In a follow up to our final post of 2015, we asked our athlete team what they’re most proud of from 2015 and what they hope to accomplish in 2016.
I have two favorite memories from climbing in 2015. One is in an arena I have limited experience in—bouldering—and the other is in the mountains.
This spring I was spending a lot of time wandering through the New England woods with a pad, shoes and no idea what I was climbing, where I was going. But I was finding boulders. Grades didn’t matter; I was just climbing whatever I came upon. I would throw myself at problems until exhausted or I stood on top of them, no numbers, no ego. It was like rediscovering climbing, that version back before redpoints and onsights and grades and ethics and all that other nonsense. It was amazing.
Then a few months later that same spirit came to life again in the Caucus Mountains of Georgia. I was there on a climber exchange through the AAC, and we had very little information about what we were looking at. They were 13,000 to 16,000-foot summits streaked in rock and snow, but that was all we knew. Unpainted canvas. I was with Americans, Armenians and Iranians, and we just threw ourselves at climbs, exploring blindly. I soloed a 2,500-foot snow line to a summit on the Russian border and amid swirling fog climbed a scrappy exposed face to a knife-edged peak I didn’t know the name of. It was raw exploration, a chance to fall into the unknown without pretense. It was awesome.
That is what I’ll be looking for in 2016—chance discoveries, adventures that remind me climbing isn’t about numbers or ego, but about the unknown, about practicing for all the other unknowns to come. Walking towards each mystery with openness and curiosity. Seeing perfection in the movement, not the outcome. The outcome will always only be the same.
Favorite 2015 accomplishment:
Making it in the top 15 in my first complete World Cup circuit. It was a long, exhausting season, but It was also one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I’m excited to do it all over again (and hopefully do it better!) in 2016. I plan on focusing more on my training this year as well as perfecting my routine.
Resolutions for 2016:
- Make it back to finals in a lead World Cup and Not skip any clips! (as I unfortunately did in Briancon)
- Finish academic career at CSU
- Coffee, books, music
2015 was a banner year for my climbing, so it’s hard to decide. I had an incredible trip to Spain, did my first 13c On-sight, and developed the Trango Forge hangboard, but the highlight was definitely sending Mission Impossible, my hardest yet, at 14c/d. I was also super stoked to hear about all the breakthroughs people made, pros and novices alike, after reading our book, The Rock Climber’s Training Manual. It was also an incredible experience taking over as coach of the City Rock Youth Team with Janelle, and watching those passionate, hard working kids exceed their goals.
In 2016 I want to help more people reach their goals by furthering my research on climbing training, developing new products with Trango, and coaching. I have a couple climbing goals too, but I never talk about a deal before it’s signed :).
Favorite 2015 Accomplishment:
This is sort of a weird one, but I’m proud of failing a lot. I put a lot of effort and time into goals that I didn’t achieve, ones that I’ll have to continue working toward, which is motivating. I even spent the final days of the year attempting a first ascent on El Mocho in the Torre group of El Chalten and never climbed more than two pitches off the ground!
I want to work on my mental toughness and improve my ability to climb well even when I’m exhausted, scared, and dealing with poor conditions.
There’s no way to pinpoint a favorite memory or even a specific accomplishment in 2015. What I am most proud of is finding BALANCE in my life that keeps our family going strong. Between personal bests in training, outdoor adventures, climbing, volunteering at the school, training, sharing Trango love, climbing, eating delicious tacos, training, work functions, climbing, selling the Rock Climbers Training Manual, training, landscaping, climbing, baking cookies, training, managing rental properties, climbing, traveling to Spain, training, coaching youth climbing team, climbing, being a kickass wife, training, spending time with family & friends, climbing and being a cooler-than-ever Mom…I’ve somehow found BALANCE in all these moving parts!
#1. Continue to find BALANCE in my busy, crazy life.
#2. Continue to push myself as a climber; tackling weaknesses, gaining confidence in strengths and widdlingdown the mental barriers that can be so destructive.
One of my biggest accomplishments in 2015 was finally winning youth nationals for sport climbing. For the past 5 years I had come in second place and last year I was finally able to clinch the win. I had trained really hard all year for it and my hard work paid off. My coaches and I had planned out detailed training programs and I put in work to make it a reality. I was really stoked!
My second accomplishment happened on the last day of 2015. I climbed a v14. I had trained for a couple months to get as strong as possible to boulder hard and I accomplished my goal of climbing v13 or harder on the last day of the year.
A 2016 resolution of mine is to boulder outdoors as much as possible. Last year, I went for a trip to bishop over new year’s (2014/15 and 2015/16), and a one day bouldering session in October. I feel like I need to start putting more effort into getting outdoors more in order to progress my climbing, both indoors and outdoors. Once I get my driver’s license hopefully this will become easier!