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.
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
Shattered boulders litter Coji’s landscape. The town’s traditional occupation is shaping tiles from the rock long-scattered across its hillsides. It’s a bittersweet sight for boulderers in a sport climbing mecca, but the area’s most important faces remain intact. … More Ecuador’s Multi-Pitch Mecca: Clipping bolts in Cojitambo
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
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
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
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