Category: Climbing

Bay Area Climbers Coalition: Why I Volunteer

Climbing Yosemite Half Dome Bay Area Climbers Coalition

I grew up in a household where it was bad to speak up. I was raised to accept things as they are. To never question authority. To never get involved. To never rock the boat. To sit down and be quiet because someone else is always right.

That mentality kind of, sort of stuck with me throughout the years. While I’ve never been fully checked out, I’ve also never dove in deeply to support a cause or an organization. I donate money from time to time. I volunteer from time to time. But I wanted something more.

After last year’s election, I wanted to do something. Now, I run social media for the Bay Area Climbers Coalition.

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Pro Tips: Angie Payne Talks Advocacy

Angie Payne Save Red Rock Mountain Hardwear Advocacy Stewardship

Climbing and advocacy are two things that are close to my heart. Protecting and giving back to the places that I’m so lucky to play in is something I feel really passionate about. Mountain Hardwear posted about Save Red Rock last month with one of their athletes, Angie Payne. I got to sit down—well, send off millions of questions via email more like it—with Angie to ask her a few questions around being a professional athlete, stewardship, and advocacy.

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Roadtrip the Eastern Sierra in 4 Days

Roadtrip the Eastern Sierra

A few years ago I celebrated my 25th birthday in the Eastern Sierra. I had four whole days dedicated to fun, some driving to and from the Bay Area, but no agenda. I’d been to the East Side before, to tackle Mt. Whitney and some ice climbing, but had never driven the length of 395. I’m always stuck with the dilemma of trying to see something of everything, or sticking to just one spot. For my 25th trip around the sun, I was going to try to see a bit of it all.

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Tuolumne Meadows Climbing Pywiack Dome

A Weekend of Trad Leads

Tuolumne Meadows Dozier Dome Climbing

The first time I ever led trad was about a year ago. I got a crash course in placing nuts right before. My friend mumbled some stuff to me, patted me on the back, and headed up the pitch with another friend. I would meet them up there. I nervously adjusted the sling containing the alpine draws and nuts. I thumbed through all the cams and started to climb.

My first piece was a nut, right off the deck. My second piece was another nut, perfectly slotted into a constriction right before a lieback. I didn’t trust it. I don’t know why. I was afraid of kicking it out. I froze. And then I lowered off it, too unsure of myself and my abilities to continue. The pitch was a 5.4 on low angle slab.

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Climbing Matthes Crest

Climbing Matthes Crest

Climbing Matthes Crest

Matthes Crest is one of the iconic, classic High Sierra climbs, and it’s been on my todo list for god knows how long. A granite knife ridge cutting straight through the sky, this beast of a rock is tucked away in the backcountry of Tuolumne Meadows away from Highway 120 and any main trails. This was my one sufferfest this summer that didn’t feel too much like suffering. We somehow ended the long day still smiling and laughing.

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