Author Archives: Elaine

Female FA Duo Push the Boundaries of 5.13R and Beyond

 Pamela Pack leading the third pitch of American Horror Story (unrated 5.12/13), where she muscles through a 45° off width flare on loose gear and rock. Photo by Rob Frost.

Pamela Pack leading the third pitch of American Horror Story (unrated 5.12/13), where she muscles through a 45° off width flare on loose gear and rock. Photo by Rob Frost.

Molly Mitchell, at age 22, has already established three unrepeated FAs in her first year of trad climbing. Most people would be surprised to hear that her hardest feats on her climbing resume are her FAs: All Hell Breaks Moose (5.13 R) in Indian Creek, The Spoiled Moose (5.13- R) in Boulder Canyon and Element X (5.13a X) in Eldorado. While her peers are busy ticking off classic climbs from their to-do lists, Molly lives for the thrill of scary faces, thin cracks, and sketchy gear placements. Her main goal with climbing is to push herself and the sport by sending routes people have never touched.

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Bouldering in the Southeast: Horse Pens 40, Rocktown & Stone Fort

Joe Chalmers working the compression of Golden Showers (V5). Rocktown.

Joe Chalmers working the compression of Golden Showers (V5).

Bouldering in the southeast this past fall season has been distressing to say the least. If you’re a southern sandstone crusader, then you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about. Looking out your window, or on the interwebs of Weather Underground has been like sticking your precious finger skin into scalding water over and over again. The rain and humidity (no thanks to El Niño) have been an agitation to every local and visiting dirt bag. Rare windows of cold, dry days have kept us sane, and have allowed bouldering warriors such as Jimmy Webb within the means of sending the South’s first ever V15. Otherwise, dampened spirits were a norm in the fall of 2015. But this is a new year! And I’m determined to believe 2016 will provide ideal conditions. Plus, I asked Santa for send temps, and I’d like to think I’ve been good (enough) this past year for him to oblige.

So here it is folks, the Southeast’s Sandstone Winter Bouldering Circuit Extravaganza! If you want to get inspired by the South’s unique sandstone features and send some unforgettable problems, now is the time to do it. The slopers are crisp, the campsites are open, gas is cheap, and the locals will be happy to spray you with their peculiar beta. This list mentions the top three bouldering fields within the states of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, as well as some other noteworthy sites along the way.

Stay safe, embrace the humidity, and happy bouldering y’all!

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Battling Gender Stereotypes in Climbing

Elaine working the moves of Nose Candy (V6) at Rocktown, GA. Photo by Sarah Anne Perry.

Elaine working the moves of Nose Candy (V6) at Rocktown, GA. Photo by Sarah Anne Perry.

In today’s post, guest contributor Elaine Elliott talks openly and honestly about stereotypes of women climbers, including battling her own personal female climber stereotypes.

After watching #CoverTheAthlete’s video regarding male athletes being asked the same interview questions as females, I started to relate this setback to my own sport: rock climbing. The video was amusing, but it highlighted a glaring problem in media coverage of female athletes. The problem being that women want to be taken seriously in athletics, and these stereotypes are holding us back.

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