Weekly Round-Up #11

I love a good, relevant climbing article, and the guys over at TensionClimbing, nailed it. With a keyboard and blank screen, they set out to write “The Rules” of climbing with the intention of making us all better climbers. My favorite, by far, is #6, mostly because I need to constantly be reminded of it (even if it really is a high-gravity day…)

RULE #6: Stop complaining. You’re too short. You’re too tall. Your hands aren’t big enough for that pinch. Your fingers are too big for that crimp. Stop it. Take a look around. We all have our own unique proportions that come with different advantages and disadvantages. We can all see that you can’t span the move that the 6ft tall guy doesn’t even have to think about. We can all see that you can only fit 3 fingers on the hold that the 10 year old girl can shake out on. We get it. Now figure it out…or quit. Quitting is always an option, but it is the process of “figuring it out” that is valuable, whether you send or not.

Why climb the Grand Teton once when you can climb it twice? In one day? And then, why climb it twice, when you can climb it three times? IN ONE DAY! Ryan Burke thinks “it’s an insult to the people who came before me to not take it a little farther.” Which is why he’s also going to pursue a South-to-North speed traverse of the Wind River Mountains. Personally, I’m thankful people like him are pushing the sport so people like me don’t have to.

In my short lifetime we’ve gone from breastfeeding being taboo, to women taking pictures breastfeeding atop Mount Yotei in Hokkaido, Japan. What a time to be alive. In this incisive and perspective-widening article, Leah Story speaks about being a new mom and breastfeeding in the backcountry. “Being a breastfeeding mom in the mountains isn’t a superhuman feat,” she explains, and being in the backcountry is about preparation. Breastfeeding is merely an extension of that.

Tinder, Bumble, and now Strava? The app meant for tracking vert, mileage, and activity is quickly turning into an arena for matchmaking, competition, and friendship. With Strava, you can post where you ran, how it felt, and pictures for accompaniment. You can also see what others post, like their posts, and so on. Zoë Rom at Trail Runner Magazine set out to define Strava etiquette for this new virtual world we live in.

 

 

Weekly Round-Up #10

They say nature heals. For 24-year-old Alexis Alzadeh, nature saves. After being sent from Atlanta to Utah for detox and rehab, Alexis discovered parts of herself she never knew existed––like the desire to ski, summit mountains, and climb rocks. Moving to Utah and completing her recovery program included “setting fire to the old parts of [her] that no longer worked.” This poignant and powerful essay shows, candidly, how nature saved Alexis’ life.

Many backpackers consider themselves ultralight, but Clint “Lint” Bunting takes it to the next level. He drinks straight out of streams, uses sticks to pitch his tarp, and chews his vegetables before boiling them to cut down on dish use. Although his style may not resonate with everyone, it’s interesting to put a new spin on “fast and light.”

When I first started climbing, the idea of falling on bolts terrified me. Six years and hundreds of falls later, my bolt-angst has decreased, until, that is, I see some gnarly, rusty, decades old spinner on an exposed bolt. We can all make a clear distinction when it’s that obvious, but what about all the bolts that look like they might hold? Here’s a quick and dirty guide to knowing when to trust a bolt and when to back it up.

In America, we are obsessed with productivity. We need something to show for our day, and ultimately something to show for our lives. Oftentimes, the third question asked during an introduction is “What do you do for work?” We structure our cultural norms around it. So what about those of us who like to climb rocks? Who live on the fringe? Who forgo 401k’s, affordable health insurance, and steady paychecks? Climbing doesn’t pay the bills, and initially only offers something to the climber, not the world. But maybe that’s enough. These moments of introspection and reflection throughout our international crags may be what our generation needs. Check out this thought-provoking essay on Mojagear about being a “Conquistador of the Useless.”

Weekly Round-Up #9

The Down to Earth expedition is doing something the world needs a lot more of: using passion to influence change. Michaela Precourt is a visionary, she hopes for the children of the future, and wants to “instill hope back into education.” This hope lead her to found this expedition where she and a team of athletes are creating real-life curriculum through studying the effects of climate change in the arctic, recording it, and sending the videos back to schools. Their mission and its effects are authentic, “Down to Earth is filming a series of human-powered expeditions dedicated to education, effects of climate change, and how to live sustainably.” Here’s part 1 of their film series:

In response to last week’s blurb about women choosing not to have children, here’s another thoughtful and funny article defending procreation. Katie Arnold highlights the positive in raising children, and how bringing children into an adventurous life can be difficult at first, but pay off later. She also doles out a few tips, “Once a month, enlist the kids to help purge the toy bins and donate to those in need. Your minimalist obsession equals their real-life lesson in sharing and compassion.”

Sarah Castle and Alison Wright didn’t just want to hike the John Muir Trail, they wanted to give back while they did it. Over cups of coffee and topo maps, The Cairn Project was born. The non-profit exists to get teenage girls, of all backgrounds, outside. In one year, the duo have raised over $30,000 to be distributed to partner organizations through small grants.

Should wilderness be free? I’ve thought about and researched this topic quite a bit in the past few weeks. In Utah, there’s long been debate about a toll in both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. Essentially, the amount of users far outweighs the resources, and taxpayer dollars don’t bridge the gap anymore. Heather,from Just a Colorado Gal, shows that Colorado is experiencing similar issues: too many users in too little space. Are we entering a new era where we have to pay in more places that we play?

 

Weekly Round-Up #8

Self-control, how does one attain such a thing? If you’re like millions of other Americans, gaining, re-gaining, or denying self-control is an all-encompassing task. Thankfully, self-control is like a muscle, like a magic muscle, actually, that gives back what you put into it. Nathan DeWall knows this well. After losing his mother, he turns to running as a coping mechanism, and in doing so learns that the self-control he needed to train and run for a 100-mile race was also applicable at home and the office.

Did you know that 25% of college-educated women are forgoing procreation? It blew my mind too. This article attempts to deconstruct the age-old idea that women who choose a life without children are “shallow, selfish, and self-absorbed.” Turns out, women nowadays are thinking critically about the decision, and realizing that maybe rearing children while also commandeering a full-time job is not what their dreams are made of.

The times they are a-changin’. Women and minorities are stepping into roles they’ve previously left unoccupied in numbers we haven’t seen before. In conservation, it’s no different, “Today, an unprecedented number of women are pursuing degrees in conservation science, leaving men as the minority in the classroom.” On top of that, minorities, and women of color, are making their mark on the conservation world. Read more about their stories here.

Gina Lucrezi is a trail blazer. Literally. In 2016, she created the online community Trail Sisters, which promotes and empowers women in trail running. After moving to Colorado Springs, and meeting Nancy Hobbs, Lucrezi continued to realize the importance of community in such a solitary sport. Through trail running, she began learning more about the discrepancies between male and female athletes and decided to take a stand against it. This article, “Every Woman Should Have a Trail Sister,” encourages women to find another women to run with, and if that isn’t possible, to at least find the online forum for the sense of community and solidarity it offers.

Weekly Round-Up #7

In this week’s news:

Agnes Vianzon worked with the California Conservation Corps for over a decade where she learned the basics of trail work, backcountry ethics, and the importance of LNT. These experiences lead her to create the Eastern Sierra Conservation Core, a non-profit dedicated to “building a stronger and more inclusive community,” who aims to “provide opportunities to experience and better understand wilderness and natural resources by providing a transformational backcountry experience.” This summer they have multiple all-female trail crews, and Women in the Wilderness backcountry experiences. You can listen to the podcast on the She-Explores site.

Feel like you’re using your phone too much? You probably are. In this tech-ridden era, it’s hard to find the fine (and quickly disappearing) line between our phones and our independence. It seems the two are so intertwined to be nearly inseparable. Brad Stulberg thinks it’s high-time we start monitoring and limiting our techno-use. Here are some tips on how to do that.

She Moves Mountains gives me chills. These two women, Lizzy Van Patten and Carey DeVictoria-Michel, are concretely pursuing a dream that’s been in the works for a while: teaching women to climb. Last year, the duo partnered with a local climbing company in Smith Rock to provide all-women climbing clinics. With the help of a recent crowd-funding event, they’re now able to kick off their own guiding company. In Lizzy’s words: “I began guiding in hopes of showing people, especially women, how powerful they are.”

Legendary mountaineer, Katie Bono, set the women’s speed record on Denali on June 14th. She had a round-trip time of 21 hours, 6 minutes, and reportedly “crawled into basecamp on Alaska’s Mount Denali, frostbitten and exhausted.” Hell yeah, Katie!

Weekly Round-Up #6

Ever get bored with your gym routine? I know I do. That, or I have no idea where to even begin. Outside Online has some inspiration for you: the kettleball. In this article, Karen Smith, a master kettlebell instructor explains, “A single kettlebell can be used to develop max strength, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular capacity and power.” Included are four effective and tough kettleball exercises.

This New York Times article is fascinating. It focuses on a new start-up, Unsettled, which organizes retreats in a handful of countries. The retreats are unique in that they’re geared towards working professionals that don’t fit the 9-5 mold. You’re co-living and collaborating. Attending workshops and goals sessions. Exploring the local culture. And creating something meaningful. If it weren’t for the budget-stretching price-tag, I’d be about ten seconds away from booking it myself.

Want to move from processed foods to more home cooking? A few months ago I made my first batch of homemade vegan burgers and they turned out deliciously. This article is a compilation of 35 vegan burger patties that look amazing. Also includes some tips and tricks for getting the patties to stay together. So go ahead, bust out the BBQ!

To be digital, or not to be digital: that is the question. Adventure Journal came out with an article this week detailing some of the best apps to download for the outdoors, from trail finders to mushrooms identifiers. And while I’m becoming more and more accepting (and moving towards embracing) the role technology plays in the outdoors, I’m still a diehard lover of the paper version. Even if that means a few extra pounds in my pack. It’s weight training, after all, right?

Weekly Round-Up #5

It appears I have quite a problem posting consistent midweek round-ups, so we’re gonna shoot for the vague “Weekly Round-Up” and see if my consistency can be, well, consistent.

I’ve come across so much good content in the last few weeks! We live in an incredible time where information is accessed so quickly and easily.

Millennial Tastes are Driving Marketers Crazy, but it’s Doing the Food Industry Good, an article published by Upworthy, highlights how millennials are driving positive change in general consumption, and in particular, the food industry. There’s been a lot of negative press about millennials in the past year. We’ve been misunderstood, and also ignored. This article is proof of both. But it’s also proof that corporations are starting to take notice, and it’s good for everybody.

I love anything that highlights women taking a stand throughout history. I love it even more when it involves the natural world. The NCPA published this article documenting six national parks that wouldn’t exist if it hadn’t been for the women that championed them.

“In the past 18 months, over 50 bills attacking federal management of our public lands have been introduced to Congress,” begins this interesting and helpful article about five simple ways we can protect our public lands from Climbing Magazine. It’s a hard time to be a human and lover of the natural world, but we can’t remain overwhelmed. It’s time to take a stand for what’s most important. From volunteering, to signing up for newsletters, this short and comprehensive how-to can make you feel a little less overwhelmed and a little more proactive.

And a funny goat video.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!