Category Archives: Life Life

The many faces of climbing

There is no such thing as a “typical climber.” People are drawn to rock climbing for various reasons and develop unique relationships with this sport.  Stay tuned to this page as we interview climbers from a variety of backgrounds and life experience. Click a climber below to learn more.

Olivia Cecil
Knoxville, TN
Alexa Zakula
Boone, NC
Patti Wohner
Chattanooga, TN
Carson Bakker
Carson Bakker
Boone, NC
Melise Edwards
Boone, NC
PaulPaul Winkler
Albuquerque, NM
Flannery Shay NemirowFlannery Shay Nemirow
Incline Village, NV
Coming Soon
Andrew Matsumoto
Andrew Matsumoto
Boone, NC
Coming Soon


[Contact us if you’d like to be a featured climber.]

Bishop and onward

We departed Bishop Sunday afternoon with mixed feelings. No one can deny how uniquely gorgeous this area is, with giant rock eggs scattered across a desert landscape, majestic snowy peaks poking up in the distance wherever you might rest your gaze…

Not your everyday warm-up.
Not your everyday warm-up.


…And yet, let it be said that Bishop is not really a place for first-timers to pop in for a quick weekend of awesome climbing. Expect a couple hours of pleasure followed by days of pain. The sharp grittiness feels like “putting my hands in a blender made of shark teeth” (says Drexel), and I would have to concur. After months of sandstone, I hadn’t realized how baby soft our skin had become. We left with our tails between our legs. All I had sent was a v2 warm-up, and even that, barely, because it was so high off the ground that I locked off and cried little babygirl tears until Drexel sent a rescue helicopter to take me down. (Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration… the helicopter bit…)

Our first day in the Buttermilks was fun, but humbling. Drexel hopped on Soul Slinger V9 and gave it a good whooping, but took a whooping at the same time. We serendipitously bumped into a couple folks we had met in Joe’s Valley and ended up climbing with Jen (another short strong female!) and her bf Mel, spending a little too much time grating up our skin on Seven Spanish Angels V6.

Drexel throwing himself into Soul Slinger V9
Jen working out some pretty legit short-person beta on Seven Spanish Angels V6.
Mel hitting the final juggy hold at the top of Seven Spanish Angels.
One of my favorite “parking lots” ever.

That night, a demon entered my body. I woke up with an icy wave of nausea, threw myself out of the van, and proceeded to lose my entire dinner. We don’t know why, although my bet would be placed on expired cheese. But one would think that, ridding my body of whatever maleficent creature was haunting me, I would be fine. Not so. Five days later and I still can’t eat anything substantial, and I won’t go into details about the exorcisms I’ve witnessed. I’m a bit peeved that I haven’t felt up to climbing, right when we’re at the end of our climbing road trip, but even doing a single pull-up feels like a really big deal to my body.

Anyways, that’s not super interesting, and probably a bit gross. Drexel has actually been living life, but since  he is not an eager blogger (as you may have noticed by the lack of his posts), I will transcribe for him his latest climbing adventures:

Saturday in Bishop, Drexel tagged along with Jen and Mel to get on Fly Boy V8. The stupid sharp crimps were not much of a good warm-up and he said some dirty words and decided not to try it anymore. Mel got stupid close. He swung off the dyno at the top which was kind of scary, but he’s fine. After that, they went over to Iron Fly V9, which Drexel had tried briefly the day before, and he was thankfully able to do it first try since it’s wretchedly sharp (surprise!).

Then they went over to check out Xavier’s Roof V11 and Zen Flute V10, which was at the top of one of the worst roads in Bishop. Mel and Drexel tried it a bit, but were too fried to give either of them productive efforts, and soon called it a day.

While Drexel climbed, I mainly napped or lay in the minivan groaning pitifully, but at one point I forced myself to head out on a quick hike just to absorb as much of the surrounding beauty as possible.

plant life Bishop
I don’t know what this is, but it’s adorable.
rocks in Bishop
A little stonehengey, eh?
bishop ca
More rocks and sky


The next morning, we headed back to Lake Tahoe. Our game plan is to stick around Incline Village for a few more days, and then head back across the country to Chattanooga/Boone in time to see our friends graduate. Along the way, we’ll try to see as much scenery as possible, but if this stomach bug persists, we might just zipline straight across. Always open to ideas of places to check out (not just climbing related)!

Skunk harbor's hidden beach.
Skunk Harbor’s hidden beach was just ours for an afternoon. Life is hard…


So excited about my sampler pack of Rise Bars! It’s hard to pick a favorite when all of them are delicious AND healthy (and some are vegan!). Super handy and easy to pack for a day of climbing or hiking. But don’t be jealous – try some for yourself! Don’t stress, because it’s all GMO-free and it’s a great company to boot. Also, stay tuned because they interviewed me for their blog. 🙂

Rise Bars
I only resisted breaking into these bars for the minute it took to take this photo.


Each Sampler Pack Contains:

  • 1 Breakfast Crunchy Cashew Almond Bar
  • 1 Breakfast Crunchy Perfect Pumpkin Bar
  • 1 Breakfast Crunchy Cranberry Apple Bar
  • 1 Breakfast Crunchy Macadamia Pineapple Bar
  • 1 Energy+ Organic Coconut Acai Bar
  • 1 Energy+ Organic Apricot Goji Bar
  • 1 Energy+ Organic Blueberry Coconut Bar
  • 1 Energy+ Organic Organic Raspberry Pomegranate Bar
  • 1 Protein+ Almond Honey Bar
  • 1 Protein+ Crunchy Carob Chip Bar
  • 1 Protein+ Lemon Cashew
  • 1 Protein+ Sunflower Cinnamon

Sierra Buttes

Around 3am on Sunday, I woke up to a horn honking continuously, then loud footsteps followed by the front door slamming. I tip-toed down the stairs, soon learning that a bear had somehow managed to break into Eric’s vehicle, only to lock itself in and freak out (that’s what the honking was). Somehow Eric had to open a door to let this uninvited guest out, while also staying far enough away that he was not mauled in the process. Then he yelled at the bear to “GIT, GIT ON OUTTA HEERRE!”  and brandished a small stick. Somehow, that worked. The bear waddled off, leaving behind a torn up door and pee all over the seats. So… I guess this is bear country. I’m glad we decided to sleep inside a house instead of the minivan, or maybe we’d have been the appetizer.

I didn’t take this photo, but this is probably similar to what happened. Imagine seeing this when you walk out to your car.

But. There was no time to stress about that, because we had to get a good night’s sleep in anticipation of climbing the next day. Some French Toast and a cup of coffee later, we headed out to explore the gorgeous and highly elevated (around 8600′) Sierra Buttes. This was a little over an hour drive from Incline Village, but the scenery was worth it. Even the straight up hiking for 30-45 minutes wasn’t so awful if you stopped to look around for a moment.

Beauty as far as the eye can see (click to enlarge).

Continue reading Sierra Buttes

Photos from the desert

If it tickles your fancy, click a photo to start a slideshow that can be controlled with the left and right arrows. Or scroll down for a quick glimpse of desert beauty. Photos taken by Meira and Drexel near the Corona Arch right outside of Moab, UT.