All paths lead nowhere, choose with heart

sports action and ClimbTech June 19, 2012

Filed under: Climbing,Uncategorized — sendann @ 9:08 pm
Tags: ,

So last week I started praying for the motivation to commit more of my time and resources to sport climbing.


so ya idk wth bbq is up with my sport climbing but i have a few ideas


I think I have come upon a serious wall, so to speak, with de clippings, and I think I’ve been at it for a while. Here’s my story:

So way back when I was about 14 or 15, I was crushing some gymnastics, and then, in the middle of a strong training summer, I was so over it. And I had lots of lame reasons, and it felt like the right thing to do to quit at the time blah blah, but the truth was that I was terrified. I had come up fast in the sport, learned all kinds of awesome tricks, and swung bars as well as girls several levels beyond me. But by this point the next tricks on the list were really scary, and I spent a lot of time just half-trying them, not committing, bailing out, hurting myself worse in the process. I stopped loving bars and vault – the powerful, fast, upper-body-intensive events that drew me to the sport as a spindly 8 yr old. I started focusing on beam and floor, things that were closer to the ground and involved less aerial momentum.


With no new tricks, though, I got discouraged. My teammates learned the new vaults, did bar releases,  giants, complicated dismounts, and I just plateaued like wow, so bored right now.

Fast forward 17 years or so, and  I feel like I’m in a simliar place with sport climbing. I haven’t tried a sport climb that felt honestly limit in….a really long time (not counting the 11a warm up at jailhouse that I only saw the top of once). I’m pretty sure the last move I worked and couldn’t do in sequence within a few go’s was the move to the drilled pocket on that thing at Reimers…wtf is it called? Next to Lord of the Dance-Dance?  Classiqe,  lots of chipping and drilled pockets? Anyway, point is it was 2009 at the very latest. And it’s not that I try lines and can’t do them and quit. I don’t even get ON them. I just take a few goes (or in the case of Jailhouse, a few WEEKS) to put moves together with rests and kneebars in the right order, then go back to the boulders.

So I went to Rumney with Leo last weekend and did my fear game. It was amazing to hang out with him and I think we talked almost non-stop the entire time, and I loved the area, but stuck to easy terrain. I’ve been forcing myself to do at least one 12a/bb at every sport climbing spot, and I got through that easily enough there, but jeeze ann, let’s at least try to pretend to be trying to try hard.

And I can’t give up. Serious, effortfull sport climbing has to be a part of my life. My joints can’t boulder season after season, and my heart can’t handle not climbing at all, plus I love it, AND I’m completely decent at it. I need it in my life in order to be fully myself.

So all that, and reflecting on my gymnastics experience, has lead me to the conclude that my fear of heights has become unmanageable, and is negatively impacting my life.

I have a functional fear of heights that limits my ability to climb my best when there are ropes or exposure involved. My ability drops a grade every 12 feet I climb up, and as I get panicked about that, and tired from climbing so badly, my vision tunnels until I might as well be looking for holds through one of those shoe-box eclipse viewer things.



this is my hard sport climbing technique

What to do? I had no idea so I started praying about it, which is where I started this story. After that I got 2 exciting and unexpected phone calls.


The first one was from ClimbTech, the Austin-based climbing and industrial safety gear company that made my pretty red quickdraws, and also makes permadraws for gyms and crags and the original removable bolt,  and a new line of climbing accessories. They’re starting up an athlete ambassador program, and expanding their line of sport climbing gear, and asked ME to be a part of it!

“You know I’m kind of struggling with sport climbing, right?”

They did, but feel certain that my extensive travel and vast enthusiasm will keep me clippin, and they’re willing to invest a little in me. So WOw! I’m honored and excited, because I’ve also been praying for a set of matching new draws. I feel like it would inspire me and it IS!


The other call was about a sport climbing trip opportunity, but more on that later.


Anyway, I’m headed to the Rocklands right now, like I”m at the airport, and need to go pretty much now. Let’s talk more when I arrive there and get settled, on Saturday. It’s Tuesday. Yeah.


princess of power! June 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — sendann @ 2:23 am
Tags: , ,

Since I first saw this picture of Cedar bouldering in a ballgown last summer, I’ve thought about it at least twice a week. Her dress, and her concentration, are basically what I strive for every day in the boulders. And her expression is pretty much how I feel.

cedar getting some in CO summer 2012, Tscholl spotting, pic by thomo

On the same subject, I wanted to highlight what I think of as a glorious underground (so far) trend of shouting “I’m doing it! See?! See!?!” while sending. This also originated with Cedar…

click through for the video….




This is an ad from Rock Creek, who send the least spam of anyone when you get an account:

Entire line of Five Ten Climbing Shoes at Rock/Creek, plus FREE Shipping over $49


ethan allen boulders June 7, 2012

Filed under: Climbing,The Future,Work — sendann @ 4:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I saw this tiny bit of info on mountainproject about some boulders in Ethan Allen Park, in north Burlington. I’m staying in Shelburne, just south of Burlington, working on farms and gardens until my flight to South Africa leaves, and since my weeding gig was postponed today, I decided to check ’em out.

Following the mproj directions, I found the boulders easily. There’s lots of HUGE scary tall crumbling stuff I stayed away from, and a few fun lines on the lower side of the trail. I brushed off a couple of obvious aretes and managed to get a good afternoon pump.

I’ve been playing with my new video camera, watching myself and trying to develop a more technical, graceful climbing style while documenting this strange little trip to New England. My camera (kodak playsport xiz3 or something, it’s white and waterproof) seems to make pretty low quality reels, but it’s neat to learn to work with clips. Hopefully I’ll get a handle on FCP basics soon and show you something that MOVES! For now, here are some stills from my Ethan Allen exploration.

made up some powerful eliminate variations on this teardrop-shaped arete. The rock is slick, shiny schist with angular, blocky crimps and slots.

taking the hand broom to the face of this lovely candy ball boulder.

and i think that is the most important quality for any woman. grace? yes, grace.

Real quick, since I know we haven’t talked in forever, I wanted to point out that I have a couple of affiliate ads up around here. This is how that works: If you click on something on sendann, for example this little rei thing:



Or that ad over there with the crashpadgirl, then they’ll know that you came from here, and if you buy anything that time (or anytime in the next few days I think) it gives me a few percent off the top, which I will funnel directly back into this blog in the way of candy, mastodon rent, and thrift store patagonia. Same thing for Aubrey Organics (the only things that touch my freaking hair), and ShindaggerGear, although actually not really in that particular instance.


Adirondackers June 2, 2012

Filed under: Climbing,Picture Taking — sendann @ 9:11 pm
Tags: , , ,

Hi! I’d say I’ve been lazy, but it would be a lie. I’ll explain later?

Spent this week exploring the Mackenzie Pond boulders near Lakes Placid and Saranac in the Adirondacks with Veevers. What a treat to spend time together outside of the Hueco season! I went to college kind of close to here in Vermont, where I’ve also been bouldering while I work in gardens and wait for my flight to South Africa to leave from NYC. It’s felt eye opening and wonderful to come back with a thirst for boulders. The bouldering I’ve done has a super local feel, small zones with concentrations of classics and lots of warm ups. I’m feeling psyched to explore mostly on my own, doing lots of circuits, getting bold for higher moderate lines, and getting lost (for an hour alone omg it was awful). More about the trip later. Heeeeere’s Ashley!

Veevers warming up at Mackenzie Zone 2

the IF boulder

I’m that friend who takes pictures of you when you’re eating and walking then puts them on the internet

Veevers downclimbing, sort of