Author Archives: Emily

Girl Crush of the Month: Maureen Beck

Vedauwoo, Wyoming. Photo by Timpson Smith.

This month, we’re crushing on Maureen Beck, a self-proclaimed evangelist of adaptive climbing with an infectious and insatiable drive to push hard, whether training for the competition scene or finding the perfect crack to fit her stump into. It’s worth mentioning that she was born without a hand, though this hasn’t stopped her from excelling in a sport that has historically depended on having most limbs intact. Plus, she hails from our neck of the woods, born in Maine and raised on the best climbs that New Hampshire and the Adirondacks have to offer. What’s not to love?

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From WC Champ to the WCS: An Interview with Shauna Coxsey

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On point at the Vail World Cup. Photo from Shauna’s Instagram

Shauna Coxsey stole the spotlight earlier this year at the Bouldering World Cup Series with her poise, confidence, and all-around grit and determination. She became the first Brit to win the series, and has a promising future ahead of her with the inclusion of climbing in the 2020 Olympics. We were honored to chat with her, not only because of her recent accomplishments, but her continued dedication to empowering women by founding the Women’s Climbing Symposium at the age of 18 (!!), which has taken off in popularity since 2011. Read on to hear some exciting news on who will be featured at this year’s WCS!

CXC: What is the future of comp climbing?

SC: Who knows what the future of competition climbing is. I think that things will definitely change now climbing is in the Olympics. The Olympic format is bouldering, lead climbing and speed climbing combined, so it seems that it may have an impact on the World Cups and other climbing events. Change is inevitable, but I think it can be a good thing if it’s right for the sport and done in the correct way.

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The 5 Stages of Mourning a Climbing Injury

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…and the cycle of injury begins again. Photo by @mariaenglishteacher

Periods of injury can be trying for climbers. You may feel a range of new emotions that are difficult to understand. You are not alone. The Kubler-Ross model, most commonly applied to grief and loss, can also be observed in injured climbers during climbing withdrawal and recovery. These 5 stages are meant to guide you through your grief process, better equipping you to cope with your injury and loss of climbing. Proceed through your journey with an open heart and remember your injury is as unique as you are.

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

HH Evo Portland

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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Summer Crag Essentials

Crag-essentials-20161. Moutainsmith Mayhem 35 WSD – Hands down, this is the most comfortable pack I’ve ever worn. The padded waist straps and women’s specific fit make the heaviest loads float lightly on your hips, and you won’t have any more excuses to complain about a long approach with this pack. The stretchy front mesh panel is great for quickly stowing a chalk bag or jacket, and asymmetrical zipper prevents you from needing to dig through a full pack to get to something in the bottom. The pack is rigid in its size (it can double as carry-on luggage), so it can be difficult to carry a sport rack, rope, shoes, and other gear unless you very carefully coil the rope. I would go for a the 55 L option if you’re going to be carrying more to the crag.

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Conquering a Fear of Falling

Climber Fear

Chelsea on Fuzzy Undercling (5.11b) in the Red River Gorge. Photo by Erik Thatcher.

Chelsea has been climbing for 11 years and has dedicated her life’s work to outdoor education as an Outward Bound instructor. The self-proclaimed lover of all styles of climbing: bouldering, sport, trad, mountaineering, and ice, has worked hard to overcome her fear of falling. Today she shares her story with you. 

I was fed up, utterly frustrated, on the brink of quitting climbing all together.

I had spent the majority of my decade-long climbing career not climbing anywhere close to my physical limit. Here I was, an Outward Bound Instructor whose job it was to teach people to push their comfort zones in order to learn what they are truly capable of, and I was not able to do that for myself. It’s not because I didn’t want to. I really did want to know what it felt like to try hard and to climb while pushing my physical limit.

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Guide to Women’s Climbing Shorts – Summer 2016

Welcome to shorts season!

Welcome to shorts season!

The only thing that rivals the difficulty of finding good climbing pants is finding good climbing shorts. We’ve done some “work” for you and tried out a bunch. For the reviews below, Mary is 5’4″ with an athletic build, usually size 2-4 in outdoor brands and Emily is 5’1″ with a small, athletic build and usually size 0-2.

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Poll: (Mostly Inconsequential) Climbing Preferences

Climbers can be a particular (and opinionated) bunch, especially when it comes to our preferences about gear, belay device, knots…you name it and there is surely a heated debate on Mountain Project discussing the topic at length. Here at Crux Crush, we want to get the raw facts and see how each of you fit into the larger climbing community. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, tell us what you prefer!

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