All posts tagged: passion

2015 Yosemite Facelift: Finding Beauty Behind the Trash

Yosemite Facelift is about showing our commitment to this important place and the experiences we have as a result of this place. People of all abilities and backgrounds are connected to this landscape. They travel from all over the world to have intimate experiences with the park. They learn and grow, not only as climbers, but as people, and somewhere along the way the granite walls and towering trees start to feel like home. What an incredible opportunity it is to be a part of a community willing to dedicate their time to preserving that experience for others. To read more about this year’s event head over to Rock and Ice Magazine to check out my article: Finding Beauty Behind the Trash

Running from Injury

The trail paralleled the main road entering the park. My body felt slow and heavy, weighed down by far too many thoughts. Each step was cumbersome. I stopped at a small boulder and cautiously climbed the featured face with one hand, careful to keep my right hand safely tucked behind my back. Five weeks – that’s how long it has been since I’ve climbed on rock. I can’t remember the last time I’d gone this long without climbing. I don’t want to remember. Adam and I considered ourselves lucky. We’d never experienced a serious injury from climbing, or from anything for that matter, up until now. I replayed the climb over in my head. Hindsight taunted me with my own reckless behavior, but offered no capacity for change. Stubbornness had willed me to try the same strenuous move over and over and over, until finally my hand stuck in the crack – but not without consequences. Once lowered off the climb, I leaned my right hand against a rock to untie my shoes. White-hot pain …

Sacramento Blues

It’s not that uncommon for recent college graduates to spend a year or two traveling – a big adventure to get it all out of their system before settling into the monotony and responsibilities of everyday life. It’s a natural rite of passage – a well tread trail that many travel down. Up to this point, I had graduated from the University of Maine and lived out of a converted Pontiac Montana minivan with my boyfriend Adam, while traveling around the west, climbing and working seasonal jobs. It only seemed natural that I would eventually need to work a ‘real’ job and settle down. I scoured online job boards for full time openings and sent in applications whenever a position sounded remotely interesting. Most of the time I never heard back, so when I received a message in my voicemail inquiring about setting up an interview, I didn’t think twice before calling back. In October of 2013, I officially accepted a job offer with the Pacific Crest Trail Association and joined the other 480,000 people living …

Climbing The Nose on El Capitan

My connection with Yosemite National Park began long before I ever set foot within the state lines of California. I was captivated by the larger-than-life stories that descended from the steep granite walls and covered the pages of climbing magazines. The stories depicted timeless tales of adventure, discovery, and passion through the eyes of climbing legends. Yosemite Valley has long been considered the mecca of long, hard rock climbing, but there’s more to it than that. There’s an energy within the Valley. An energy that drives climbers to push hard and redefine the boundaries of what they thought possible. I could sense this energy from the other side of the country, and I felt both curious and compelled to experience it first-hand. Of all the routes scattered throughout the Valley, there was one route in particular Adam and I had our hearts set on – the Nose. The Nose runs directly up the center of El Capitan, a 3,000 foot formation once considered impossible to climb. In 1958, after being beat to the first ascent …

The Birthday Challenge

You don’t have to be a sponsored climber to feel like a total badass. Haven’t you ever topped out a climb and felt like a complete champion? I know I have. It could be an airy 5.9 lead 2,000 feet off the deck, redpointing your first 5.11c, or having a climb so dialed that you don’t need to think twice before slotting that red C3 below the crux. You realize that there are people out there crushing harder than you, but for that one moment nothing could knock the sunshine from that ear-to-ear grin. This is the feeling I was after when I started planning my first Birthday Challenge. The Birthday Challenge is an arbitrary game played within the climbing community. The rules are simple: climb as many pitches as you are old to some degree or variation. The details are left for you to decide – sport, trad, top rope, free solo, routes with “poodle” in the name – the possibilities are endless. I first heard of this challenge when the video 35 was released almost a …