Mar 10 2015

Climbing With Kids: Injuries and trips

As the Dawn Wall excitement exited the Valley, Theo and I got back into our quiet routine in Yosemite. California’s dry and warm weather unfortunately continued, allowing me to keep climbing and start ramping it up. My body slowly felt like it was getting back into my all too familiar climbing rhythm - albeit at a much more reduced level. I actually was able to climb with people during the “climbing” part of their day, not just the “warm up” part. It felt beyond incredible to feel like I was...

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Feb 27 2015

Climbing With Kids: The Dawn Wall, Yosemite’s Only Winter Storm

Once Theo was able to sit up by himself and commando crawl through the dirt and pine needles of Camp 4, it became a lot easier for me to take him bouldering and do my little slab circuit. He’d end each session covered in dirt, but pretty happy as well. I’ve been trying to heed Jim Herson’s sage wisdom that, “You can’t make kids like climbing. You can only make them NOT like climbing.”   Indeed. Climbing and Contentment. Two of our most basic, natural states as human beings. To not be...

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Feb 17 2015

Climbing with Kids: Breastfeeding

I’ve received so many questions about my breastfeeding issues that I thought it’d be worth talking about in a dedicated post. (Sorry, guys, this one probably isn’t for you!)   Breastfeeding certainly hasn't been an easy road for me, and I've learned that it isn't necessarily an easy road for every mom. Had I known that others struggle with this, I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself. I didn’t do a ton of research about breastfeeding, thinking this aspect of motherhood would just “flow” naturally, so to speak.   When I was first...

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Feb 09 2015

Climbing With Kids: Going It Alone in Yosemite

When you’re climbing all the time, and climbing really well, it can feel easy to get hard routes done. You can just throw yourself into a project and work on it exclusively. There are no other distractions. Nothing else matters.   Balance is what’s actually hard. That’s something I’ve really begun to see and appreciate in motherhood. When I had all the time and energy in the world, success was omnipresent. But how would I do when I had to handle the needs of many others, including my own? I was finding...

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Nov 20 2014

Climbing With Kids: Jim Herson Interview

For any bay area climber or climbing parent, I'm sure you are familiar with Jim Herson, Anne Smith and their awesome kiddos Kara and Connor. However, for anyone who isn't familiar with them, here's a great interview as an introduction. They can often be found in the Sierras climbing up things with multiple kids and parents in tow. They also have one of my favorite climbing blogs out there that always leaves me laughing and inspired.   I first met Jim and Anne when I was a teenager doing the local competition circuit....

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Nov 13 2014

Climbing With Kids: Becca Caldwell Interview

For any of you out there that buy Patagonia kids clothes, you've probably seen the adorable kiddo Fitz Caldwell. Most likely those pictures were taken by his talented mom, Becca. She does an amazing job at documenting all the adventures that Fitz goes on (from her Instagram feed to their family blog).   In his short 18 months of life, Fitz has been down to Patagonia, on a three month trip across Europe and road tripped around the United States in their Sprinter van.   When I found out I was pregnant, I knew...

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Oct 30 2014

Hi Beth: How do you balance work with being a mom?

Don’t worry. I’m not about to go ahead and turn this blog into another self-help column—mostly because I don’t think I know a whole lot! :) But with that said, I do actually receive a number of questions from very sincere readers (thank you so much! It means the world to hear from you all!). And many of them are asking about similar topics and issues. I’ve decided to start answering questions that warrant more in-depth responses here (much like my good friend Steph Davis does on her blog)… and...

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Oct 14 2014

Climbing With Kids: Our First Experiences with Travel, and My Return to Climbing

Before Theo was born we had big aspirations to start traveling with him right away. Our friends had taken their 2.5-week-old son to Font, in France, for a month-long climbing trip. Another set of friends had done the same with their 5-week-old son. Naively, I thought I’d be right there with them.   “See? Kids aren’t slowing them down,” I said optimistically to Randy a few weeks prior to Theo’s birth. “With your upcoming paternity time off, it would be great to take advantage and do some trips together as a family!”   We...

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Oct 06 2014

Climbing With Kids: Mamas Baby Steps

About seven weeks post birth, I was chomping at the bit to get back to the mountains. Being dwarfed by those magnificent Sierra mountains and their awe-inspiring granite rocks feeds my soul. I even would’ve taken sitting around beside a river or a cluster of boulders and not doing much of anything at all. It was time to get out of the house! Plus, I really wanted to show Theo the mountains and not just inside of our bedroom. I almost felt like I was doing Theo an injustice by...

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Jul 16 2014

Climbing With Kids: Thomasina Pidgeon Interview

I'm not sure when I actually first met Thomasina (Thomo), but I had known about her for a long time. It's hard not to hear about one of the strongest, most accomplished female boulderers in the world, having climbed over 40 boulder problems of V11 or harder. But what struck me as the years went on is that she continued to push the limits and raise this amazing little girl, Cedar, at the same time.   I had the privilege of having them at our house in Yosemite one night when they...

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