Author Archives: Mary

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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Giveaway for You & a Friend – Just Because!


“One for you, one for me…”

We wanna show you all some love on this Wednesday with a giveaway full of climbing goodies! Yep, just because you rule. The winner will take home half the swag and will choose a friend to receive the other half. Check out all the ways to enter below.
Good luck and climb on!
Mary & Emily

Just Because Giveaway!

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Girl Crush of the Month: Anak Verhoeven

Photo by Sébastien Richard

Anak making history on Ma belle ma muse, 9a/5.14d. Photo by Sébastien Richard.

At just 19 years old, this month’s girl crush, Anak Verhoeven, has already gotten in more climbing than most of us. With climbers for parents, she started climbing age 4 and the sport has since been a defining feature of her life. Not only has she podiumed at many world competitions, including taking gold at the 2015 World Youth Championship in Arco, but she has also accomplished plenty on real rock.

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3 Euro Climbing Companies You Should Know


In today’s global economy, one continent’s worth of climbing gear, clothing, and shoes is definitely not enough. So today we head across the pond to share a few of our favorite European climbing brands with you.

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Climbing Destination: Taghia Gorge, Morocco


Today Cathy shares with us her experience and tips for visiting Taghia Gorge, Morocco.

Climbing in the Taghia Gorge, located in the high Atlas mountains of Morocco, is like climbing through a time machine, where the towering limestone walls protect the small village from the conveniences of this modern life. Climbing here began in 1974, with the establishment of the route Shoukran (5.12) by Tony Arbones. Further development, including many highlights from Arnaud Petit, leaves Taghia with 250+ routes, and endless potential for development.

How to get there: Flights are available from many European cities directly to Marrakesch. From there you’ll need to get to Zaouia Ahanesal either by public transit (via the town Azilal) or if you have less time and are willing to pay extra, you can travel directly with a taxi at a cost of ~120 euro/taxi (2014). To get from Zaouia Ahanesal to Taghia is ~2h walking trail. When we arrived, Mohammed (the son of Saïd) met us in Zaouia Ahanesal and walked with us into the gorge. Donkeys can also be rented for 9 euro donkey to help carry gear. Once you’ve reached Taghia climbing is a short walk away.

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Girl Crush of the Month: Martina Cufar Potard


Martina climbing Je Bourrine Donc Je Suis, 8b/5.13d. Photo by FotoVertical.

Finding her obsession at 11-years-old, the now 39-year-old Slovenian climber Martina Čufar Potard, has had a life full of climbing. Like many of our girl crushes she has a long pedigree of accomplishments on both plastic and real rock, but what stands out is her unwavering love and excitement for climbing. After so many years she still says, “Climbing is my life! New challenges, new routes, new moves, new places, new friends every day!” Like great food or a warm shower after a cold day, climbing to Martina as she puts it is, “Simply the best!”

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In Defense of University Climbing Walls


Crowds gather for a competition at the UD climbing wall.

Today’s post comes from Laura Donohue, a student at the University of Delaware and Vice President of the Outing Club. In a country where our “leaders” see university climbing walls as a waste of recourses, many, like Laura, see incredible value and importance in these sacred spaces. 

Every college student goes through the same stresses and pressures: the endless onslaught of assignments, final examinations, and the pressure of the future looming ahead. It is a constant struggle to find time for relaxation. Every climber, hiker, and explorer alike finds themselves gazing out the windows during lecture yearning for the mountains. At the University of Delaware, tucked into a very small and a very flat state, climbers have found refuge from the stresses of everyday college life.

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Our silky, smooth, totally holdable hands.12930987_1740964396190426_437748357_n


Out-lifting dudes in the gym.

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Role Reversal: Interview with Emily and Tim Harrington + Film by Petzl

When I first saw Role Reversal it left a major impression on me: I want a dad like that. No offense to my own dad (I love you!), but how rad would it be to share a passion like climbing with your parent? Sure, my mom went to the climbing gym with me once, but I’m talking about traveling, exploring, and sharing the joys and frustrations of projecting with your mom or dad.

This is exactly what Emily Harrington and her dad, Tim, did for two weeks in Spain. In fact, they have been doing this since she started climbing. During their time in Spain, his objective was to send his first 5.12, and she had her sights set on another 5.14. While they worked out beta and ripped open fingertips, what really shined through was their connection and support for each other, the similarities between them, and the snarky banter that is uniquely characteristic of a father and daughter.

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Lessons from Dating in the Climbing World

climbing dating

In today’s post guest contributor, Anna, shares her sage advice for dating in the climbing world.

“I saw this guy climbing at the wall last night, and he looked so hot on the wall, but then he came down and I thought ‘My God, that’s a face only a mother can love!'” – yes, my friend actually said that to me once. This perfectly describes dating in the climbing world – they all look just so hot mid-climb, but things aren’t always what they seem, and coming down to earth can be a major anticlimax.

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