Climbing Towards Progress in Cambodia

It’s another balmy day in Siem Reap, and my tuk-tuk driver races down the tree-lined roads from Angkor Wat leading back into town.  We turn down a dusty road, and pass by street food vendors, and lines of colorful clothes held up by old, wooden clothespins before slowing down in front of a modestly-sized outdoor climbing wall.  The big broad smiles, and ACN-emblazened neon green t-shirts the kids are wearing tell me that the volunteer staff of Angkor Climbers Net have just held another successful Angkor Climber’s Cup.

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Multi-colored panels of plywood adorned with quickdraws for leading and holds of varying shapes and sizes soar above the children.  Sem Rom, Cambodia’s first climber, playfully teases the young girls who are climbing for the first time, and explains how to tie a figure eight knot in their native Khmer language.  They squeal with delight as they ascend, and celebrate and cheer in unison as each one makes it to the top.  They ask to climb again, their faces more radiant and enthusiastic, and their laughs more contagious than before.

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Girl Crush: An Interview with Sarah Hay

Every so often, we’ll interview extraordinary girls doing extraordinary things: this is Girl Crush.  This week, we’re stoked to profile Auckland-based athlete Sarah Hay, who recently competed and crushed at the first two New Zealand National Climbing and Bouldering Competitions of the series.

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“Climbing has also taken me to places and countries I’d never otherwise have thought to visit and I’m lucky enough to have parents who live in Queenstown which is gorgeous and close to so much great rock.

-Sarah Hay | Climbing Athlete

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Gear Talk with Our Badass BFFs: Dynamite Starfish

This edition of Gear Talk – girls talking gear and all things awesome – features Dynamite Starfish, a Los Angeles-based climbing lifestyle brand that designs tees and tanks inspired by places that are near and dear to any California climber’s heart.

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We love that each shirt is screen printed with water-based inks to keep the environment in mind, and in colors and cuts that are comfy and flattering.

We sat down with founder, artist and designer Leslie Sam Kim, to talk shop.

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We’re so much more than just another t-shirt company. From the design to the printing technique, Dynamite Starfish creates tees that bring awareness to the outdoors in a fun and cheeky way. They remind us of the classic crags we’ve grown to love, and encourage us to explore the places we have yet to see.

-Leslie Sam Kim | Founder, Dynamite Starfish

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Girl Crush: An Interview with Mary Lüthy

Every so often, we’ll interview extraordinary girls doing extraordinary things: this is Girl Crush.  This week, we’re thrilled to feature Cambodia-based climbing entrepreneur Mary Lüthy, whose passion project is Phnom Climb, Phnom Penh’s first rock climbing gym.

Mary is super stoked about rock climbing because it builds community, a safe and supportive environment, trust, self-esteem, confidence and perseverance amongst locals and expats climbers.

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“Most people don’t immediately think that a low income country like Cambodia would need something like a climbing gym. Yet, after living here for over 5 years, we are convinced that our beloved city, Phnom Penh, would be better off if there were more fun, constructive, and healthy activities available. We have watched the rapid growth of the economy and consumer possibilities, but no parallel growth of sports or extracurricular activities for young people. Phnom Penh is hungry for a rock climbing gym!”

-Mary Lüthy | Co-Founder, Phnom Climb

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Gear Talk with Our Badass BFFs: The Jam Salves

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.

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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.

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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

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Girl Crush: An Interview with Alyse Dietel

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.

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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. ‘

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