Tag Archives: girl beta

The many faces of climbing: Melise

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Melise Edwards
24 y.o. Graduated from Appalachian State with a degree in Biology and French. Living in Boone, NC.

THEME SONG:  “Bastille” feat. Ella by No Angels

1) How long have you been climbing and how did you get started?
I have been climbing almost 5 years. I somehow got away with doing rock-climbing as my high-school senior research project and spent a lot of time learning from my mentor in a climbing gym. I went on one outdoor trip to do a multi-pitch climb in Pisgah National Forest and have never recovered from the “climbing bug” since.

Melise Edwards
Chompin’ down on some Portobello V9.

2) What do you enjoy the most about climbing?
It seems funny that this is such a hard question to answer. I enjoy many aspects of climbing: how it can be both an individual pursuit as well as an activity to enjoy with friends, how unique the movements are, and how mentally challenging it can be just as much as physically challenging…there are plenty of things I enjoy but the main reason may be that it just seems natural to do and it’s fun.

3) What are some of your goals in life (climbing and otherwise)
Oof. I would like to do Peace Corps one day and potentially go back to school for my masters in biology. I’d also like to climb double digits and travel all around the nation for climbing. Some of these may or may not happen, but it all comes down to following my passions, helping others and enjoying what I’m doing.

4) What are your favorite pre-and-post-climbing foods?
Pre-climbing: yogurt, fruit and any sort of chocolate. Post-climbing: salad, Mexican or Thai food, and any sort of chocolate.

5) What are your thoughts on training?
Training is gud. I’ve never climbed when I wasn’t working or in school or both, so I think training is very helpful to make gains when you only have a small amount of time to dedicate for climbing. It should be an aid but not replace basic climbing techniques.

Melise Edwards
Melise Changing Lanes V9.

6) How, if at all, do you think your climbing has been affected by your gender?
This is a hard question. There are a lot of challenges I have faced that are likely personal traits rather than gender stereotypes, but I can say that height is rarely an issue. I’m 5’4 and have learned to overcome fears of falling and become more dynamic and creative when figuring out beta. Watching climbers like Jill Church, Juliet Hammer and Michelle Melton has definitely been a huge inspiration in this regard.

One other thing may be that I’ve seen people make way more excuses for girls’ successes. If I do a climb, it is usually mentioned by someone somewhere that it’s because my small fingers or some new beta that made it V2. I don’t make excuses for other people and don’t accept it for myself. I’m strong because I train hard and try hard, not because of the size of my fingers.

7) Who are your biggest athletic influences?
I look up to so many climbers, but a lot of them are people I climb with locally for their good attitudes, sense of adventure and love of climbing.

8) What advice would you have for someone trying to get into rock climbing?
My advice for someone trying to get into climbing would be to have fun with it! Be infinitely curious, ask questions, climb with people who are better than you, but don’t respect strong climbers just because they are strong. Being strong does not make you a nicer or better person. Respect people for their character and climbs for their beauty and the ways they inspire you.

9) What are your hobbies/interests outside of climbing?
I love baking treats, reading, drawing, running, birding, trying to catch snakes and dancing to T-pain.

10) If you were given the choice of never petting any cute animals again, or never rock climbing again, which would you choose?
That question is literally my worst nightmare.

"Let meh tell you bout my best friend."
“Let meh tell you bout my best friend.”

Top 5 Climbs Across the USA!

We thought this might be an interesting experiment:
We asked ourselves, “What have been our favorite climbs of the trip?”

It was difficult to narrow it down, but here are our five favorite climbs in each area (with heights and ape indexes shown to potentially explain preferences). Top five are listed in order of increasing grade, not order of favoritism. If someone of a more “normal” height would like to submit their favorites, please do so. Or just add your own can’t-miss climbs in the comments below! What are your favorite climbs in these – or other – bouldering areas?

tall short
The Southeast
(Rocktown, Little Rock City, Middle Creek, Zahnd)
1.Full Circle V5 (Rocktown)
2. Harvest Moon V8 (Zahnd)
3. Deliverance V10 (Middle Creek)
4. Golden Harvest V10 (Rocktown)
5. Iron Claw Sit V10 (Rocktown)
1. Asphalt V4/5 (Rocktown)
2. Little Bad V5 (Rocktown)
3. Nose Candy V6 (Rocktown)
4. Standard Deviation V6 (Rocktown)
5. Jerry’s Kids V7 (LRC)
(Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, Cowell)
1.Le Beak V4 (Cowell)
2. Kung Fu V8 (HCR)
3. Jeff’s Prow V9 (HCR)
4. Ab Lounge V10 (Cowell)
5. Off the Rails V10 (Cowell)
1. Dirty Bitch V3 (HCR)
2. Le Beak V4 (Cowell)
3. Campus Card II V7 (Cowell)
4. Electrolica V7 (Cowell)
5. Orb Weaver V8 (HCR)
Joe’s Valley
1.The Angler V2
2. Notting Hill V8
3. Playmate of the Year V9
4. Eden V10
5. Ghost King V11
1. Stumble Bum Traverse V5
2. Low Tide V6
3. Planet of the Apes V7
4. Spam V7
5. Tug Boat Complex V9

A letter to myself

Disclaimer: I realize that I am not a professional climber. I don’t even consider myself very strong, just very determined. And yet I know that I can climb things now that I never would have imagined when I first started climbing. So somehow from the time I was struggling on V2s until right now, sending V7s, there has been progress. My muscles and mindset developed from an assortment of experiences over the past two years, but I believe I could have become a better climber sooner, had I but known a couple simple things. And thus comes the inspiration to write a letter to my beginner climber self, or rather, what I wish I had known about climbing when I first started out. 

Continue reading A letter to myself

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.

“Good morning,” said the mist.
“My, how polite!” I thought as I began my morning business.

Ahhhh the relaxation that comes from being in a cozy coffee shop when it’s all grey and misty outside. We thought to climb more this morning, but the metallic tapping of rain on the roof woke us up at 7:40am to tell us that it was time to chill out and take a day off.

It’s been a little while since our last update, so it’s hard to put words to everything. Perhaps a TOP TEN list of the highlights? Yes, I think that will do nicely…. Continue reading Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.

I think I can! (But I can’t.)

Today was coooold to start. The thermometer in the van said 7 degrees F as we drove to LRC. It was almost painful to warm up at first, but the sun felt great and the entire boulder area was basically ours, so we were psyched to get on some friction-dependent problems (that weren’t covered in snow). Continue reading I think I can! (But I can’t.)

…backwards on a pig.

I am absolutely enamored with the people and animals of Fletcher, NC. Jesse (and Jen) are the best hosts a girl could ask for. It was Drexel’s first visit to the farm, so he got a full tour of the lake, gardens, and chicken + rabbit hutches. Although I was raised vegetarian, I am supportive of people who have the courage and means to humanely raise and kill their own meat.

Hmm, which one shall we eat for dinner tonight?

When Jesse wasn’t looking, I snunk one of the baby bunnies out and brought it up into the house. And thus began the game of devising as many cute uses of a baby bunny as possible. We put it in pockets, in socks, pretended it was a christmas stocking stuffer, cuddled it, squished it, hopped with it….

Bunny scarves are so “in” right now.

Continue reading …backwards on a pig.

Ebb and Flow

A blog post is long overdue. After basically a month at Rocktown, we had to make a quick weekend jaunt back home to put the final touches on some car paperwork. Spending time with Drexel’s family and eating a delicious meal is icing on the cake!

Our sun-soaked camping spot at Rocktown is 100x better than a Whole Foods parking lot.

Continue reading Ebb and Flow

My day, Your day

Two days ago was “my day.” It was an experiment of sorts, and so far it’s been doing wonders for our relationship. 🙂 On “my day” I got to make all the big decisions and decide where we would climb. Drexel was the perfectly supportive side kick as I tried some new hard projects at LRC. It was humbling and exciting to try things at my limit. Continue reading My day, Your day