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Posted by on Apr 27, 2018 in Featured, Personal Stories | 0 comments

The Once and Future Climber

The Once and Future Climber

I consider myself a climber in the core of my being, although I’m not particularly strong, skilled or prolific. I feel most myself when I have sandstone grit in my fingernails and hear the windchime call of gear on my harness. But this past year a new identity lodged into the core of my being: mom. Full time working mom. Finding the balance between my job, my infant son, and the person I’ve always thought I was has been one of the most difficult challenges yet. I found myself without beta and full of paradoxes, especially feeling deeply isolated although literally never alone.  So, I wanted to share just a quick glimpse of my own experience, in hopes that it might inspire, console, or reassure other new moms out there right now, who may be feeling like they “used to be” a climber. I had been extremely proud to climb all the way into my third trimester until the desert summer heat caught up with my swollen belly and the doctor...

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Posted by on Jan 20, 2018 in Featured, Personal Stories | 0 comments

Wrapping my head around being a mom…

Wrapping my head around being a mom…

I’ve had about 7 months to ponder what life would be like once I have the little baby that’s growing inside me right now. I’ve always struggled a bit with showing my “excitement” in the more traditional ways that many folks do. Rather, I internalize a lot of those feelings. I remember going on my first few multi-pitch climbs with my husband. He’d say “did you have fun” and I would simply say, “yes.” He would stare at me for a little bit and I could tell by the look on his face he was thinking “jeez, that’s it?” haha. While, inside my little-excited person was jumping up and down saying “fuck yea, that was epic”. I’ve learned a lot of about myself and have worked on showing those emotions a little bit more outwardly, but they don’t always pop up quickly. So, when someone asks you “are you excited?” in regards to having a baby, my initial soft-spoken response is “oh, yes.” It’s not what people are usually hoping...

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Posted by on Jan 20, 2018 in Featured, Gear Reviews | 0 comments

Gear Review: The Red Chili Spirit Lady VCR

Gear Review: The Red Chili Spirit Lady VCR

Review by Jessica Barilone Brand: Red Chili Model: Spirit Lady VCR Retail Price: $80-$125 Specs as advertised: 3 VCR (hook and loop) straps for adjustment Twin tongue for easy opening and easy in / out Synthetic upper to keep shape and size of the shoe leather footbed for comfort and nonslip positioning of the foot Impact Zone EVA cushioning under the heel Red Chili RX 2 rubber 4,2 mm Pros: Comfortable after full day of climbing. Cons: Lacks outdoor durability. The test: I bought my first pair of Spirit Ladies at the beginning of the indoor season last fall. I broke them in quite easily and found that they were extremely comfortable, molding well to my feet. They were precise enough for indoor holds and maintained some rigidity. When spring came around, they faired well for a week of multi-pitch on granite and regular sport climbing on limestone. However, it wasn’t before long (two months of climbing outdoors regularly, 2-3 days/week) until my big toe broke on through to...

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