How The Ladies Are Taking Over: The Making of The Heist

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Today we talk to the brains (and the beauty) behind The Heist, Brittany Marryott and Andrea Brennen.  If you haven’t heard, The Heist is going to be the first all female competition where all the elements, from the route setters, to the forerunners, to the DJ, and emcee, will be run by 100% women.  That’s right, the ladies are taking over Central Rock Gym, for a whole weekend of not only the bouldering comp, but female-oriented climbing clinics as well!  This is a big deal for women in climbing, and Brittany and Andrea were kind enough to take some time to talk to us about how this competition came about and give us a sneak peek behind the scenes.  Just to give you an idea of their qualifications, Brittany was Office Manager and Director of Event Logistics at NE2C, working with Jason Danforth and Pete Ward to run events like the Eastern Mountain Sports Nor’easter and the Unified Bouldering Championships Pro Tour. Andrea’s been involved with multiple high profile events in the climbing industry, setting and forerunning for MetroRock’s Dark Horse Championship and running real-time scoring at ABS Nationals (using a scoreboard system she developed with STNCL-co-founder Chris Brown).  So let’s just say this comp is in some very capable (and chalky) hands. Here’s what they had to say about the ladies stealing the show:

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Álvarez and van Bergen Make Personal Bests

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Mar Álvarez on Tripa de Conejo (8b+) in Rodellar

This week European climbers Mar Álvarez and Nikki van Bergen broke into new personal grades, sending 8c+/5.14c and 8c/5.14b, respectively. Álvarez climbed Mind Control in Oliana, which was previously sent by a couple of ladies, including Sasha DiGiulian and Barbara Raudner. At 8c+/5.14c, Mar is just one grade away from joining the ranks of the elite 9a/5.14d club, the hardest grade ever climbed by a few select women. Over in France, Dutch climber Nikki van Bergen was busy sending Hot Chill-X in Gorges du Loup. By the age of 20, Nikki has earned herself multiple national titles, a podium finish at the European Youth Cup, and now 8c/5.14b bragging rights. Congrats ladies!

Climb on!
-Mary

(Info and photo credit: 8a.nuwww.nikkivanbergen.comwww.cpfotografia.com)

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Snack Rock: Gluten Free Edition

Carrot breakfast

It’s that time of summer when I have to re-assess my choices.  Somewhere between vacations, long weekends, wedding showers, house guests, BBQ’s, and all the other stuff that makes summer fun, I end up completely falling back into eating habits that don’t make me feel good.  One thing that doesn’t make me feel good is gluten.  And don’t get me wrong, it feels great going down! How can a cookie or a piece of bread feel bad?  But all the things that go with it, for me personally (skin problems, puffiness, digestive issues), are things I can do without.  So today on Snack Rock (and if you don’t know what it is, here you go, it’s a very complex concept), we’re going gluten-free, as well as searching for some snacks that are higher in protein so they satisfy, not highly processed, and lower in sugar to avoid the crash effect:

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Letting Go and Climbing On…

Just after finding out I might need to "let go" of my goal of 5.13 in 2013.

Just after finding out I might need to “let go” of my goal of 5.13 in 2013.

“Letting go” could mean a lot of things in relation to climbing…letting go after you’ve climbed a high ball boulder problem (scares the bejeezus out of me every time!), letting go when you can’t make another move on lead but you’re scared as hell about taking that fall, letting go of your ego and expectations of what grade you should be climbing, or letting go of your plans to send 5.13 this season, because you’ve faced up with the reality that it just ain’t gonna happen.

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Ashima Sends One Summer in Paradise (8B/V13)

Ashima bouldering in Magic Wood. Photo by Rainer Eder.

Ashima bouldering in Magic Wood. Photo by Rainer Eder.

Ashima Shiraishi has done it again. This time it was One Summer in Paradise (8B/V13) in Magic Wood, Switzerland. She’s adding this send to a list of other 8B/V13’s she’s accomplished, including Crown of Aragorn in Hueco Tanks and Fragile Steps in Rocklands. On this trip to Magic Wood she also climbed Pura Vida (V12), The Left Hand of Darkness (V12), The Right Hand of Darkness (V11), and Super Supernova (V11). At just 12-years-old Ashima is the first female to boulder 8B/V13 and send 8c+/5.14c. Along with her, Mirko Caballero also climbed One Summer in Paradise (8B/V13) and a list of other double-digit boulders in Magic Wood. Congrats to both of you young guns!

Climb on!
-Mary

(Info and Photo Credit: 8a.nu and dpmclimbing.com)

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Pack Review – Deuter Guide Lite 28 SL

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Confession: I intended for this to be my “girlfriend pack”. Ladies, you know what I mean, the little 28 liter pack for carrying food, water, and extra layers of clothing, while leaving the rest of the gear for my husband’s 50 liter pack. I know that sounds totally old fashioned, but there are some aspects of chivalry that I will gladly take advantage of. Regardless of my intentions, this pack has proven large enough and versatile enough to fit everything I need for a day of sport climbing without the help of my husband’s larger pack. Here’s how the Deuter Guide Lite 28 SL became my go-to pack:

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Sasha Earns FFA of Bellavista (5.14b/8c)

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Sasha DiGiuilian in the Dolomites, prior to starting Bellavista. Photo from Sasha’s Facebook.

Sasha Digiulian’s switching up her game, and continuing to crush while she’s at it. Although the recent PscioBloc champ typically does not climb multi-pitch, she’s clearly pushing her own limits (and those of the female climbing world) with the first female ascent of Alexander Huber’s Bellavista in the Italian Dolomites. Only six other climbers have freed all of the pitches which traverse one of the largest roofs in the Dolomites. The multi-pitch climb goes at 7b, 6c, 6a+, 7a+, 7b, 8c, 8a, 7a, 6c, 6b, a proud send for Sasha, who climbed the route with Edu Marin! The climb did not come easy, as Sasha reported on her facebook:

“After climbing through a big storm for the final pitches, and spending a bitter cold, wet night at the top of Tre Cime Oeste, I’m down and happy to report the First Female ‪ascent‬ of Bellavista, 8c, a 2-year dream of mine to climb!”

Bellavista, which crosses one of the biggest roofs in the Dolomites, was first climbed free by Alex Huber in 2001 and has since been repeated by Mauro Bole, Helmut Kotter, David Lama, Luka Krajnc, Dani Moreno and now Sasha Digiulian.

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How (And Why) To Climb More Like A Dude

Daniel Woods spotting Courtney Sanders on "Big Boy" in Joe's Valley

Daniel Woods spotting Courtney Sanders on “Big Boy” in Joe’s Valley

Dudes. Here at Crux Crush we just love to poke fun of their shirtless grunting ways (like in this post for example). But, the truth is, we love them. They are our primary climbing partners, and though you’ll never hear us admitting this to them, there are things we can learn from their climbing styles. Today we’ll share our tips on the best things we’ve learned from climbing with our male counterparts:

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Flannery Shay-Nemirow’s Solo Adventure

“Climbing is just so much a part of who I am at this point
that it’s hard to say how it’s changed me.”

This video, from Savage Films, features Flannery Shay-Nemirow in the Squamish forest where she finds some beautiful boulders and tells us why she decided to postpone college to travel and climb across North America. We love her youthful confidence to pursue her passion, even if it’s not the standard choice. So as we sit here working our day jobs, let’s take a tip from Flannery and stop thinking about the adventures we want to go on and start making them happen.

Climb on!
-Mary

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Anna Stöhr Sends TWO 8B/V13’s in Rocklands

Anna on Power of One in Rocklands. Photo by Reinhard Fichtinger/La Sportiva

Anna on The Power of One. Photo by Reinhard Fichtinger|La Sportiva

25-year-old Austrian climber Anna Stöhr has earned two first female ascents of 8B/V13 boulders, The Power of One and The Vice, in Rocklands, South Africa. For the past 6 years in a row Anna has placed first or second overall in the ISFC Bouldering World Cup Series, but make no mistake, she is just as strong outside on real rock. In addition to her latest sends, she has climbed over 40 (yes 40!) double digit boulder problems. We are in awe of her strength and are psyched to watch as she continues to break into new grades and make climbing history. For more on Anna check out her website and watch this video from Red Bull.

Congrats Anna! Climb on!
-Mary

(Info Credit: 8a.nu, lasportiva.com)

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