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Posted by on Jan 20, 2018 in Featured, Personal Stories | 4 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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Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Destinations, Featured, Personal Stories | 3 comments

An American Climber in France

An American Climber in France

By: Jessica Barilone After a nearly six year hiatus from climbing, the mountains called me back and I made my way to Grenoble, France where I currently reside. When I climbed in U.S. I was mostly a gym rat and only made a few ventures outside, so this time around I was hell-bent on being an outdoor climber. As soon as I arrived in Grenoble I started climbing, at first on top rope but within a few months I was learning how to lead sport and multi-pitch climbs (in French, no less). In March of this year I participated in a Red Rock Rendezvous (RRR) event where I was re-immersed into the American climbing scene. And since, I’ve had American climbing pals join me in France. Now having climbed on both sides of the pond I have observed some stark differences in the climbing communities in France and U.S., from gear to how we communicate and our general climbing philosophy. Personal Anchoring System (PAS) First things first, in terms...

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