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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 | 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 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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