Fear in the Outdoors: Climbing on Through Acceptance

words and photos by Roanne Van Voorst :: I was trembling. I was excited to be climbing for the first time, but there was one problem: My body wasn’t on board. This was true fear in climbing. I felt sick to my stomach and so dizzy that I could hardly see where I was going. When I safely reached the floor, pale with [...]

Rappelling Out of Control: Learning to Let Go and Accept the Unexpected

words and photos by Sara Amish :: I wasn’t worried. I'd been rappelling before. Sure, this one was a little bigger than what I was used to, but not by much. Just last year, I did a 35-meter rappel into Lost and Found Canyon in Utah's Arches National Park, marking my introduction into the world of canyoneering. Now I was with the same [...]

Falling is Progress: Lead climbing lessons in Patagonia’s Piedra Parada

words and photos (unless otherwise credited) by Sarah Johnson :: Javi was doing a handstand in the middle of the highway when we finally caught a ride. He, my boyfriend (Thibault), and I were hitchhiking from Bariloche, Argentina to Piedra Parada, located further down Route 40. The area, which means “Standing Stone” in English, is one of my favorite climbing areas in [...]

Sam’s Throne: Discovering Arkansas Climbing in the Ozarks

Words and photos by Tara Shupe :: Staring down from the top of the Arkansas Bluffs, I was reminded of my fear of heights. Trying to ignore my doubts in my ability to rappel, I start strapping on my helmet and consolidating my gear. I leaned over the top ledge and felt the weight of my backpack pull me away from the wall. [...]

Want to Climb Harder? Go with Beginners

words by Molly Herber As a newcomer to rock climbing, I thought climbing better meant climbing as much as possible. When I led a group of beginners for the first time, everything changed. I realized that climbing hard was only a fraction of what makes a good climber. When the usual organizers of a weekly rock climbing “Ladies’ Night” event were absent, I [...]

Trailside Kitchen: Navigating the Terrain of Entrepreneurship

I’ll never forget the moment I decided I hated the outdoors. Early in high school, I went on a wilderness trip with my family to Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. At some point during a long portage — carrying two heavy packs (one on my front and one on my back), getting eaten alive by mosquitos, and my wet, blistered feet making me choke [...]