Jul 21 2015

Climbing With Kids: Year One

There are things about big-wall climbing that you rarely read about in magazines. Climbing through sticky, urine-stained cracks. Avoiding the fly-ridden poop that is smeared on your foot hold. And being just so tired that you clip your helmet strap into the anchor to hold your head up while you try to get a few minutes of shut eye before the strap cuts off all circulation to your head, and it’s time to climb again.   Basically, I tell my partners to count on at least one meltdown per route. And when...

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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 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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Jun 25 2014

Climbing Pregnant: Month 9: Letting Go and Holding On

By month 9, everyone was asking me the same question: “Aren't you done being pregnant?" It’s funny. Until people started asking me that, it hadn't really occurred to me to feel as if I should be “done.” It was just the state I was in; I didn't feel as if I despised my pregnant body or anything like that. By that point, I had found my groove. I was able to go on my daily walks, accompany Randy and friends climbing during the day, and generally carry on my normal...

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Mar 06 2014

Climbing Pregnant: Month 6: Reaching False Summits and Continuing the Climb

Hitting month 6 felt like reaching a glorious summit compared to where I had been, especially during my first few months of pregnancy. Back in months one and two especially, I was tired, nauseous all the time, scared and alone. “I really don’t understand how anyone could possibly enjoy this,” I thought to myself, daily.   But by the time I reached month 6, I had gotten into a groove. I was enjoying my regular trad-walking in Yosemite. And most important, I finally started blogging about my pregnancy. To be open and...

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Feb 21 2014

Climbing Pregnant: Month 5: Tradwalking, Falling and Finally Getting Real

Month five started my best couple months yet in pregnancy. I think it was the openness that I finally gave to the pregnancy. Being able to share and talk about it with other people was more relieving than I ever imagined. With the announcement of our pregnancy, I've been learning how excited some people get about kids. Some people are over the moon about kids and others are a "normal" amount of excited. I find it really interesting and sweet to see who all these people are in my life.   It's...

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Feb 06 2014

Climbing Pregnant: Month 3: First Trimester Done

Most people said the nausea would likely be gone by the end of the first trimester. But there was always a chance the I’d be one of those unlucky women who were sick throughout their pregnancy. As the end of the first trimester approached, I felt a mix of hope and dread. Luckily, as my third month came to a end, so did my daily bouts of sickness. It took about two weeks to fully fade out, but then it was gone. Yipee skipee, no more nausea! The relief of...

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Nov 26 2012

Hazel Findlay and the next generation of climbing.

A lot of acknowledgement goes to the previous generation, to the ones that paved the way for the up and comers. I know personally, I owe a huge amount of thanks and gratitude to Lynn Hill and Nancy Feagin. When I was 19, these two famous ladies invited myself and Kath Pyke to free climb big walls on the island of Madagascar. At that time, I knew next to nothing of multi pitch or trad climbing, but they took a chance on me. My sole trad lead at that point...

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