New Zealand, I once even drank cold, instant coffee made with iodine water (spoiler alert: it was terrible). Here are my expert opinions on everything I’ve tried, so that you may make your best cup of crag coffee yet.

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The Climbing Fall that Almost Took My Leg

Pushing through and climbing on between surgeries.

One fall changed everything for Clara, and led to years of battling surgeries, recovery, and intense fear. Today she shares her story with us.

Recently a friend of mine sent me an article comparing the risk of injury from climbing to other sports. Interestingly, climbing had a lower incidence of injury compared to sports like basketball and soccer. And when you think about it, it makes sense – most of our gear doesn’t actually help us climb better, it’s just there to keep us safe. Yet, we still think of climbing as a fairly high risk activity. I think it’s because we know that aside from a pulley tear here or there, climbing injuries, while rare, can be catastrophic.

I learned that lesson the hard way. A slip and a fall – 20 feet runout above my last piece, a #2 c4 – landed me in the hospital. But I was lucky; what gear I had was good, and it saved my life. I escaped with “just” a broken leg and a few scrapes. Having lived a pretty active life, I was no stranger to injuries so I was pretty sanguine about the entire situation. In fact, we drove back to NYC from the Gunks before checking in at the hospital. Plus, I got used to reading stories of climbers who had decked, broken both legs and their back and were climbing 5.13 again after just a few months. So I figured I’d be sitting the rest of the season out, and then would be back at it in time for the spring.

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Women on Lead: Interview with Hilary Harris, Founder of Evo Rock + Fitness

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Continuing our series celebrating Women on Lead, we have an interview with Hilary Harris, founder of Evo Rock + Fitness, which started in New Hampshire and has expanded to locations in Maine, Indiana, and soon, Colorado.  In today’s interview, she dishes on growing a business, the changing face of women in climbing over recent years, and more!

CXC:  Tell us a bit about your background as a climber.

HH: I started climbing in college, and have been climbing for almost 30 years.  I went to college at University of Colorado, and went with some friends and my little brother who was also getting into climbing at the time.  I had actually made the decision to go to University of Colorado because I loved skiing.  We used to joke that climbing was a good activity in the off season of skiing, but then it became a year-round activity and I got into climbing full-time. I graduated from college and went to Europe, where I honed my technique, trained with the German team, and climbed with some incredibly strong, inspirational climbers.  When I came back to the US, I was climbing hard routes and competing, but really preferred climbing hard routes so left the competition circuit.  At the time it was hard to make it as a professional climber, so I went back to school for architecture.

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Dyno-ing for People Who Can’t Jump

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Ready, set, dyno! If we can do it, so can you.

When I say I can’t dyno, I really mean I can’t dyno. There is some gravitational pull connected to my bum that increases ten fold at the exact moment I pump and release to go up. Instead of catapulting upward, I typically plummet to the ground with a loud, confidence-inspiring thud. I tried pumping, visualizing, counting, ejecting, nothing seemed to propel me in the right direction of up. After years of refusing to try any problem or route that involved a dyno, I finally admitted I had a dyno problem and needed serious help to break the process apart and then build it all back up together. Luckily climbing coach and pro, Mike Foley, was open to giving me (and by extension you!) a few pointers on the dyno process. After just three drills, I felt more confident in attempting a dyno and even managed to stick a few dynos since! Below, I’ve described the three easy drills that Mike had me do and included a quick video demonstrating each so that you could set the same drill up at your own gym. These three drills will either warm you up to practice dynos if you already feel confident in the skill, or will allow you to gradually build up to an actual dyno.

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