Becoming an American Ninja Warrior: Interview with Meagan Martin


Whether you’re a reality TV junkie or an “I don’t even have cable” type, we can all agree that watching the incredibly fit athletes on American Ninja Warrior throw themselves at obstacles week after week is undeniably entertaining. Turns out that rock climbers, with their stacked upper bodies, overall coordination, and finger strength, are amazingly well suited for the show. Add to that the super strong group of women competing this season, and I was totally hooked! We caught up with ANW finalist Meagan Martin to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to be on the show and why she’s totally hooked just like us. 

CXC: Congratulations on making it so far in the competition and becoming the first woman ever to complete the Jumping Spider! There was an incredibly talented group of women competing this season. How do you think you inspired each other? How did the dynamics between the female competitors evolve as the competition went on?

MM: Thank you so much!!! I was really excited when I stuck that jump! I think that seeing the women knock down so many barriers this season, led to us inspiring each other in each round we faced. I think that the dynamic was always one that was really supportive, and it didn’t really change.

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Facing the Possible: Interview with Shauna Coxsey

Shauna Coxsey on New Base Line (V14/8B+)

Shauna Coxsey on New Base Line (V14/8B+). Photo: Shauna’s blog.

Four women in the world have sent 8B+/V14. Two British women competed in the 2014 IFSC Bouldering World Cup Finals. Only one woman has sent New Base Line (8B+/V14). The common denominator is none other than 21-year-old Shauna Coxsey whose climbing resume is as admirable as her reflective, humble, and mature character. We picked Shauna’s brain about her recent successes, experiences, and what motivates her to climb hard.

CXC: When we heard about you becoming the 3rd woman in the world to send V14/8B+, we had just reported on Ashima becoming the 2nd woman to do so. We liked picturing in our heads, you seeing Ashima’s Instagram, putting the phone down, and being like, “If she was the 2nd, I’m going to be the 3rd!” Did this happen at all? Do female sends like Ashima’s or Hazel’s influence your climbing more than seeing someone like Adam Ondra or Alex Honnold? 

SC: I read about Ashima’s ascent the day after falling at the end of New Base Line (V14/8B+). I thought it would be really cool for two women to climb V14 in the same week! However, I was really worried about the weather in Magic Wood so that took up most of my attention. I love hearing about hard ascents and I think it’s really exciting to hear about the boundaries of the sport being pushed. The sends that inspire me most are the ones that people work hard for. I think it is inspiring to see anyone at any level pushing their own personal limits and boundaries!

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Shoe Review: Five Ten Hiangle

5186_Hiangle W_6

As much as we’re all obsessed with climbing, I think the climbing community may be even more obsessed with climbing shoes. I’ve tried on countless pairs, and maybe this isn’t the best way to start out a Five Ten review, but until now I was a La Sportiva kind of gal. For whatever reason they fit me best… until I slipped my foot into the latest high performance shoe from Five Ten. The Hiangle hugs my foot in all the right places and feels incredibly secure on steep terrain and small edges. Here are all the deets on this new release:

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Mar Álvarez sends Era Vella, 9a/5.14d

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Mar Álvarez on Tripa de Conejo (8b+) in Rodellar, Spain

34-year-old Spanish climber Mar Álvarez has thrown down in Margalef, Spain by sending Era Vella (9a/5.14d)! The route was established in 2009 by Chris Sharma and has since seen almost 20 repeats. The only woman to have climbed the route before Mar was Sasha Digiulian back in 2012. This marks Mar’s first 5.14d and of the route she says, “It’s a dream come true. I never thought I could string it together.” To get a sense of the route check out the raw footage of Sasha on Era Vella below. Congrats to Mar, and keep the strong sends coming!

Climb on!

Info and Photo Credit:

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Sisterhood of the Climbing Pants

Finding climbing pants that look and fit this good can be tricky. (Photo credit: Cold Thistle)

Finding climbing pants that look this good and fit this well can be tricky. (Photo: Cold Thistle)

Time and time again I bemoan the fact that I cannot find a good climbing pant. Seriously!?! It’s one thing to be climbing crack, it’s a whole different story to be showing crack while climbing. Trying to find pants that allow you to throw that crazy heel hook over your head without busting the seams can be so frustrating. And then add to the list pants that won’t bunch under your harness, and aren’t a magnet to bits of gym foam floors, leaves, and dirt – the quest seems near impossible. I prefer not to look like I just walked out of a Yoga studio when climbing, yet at the same time, I don’t care to be mistaken for Ranger Rick. As your faithful servants in climbing fashion, Crux Crush took this impossible task upon ourselves and reviewed four different potential climbing pants. While we hoped for a one size fits all solution, what we found is, just like a good pair of jeans, it’s going to vary from gal to gal. Here are our findings:

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Childbirth and Climbing

Rebecca waving to baby Wilder from a knee-bar rest on Meltdown, 5.12 c/d

Guest contributor, Rebecca, in a knee-bar rest on Meltdown, 5.12c/d, waving to baby Wilder.

Today Rebecca Lambert, ‘wicked’ strong climber and mom to a one year old, shares a few lessons from pregnancy and childbirth that just may be the secret to what often holds women back in climbing. (We’re not saying go get pregnant, just to channel your inner pregnant woman ;) )

Back in 2011 I had just broken into the 5.13s with the fourth ascent of ‘What About Bob – Original,’ a notoriously cryptic sport route at Shagg Crag in Maine. A few weeks later I asked an old friend, who happened to be a new mom, if she’d been up to any physical challenges lately. “I kinda feel like childbirth was it,” she replied. Okay, but that’s a little lame, I thought to myself.

A year later, my husband and I decided we wanted kids. This is rarely a wholly rational decision for anybody, and we were no exception—we just had an inkling that parenthood involved some kind of love we’d not yet experienced, and we wanted in.

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Now that you know all the components, get out there and project!
Climb on!

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Video Friday: Girls Trip Europe with Daila, Alizée, and Olivia!

One of my climbing fantasies (and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one out there) would be to take a girls climbing trip with Daila Ojeda, Alizée Dufraisse and Olivia Hsu. Talk about inspiration and motivation! The talented Colette McInerney brought my fantasy a little closer to reality with her sweet climbing video short, “Girls Trip Europe: Las Motivadas!” In it these ladies demonstrate that climbing is about more than just climbing. Check it out and get psyched for your next climbing trip.

Climb on! ~Cate


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Gear Review: Black Diamond Aura Harness


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Your harness matters tremendously in climbing. Safety trumps all – but comfort and fit are also essential, especially on those days when I seem to spend more time hanging in my harness than climbing. This is why I was stoked to find the Black Diamond Aura harness that allows me to hang, belay, climb, and feel safe.

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In it for Adventure: Interview with Hazel Findlay

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Hazel on a beautiful crack climb in Cadarese, Italy. Photo by Ian Burton.

Today we’re psyched to share our interview with headstrong and witty Brit, Hazel Findlay. Mostly known for pushing limits and breaking records in trad climbing, Hazel also dabbles in 5.14 sport climbing and epic alpine adventures. Read on for her thoughts on “growing up trad”, going pro, and being one of the few women to push mental limits in climbing.

CXC: You were first introduced to climbing by your adventure-seeking, trad-climbing Dad. Can you tell us a bit about your upbringing? 

HF: On weekends my Brother and I would go climbing with my Dad. After a while I started wanting to go climbing on my own, mostly at the local climbing wall and I started doing junior competitions. Climbing has been the biggest thing in my life since I started it all those years ago and I think it’s made my life richer and I’ve done loads of things and seen so many places I wouldn’t have otherwise. More specifically, my Dad taking us to adventurous places, mostly trad climbing on the sea cliffs, has shaped what I most love about climbing and what inspires me the most.

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