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Category Archives: Interviews

Better Beta: 5 Ways to Break Through

Fall is sending season. Time for breaking into that next grade, sending that nemesis rig, and time for some good old-fashioned try-hard. Sending at your limit is all about the details – the micro beta, the mental game, and every iota of body tension you can muster.

With that in mind, here are 5 (often overlooked) tips for breaking through and sending your fall project.

TIP 1: Expose yourself to different styles

“I think exposure is the most important. If you vary the type and style you climb a lot, you’ll have a larger repertoire of knowledge to apply while climbing.” – Drew Ruana

 

TIP 2: Movement over Strength

“Focus on movement. A common misconception is that you need to be strong to climb hard routes, but being GOOD at climbing is so much cooler, and more efficient.” – Alex Johnson

 

TIP 3: Eliminate Worry So You Can Focus

“I think its a systems check. We’ve all tied a figure-eight knot so many times. We do it without thinking and yet a lot of people get nervous when the route starts getting hard above the bolt or cam and they worry about things they shouldn’t be – like their knot or belayer. Take the extra second on the ground to check your partner, have them check you, and test a piece if you need to. Make sure that when the time comes, you’re already totally confident they’ll work the way their supposed to. Who knows, you maybe would have sent through that slippery crux section if you were 100% focused on the moves and not at all focused on something else.” – Jason Haas

 

TIP 3: Practice Makes Perfect

“In general, I think climbers (both new and really old) don’t take time to PRACTICE climbing. We often tend to jump on the hardest thing we can get on, and that’s not effective. We should spend more time on slightly easier terrain, practicing the movement and other skills needed to climb well.” – Mike Anderson

 

Ari Novak Ice Climbing - Miami Ice - Cody, Wyoming

TIP 5: Master the Mental Game

“Jeff Lowe once told me 90% of climbing is above the shoulders, and I agree with him. Approaching climbing with the right mental approach and honest competency earned by learning and working the craft is key. Your greatest hopes and dreams can be achieved. If you put a climb on a pedestal it will stay there. If you put a climb on your level and work your ass off you’ll be on top of it faster than you think. It’s as much about attitude and vision as it is about the necessary physical strength to just get up something. Earn it both inside and out. To me ice climbing is not just about the external journey but the internal journey.” – Ari Novak

Interview with Fellow Cragmama Melissa Love

Through this blog, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to interview a lot of really strong and inspiring mamas out there – today’s interview with fellow Trango athlete Melissa Love is no exception!  And since HER family dynamic is similar to what OUR family dynamic is going to be in just a couple of weeks, her story is especially interesting to me.  Read on to find out how cool she is… Name:  Melissa LoveCrag-kiddos:  Two sons, 4 and 1.Currently in: Boulder, COClimbing for: 20+ years Favorite Climbing Area:  Rifle Canyon, CO.  It works out great that Rifle happens to be…Read the rest of this entry →

Our Family’s 15 Minutes of (Local) Fame!

 Some of you may recall a Cragmama facebook post a few weeks ago that mentioned our family being interviewed by our local NBC TV station at our climbing gym, Inner Peaks.  The producer’s idea was to create a hopefully endearing story about how climbing has been a family affair for us – first as a couple, then as a family of 3, and now as a soon-to-be family of 4.   The shoot took a little over an hour on a weekday morning, and entailed us all being interviewed individually (including a chat with C as he was tying in…Read the rest of this entry →

The Lightner Familiy: Teenage Champion, and Urban Mama Turned Mountain Mama…(Sort of…)

I’ve interviewed a lot of climbing families over the last couple of years, and all of them have had one thing in common – the kids learned from their parents…that is, until I interviewed the Lightners.  The story of university professor Constance Lightner and her 13 year old climbing champion Kai is as different as it is inspiring.  Kai has competed for  several years in both indoor sport climbing and bouldering, with a host of 1st place finishes at a national level.  In fact, just over a week ago he was crowned National Champion yet again at the USA Sport Climbing…Read the rest of this entry →

Crag-Family Interview: A Family Affair!

If you’ve been following the recent kid-crushage that’s been happening up at the Red River Gorge this spring, you might recognize one of the names in today’s family interview.  In fact, Deadpoint Magazine recently wrote an article on this family after 12 year old Harry ticked his hardest send to date – Southern Smoke (5.14c).  Fortunately, the Edwards’ also agreed to answer some of my questions about family life at the crag as well.  Here’s what they had to say when I caught up with them via email… Names: Rob (44), Jennifer (37), Samantha (15), Harry (12), Preston (9) From:…Read the rest of this entry →

Fellow Cragmama Charmagne Cox: Inspiration Multiplied!

A lot of times I wonder if the only reason our family has remained as active and adventurous as we have is because we have just one child…Then I met Charmagne Cox.  Her inspiring story leaves no question as to whether or not its possible to continue recreational pursuits with multiples…and by multiples I don’t just mean multiple children, I mean MULTIPLES.  As in TRIPLETS.  Let that sink in for a moment – 3 kids to carry in to the crag (in addition to all of your climbing gear), 3 kids to get down for a nap at the base…Read the rest of this entry →

“Steady-Eddy” Ramirez and The Crowders Project

 As many of you know, my work on the Central Piedmont climbing guidebook I’ve been slaving over for the past year and a half is drawing to a close.  Almost all of the writing is in the publisher’s hands at this point, who is now working feverishly on the layout with the guy making the topo maps.  That being said, I just wrapped up the a final interview that will be featured in the Crowders section.  It’s an interview with a local climber who is wrapping up an inspiring endeavor, and since it had been a while since I’d posted an interview…Read the rest of this entry →

Cameron and Jonathan Horst – aka the Send Brothers!

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve done any interviews, so I figured the best way to make up for lost time was to bring you two interviews for the price of one!  Prepare to be absolutely amazed (and also a little bit sheepish, since these boys are more than likely hiking laps up your projects for their warm-ups…)  Cameron and Jonathan Horst (or Cam and Jon for short) are the sons of training guru Eric Horst, author of numerous books on climbing-specific training, including the well-known titles “How to Climb 5.12,” and “Training for Climbing.”  I first met…Read the rest of this entry →

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