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 [...]

Grand Parcours: Helping Women Climb Mountains

words by Tanya Naville; photos by Guillaume Borga While the media may create a perception that women are not present in alpinism, the French Alpine Club demonstrates otherwise. Each June, the Grand Parcours takes place at Chamonix Mont-Blanc. The multi-day event, offered by the French Alpine Club, is an opportunity for both beginners to learn the basics of mountaineering and for seasoned mountaineers to further develop their skills. [...]

Climbing Photography: Snapping Through a Fear of Heights

words and photos by Shani Leead :: A few years ago, if you asked if I would scramble to the top of a rock formation, I would have looked at you like you were nuts. I’m terrified of heights, specifically if it entails a life-threatening level of exposure. I am also clumsy and leave most physical activity with bruises. But on a recent trip to [...]

Girl Beta in Bishop: A Weekend with Flash Foxy

They waited, mouses poised, hoping to score one of 200 spots. Within one minute of ticket sales opening, the second annual Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival was sold out. Those who secured a spot would be on their way to Bishop, California in the first weekend of March to meet female climbers from across the country. The demand was high because the festival answered a [...]

Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival: We Grow Together

words: Laura Grieser. Photo: Instagram My voice wavered as I told my boyfriend I was headed to Colorado for a weekend of ice climbing. “It’s an all-women's trip,” I said. “I’ll make friends.” He laughed. I’m not a climber, and I’ve never expressed interest in climbing. But off I went, taking ferries, hopping planes, and carpooling with strangers so I could [...]