Tag Archives: rock climbing

Pits & Peaks: Lessons I Learned on the Road

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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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How To Deal With Your Gnarly Climber’s Hands

Hands on a girls' day out bouldering

Look at these mitts! Our climber hands take some serious beating.

Don’t even get a climber started on hand care.  We climbers are a pretty obsessive bunch when it comes to certain details – shoes, shoe sizing, skin care, humidity, rock types, ropes, gear, grades, beta, etc.  We each have opinions on all of it, and some of us love to share these opinions, loudly.  In the past we did a post on foot care, and skin care, but so far have managed to tip-toe around this particular topic because we were dreading the angry comments it might inspire.  In the end we came up with this: If you ask 100 climbers what the best way to care for hands is, you’ll get 100 different responses.  In essence, there is not one “right” way. Everyone’s skin is different and has to do what works for them.  So today we’ll share with you some wisdom from skin care specialists and professional climbers alike, and then you can choose to obsess about it however you wish (because that’s just what we climbers do best). Here are some common questions climbers ask about skin care:

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Rock Roots: Hannah Waight

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Today Lily He brings us another story of the “every day climber” in her series Rock Roots. This time around it’s Massachusetts native and 5.12 climber, Hannah Waight. Here’s more from Lily:

For a lot of us, our time outside is limited and we can get a little TOO focused on our agenda for the day. Hannah is the girl at the crag who is always laughing or talking about something non-climbing related with her partners, pulling the rest of us towards a more sane equilibrium. Her conversations at crag are those you can’t help but eavesdrop on…(I mean, she was talking about living in China, I couldn’t help it!)

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Happy 1st Birthday Crux Crush!

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A year of firsts!

From an email sent January 20th, 2013…
Mary: Cate, you may not have been serious, but I’m kind of into this climbing blog idea.

Cate: Oh girl – I am SO serious. And now I’m extra surrious because our husbands apparently have a bet that this will not happen, ergo, it WILL happen.

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Rock Roots: Nancy Lane

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Nancy Lane on Predator (5.13b) at her home crag in Rumney, NH

Every time I see that big maroon van in the Rumney parking lot, I know the fairy godmother of Rumney is here. The first time I met Nancy Lane, she floated up my project using completely different beta than I’d ever seen (…and I had spent a good bit of time waiting in line, trying to pick up new beta). I didn’t see her again until she whirled around my next project, making it look effortless by twirling her body into heel hooks, knee bars, and shoulder scums where I’d never seen them used before. Watching Nancy makes me want to get on rock immediately and try to achieve a fraction of the grace she’s just displayed.

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Girl Crush of The Month: Megan Mascarenas

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Having started climbing at the age of 3, Megan Mascarenas has probably gotten used to the title of “youngest”, so she’ll feel right at home as Crux Crush’s youngest Girl Crush yet! We chose Megan as our Girl Crush of the Month after witnessing her fiercely compete in the Dark Horse Series last month, coming in on the heels of Angie Payne to claim second place. We realized that age aside, this girl is strong, and definitely one to watch. Since she turned 16 this past year, she was able to compete for the first time as an adult in ABS Nationals. She came in fourth place, beating out competition vets Angie Payne and Alex Johnson, and then, with only a week’s rest, she went on to take second place in the ABS Youth Nationals in her division. NBD for this little powerhouse, at 5’3″ and just barely able to drive, she’s taking the competition world by storm….or should we say, by nunchuk? Quiet, and serious, Mascarenas is affectionately nicknamed “The Ninja” by her fellow teammates on Team Mad Rock, of which she is the youngest member. To get a sense of how Megan readies herself to crush, check out the video below of her training at the home wall of Kevin Branford (one of the most accomplished route setters in North America).

Outdoors Megan is just as much of a quiet killer as she is in the comp world. She took down her first V11 at age 13, Mirror Mask, in Mount Evans, Colorado. Megan then proved that this wasn’t just a fluke by sending Show of Hands (V11) in Moe’s Valley, Utah this past year. She’s also had multiple ascents in the V9/V10 (7C/7C+) range. If you want to feel old…whoops, I mean “inspired”, take a look at her 8a tick list (just don’t start asking yourself questions like “what did I do before age 16, besides cut class to chill with ‘skater Bruce’ behind the gym?”, because it gets real dark, so just trust me, don’t go there). We have our fingers crossed that she’ll compete in the Dark Horse finals in February, and give Angie Payne, Charlotte Durif, Alex Puccio, and more of today’s best pros a run for their money. Watch out for those throwing stars ladies, the Ninja is here!

Climb On!
-Missy

Photo Credit: Team ABC
Video Credit: Mad Rock Team Blog

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Rock Roots: Mia DePaolis

Mia, age 21, donning shades to work Iron Man (V4) at Buttermilk Boulders

Mia, age 21, donning shades to work Iron Man (V4) at Buttermilk Boulders

I was stressed out at work, about to leave for a trip to The Red the next day, and I was trying to remember all the things I needed to pack. For someone who thrives on lists, the fact that I didn’t have a packing list was giving me a mental breakdown. Then, I got an email from Mia DePaolis, who was already in Kentucky. “Hi Lily! Today Tim was doing a climb that was pumpier than he thought, so we got stuck at the crag after the sun went down and he had to climb with a headlamp on!” Mia reminded me that all I REALLY needed was a rope, shoes, and harness, and that memorable adventures would happen whether or not I remembered to bring my Keen socks with the Left and Right foot labels sewn onto them. It’s hard to miss Mia’s spontaneity and love for adventure, so I was shocked when she told me that she has never been west of New York! This dedicated gym rat has only climbed outside twice, but right now is road tripping out to Portland, Oregon with some friends she met at her climbing gym and actually left her steady job to do so! Chica with cojones. Venga.

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Ask Crux Crush

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Maximizing Your Training Time Without A Gym

Dear Crux Crush,

I’m writing to you because I need help.  My husband and I have an upcoming trip to Thailand to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.  We are soooo excited for this trip.  I own a new small business, and to get it off the ground I’ve been working non-stop, 6 days a week.  I live in Puerto Rico, where we don’t have a climbing gym, so I’ve been climbing outdoors in my free time (which is just Sundays) and I know this is not enough time to improve my skills.  I want to know if you can recommend some basic training that I can do at home during the week.  I’m training 2 days a week in my regular boxing classes but I want to do more climbing-specific stuff so I can be prepared to climb more difficult routes with my husband on our trip.  Do you have any advice for me?

Regards!
Strapped For Time in San Juan

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Vian Charbonneau is a thug, sends Thug Life (5.13d)

Climbing takes strength, flexibility, technique, precision, focus, and the ability to keep your cool even when you’re hanging upside-down many feet away from your bolt. In this video of Vian Charbonneau you see all these skills put together, as she takes down this steep, overhanging beast of a climb, Thug Life 5.13d in Red River Gorge.  Watching this video is a lesson in not only cutting your feet like a boss, but also using amazing footwork (and let’s not forget her brute strength, there’s that too) to move through a really sustained overhanging route.  What’s really cool to watch is that she has a very definitive style.  Earlier this year Vian also earned an FFA of Divine Fury, 5.14b in Maple Canyon, Utah.   So clearly homegirl loves an overhanging route.  See video of the send here.

We’ll continue to watch out for what Vian does next!

-Climb (Thug) On!

Missy

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