The Ten Commandments of Sport Climbing

1. Thou shalt think of tufas, training, red pointing, “the red,” fitness, your fingers, power-endurance, and/or clipping no less than 87.6 percent of your waking hours (and in at least 54.2 percent of your dreams). 2. Thou shalt not become a boulderer. Thou shalt only boulder for training and occasional fun. 3. Though shalt not drop thy partner…

Explaining Climbing to Your Mother

My mother is fantastic. She has always been incredibly supportive of my fondness for scaling rocks, even when she didn’t understand quite what I was doing. She bought me my first pair of shoes, my first chalk bag, and my first harness for my 19th birthday without knowing anything more than that I’d joined the…

Making Time to Play on Rocks

I didn’t have time to climb. I needed to run to Walmart, CVS, and buy bulk pasta from BJ’s before picking up my sister from school. I needed to start packing to move back to UNH for my summer research internship that would start in a few days. I didn’t have time to drive an hour…

The Art of Climbing Slowly

Like downclimbing, climbing slowly takes much skill and practice; however, once mastered, this art can enhance your climbing experience greatly. All genres of climbing can be slowed down, from taking as long as possible to set up for a one-move-wonder boulder problem to taking your time to place each piece with perfection on a 10-pitch…

Scared of Being Scared

Fear is a familiar feeling for climbers. It’s natural. Your instincts are telling you that you’ve greatly increased your chances of dying by hanging yourself 20 to hundreds of feet above the ground and relying on a few nuts and cams or bolts, a rope, a belay device, and another person to keep you from hitting…

The Ultimate Guide to Dry Climbing Snacks

There are many benefits to packing extremely dry snacks for a day of climbing, hiking, or any other type of adventuring that involves cramming food into the bottom of a backpack. First, they won’t get your backpack incredibly sticky or damp when crushed against the rest of your gear, unlike the bananas I too often attempt…

The Art of Car Camping

According to the calendar, spring is less than a week away. This means the season of car camping is quickly approaching—or, if you don’t mind overnight temperatures in the teens, it is already here. There are many benefits to car camping. First, there is little setup required. There are no tent poles to assemble, stakes…

Seven Reasons Why Dirtbags are Awesome

They do what the rest of us simply talk about doing: They climb all the time. When was the last time you took a week off to go on a climbing trip? When was the second to last time you took a week off? How many times between those two trips did you talk about…

The Art of Giving Beta

“I understand that your beta works for you, and you’re going with it even if you’ve fallen from that same spot 32 times.” – Chris Kalous on the Enormocast Knowing the beta can make or break a send. How are you supposed to find the magical hidden side-pull-bucket tucked away behind the arete onsight? Unless you’re…

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

I spent the past two weeks climbing in Jasper, Arkansas, with Tommy and Tristan. Despite rain followed by sub-zero temperatures, difficulty finding gas stations at 3 a.m., and having entire walls missing from the guidebook, we managed to tick off a few of the over 400 routes. Welcome to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch (HCR) where camping…

The Climber’s Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my partner sent to me: A Golden Retriever puppy On the second day of Christmas my partner sent to me: Two portaledges And a Golden Retriever puppy On the third day of Christmas my partner sent to me: Three rope bags Two portaledges And a Golden Retriever puppy On the fourth day of Christmas my partner sent to me: Four ATCs Three rope bags Two portal edges A Golden Retriever…