“Caption that Photo!” No. 1

Photo No. 1

To enter to win a win a Marmot Zelus 25 pack you must leave a “caption” in the comment box at the bottom of this post. You can leave as many captions as you’d like but please, keep it classy! Make sure you sign-in to the comment box by leaving your e-mail address so we have a way to contact you in the event you are selected as a winner. Check out the complete contest details here.

Have you captioned photo No. 2 or photo No. 3 yet?

Thanks for playing along!

“Caption that Photo!” No. 2

Photo No. 2

To enter to win a win a Marmot Zelus 25 pack you must leave a “caption” in the comment box at the bottom of this post. You can leave as many captions as you’d like but please, keep it classy! Make sure you sign-in to the comment box by leaving your e-mail address so we have a way to contact you in the event you are selected as a winner. Check out the complete contest details here.

Have you captioned photo No. 1 or photo No. 3 yet?

Thanks for playing along!

“Caption that Photo!” No. 3

Photo No. 3

To enter to win a win a Marmot Zelus 25 pack you must leave a “caption” in the comment box at the bottom of this post. You can leave as many captions as you’d like but please, keep it classy! Make sure you sign-in to the comment box by leaving your e-mail address so we have a way to contact you in the event you are selected as a winner. Check out the complete contest details here.

Have you captioned photo No. 1 or photo No. 2 yet?

Thanks for playing along!

Holiday Gossip from your friends at Chicks!

Here on the Chicks Climbing Gossip Report you can catch up on all of the great gossip (articles, videos, and other assorted cool stuff) we talked about over the past week at Chicks Climbing.

Have you heard about the Chicks HOLIDAY SPECIALS on all of our 2012 Chicks with Picks clinics yet?!?!?! If you want to come out and join us in Ouray in 2012 then find out how to save big by signing up in December! Check out all the details here.

This “Chicks sighting”/trip report is an example of our alumnae going from learning to tie into a rope to becoming self-sufficient climbers taking trips to the Dolomites! Read about Cheryl Wallace & Kate Higgins’ trip to the beautiful mountains of Italy here.

We also posted a blog this week from The Head Chick as she tries to capture with words many of the “intangibles” our Chicks take home after a clinic. Read what some of our alumnae have to say here at the Chicks blog.

Do you hang out on Google+ ??? So do we! Find us here so we can get you in our circle and stay up-to-date on another platform with all the latest and greatest from Chicks.

All of the other articles we linked to this past week through either the Chicks Climbing Twitter account, or on the Chicks Climbing Facebook fan page (and some on both!). We provide this wrap-up because we come across a TON of great resources each week, but understand that not everyone is online all the time, or even on both (or either) of these social media platforms. So you can check here each and every week for the latest and greatest in Chicks Climbing resources.

However, we know WE may have also missed some cool stuff this week, so if there is something of interest we missed that you came across this week please, let us know so we can share with everyone else!

Climbing
– Is Ouray home to America’s hardest mixed climbing area? http://ht.ly/7Pazn
– If you haven’t seen this awesome video of Sasha DiGiulian’s (@sashadigiulian) send of “Pure Imagination” take a few to watch it now: http://ht.ly/7SXIn
– The Sue Nott scholarship for the Michigan Ice Fest is still available for girls 9-17 who want to learn to ice climb: http://ht.ly/7TqFH
– GREAT interview with climbing legend Jeff Lowe is up at The GearCaster (@TheGearcaster):  http://ht.ly/7P9SQ
– Vertical Girl athlete Tara Reynvaan kills ‘Kings of Rap’ 5.12d at Smith Rock! Sick! http://fb.me/1r2FLBF9N
– Wise words on taking a rest period from climbing to stave off injury from Erica (@cragmama): http://ht.ly/7T711
– Good read from Climbing Magazine (@ClimbingMag) which interviewed Yosemite’s SAR staff on some big-wall accidents from the past 10 years: http://ht.ly/7Ps1E
– Great lesson on the different “quick” belay techniques from AAI (@AlpineInstitute):  http://ht.ly/7Qy3N
– New interview with Girly Guide Caroline George on Ice Climbing: http://ht.ly/7RIIx
– Fun interview with Will Gadd – see what he’s been up to (including dry tooling as a stunt double for a new Jason Bourne flick!) http://ht.ly/7UEJu
– Kelly Cordes talks about the magic of Hyalite Canyon ice climbing: http://ht.ly/7UCoZ
– Anyone can climb. Be inspired. http://ht.ly/7PrJ3
– Has increasing access to technology in remote locations affected your climbing experience?  http://ht.ly/7UCTK
– Great video of Mt. Gretna bouldering! http://fb.me/zv3T5zq7
– Awesome holiday gift guide for climbers courtesy of Splitter Choss (@splitterchoss): http://ht.ly/7T7vC
– Looking for a gift? How about giving the Gift of Membership to The American Alpine Club to your favorite climber? http://owl.li/7Ln1C

News
– The Head Chick gets some press at the Bozeman Ice Fest this past weekend! http://ht.ly/7WA8q
Climbing legend Lynn Hill post new Facebook page http://ht.ly/7UEPp

Gear
– The Lowdown on Down: An update from Patagonia on its down sourcing: http://ht.ly/7QsAk
– The Columbia (@Columbia1938) Cliff Grabber Glove was a win for Katie Levy (@k8tlevy) – check it out: http://ht.ly/7SYXD
– Why a windshirt rocks: http://ht.ly/7UEvL

Inspiration
– You have to be willing to not be graceful doing something to one day become graceful.  http://ht.ly/7T83L
– A great reminder from Tali (@cupcakemafia) in her latest blog titled “It Could Be You”:  ht.ly/7UEjf
– Friday Five – Inspiration from Splitter Choss: http://ht.ly/7UETJ
– Jenn Fields’ most recent “Field Notes” is about one Marmot (@marmotpro) climber’s adventures in philanthropy: http://ht.ly/7P8qi
– Here’s a picture of Colette McInerney, Red River Gorge, Kentucky. Shot by Keith Ladzinski http://ow.ly/i/mOzD

Trip Reports
– Trip report from Jeline (@ClimbOnSister) who made her way to Hueco Tanks for some bouldering: http://ht.ly/7QOwY

Fun Stuff
– Check out Steph Davis’ (@highsteph) rad dog Cajun – she’s a little canine climbing machine! http://ht.ly/7SVBn
– Brendan (@semi_rad) wants to know if it is OK if I call you Dude? ht.ly/7T7IA
– Funny! “The cat often does a much better job filing my picks than I do!” http://pic.twitter.com/Qla5rIW2

If you have a blog entry that you think would be of interest to the women of Chicks Climbing please let us know! We love getting contributed content from other women – anything from trip reports, nutrition and training tips, to videos. We want to share your resources with the community – much like we do with the Gossip Report and are more than happy to re-publish and share links on behalf of the women’s climbing community!

This week’s Gossip Report is brought to you by our sponsors at Columbia Sportswear!

Hot deals & hot gossip; we’re cranking up the heat this December!

Here on the Chicks Climbing Gossip Report you can catch up on all of the great gossip (articles, videos, and other assorted cool stuff) we talked about over the past week at Chicks Climbing. Last week we announced a Chicks HOLIDAY SPECIAL on all of our 2012 Chicks with Picks clinics. If you want to find out how to save big, check out all the details here. Don’t delay, this offer is ONLY good for Chicks that sign up in December!

Do you hang out on Google+ ??? So do we! Find us here so we can get you in our circle and stay up-to-date on another platform with all the latest and greatest from Chicks.

On the Chicks blog last week we posted a trip report from Girly Guide Dannika Gilbert who climbed the Direct North Face route of 12,579 peak just outside of Silverton, Colo. while sporting some new gear she was testing for our sponsors at Columbia Sportswear. Find out how it felt for Dannika to get back on the ice AND how her Columbia gear made out in the full report here.

We also posted a new blog from Nicky Messner who is getting ready to head out to Aconcagua in just TWO weeks and has been spending a lot of time getting prepared mentally and physically. See what her tips are for the next time you get ready for a climbing expedition, and learn more about her upcoming June expedition to climb Kilimanjaro (which you can join her on) here.

All of the other articles we linked to this past week through either the Chicks Climbing Twitter account, or on the Chicks Climbing Facebook fan page (and some on both!). We provide this wrap-up because we come across a TON of great resources each week, but understand that not everyone is online all the time, or even on both (or either) of these social media platforms. So you can check here each and every week for the latest and greatest in Chicks Climbing resources.

However, we know WE may have also missed some cool stuff this week, so if there is something of interest we missed that you came across this week please, let us know so we can share with everyone else!

Climbing
– Want in on the 2012 Ouray Ice Festival Comp.? Applications are due Dec. 15: http://ht.ly/7OTuw
– Great resource from http://CascadeClimbers.com on all the in’s and out’s of ice climbing gear: http://ht.ly/7HHoR
– Awesome blog post from Emily Harrington on her time climbing at the Red this fall:  http://emilyaharrington.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/kentucky/
– Ice in the San Juan’s is still a bit wild, but definitely shaping up! http://ht.ly/7Hlgo
– An Accident and a Self-Rescue: http://tinyurl.com/83goueh
– A neat knot to know. http://ht.ly/7IxzQ
– Ever got stuck at a plateau? Elizabeth tells us how she did, and what got her to bust on through it! .http://bit.ly/vJj0G7
– Have you considered climbing with an 80m rope? @splitterchoss did with the Sterling Rope Nano & shares why it’s awesome: http://ht.ly/7N0Le
– Join or Renew your AAC Membership and you could win $1000 in gear!  http://owl.li/7Kqal Ends Dec. 31.
– Want to give your climbing buddy a gift this holiday season? Here are some ideas from Gif (@rockclimberlife):  http://ht.ly/7LenT

News
– Minnesota climber Lonnie Dupre to try again for a winter ascent of Denali http://bit.ly/rRQln3
– This week’s climbing, skiing, and outdoor news from AAI (@AlpineInstitute) http://ht.ly/7LHj6

Gear
– Review of the Petzl (@Petzl)  Lynx crampons now up on Cold Thistle: http://ht.ly/7HGXx
– Check out what Katie (@k8tlevy) thought of the Columbia Sportswear (@Columbia1938) baselayer midweight striped tight: http://ht.ly/7Hmk7
– Stay warm in a fleece jumpsuit this winter http://bit.ly/sVH1mi
– Have long arms? Then the Mountain Hardwear Butter Zippity may just be for you. Check out what Jill (@Geargals) has to say: http://ht.ly/7LHXX
– New post on Paukku’s Life Annotations: Why I Buy? The Shiny and the Solid  http://ow.ly/7LmCQ
– Jill (@Geargals) was impressed with the breathability of the Mountain Hardwear Drystein (Dry-Q) jacket. Full review: http://ht.ly/7OTTs

Inspiration
– Good stuff about teaching your children to dream big: http://ow.ly/7HKKC
– Top 5 regrets of the dying. Powerful stuff: http://beyondtheopposites.com/?p=94
– Inspired by Patagonia’s “Don’t Buy This Jacket” ad Brendan (@semi_rad) reminds us of other things we can do without http://ht.ly/7Lfhp

Training & Nutrition
– Interesting article on strength training for rock climbing – part 1 in a 2-part series: http://ht.ly/7IwL2
– Why Yoga for Rock Climbers? http://ht.ly/7LbD5
– Training tips for 19-year-old Megan from Steph Davis (@highsteph) that may help you out, too!  http://ht.ly/7N1GK

Trip Reports
– Majka Burhardt & Sarah Garlick recount their expedition to Mozambique: http://ht.ly/7IVzA
– Erica (@cragmama) had some FUN climbing the slab at Stone Mountain last weekend!  http://ht.ly/7JXYv
– Another Amazing Trip Report – Half Dome With My Daughter: http://ht.ly/7LIwT

Fun Stuff
–  Climbing fail. Anyone in the mood for Doritos? http://ht.ly/7Hmwu
– More bad belays: (“Hold on, we’re almost out of beer!”): http://ow.ly/7HuV2
– Best Christmas ornament ever??  http://instagr.am/p/WbQbj/
–  “The mountaineering look is actually quite a practical one.” http://nyti.ms/uSm7qh
– Nothing says “Christmas Spirit” like old rope tinsel! http://fb.me/SqDtl7bk
– Giveaway from the Climbing Narc: Win A 2011 Access Fund Holiday Pack http://ht.ly/7OTlw

If you have a blog entry that you think would be of interest to the women of Chicks Climbing please let us know! We love getting contributed content from other women – anything from trip reports, nutrition and training tips, to videos. We want to share your resources with the community – much like we do with the Gossip Report and are more than happy to re-publish and share links on behalf of the women’s climbing community!

This week’s Gossip Report is brought to you by our sponsors at Columbia Sportswear!

Chicks with Picks holiday specials!

We want to help make your Christmas extra special and give you something really fun to look forward to in the New Year, so we are offering TWO limited-time discounts on ALL of our Chicks with Picks 2012 clinics!

1) Partner Deal – sign up with a friend before New Year’s and you will each get a $100 discount off any clinic (double occupancy). When you register let us know who your buddy is and we will send both of you a refund in the mail. You must each pay the Full Amount (put a #2 in the credit card box) upon registration.

2) Solo Deal – this one’s for those of you coming out on your own! If you register before New Year’s, you will get $75 off any clinic. You must pay the full amount (put a #2 in the credit card box) upon registration.

Hurry, the Chicks Holiday discounts are only good for the month of December!

See our complete list of 2012 Chicks with Picks clinics here!

Have questions? Need more info? Send us an e-mail at info@civi-chicks.biz

We hope to see you in Ouray! 🙂

Post-turkey Gossip!

Here on the Chicks Climbing Gossip Report you can catch up on all of the great gossip (articles, videos, and other assorted cool stuff) we talked about over the past week at Chicks Climbing. As we approach the crushing madness that is the holiday season, remember that the gift of a Chicks clinic is definitely one that will continue to give for years to come! So think about signing up your sister, mom, aunt, cousin, girlfriend – whoever it is that’s special to you – for a life-changing experience at Chicks with Picks!

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend with friends and family. We are excited for a couple of new posts we’ve got ready for the Chicks blog this week including a trip report from Chicks Girly Guide Dannika Gilbert who’s been getting on some early season ice in the Ouray area along with a Chicks sighting to report as well! So stay tuned 🙂

All of the other articles we linked to this past week through either the Chicks Climbing Twitter account, or on the Chicks Climbing Facebook fan page (and some on both!). We provide this wrap-up because we come across a TON of great resources each week, but understand that not everyone is online all the time, or even on both (or either) of these social media platforms. So you can check here each and every week for the latest and greatest in Chicks Climbing resources.

However, we know WE may have also missed some cool stuff this week, so if there is something of interest we missed that you came across this week please, let us know so we can share with everyone else!

Climbing
– Tips for (& good reasons to) make the switch to leashless climbing of the ice and mixed variety:  http://bit.ly/uZycf2
– Emily Harrington & the figure four: http://bit.ly/smcDWD
– See powerful video of ice climbing accident & self-rescue, along with thoughtful analysis from Will Gadd:  http://ht.ly/7H7cg
– Some good tips for proper gear to wear when rock climbing during this shoulder season to stay warm! http://bit.ly/uVPLch
– Sarah (@cdnrockiesgirl) shares what it’s like to be a first-time route setter at the climbing gym:  http://ht.ly/7FbjT
– Our friend Paul-Baptiste Baca (@paukku) was recently given a kickass birthday gift, which he named Koskenkorva Martini (5.10a)  http://bit.ly/rDNRFm
– Q&A with badass climber Chick Angie Payne: http://bit.ly/suj328
– Check out the latest, most updated clinic schedule for Ice Fest 2012!! http://www.scribd.com/doc/73364789/2012-Clinic-Template-V4-2
– Congrats to Sonnie Trotter for the only 2nd ascent of The Prophet (5.13d R) on El Cap. http://bit.ly/uXfjbd
– Ready to climb out of fall into winter? Check out a preview of upcoming 2011-2012 ice festivals: http://bit.ly/tWyrMx
– Nice profile on @SterlingRope climber Leslie Timms: http://bit.ly/vOf8xs
– Whoa! 5.15 in the Red? http://bit.ly/sZxuQ4
– The Smiley’s have 8 climbs planned for 2012 as they continue their 50 Classics ticklist – but they need your help: http://vimeo.com/32425674
– Tommy Caldwell steps away from the Dawn Wall project…until next year:  http://bit.ly/tMztTc
– Jenn Flemming’s “Fraid Line” 5.13R with a PINK Sterling Rope (@SterlingRope) Nano 9.2: http://bit.ly/ugL48m
– Big City Mountaineers (@bigcitymtneers) just announced a Mount Shasta all-women’s climb! bit.ly/rOKfMT
– Check out the French Alpine club excellence team climbing free on some serious big walls in Yosemite http://ow.ly/7EWmC

Gear
– The Petzl (@Petzl) Lynx Crampons are on this Chick’s wish list! See what else is on The Gear Caster’s (@thegearcaster) gift guide for climbers: http://bit.ly/u4VtRW
– Chicks gear tester Sara B. liked this piece from our sponsors at Columbia Sportswear (@Columbia1938) so much that she wore it 3 days in a row in Zion: http://bit.ly/tQYQLP
– Staying connected is critical for Krysia (@ventrsomekrysia) who reviews The North Face (@thenorthface) eTip gloves: http://bit.ly/sWyLmh

Inspiration
– You can’t help but smile watching these young Chicks crushing! http://ht.ly/7H7HR

Training & Nutrition
– Art or food? Or both?? Paul-Baptiste Baca’s (@Paukku) Holiday Harvest Loaf http://bit.ly/uZwoHT
– Great tips from Elizabeth (@eliz_rocks) on staying healthy mentally & physically when schedules get crazy (i.e. the holidays?!) http://bit.ly/uKyrXQ
– Rock climbing one of the Top 5 Sports for a full body workout http://ow.ly/7ByFb 

Trip Reports
– New trip report from Erica (@cragmama) who also demonstrates an awesome SEND at Dixon: http://bit.ly/vuz8sp

Fun Stuff
– Citibank commercial featuring Katie Brown & Alex Honnold! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE4bcq8Plzk

If you have a blog entry that you think would be of interest to the women of Chicks Climbing please let us know! We love getting contributed content from other women – anything from trip reports, nutrition and training tips, to videos. We want to share your resources with the community – much like we do with the Gossip Report and are more than happy to re-publish and share links on behalf of the women’s climbing community!

This week’s Gossip Report is brought to you by our sponsors at Columbia Sportswear!

Giving thanks & the gift of Chicks!

Here on the Chicks Climbing Gossip Report you can catch up on all of the great gossip (articles, videos, and other assorted cool stuff) we talked about over the past week at Chicks Climbing. As we approach the crushing madness that is the holiday season, remember that the gift of a Chicks clinic is definitely one that will continue to give for years to come! So think about signing up your sister, mom, aunt, cousin, girlfriend – whoever it is that’s special to you – for a life-changing experience at Chicks with Picks!

Last week we posted the awesome video “selling” Chicks that Outside TV made. If you haven’t seen it yet you can check it out here.

We also had a wonderful new post from Nicky Messner who talked about the impetus that brought her to change her life and get hooked on climbing. Check it out and learn about her upcoming Kilimanjaro women’s expedition in June here.

All of the other articles we linked to this past week through either the Chicks Climbing Twitter account, or on the Chicks Climbing Facebook fan page (and some on both!). We provide this wrap-up because we come across a TON of great resources each week, but understand that not everyone is online all the time, or even on both (or either) of these social media platforms. So you can check here each and every week for the latest and greatest in Chicks Climbing resources.

However, we know WE may have also missed some cool stuff this week, so if there is something of interest we missed that you came across this week please, let us know so we can share with everyone else!

Climbing
– “Success because we failed” – quote from a GREAT blog by Janet Bergman on summer expedition to India: http://bit.ly/sWWnCZ
– Some good tips from Vertical Girl’s Girl Beta on moving your bouldering outdoors:  http://bit.ly/v5jv7f
– The New Ouray Ice Park Winter Guide is up! http://bit.ly/ucct1z
– Insane friction climbing – check out Beth Rodden on the Kauk Slab: http://bit.ly/sy9RUd
– Holy BADASS! Check out this video of Thomasina Pidgeon sending Chbalanke and Dark Age in Hueco (V12 & V11): http://bit.ly/u52LZ2
– Awesome video of Jenn Fleming doing the FFA of “Fraid Line” a 5.13R:  http://bit.ly/ugL48m
– Possible FA. Still waiting on confirmation, but here it is! http://youtu.be/xfVxoR0w3T4
– SWEET video of Emily Harrington (@emilyaharringto) sending Waka Flocka 5.14b in Rifle last month! http://bit.ly/uOndhy
– Carabeiner clipping tip for sport climbers from AAI (@AlpineInstitute): http://bit.ly/tzrhqI
– Some tips on practicing a fall from Climbing Magazine (@ClimbingMag): http://bit.ly/rQ0qxk
– Erica gives a great play-by-play of “Dave the Dude” 5.11d at the Red: http://bit.ly/uFqan5
– Fun interview with Adam Market on Climb Find (@ClimbFind): http://bit.ly/vBWMIc
– Best 5 Places to Go Ice Climbing and Winter Hiking in New Jersey – http://sports.yahoo.com/ski/news?slug=ycn-10399809
– Anyone else excited to see what Sarah Garlick & Majka Burhardt get up to here?: http://bit.ly/u7CVRG

News
– This week’s climbing, skiing & outdoor news from AAI (@alpineinstitute): http://bit.ly/tWJGSa
– A really cool opportunity for teachers to take seminars & training sessions in Denali:  http://bit.ly/svU1dx

Gear
– The Merrell Wilderness Remix boots gets a thumb’s up from Jill (@geargals):  http://bit.ly/v5zU3F
– Chicks gear tester Sara said of Columbia Sportswear’s (@Columbia1938) Windefend™ Half Zip biking on Gooseberry Mesa “it breathed well & cut wind!” http://bit.ly/vrCkKP
– The baselayer midweight stripe tight from sponsors Columbia Sportswear (@Columbia1938) kept tester Sara nice & warm while skiing Red Mtn. Pass http://bit.ly/uGhEhd

Inspiration
MUST READ: An honest post from Sarah Hueniken on trusting yourself and learning from ‘failure’: http://bit.ly/vMYoC0 

Trip Reports
– Emilie Drinkwater wraps up the Karakoram Expedition trip report http://bit.ly/vYxv8z
– Nina Caprez on the Petzl RocTrip to China: http://bit.ly/tappML
– Nice TR from Erica (@Cragmama) on a recent weekend at the FANTASTIC Red: http://bit.ly/tjkou2
– Great report of the Chouinard-Herbert route on Dreaming in Vertical (@Dreaminvertical) http://bit.ly/vCzESU

Fun Stuff
– A classic from the Alipinist (@AlpinistMag) archives in honor of indoor (gym) rock climbing season kicking off: http://bit.ly/eHw453
– Great new post from Jenn Fields (@JennFields) on learning a sport from your significant other: http://bit.ly/sRNuux
– How to prep for Thanksgiving gluttony: (Bad) tips for exercising into calorie debt, steely abs: http://bit.ly/vG66Yx
– More fun from Brendan (@Semi_Rad) on how to add some flair (pizzazz or jack-assery) to your outdoor photos: http://bit.ly/uyjAth

If you have a blog entry that you think would be of interest to the women of Chicks Climbing please let us know! We love getting contributed content from other women – anything from trip reports, nutrition and training tips, to videos. We want to share your resources with the community – much like we do with the Gossip Report and are more than happy to re-publish and share links on behalf of the women’s climbing community!

This week’s Gossip Report is brought to you by our sponsors at Columbia Sportswear!

Chicks on Outside TV!

Last week Outside Television posted a video they made about Chicks with Picks, which will officially be in its 13th year in 2012! We were super psyched to see the video go live now especially because we are really starting to get ready for the upcoming ice climbing season and Chicks with Picks clinics this winter. If you’ve ever been to a Chicks with Picks clinic you’ll definitely relate to the video – and if you haven’t, it just may push you to take that step and come out and join us for some ice climbing fun!

So, check it out:

Here are our Chicks with Picks clinic dates for 2012 – sign up or let us know if you are interested sooner rather than later to make sure you get a spot!

The Sampler
Jan. 13–16, check out the 17th

The Complete
Jan. 25–29, check out the 30th

The Quickie
Feb. 3-5, check out morning of the 5th

The Graduate
Feb. 3-6, check out the 7th

We hope to see you this winter in Ouray! 🙂

The evolution of Cragmama

Cragmama and Cragbaby, photo by Eric Heistand

We are thrilled to have scored an interview with Cragmama, aka Erica Lineberry, a woman who as mother to 1-year-old Canaan has continued to feed her passion for climbing both before and after Canaan’s birth. Erica has been documenting the ways she’s been successful (and not so successful) including Canaan the “Cragbaby” in her climbing pursuits on her website Cragmama.com. She recently took the time to answer some questions from us about how her climbing life has changed, and how she hopes to inspire and motivate other new mothers to remain active in their outdoor pursuits! Read on to learn more about Erica and Cragbaby!

NameErica Lineberry
Age: 30
Years climbing: 5
Favorite type of climbing: Long sport routes
Children: Just 1, Canaan (aka Cragbaby)

Cragmama climbing, photo by Manuela Eilert

Tell us about your website cragmama.com and how it has been evolving. I started a blog back in 2009 so that I’d have a place to post trip reports and other random musings about climbing and life.  During my pregnancy and Cragbaby’s early weeks my husband and I realized that we were at a stage where a lot of people give up on play, and get locked into a rut of everyday living.  I started writing more and more, hoping to provide some inspiration and motivation to others out there who wanted to remain active throughout pregnancy and beyond.  The hits on the site kept coming, and I realized that I might be onto something, so I jumped in head first to a total site redesign – and hence Cragmama.com was born!  My goal at Cragmama is to become an online resource for fellow nature enthusiasts that believe starting a family doesn’t mean the end to outdoor adventures!  Though I haven’t been a Mommy nearly long enough to qualify as an expert in the fields of wilderness, parenting, or rock climbing, through my experiences I’ve stumbled upon some good nuggets of what to do (and often what NOT to do) when it comes to kids, climbing, and the outdoors.  I figure if these ideas work for our family, odds are they might work for other families too!

Did you continue climbing while you were pregnant? YES!  Climbing played an integral part in maintaining my sanity during my pregnancy!  I climbed (both outdoors and indoors) throughout my entire pregnancy, the last time I roped up being less than 48 hours before going into labor!  I restricted myself to only toproping early on, and once my belly got big I wore a full-body harness to take pressure off of my abdomen.  I also didn’t want all that extra pregnancy flexibility to cause any injuries, so I never fought really hard to stay on.  My initial goal was to see how long I could climb 5.11’s clean, and then I figured I’d drop down to 5.10’s, and then 5.9’s, assuming that at some point climbing would become too uncomfortable to be fun.  Week by week I just kept going, dutifully logging my 5.11’s, sometimes only one per climbing session…all the way up until 38 weeks, when Cragbaby decided to show up early!  I found that my abilities to climb well were very dependent on style – I could flail on an overhanging 5.9 I’d done a hundred times, but flash a 5.11 that was vertical and more technical in nature.  I was shocked that I made it through managing to still climb relatively hard, but I attribute my smooth labor, delivery and recovery in large part to remaining active during my pregnancy.

Note: Here’s a link to a piece Erica wrote about climbing while pregnant, published by Women’s Adventure magazine.

Canaan the Cragbaby! Photo by Steve Lineberry

How long was it after Cragbaby was born before you tied into a rope again? I wanted to take a few weeks for my body to heal, but by 4 weeks post partum I was going nuts, so we hit the rock gym.  Cragbaby’s first outdoor day trip was at 6 weeks, overnighter at 10 weeks.

How has your climbing changed since Cragbaby was born? Everything has to be planned out a lot more – no more stalking the weather all week with the hubster and deciding Friday after work where we want to spend the weekend!  We have to rely a lot more on other people now, which sometimes makes for some hectic scheduling, but is also great for our social life!

How do you handle bringing Cragbaby along to the crag (day trips and overnighters)? Without a doubt the biggest key for any type of trip is extra hands on deck!  Especially now that he’s older and more mobile, someone always has to be on “C-duty.”  For day trips we try our best to coincide long car rides with nap times, and Cragbaby has always slept great in the tent, so overnighters have never been a problem (in the early months he slept longer stretches in the tent than he ever did at home!)

What have you found to be most challenging about climbing with Cragbaby? Everything takes a lot longer now.  We have easily twice as much gear to carry with us, and packing everything up takes a lot of time.  In the beginning we forgot a lot of things, but now we are pretty set with our system and I feel like we’ve gotten pretty efficient.

What is the most rewarding part of having Cragbaby along? I love the wonder that can be found in the simplest of moments – watching him gaze up with wide-eyes out of the top of the carrier at the light filtering through the trees, laughing at the horribly melodramatic faces he makes as he learns that dead leaves aren’t for lunch, or hearing the subtle giggle he makes from the inside of my rain jacket as we pack up our climbing gear during a surprise shower.

What advice would you give to new moms looking to pick up their outdoor activities? Start now, regardless of what age your kid(s) are. Don’t wait for a “better” or “easier” age to do it. Each age will have its own challenges, but also its own unique rewards. Some days it’s a lot easier to stay inside, but “easier” isn’t what memories are made of – so don’t be afraid to get out there!

Here is a video by Jan Balster telling the story of Erica, Steve, and Cragbaby Canaan. A really nice piece that shows how having a baby didn’t mean an end to the family’s active lifestyle!

Creating a Crag Baby from JB-Photo on Vimeo.

Thanks for your time, Erica! Please check out Erica’s website cragmama.com – she updates it several times a week with all sorts of goodies including trip reports and gear reviews, so it’s a great resource for those who don’t have kids, or whose kids are off and grown. No matter who you are, there’s a wealth of information to be found here! 🙂