January 2010 Blog
It was almost too good to be true. This Christmas season, I received the greatest gift of all -- the gift of girlfriends. In mid-December, Colette McInerney
, fresh off a four-month sport climbing trip in Europe, and Caroline Treadway, on holiday from her master’s in journalism program at Boston University, journeyed to Hueco Tanks to join Vanessa Compton and I for some much-needed girl time and climbing fun in the sun. Our posse has desperately tried to arrange a climbing trip for years, but never succeeded. I never thought it would happen; the stars must have aligned. For one week, my favorite ladies finally landed in the same place and tipped the gender scale the other direction -- a rare occurrence at any crag.
At the risk of sounding cheesy, I must say there’s nothing better than girlfriends. While living in Boulder, our tight crew climbed, trained and chilled together -- and now we’re dispersed across the globe, which made this a special occasion. We spent the daylight hours climbing in the park, and at night we hula-hooped (did I mention there’s been a hooping revolution?), perused fashion magazines, caught up on past adventures, and talked about the future. This is as good as it gets.
Now, it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or girl, it depends on the dynamics of the crew. But let’s face it; males almost always outnumber females at the crag. I think it’s very important for women to climb with other women -- we motivate each other. Recently I’ve realized that within the safety of numbers, the female force becomes stronger and girls feel like they can cut loose...and be girls. We can talk about fashion for hours; we can feel confident wearing ‘80s-style zebra-striped and florescent colored spandex; we motivate each other to go for it. There’s nothing more inspiring than seeing other girls try hard. I learn a lot about movement and decipher beta quicker by watching the way women climb -- it’s infectious and impossible to not give it a shot.
During this same time, everything finally clicked into place. While the majority of the country was bombarded with fierce snowstorms, Hueco was blessed with near-perfect climbing conditions -- warm in the sun, cool in the shade, and most importantly -- dry. For two months now, I’ve been climbing two days on until my muscles and skin are brutally destroyed, then taking one rest day to re-grow skin with hourly applications of vitamin-e and Neosporin. It’s a vicious pattern but incredibly fun and rewarding. By logging so much mileage, I’ve finally conquered my inner dialog and no longer obsess over my crooked ring finger, the pain in my fingertips, and the potential carnage from the complicated, uneven landings. Now, with the encouragement and support of my girlfriends, it seems anything is possible. Recently, I’ve managed to top out some of the most aesthetic lines I’ve ever climbed in Hueco Tanks, including: a rare singular tufa feature Jason Kehl named Bloodline
(V8), the spine-tingling, two-tiered face Dark Silhouette
the 40-foot roof No Quarter (V8)
on West Mountain, and East Mountain’s breathtaking highball Whispers of Morality (V10).
Check out the latest Cryptochild video of Whispers of Morality HERE.