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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Gear Review: DMM Puma 2 Harness


Today we’ve got a review of DMM’s Puma 2 women’s harness from friend of Crux Crush and multi-faceted climber and teacher, Bev Wolf. Here’s what she thinks:

Fit and comfort are everything to me, so I never buy a harness without trying it on first. Additionally, it has to be multi-functional because I sport climb, trad climb, and can be found hanging in a harness bolting routes when I’m not guiding. I also teach rock climbing at a college so it’s fair to say that I spend A LOT of time in a harness. Needless to say, I was a bit anxious to be buying a harness without having ever tried it on or even seen it in person. However, I can happily say that it was the best decision ever!

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Climber Problems: Ankle Injury


Today our friend and physical therapist Kristen DeStefano is back. This month she shares a timely article teaching us everything we need to know about ankle injury.

It’s that time of year again when the air gets crisp and the friction is perfect. It’s time to hang up those ropes and cram your bouldering pads in the trunk! With the seasonal transition, many of you will be heading out to boulder. While bouldering is fun, it has different elements that can lead to injuries— gravity and the ground! These annoying forces make ankle sprains one of the most common injuries in athletics and recreational activities. While many of us have turned an ankle and have been able to brush it off, repeated injuries or more severe injuries can lead to chronic ankle pain and instability when they go untreated.

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5 Ways to Climb on the Cheap


Yep, that’s several hundreds of dollars just hanging around.

Okay, okay, maybe this post should really be titled “5 Ways to Climb on the Cheaper“, because let’s face it, this little sport we love is expensive no matter how you slice it. Shoes, gym memberships, ropes, boulder pads… and that’s just the beginning. Don’t even get me started on trad gear. Chaaa-ching. Unfortunately we don’t have any amazing secrets for how you can climb completely for free, but we do have a few suggestions to make it a little less painful.

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Girl Crush of the Month: Jeline Guiles

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Jeline Guiles, climber, mom, and Editor-in-Chief at Climb On, Sister!

If you’re looking for a female role model in the climbing world, Jeline Guiles is your woman. In all that she does Jeline inspires. In addition to being an incredibly strong boulderer, Jeline single-handedly runs Climb On, Sister!, a blog that celebrates women and girls in climbing. Just a quick glance through Climb On, Sister! and you begin to get a sense of the incredibly supportive, talented, driven, and reflective woman that Jeline is. Guiles’ mission to celebrate women and girls through her passion for climbing is evident in all that she does, and rings true for us here at Crux Crush. Add to that mix that our “Sister” is throwing down on V8s, just a year after having a beautiful baby girl – and you understand why we’re crushing on her.

Of the many things we love about Jeline, we especially love how she maintains the upmost positivity in all situations. (Just try and find a picture of her that she isn’t smiling!) In her blog posts, interviews, and videos, Jeline pushes herself and those around her toward greatness. “I’m inspired by anyone that sees his/her potential and does what he/she needs to do to go beyond it. We’re all very capable of achieving great things, if we work hard and have the confidence in ourselves to stick with it.” Through her posts, features, and reflections, Jeline opens herself to her readers and community in a way that allows you to connect and resonate, and then grow and move through your own struggles and revelations. Though Jeline trains like a pro and competes, she is real and down to earth, in a way that makes the possibility of climbing “like a pro”, actually accessible and possible. As she shared, “Don’t be afraid to be better than your best.” Thank you Jeline for being our Girl Crush of the Month, as well as our role model in climbing!

Climb on! ~Cate

Information, quotes, and picture thanks to  Outdoor Minded MagQuestions For Living, and RV Proj.

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Halloween Climber Costumes

Looking for a last minute Halloween costume that you can throw together and wear to your local gym’s black light boulder party? Here’s a few ideas…


Happy Halloween & Climb on! ~Cate

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The Great Age Debate

14-year-old Ashima Shiraishi competing at this year's Portland Boulder Rally

13-year-old Ashima Shiraishi competing in the Portland Boulder Rally. Photo by Ben Moon.

Today we’ve got a great read from guest contributor John Burgman on a question competitive sports have been asking for decades…

How young is too young for a climber to be crushing it in competitions?

If you went to the fridge for another beer at some point while YouTubing the recent 2014 Portland Boulder Rally, you might have missed the off-handed commentary about age restrictions that sparked discussion of the question on social media and message boards—in essence, reigniting a timeless debate that spans all sports.

Here are the details: while sharing play-by-play duties at the commentary desk, bouldering superstar Alex Johnson was asked how she felt about Ashima Shiraishi being allowed to compete in the Portland competition, despite the fact that Shiraishi is under 16 years old.

“A lot of these events lately haven’t been conforming to the 16-and-up, pro-event rule, so it has been interesting having [Shiraishi] thrown into the mix,” Johnson said.

Johnson was then asked her opinion on so many recent competitions not adhering to the widely-accepted age restrictions.

“Personally, for me, it is frustrating…” Johnson said. “But then, on the other hand, when [Alex] Puccio and I were 13, we were doing the same thing, competing against Lisa Rands, and now I feel bad about it. I feel like I should have waited until I was 16. It’s frustrating, but only personally because of my ego, I think.”

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Girl, You’ve Got Cute Hair: Climber Edition

Gotten lazy with your climbing hairstyles lately? Us too. That’s why today we’re getting inspired to switch up that ‘do with a few climber-friendly styles.


One, two, inside-out, crown… so many options! A frenchie is perfect for holding all that hair where it belongs – out of your face and out of your GriGri. Check out these how-to’s on the inside-out braid and the french braid crown.

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Taking Your Woody to the Next Level: Tips for Setting Up a Rad Home Wall

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Several of our readers have requested a post on home walls. The fact is, that as far as the construction goes, Metolius has done a fabulous job of detailing out the process. Rather than reinvent the wall, we’ll just refer you to their instruction manual. However, after building 3 walls in 3 different houses, we’ve learned that it takes a lot more than a blueprint, a willing landlord, plywood, and some holds to take your wall to the next level, which is part of the reasoning behind building a home wall: to go beyond simply being a miniature replica of the standard climbing gym. In today’s post, we share a few tips we’ve learned along the way in designing a rad home wall, specialized to fit your own personal training needs while also providing an atmosphere that supports your climbing community.

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