Welcome to our inaugural edition of Seeking Higher Ground – a column about climbing, women, and women climbing – written by Bouldering Babe Athlete Anastasia B.
It’s 100 degrees outside, and I’m halfway up one of maybe ten bolted routes in the whole of Zion. I’m not sure what grade the route is, only that I’m hot, it’s hard, and that I’ve never been in this far over my head. From the ground this seemed like such a sure thing, but I am afraid. I am gut-wrenchingly, mind numbingly afraid.
This edition of Gear Talk – girls talking gear and all things awesome – features one of our badass BFFs The Jam Salves, a Providence-based purveyor of handmade, natural salves for myriad of uses.
What strikes us most about The Jam Salves are its non-greasy texture, feminine fragrance, and healing properties. We love The Tendon One, which is specifically formulated to heal and strengthen tendons.
We sat down with Kristin Re, Bouldering Babes Athlete and one of the beautiful brains behind Jam Salves, to talk shop.
To be badass is to love what you are doing, wholeheartedly, and unforgivingly. It doesn’t mean you are the strongest or coolest; it means you do more than what people think you can. You go above and beyond the norm and believe limitations don’t exist. It’s a state of being in which you are in control, and you are an unstoppable force in whatever endeavor you attempt, despite the challenges that come along.
-Kristin Re | Founder, The Jam Salves
Every so often, we’ll interview extraordinary girls doing extraordinary things: this is Girl Crush. This week, we’re stoked to feature recent Rock and Ice cover girl Alyse Dietel.
Alyse had been climbing for 15 years before she fell off a cliff during her first month of college and was paralyzed from the waist down for 6 months. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, she defied her doctors and re-learned to walk, and then to climb.
She sent her first 5.13b a year later after intensive training and rehabilitation. Now she has sent more 5.13s and has taken up trad climbing with her boyfriend, Tim.
‘Climbing is everything to us, and we plan on doing it as much as possible while inspiring others to push their boundaries to do what they love. ‘
Every so often, we’ll feature extraordinary girls doing extraordinary things: this is Girl Crush.
Cat Suen makes us smile. We first met through mutual friends on a girls only climbcation, where we were blown away by her dedication, kindness, and warmth, and quickly developed a girl crush. When she’s not projecting 5.12’s in her home crag in Squamish, she enjoys climber family potlucks, other people’s dogs, patio gardening, fly fishing, and surfing.
“I am just a girl who loves to climb! I did not heel hook out of the womb, but I was born to climb. Climbing is my oxygen and I can’t live without it. I am afraid of heights, but I am not afraid of the places it takes me. Nothing compares to getting to the top of a climb and breathing in all the beauty that surrounds me. These mountain top moments make my heart smile. Climbing makes my heart smile.”
Something pretty magical happened recently: I sent one of my hardest routes to date. After projecting Rugmunchers (5.11d.) for about a month, one night it all came together.
Every so often, we’ll interview extraordinary girls doing extraordinary things: this is Girl Crush. This week, we’re stoked to feature badass radass female climber and digital dirtbag Megan Sullivan.
Meg the Legend
Megan Sullivan’s business card says that she is a Producer and Director for an internal production company within an advertising agency, but she is basically a dirtbag who lives in the city of San Francisco and travels to wherever possible as much as possible.
Join us this Saturday, August 22nd from 7:30-9pm @ Rock Spot Climbing for a female-focused climbing clinic for all our Providence-based lady crushers!
You’ll learn to climb safely and confidently, and confront your fear of heights, falling, and exposure. Jeanne loves bouldering with female-focused hip movements, strong core work, and delicate balancey footwork to create fluidity with the wall, so there will be some of that. She hates injuries, so there will be none of that.
WHO: The Ladies of Rock Spot Climbing!
WHAT: Bouldering Babes Climbing Clinic
WHERE: Rock Spot Climbing @ 100 Higginson Ave in Lincoln, RI
WHEN: Saturday, August 22nd | 7:30 PM – 9 PM
WHY: Climbing Girls Run the World!
Two nights ago, we sprained our left ankle after slipping and falling on uneven pavement while crossing the streets of New York City.
We immediately knew that our ankle was no bueno for climbing after feeling that all-too-familiar sharp shooting foot pain, and our acupuncturist doctor confirmed our fear the following day. She prescribed R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), and no climbing/hiking/biking/yoga/any dynamic activity that could further exacerbate the tendon tears in our poor bruised, swollen ankle.
One of the toughest things to do as an avid rock climber is to rest. Fortunately, we’ve had a lot of experience with climbing injuries, and learned over the years that in addition to occupational or physical therapy, one of the best things you can do for your body is to rest.
‘Ok, great, but then how does one keep sane once one’s happy place has been compromised?’, you might ask.
Join us this Sunday, August 16th from 6-7pm @ Brooklyn Boulders Chicago for a female-focused bouldering clinic for all of our Chicago-based lady crushers!
You’ll learn to climb safely and confidently, and confront your fear of heights, falling, and exposure. Jeanne loves bouldering with female-focused hip movements, strong core work, and delicate, balancey footwork to create fluidity with the wall, so there will be some of that. She hates injuries, so there will be none of that.
We promise … you won’t want to miss this event!
— WHO: YOU! The ladies of BKB Chicago! WHAT: Bouldering Babes Climbing Clinic WHERE: Brooklyn Boulders Chicago! WHEN: Sunday, August 16th | 6 PM – 7 PM WHY: Girl climbers rule —
RSVP REQUIRED | SPACE IS LIMITED Admittance is free for members or with the cost of a day pass for non-members.
When it comes to crushing, climbing shoes are a girls’ best friend. It can make the difference between sending and slipping. In our Women’s Bouldering Clinics, we’re often asked: what kind of climbing shoe should I get?
That depends – what kind of climber are you, and what type of routes are you planning to get on?
We’ve compiled a list of our Top 5 climbing shoes for every occasion – whether it’s gym climbing, outdoor bouldering, trad climbing, or sport climbing, We’ve also included our favorite all-round shoe for those who are looking for a multi-purpose solution that fits their budget and needs!
Progress moves us forward, even if it’s tiny. It may sound self-helpy, but even reputable academic sources such as Harvard Business Review recognize the key role that progress plays in feeling good:
Consider, for example, how progress relates to one component of inner work life: overall mood ratings. Steps forward occurred on 76% of people’s best-mood days. By contrast, setbacks occurred on only 13% of those days.
–The Power of Small Wins, HBR
Rock climbing is like that. We’ve often felt happiest in our climbing when we are making progress (whether it’s sending harder routes, leveraging better technique, or getting stronger). Recently, we’ve overcome a decade-long plateau and are climbing harder, faster, stronger, and better than before, and have felt more connected and joyous with climbing than ever. It’s all upside, baby.
Photo by Eric McCoy
Now the burning question: How?