“Hands-Free” Yoga Poses for Belayer Warmth

Disclaimer: I am not encouraging distracted or otherwise poor belaying. However, I do acknowledge that there are times when the wind picks up, the sun goes behind a cloud, you weren’t thinking and didn’t put on your belay jacket, etc., and you find yourself freezing your behind off while belaying. Here are some yoga-inspired “poses” and techniques…

Seven Reasons to Encourage Your Friends to Toprope

Toproping tends to get a bad rep in the climbing world, and for many good reasons. It’s pretty hard to “cheat” and let your belayer take weight off through the crux if you’re on lead, and toproping (usually) isn’t as scary as tying into the sharp end. However, sometimes it can be beneficial to encourage…

Tie Back Those Flowing Locks

I felt nothing, but the sound was sickening: A soft ripping. I looked up, mid-fall, suddenly not caring where my feet hit. My hair, ripped in half, now dangled from the quickdraw I’d just been next to. It was an atypical December day in Rumney, not because I accidentally created the worse side-swept bangs I’ve…

Gear Review: The Belay/Approach Croc

All rubber, all colors of the rainbow, and complete with back strap: The croc is a 21st century climbing staple. Approach shoes are great for miles of class-four scrambling, but for a half-mile stroll to the crag—a ten-foot walk if you’re at Rifle Canyon or Horse Pens 40—the croc is a much more breathable, affordable option….

Belaying (as) a Small Female

Your average non-climber understands that ascending a cliff requires a certain amount of skill and expertise. This non-climber has little to no idea of the range of skill or what skills exactly that might entail, but (s)he gets that climbing involves some form of competence. However, not everyone appreciates the skill involved in lead belaying. Yes…