Tag Archives: climbing

Dyno-ing for People Who Can’t Jump


Ready, set, dyno! If we can do it, so can you.

When I say I can’t dyno, I really mean I can’t dyno. There is some gravitational pull connected to my bum that increases ten fold at the exact moment I pump and release to go up. Instead of catapulting upward, I typically plummet to the ground with a loud, confidence-inspiring thud. I tried pumping, visualizing, counting, ejecting, nothing seemed to propel me in the right direction of up. After years of refusing to try any problem or route that involved a dyno, I finally admitted I had a dyno problem and needed serious help to break the process apart and then build it all back up together. Luckily climbing coach and pro, Mike Foley, was open to giving me (and by extension you!) a few pointers on the dyno process. After just three drills, I felt more confident in attempting a dyno and even managed to stick a few dynos since! Below, I’ve described the three easy drills that Mike had me do and included a quick video demonstrating each so that you could set the same drill up at your own gym. These three drills will either warm you up to practice dynos if you already feel confident in the skill, or will allow you to gradually build up to an actual dyno.

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Pits & Peaks: Lessons I Learned on the Road

climbing trip

Home is where you park it.

You know you’re a climber when you aspire to live out of a van. I have only been climbing for two and a half years. I still flail at times, my leg sometimes shakes, but my psych is high. Climbing has served as a great outlet for my love to travel. I can dabble with the touristy activities, but after a couple hours in a museum or one bus tour, I’m over it.

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Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: Climbing with a Chronic Illness

Chronic 2

Feeling exhausted for the right reasons in Montserrat, Spain

Thank you to today’s guest contributor, Leigh-Anne, for sharing her story with us.

A colleague introduced me to climbing a few years ago in the hope it would help with my insomnia. Little did I know that climbing would help me with so much more than insomnia. When I first got into climbing, I was going through a tough time having lost my father to cancer and trying to complete my architecture course at Leeds Beckett University. Climbing was a revelation – I felt free. I didn’t have time to think about any of my worldly worries. I was too busy clinging to minuscule rock indentations while my feet smeared the wall with the aid of shoes that made me feel like Spiderman. I was addicted.

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Perseverance: When Fear Raises Its Ugly Head…Again

The author, Hilary, in the background working Predator, 5.13b/c

The author, Hilary, in the background working Predator, 5.13b.

We all have struggles in life. Whether it be with family, relationships, injury, or something else – we all have our own battles. What separates us from where we want to be is how we choose to deal with our struggle. Do we accept it as just the way it is or do we fight for what we want?

November of 2014 I was the most confident climber I had ever been. I was leading climbs that would have previously seemed too scary to consider but I was able to push forward without a second thought. I was feeling safe, secure and strong. Maybe I was too confident, maybe I was bordering hubris. In an instant everything changed. I slipped on a wet hold on my warm-up prior to clipping the first bolt. A climb I had done hundreds of times before with ease now spit me off and sent me tumbling backwards off a ledge. The accident left me with two broken heels, a fractured vertebrae and a shattered ankle.

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Climbing with Tourette Syndrome


Hi. My name is Cyane. I love being outdoors, I positively adore climbing and, oh, yeah… I have Tourette Syndrome (TS).

Whoa, no; I don’t swear. No, um, I don’t think it’d be more fun if I ‘developed’ the swearing kind. No, actually, it is not the perfect excuse to swear.

Hang on; let me clear up some common misconceptions here. Let me tell you what TS is really.

First, imagine the biggest sneeze you can.

Now, hold it; don’t let it out. Even if the pressure builds.

That feeling. Right there. Imagine that feeling in your body constantly. That is the closest feeling I can relate to how Tourette Syndrome feels. That is the best way I know to explain to other people how I nearly always feel.

It’s a purposeless tension that is always building, that must be released somehow.

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15 Ways You Know You’re a Climber…

We are a special breed. Whether you’re a noob or a veteran, it’s quite clear when you’ve been bitten by the climbing bug. Here are 15 ways you know you’re a climber…IMG_0888

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Climbing in the Year 2030: Climbing Mentality

Photo credit: Royal Robbins

The mental fortitude that Lynn Hill demonstrates could be a focus in the future of climbing. Photo credit: Royal Robbins

Over the last two weeks, climber and author John Burgman, has looked into climbing’s crystal ball and predicted how the sport might change over the next 15 years. Today we go back to the future one last time and take a look at potential changes to climbing mentality. 

In a recent Ask Me Anything on Reddit, Lynn Hill was asked about the mental side of climbing, and she responded with her opinion that focus and mental fortitude don’t come so much from other people, rather they are strengthened within oneself. This was an appropriate answer because for a long time external resources—experts, websites, classes and books—that targeted the mental side of climbing did not exist. As a result, for many climbers, diving into psychological motivations and working on mental toughness for routes—or bouldering problems—long involved a sort of jury-rigged hodgepodge of non-climbing sources forcefully poured into one’s own climbing mold; take a meditation exercise that you learned in a yoga class, combine it with a visualization technique from a self-help podcast, use a little of that anti-anxiety breathing technique that a former roommate taught you, and apply it all to whatever crux is tripping you up at your crag.

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Climbing in the Year 2030: Training

None of these things existed 15 years ago. How will climbing change in the next 15 years?

None of these things existed 15 years ago. How will climbing change in the next 15 years?

Over the next two weeks, we will take a look into the future of climbing in a 4 part series. The sport has changed tremendously since 2000. Guest contributor John Burgman, author of Why We Climb, talked with experts in the climbing field to explore how the sport might progress in the next 15 years.

Take a moment and think back to your climbing life in the year 2000. Perhaps you weren’t climbing at all back then, but if you were, you didn’t post updates about your current project on Twitter or Instagram. If you frequented a gym, it was likely of the beige-walled, cavernous variety, quite a contrast from the complete-fitness optimization palaces of today. The climbing scene, as well, was different 15 years ago. Consider this: Daniel Woods and Alex Puccio were yet to dominate the ABS Nationals because the comp didn’t exist yet. Adam Ondra was only seven years old in 2000. Ashima Shiraishi was…well, she wasn’t; she wouldn’t be born for another year. Evolv shoes wouldn’t be on the market for another two years, and the same goes for the colorful Organic chalk bags and crash pads that are so prevalent at crags today. It’s a safe assumption that back in the year 2000, then-Illinois-Senator Barack Obama and most other non-climbers of the world had never heard of the Dawn Wall, let alone some cockamamie idea of “freeing” it…

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Strength is my Weakness

Alex on a trail run in La Grand, Oregon

Today we feature a guest post from Ultra-runner and climber, Alexis Crellin, pictured above in La Grand, OR.

It was mile 29 and I was lost. The trail that I thought led to the top off Grove Creek Canyon had taken me to a literal cliff side high above it. “What an idiot.”  I said out loud to myself as I peered down into Utah Valley. I absentmindedly sucked on the tube of my hydration pack and was quickly reminded I had been out of water for the last two miles… It was the first time running this trail backwards and I clearly hadn’t paid enough attention.

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Ashima Shiraishi Becomes First Female to Send 5.15!*

Ashima on Open Your Mind Direct (9a+/5.15a)

Ashima on Open Your Mind Direct, 9a+/5.15a (Photo credit: Crossroad Studios)

*Since posting this on 3/17/15, critics have questioned whether Open Your Mind Direct, with the broken hold, is actually 9a+. See our later post regarding this controversy

We’d made bets on who would be the first female to send 5.15a, with Ashima being a clear favorite. Yet, moments ago, our jaws dropped when we heard that it happened: the female-5.15 barrier has been broken, and it only took four days of projecting (is that really even a project?). “OMG!!!” exclaimed Ashima on her Instagram, “I sent my 4 day project Open Your Mind Direct 9a+, in Santa Linya!!!!!!” It’s hard to find words other than “OMG!!!!” to respond to Ashima’s send of the exceptionally strenuous and relentless 40 meter route in Santa Linya. Open Your Mind Direct was originally sent by Ramon Julian in 2008 who gave it 9a+, then it was repeated by several who called it 9a. Julian described the route as “Enormous! 8c+, 8c+, 8c stamina required!!” Just watching the 8 minute video below of Magnus Midtboe climbing the route confirms the endurance required to clip the chains. Recently, a hold broke near the top with local climbers claiming it bumped the grade from 9a to 9a+. “I was able to be the first person to send the route after the hold broke off!” shared Ashima. The list of factors that make this send historic is long, but we could start with the fact that Ashima is 13 years old. For reference, Adam Ondra sent 5.15a for the first time at 15 (La Rambla, Siurana), making Ashima the youngest person (male or female) to send 5.15 (are we missing anyone?). Over the last few years, Ashima has taken the climbing world by storm claiming victories in bouldering and route climbing, in competitions and in outdoor ascents. It’s clear that she is only getting started. We bet on Ashima to be the first female to send 5.15a, now we’re betting on her to be the first person to send 5.15d. Watch out world, this lady’s coming for you!

Climb on! ~CXC

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