It’s been so long.

So many things have happened since my last post. The last two years have been full of big changes, sudden turns, and unexpected challenges. Even when I’ve had time for storytelling, I haven’t had much energy. Overall, life has stayed beautiful. I’ve conquered fears, made mistakes, tested my spirit, and proved myself wrong. I’ve learned … More It’s been so long.

Crux Crafts: Hold me closer, tiny climber

I know you’re not supposed to hang out with strangers from the internet, but I guess we both crossed our fingers and it turned out great. The international climbing community is wonderful and continues to strengthen my belief that most people are awesome — especially climbers. … More Crux Crafts: Hold me closer, tiny climber

Reasons, promises, and Cuyuja climbing

I knew no one in this country. I had never lived more than 15 minutes from my parents, and my knowledge of Ecuador was limited to a vague mental image of an alpaca in a poncho. I had never even been to South America. So I understand why my presence here seems pretty random to taxi drivers, coworkers, and even fellow gringos. Maybe it seems more random when I tell them that I moved here for the climbing. … More Reasons, promises, and Cuyuja climbing

Rain and Ropes: A jungly affair at Santa Clara Alta

In the meantime, though, I have Santa Clara Alta. Its gray volcanic rock has little in common with that of the Canyon, with few roofs, thin cracks, and what I must describe as chunky slab. The approach, however, feels like I’m back in Alabama — if Alabaman forests were jungly Andean affairs, home to giant birds and (probably) baby dinosaurs. … More Rain and Ropes: A jungly affair at Santa Clara Alta

Second Impressions: La Perrera’s volcanic wonderland

I believe the first phrase I used to describe the boulders at La Perrera was “Cotopaxi’s dried-up lava barf.”

While these gray beauties are mementos of volcanic eruptions past, that description may not capture the magic of this place. In fact, after a weekend in the lush green playground of igneous rock and baby waterfalls, I still don’t think I’ve processed the wonder. … More Second Impressions: La Perrera’s volcanic wonderland

Grit and Burl: Maybe it’s time to take training seriously

So I just kept climbing, daydreaming, and attempting to absorb the powers of the greats through YouTube binges and Crux Crush interviews. I slowly progressed past the V5 mark and toward V6, strengthening my shoulders and bettering my head game by climbing a lot of routes in styles I enjoyed. When the lady climbers I most admired talked about their own training plans, I shrugged some more: Sure, they train, but I’m not on that level yet.

Well, I think I really am. I don’t even think there is a level. Climbing with purpose and cross training are probably beneficial no matter how long you’ve been scurrying up walls. … More Grit and Burl: Maybe it’s time to take training seriously