Tag Archives: Interview

Namuli: An Interview with Majka Burhardt

Majka and team summiting Mt. Namuli. Photo credit: Lost Mountain Film Project

Majka and team summiting Mt. Namuli. Photo by James Q Martin.

When I first heard about Majka Burhardt I was immediately struck by all she has accomplished as a professional climber, guide, filmmaker, author, and entrepreneur. In 5th grade she won the award for the most checking penalties in the boys’ hockey league, and since then has had an impressive career as a climber, including an ascent of The Bachelor Stroll (WI6) in Frankenstein Cliff, New Hampshire. Her most recent endeavors have been in social entrepreneurship and conservation. The film “Namuli” documents the expedition which brought together climbing, science, and conservation in the mountains of Mozambique. In 2014 Majka and Kate Rutherford led an expedition of scientists and established routes on Namuli to enable the collection of specimens from an area with tremendous biodiversity and beauty.  

 CXC: Tell us a little more about how you became “obsessed” with the mountains of Mozambique. Why Namuli?

MB: I get obsessed with things that are rich and complex and the mountains of Mozambique are a perfect example. Once I saw photos of the inselbergs (granite island mountains in the north of the country) I started learning anything I could about Mozambique and was hooked. Mount Namuli is Mozambique’s second highest mountain and a critical target for conservation in southeast Africa. It has been understudied and sampled scientifically, held important data and discovery potential, and had a beautiful looking southeast face of granite…

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Interview with Climber and Model Sierra Blair-Coyle

Sierra soaking up some sun and getting in some bouldering in Maui

Sierra soaking up the sun and getting in some bouldering at Grandma’s Beach in Maui, HI

Arguably the most recognizable female climber today, Sierra Blair-Coyle hardly needs an introduction. When she’s not climbing and modeling, this 20-year-old keeps busy studying marketing at Arizona State University and interacting with her some 200,000 Facebook followers. We caught up with Sierra to get a glimpse into her everyday life, her career, and just how she got there.

CXC: How did you first get introduced to climbing, and what made it stick?

SBC: The first time I climbed was on a wall at a local outdoor mall. I instantly loved climbing and would beg my parents to take me back every single day! The guys who ran the wall were very encouraging, and they would let me climb to my heart’s content. After this, I told my parents that I wanted to start competing in rock climbing. At the time, they did not know that climbing was an organized sport. Luckily, there was an article in the newspaper two weeks later about a local climbing team and how they had just competed at Nationals. I immediately went to the gym, joined the team, and started competing!

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Chasing Goals Not Grades: Interview with Alex Puccio

Alex competing at ABS Nationals just a few weeks ago. Photo by Mary Mecklenburg.

Alex competing at the 2014 ABS Nationals. Photo by Mary Mecklenburg.

Eight-time American Boulder Series (ABS) National Champion, Alex Puccio, is undoubtedly the strongest female competition boulderer in the US. In talking with her we learned that becoming the best took clear goals, a strong sense of competition, and a surprisingly laid-back attitude about climbing. We had the pleasure of chatting with Alex on a pretty average day; she had just come back from a practice session and was about to sit down to a hearty dinner of brisket. It was a just a few days before the 15th Annual ABS National Championship, where she clinched her 8th national title in a row. Here’s how our conversation went: 

CXC: During competition season what does a typical week of training look like?

AP: The week before [a comp] I try to practice flashing boulders or making up new climbs and doing them in as few tries as possible. Some days I’ll do a bit more power, and I’ll try to eat better. Maybe eat one day of brisket instead of a few days of brisket. Maybe a few cookies instead of a whole pack [laughs]. I try to be a little bit more scheduled. It’s really hard for me to be on a schedule. I’m not very good at it. Months out I have a rough plan, but it’s a very flexible plan.

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Meagan Martin Talks Climbing & Intimidation

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Meagan Martin on Bedwetters (V9) in Little Rock City

Earlier this week, guest contributor Andrea Brennen, shared her thoughts on Climbing and Intimidation and today she’s bringing us an interview she did with friend and fellow climber, Meagan Martin. Thanks again Andrea and Meagan!

Since the theme of this week is intimidation, we thought, who better to talk to than Crux Crush’s first girl crush of the month, super strong beast of a climber Meagan Martin?  After years of competing as a youth, Meagan took some time off of climbing to focus on pole vaulting before returning to the comp circuit as an Open competitor (MM, how are you such a badass?) She’s been tearing it up lately, making semi-finals at the Toronto World Cup, finals at Central Rock Gym’s Ring of Fire comp, and finishing 2nd at the Dominion River Rock Tour.  Here’s what she has to say about feeling intimidated and not letting it get the best of her:

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Does Boston Need Another Climbing Gym?: Interview with Central Rock Watertown

Tall Wall CRG

“We try not to compare ourselves with the other gyms
and just focus on what we feel the customers will best appreciate
and make them want to come back”

Go into the local climbing gym on a weeknight, and you’ll have no doubt that this sport has exploded. There are around a half dozen climbing gyms in Massachusetts, and a few more just over the borders of the neighboring states. If you are a city dweller, and especially if you don’t have a car, there is only one gym that is an option, and it seems to be busting at the seams. On some nights you wait in line for a boulder problem like it was a friggin’ Pinkberry. The facility is not to blame, it continues to expand, but so does the number of new climbers. Last year the buzz began that more gyms would be opening in the metro-Boston area, accessible by public transport. This Saturday May 18th Central Rock Gym Watertown is set to open, and we are so, so excited about it!

To quote the Central Rock website, the new gym is “the largest, most advanced climbing gym in New England. With 28,000sqft of climbing area on walls reaching as high as 50’, 2 multi-function spaces, a dedicated workout room, a monster boulder dubbed “The Orb” and the biggest, baddest lead structure anywhere on the east coast, CRG Watertown will redefine what a true climbing experience is for New Englanders.” We got a chance to have tour of the gym during construction, and also took a moment to chat with two of the owners, Ed Hardy and Kevin Pickren and ask them about where Central Rock will fit into the current climbing culture in the Boston area, and about what features they just can’t wait to get their chalky hands on.

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Interview with Colette McInerney

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“I’m hoping to run with this mental confidence and continue to progress as a climber”

Both on and off the wall, Colette McInerney is shaping the image of climbing. She humbly balances climbing 5.14 (she recently sent China Crisis, 5.14a/8b+) with an incredibly talented and creative eye for capturing the climbing world around her through photography, videos, interviews, and writing. As if we weren’t in love with her already, she also has a kick-ass sense of fashion – totally the kind of girl who we’d want to go grab a beer with after climbing. Lucky for us, we got a chance to talk with Colette about all of the above and share our interview on Crux Crush.

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