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Reviewing The First Year Of Training

Recreating images wiRecreating images with my lover Richard.

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A year ago I realised I was stuck. After three years of pottering around the climbing wall and occasionally hitting the rock at the weekend, I could barely climb V5. My goals were a couple of 7A classics in the Peak District and I was determined to figure out how to work my way through the plateau. It dawned on me that I could get a coach and online coaching seemed like the most sensible way to go about it. […]

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Rock climber @hazel_Rock climber @hazel_findlay “deep water soloing”, Musandam Peninsula, Oman. Photo: @jimmy_chin. | The 29 Most Insane Photos From National Geographic's Instagram

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rockclimbing women(cool, nice) - abf30291b6c4de67bcaedf8d9a5045ae - 2016-08-23-11-13-35

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Sasha DiGiulian gettSasha DiGiulian getting the feel of dry tooling in East Vail, Colorado.

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Our rock crusher for this week's Sending Sister was featured in a previous post, A Mother's Love - An Interview With Moms of Two Competition Climbers, where I interviewed her mother on the challenges of raising a competitive climber. If you missed it, here's a little about her from that post:

 
"At only 13 years old, Arabella has been tearing up the climbing scene lately with her most recent 1st place win at the Tuck Fest Deep Water Solo Competition and her impressive 2nd place finish at the 2015 Hueco Rock Rodeo in the women's open category (beating out some women who were twice her age!) She also took home the title of Dyno Champion at the end of that comp."
 
Arabella Jariel is definitely a climber to keep an eye on. I'm honored to share her story. And with that, here's Arabella...
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Sending Sisters: Arabella Jariel
I don’t remember the first time I climbed, but I do know that the moment I walked in to the climbing gym I was never going to leave. What made me like climbing so much was how there is always a challenge. There was always something that I was determined to do, whether it was doing 100 moves on the system board, or being able to do a pull-up. I remember trying a single climb over and over, until my parents would have to pull me off of the climbing wall. It was also the first sport my parents did with me. 
Sending Sisters: Arabella Jariel
Arabella crushing at 8 years old - November 2009
I started climbing when I was seven years old. I would go with my parents to the gym every Saturday, just for fun. One day while we were at the gym, two girls told me that I should join the Earth Treks climbing team. I would have tried out for the team, but at the time I was eight years old, one year younger than the age requirement. Instead, my parents signed me up for private lessons with one of the coaches, Crystal. Crystal also coached the competitive team, and she allowed me to be a part of the team’s practices as a guest. I was inspired by all of the strong and motivated climbers on the climbing team. A couple of months later, I joined the team, and have been competing ever since.
 
Sending Sisters: Arabella Jariel
Taking the swing at ABS Youth Nationals 2014
I love how you can climb competitively, or just for recreation, unlike other sports. This past season, I decided to take ABS (American Bouldering Series) off and focus on outdoor climbing. While I started climbing outside at a young age, my trips have been limited because of the amount of time, travel and costs associated with indoor competitions. I’ve always felt like a stronger indoor climber. My goal was to get stronger outside and climb my first V10. Outdoor climbing was fun for me because unlike competitions, there was low stress and new goals to be set. In the fall, my parents took me to popular climbing destinations along the east coast like Little Rock City, Mount Gretna, Boone and the Gunks. It was a nice change to be able to climb on real rocks and I could feel myself getting stronger with each trip.  
Sending Sisters: Arabella Jariel
Going horizontal on "Rocco Never Dies" at The Gunks - 2014
All this prepared me for my big trip out west in December to Red Rocks, in Las Vegas. Not only did I climb a number of fun classics like “The Pearl,” “Monkey Bar Traverse,” and “Monkey Wrench,” I finally climbed my first V10: “Scare Tactics.” During the three days I worked on it, I found new beta, and stuck moves that felt impossible in the beginning. Every day, new climbers would come to try the climb. Some of them were eager to give beta, and helped me along. It was amazing being able to watch myself progress throughout the trip.  I also got to meet and watch some pro-climbers like Alex Johnson, Alex Honnold and Isaac Caldiero, who also didn’t hesitate to give beta.
 

Scare Tactics V10 and Slice N Dice V9 from jsquared on Vimeo.
Arabella climbing “Scare Tactics” and “Slice N Dice” 
 
This past year was a huge success and it reminded me that you can achieve anything. I hope that this year will be the same, as well as the many that follow. Rock climbing is such a fun sport, and I hope that I continue climbing for the rest of my life. 
Sending Sisters: Arabella Jariel
Arabella eyeing her next move on "Clawfoot" at the Hueco Rock Rodeo 2015. Photo credit: Alex Manelis.
 
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Arabella is sponsored by Evolv
 
Climb On, Sister!

Read more http://climbonsister.blogspot.com/2015/05/sending-sisters-arabella-jariel.html

Thanks to my sponsor Evolv, there's been a huge influx of female climbers wanting to contribute to the blog lately. Luckily for me, I get to share their articles and stories here, for you.
 
This week, it's Catherine Vaillancourt (who's also sponsored by Evolv). I'm always so psyched when it comes to posting a Sending Sisters profile, because I know it's inspiring for others to hear how a climber started out, how they got to where they are, and their goals for the future. Every climber has their own story to tell and we can all relate to it in one way or another. 
 
So sit back, relax, and let Catherine tell you her tale. 
Sending Sisters: Catherine Vaillancourt
Catherine looking happy while climbing pregnant at Red Rocks, NV. Photo credit: Olivier Turgeon

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As a kid, we often envision ourselves becoming a responsible adult with a full-time job and a family. I guess that’s normal. As such, I didn’t think I could ever imagine myself becoming what some people call a dirt-bag.

Sending Sisters: Catherine Vaillancourt
Catherine on Beef Cake (V10), Bishop, CA. Photo credit: Olivier Turgeon

At age 24, I quit a good job as a journalist and left on a long road trip through the States and Mexico. Ever since, my life has been oriented towards climbing and the lifestyle that comes with it. Although this year marks the beginning of a new chapter, I think I’ve found a balance between routine and freedom. At age 31, I’m pregnant and looking forward to passing on my passion to the next generation, with a vision of family and stability that has been greatly shaped by my climbing experience and by the people I’ve met at the crag.

Sending Sisters: Catherine Vaillancourt
Climbing in Red Rocks, while pregnant! Photo credit: Gabriel Rancourt

I think climbing got me hooked because it never gets old. Every problem or route is different and the puzzle can sometimes be very hard to solve. I love sport climbing and bouldering equally, but in different ways. Sport climbing allows me to conquer my fear of failure and forces me to focus on the task at hand. Time is suspended for the few minutes it takes to get to the anchor. I like to get into the “zone”, where the only thing that matters is the next hold. There’s no time to think about anything else. Bouldering is more of a physical battle that requires a whole lot of perseverance – which, I must admit, I sometimes lack. Luckily, I have an amazing boyfriend who is always there to remind how important it is to believe in ourselves.

Sending Sisters: Catherine Vaillancourt
Catherine, on her project at her home crag: Poumon d'acier, Quebec. 5.13d. She was getting pretty close, but it will have to wait post-pregnancy! Photo credit: Olivier Turgeon

As I live in Québec City, where the climbing season is short and the crags are sparse, travelling is a very important part of my life. Hueco Tanks and Bishop are high on my list when it comes to favorite destinations. We definitely plan on hitting the road with the baby to discover new areas – and I think that bouldering will be our best bet with a young child.

Sending Sisters: Catherine Vaillancourt
Crushing Immunity Challenge (V7), Squamish. Photo credit: Olivier Ouellette

I’m trying not to think too much about big projects and grades right now, because it’s hard to tell how long it will take to get back into climbing shape, but I’ll take it one “baby” step at a time… I’m so psyched and looking forward to sharing my passion and lifestyle! I think this experience is worth gold!
Looking forward to this new year that begins!!
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Check out some videos of Catherine crushing!!!

Follow Catherine's adventures via her blog at goneclimbing.wordpress.com
Catherine's sponsored by Evolv, Blurr, and Flashed
Climb On, Sister!

Read more http://climbonsister.blogspot.com/2015/02/sending-sisters-catherine-vaillancourt.html

This week's Sending Sister is Melise Edwards. I've been following Melise through her Instagram account for a while now and she always seems to make me miss being outdoors with every post.
Check out her story below, watch her send hard problems in the south, and follow her adventures via her blog!
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Sending Sisters: Melise Edwards
Melise Edwards scoping out her next move on River Dance (V9) in Dayton Pocket, TN. Photo credit: Michael Durenleau

My introduction to climbing was a bit unusual. I was a high school senior trying to decide what to do for the highly anticipated senior project. Somehow, I got away with being able to receive class credit for rock climbing while studying the “psychological effects of extreme sports.” I would climb in the gym with my mentor once or twice a week and learn about everything from climbing gear to bouldering techniques. At the end of the project, my mentor took me on a slabby, three pitch 5.4 in the Pisgah National Forest. Although usually petrified by my fear of heights, I felt strangely at ease and enamored with the incredible view. Most people say that the “climbing bug” bites them hard and fast, that they’re instantly hooked beyond the likelihood of recovery, but my relationship with climbing and appreciation for it would build much slower.

Sending Sisters: Melise Edwards
Keeping the tension on Preferential Treatment (V9/10) at Boone, NC. Photo credit: Craig Dillenbeck

For the four years I was in college, I had a car for 3 months. I depended on others for rides and opportunities to climb outside, but thankfully within the climbing community I have experienced that there are no shortages of supreme kindness. Some of my best friends to this day are people who offered me rides to the crag or that I met at climbing events in the southeast. I was (and still am) painfully shy when it comes to meeting new people, but through climbing I was able to work on being in uncomfortable situations, face challenges at hand and form relationships with others all while burning off the five or so candy bars I would eat beforehand.

Sending Sisters: Melise Edwards
Melise nabbing the FFA on Changing Lanes (V9) at Boone, NC. Photo credit: Brennen Bull

My friends and I got really into training and would work out together, support each other on projects, and somehow share the highs and lows of everything else going on in our lives through climbing. Climbing was something I was drawn to for the obvious physical and health benefits, but it also provided this framework where I could understand things about myself and others. Similar to working through the crux of a problem, time and time again I had to re-evaluate why I felt jealous of another person, or how to cope with an irrational fear of heights, or how to look at failure in a different and less emotional way and learn from it.

Sending Sisters: Melise Edwards
Trying hard on Portobello (V9), Boone, NC. Photo credit: Zach Silberman

After graduating with a degree in Biology and French and working as a Wildlife Biology Technician, I decided I wanted to try something totally different. Now, I am living out of my car on a climbing road trip where things are pretty smelly, (well, really just me) often uncomfortable, and sometimes really scary. Sleeping in parking lots, climbing by yourself, making deliberate decisions about where to go and what climbs you’d like to try takes a lot of confidence I wasn’t sure I had. (Not in the sense of “Hay, I look gud!” but rather “Man, is this really what I want? Is this the best decision?") I wouldn’t have it any other way. Climbing hasn’t just been a fun hobby and exciting way to spend time outside, it has been a means to stay infinitely curious and childlike, meet people from all over and to continue working on being the best version of myself I can be. When you throw yourself in scary situations, whether it is a climb or a brand new experience, you can often surprise yourself and unexpectedly rise to the challenge.

I think everyone wants to get stronger. Everyone wants to improve. Climbing my first V10 in the southeast would be awesome. Competing in competitions where you have to be focused and have a great attitude would be really cool too. But ultimately, I want to be happy, surround myself with people I love and continue chasing the life I want to live.
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Here's a video of Melise tearing it up in the south!

 
 


Follow Melise on her adventures via her blog: https://itsajurg.wordpress.com/ or her Instagram: @meliseymo
Melise is sponsored by Evolv, Misty Mountain Thread Works,Outdoor Research, and HoldFast Outfitters
Climb On, Sister!

Read more http://climbonsister.blogspot.com/2015/02/sending-sisters-melise-edwards.html


It's been a little quiet on this blog for a couple of weeks, meaning, I've been super busy and haven't had time to update much. But let's get back into the swing of things with another Sending Sisters post!
This week, it's Regan Kennedy. She shares her beginnings in the sport, goals, and her year round climbing schedule. She's super psyched year round, something that's difficult to master. Read on to learn more about her!
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Sending Sisters: Regan Kennedy
Regan, psyched on Scare Tactics in Las Vegas. 

I was born and raised in Saskatoon Saskatchewan and for those of you who don’t know where that is or what it’s like; it’s comparable to Kansas. So how did a 25 year old girl get onto climbing there you ask. At 25 I was more studious than athletic. I was just starting a Masters degree when we had a couple of Italian exchange students come to our lab. One of them, a climber, twisted my arm to join him for a climb one day at the University… the rest is history. From day one I really enjoyed the movement and the challenge in climbing. I also adored the supportive nature of its community. I was influenced early on by the local Saskatoon crew. They were (and still are for the most part) some under the radar amazing climbers.
My life slowly shifted from student to athlete in that I started to train to become a better climber, I started competing and taking small trips to climb outdoors. I traveled so many times to the Bow Valley (in Alberta) that literally one day I decided to pack up everything and start from scratch in Calgary Alberta. The move totally inspired me. I became even more motivated and consumed with the sport. Climbing inspired me to want to learn more about movement and training which led to me working with some really knowledgeable people to get me to where I am today.
Now, settled into the lifestyle of the sport, I focus on three ‘styles’ of climbing: Outdoor sport climbing in the summer, indoor / outdoor bouldering in the winter and indoor competition in the winter. The switch keeps my training fresh and each discipline has no trouble holding my attention for one third of the year. I have started the past three years setting clear goals in each discipline and this helps me plan my training and keep on track with it.
The summer: Outdoor Sport climbing
There was a day when my summer goal was 12.a, then 13.a, then 13+ and now this summer I hope to send my first 14.a. If you had asked me four years ago if I thought 14a was a possibility for me, I would have laughed at you. Now, I realize with hard work, motivation and desire anything is possible.

Sending Sisters: Regan Kennedy
Regan on Dainty Butterfly. Red River Gorge, KY (2014). Photo credit: Josh Muller

My favorite summer crag in the bow valley is Acephale. You may have heard of it referred to as ‘the icebox of broken dreams’ or ‘ace’. It is arguably one of the coolest crags in the summer on this continent. It’s south facing, blue streaky limestone and is sheltered by a forest. I spend most of my time here. I love the style of climbing (short routes with boulder cruxes), the quaintness of the crag, the fact that it has a beautiful 45 minute hike in and that it is 45 minutes form my house. I often get labeled as someone who will only go there, it’s not entirely true of false, I do visit other crags around the valley, I just happen to love Acephale. I’ve had many first here and this summer I hope to climb my first 14.a.
The winter: Outdoor bouldering
For obvious reasons, we can’t / don’t boulder / climb outdoors in the winter. I take this time to get back on the training wagon. My training is geared towards, well, getting better at climbing. With that said, my primary focus is on outdoor climbing so my training is geared towards that. We try to take at least one outdoor bouldering trip in the winter. We’ve visited many destinations: Bishop, Las Vegas, Hueco, the South East area and so on… My goal has been (for the last three winters) to see progression in my outdoor bouldering. What this looks like for me is to be sending V-moderate more quickly and to send a few V10’s. For the moderate part, what I love most about climbing is figuring out beta that works for me and/or being able to see beta from the ground. I love seeing V-moderate progression, it’s the clear indicator to me that not only am I getting stronger, but also I’m becoming a better climber. For the V10 part- this was one of my all-time lifetime goals in climbing and I have accomplished it 3 times! I don’t see myself as a V10 climber; I understand that repetition and hard work can earn you almost anything. That’s why for the last three years my outdoor bouldering goals have been the same: get better at outdoor climbing and try to climb at least one V10.

Sending Sisters: Regan Kennedy
Extending that reach on Stake Your Claim in Las Vegas, NV (2015). Photo credit: Josh Muller

The Winter: Indoor competition
Early in my climbing life I tried competing. I loved it. The community and comradery is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I have met so many people and made so many friends competing, I would hate to walk away form it. I don’t train for competition, per say, I use competition to #1 see my friends and #2 gauge my training. Since being able to flash problems is an asset in competition, this is what I am testing, my ability to flash and read problems and the amount of strength I have to get me through. With that said, since competition is such a big part of my climbing culture I do set goals for myself. I like to make Finals in all local and regional competitions and end up in the top 10 Canadian females (these goals I have been able to accomplish for several years now).

Sending Sisters: Regan Kennedy
Regan competing at the Calgary Climbing Center (2014). Photo by Ben Haley

Everything I’ve mentioned here would not have been possible without the influence of a few key people, the support from many climbers and my sponsors: evolv, Petzl, Flashed climbing, and Outdoor Research. This is me in a nutshell. Always motivated, psyched and happy to climb!
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As she mentioned above, Regan is sponsored by Outdoor Research, Flashed Climbing, Petzl, and Evolv Sports.
Follow her adventures via her blog or Instagram!
Climb On, Sister!

Read more http://climbonsister.blogspot.com/2015/04/sending-sisters-regan-kennedy.html