Sunday, January 12, 2014

Farewell

I'm sad to say, but after 3 years Climb Run Lift Mom is coming to an end. It's been a fantastic journey and I have met so many incredible people through blogging. However, thanks to many of those connections I have made through the last few years, I am moving on to bigger and better things. I am still super passionate about climbing, the outdoors and writing and you will still be seeing many different projects from me in the future.

In the meantime... 
Please continue (or start) following me on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with all of our adventures!
@climbrunliftmom





Thank you again so much for your support and encouragement, I never dreamed when I started this little blog in 2010 that it would ever become what it has today. The experiences and opportunities that have arisen from this have been incredible and I never could have done it without each and every one of you.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Safety First

Let's talk risk today....

I believe risk taking is a very individualized concept. What is acceptable risk for one person may be completely unacceptable to another - And that is absolutely ok, EXCEPT (in my opinion), when it comes to acceptable risk for our children. As an adventurous parent, my kiddos participate in some activities that may make other parents shudder. But their safety is never compromised and is always the top priority.

Recently I came across a post from a fellow outdoor family blogger discussing the "downsides of helmets" and quite honestly I was pissed off. They proceeded to quote studies that supposedly show that without exposing our children to "risky play" they will develop phobias. And I can wholeheartedly agree with that part of it, I'm not an overprotective parent by any means. But risky play does not mean directly putting our children in harms way. Allegedly, if your child is hurt in a fall before the age of 9, they will be less likely to have a fear of heights as a teenager... I'm not a scientist, but my children have no fear of heights despite having never been injured! What a concept - Exposing them to heights in a safe, controlled setting works too.

Flying high (Safely!)
Photo credit: Steve W Weiss


Stepping down from my soapbox (kinda)....

If your children rock climb, they should be wearing a helmet. Plain and simple. Why take the chance when serious injury is so easily prevented? If you take your child whitewater rafting, they wear a PFD. When your child rides their bike, they wear a helmet. It doesn't take anything away from the experience. Adventure can be accomplished safely.

Adventure!


There are all sorts of safety measures out there designed to prevent serious injuries while allowing us to still engage in so called "risky play" and crazy fun adventures. Today I would like to specifically discuss helmets. One helmet in particular. The Petzl Picchu helmet for children. It is the only helmet rated to function as both a climbing and biking helmet. From what I understand, it has the hard shell of a typical climbing helmet to protect from things like rock fall and the impact foam of cycling helmets to protect from side impacts as well. Why do I love this? When kids climb, their small size usually means they have to look for less obvious holds in between the ones we'd normally use. For my kids this often means wandering off route to one side or the other in order to find just the right hold to get them up to the next one. No matter how I set up the top rope, their wandering usually puts them in a position to pendulum if they let go of the rock. The bonus of the cycling impact foam for climbing means, if my kiddos slip from their hold off route and swing sideways into the rock, their noggin is protected.

Safe kids = Happy kids


There are so many dangers that are out of our control while climbing such as rock fall. At more popular crags you could have other climbers above you carelessly knocking down rocks (or carabiners or belay devices or cameras...). If you opt for more remote climbing areas, the culprits could very well be animals knocking rock down onto you. Unless you stick to the climbing gym, this is a very real hazard that could cause serious damage to little heads if you don't come prepared. At the end of the day, I want my children to walk away uninjured and with a smile on their face. I want them to experience the fun and magic of climbing right now, the pain (finger locks, offwidths, alpine...) can all come later if they so choose.


Mom wears her Petzl helmet too!!


This helmet meets my families needs in every possible way. It's easily adjustable so my kids can even share one helmet when climbing. The sizing is specifically designed for children in the 3 to 8 year old range. It comes in either orange or blue and retails for approximately $60 at most outdoor retailers.

And now for the good stuff! You didn't think this was just a rant about helmets and safety did you? Petzl has graciously provided me with an extra Picchu to giveaway to one lucky kiddo! Enter between now and July 19th below using the Rafflecopter widget and one lucky winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be notified by email (so make sure you leave some contact info for me!). Good luck and keep it safe out there!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer - Per my request, Petzl provided me with a helmet for my kids and a helmet to give away. 
All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Julbo saves the day! They just may save your day too :)

By now you have hopefully read my recent posts about my Beautiful Failure and my Ugly Success on Mt. Sneffels. On my first attempt, I was naive about the importance of appropriate eye wear. I normally wear glasses and rarely wear contacts, so the thought of having a pair of expensive sunglasses seemed ridiculous to me. While packing up for the trip, I knew sunglasses would be important since we would be climbing in the snow at elevation, so I casually grabbed a pair of cheap-o gas station sunglasses to bring with thinking they would be adequate. Boy was I wrong....

Trip #1 - Already hurting

On the day of our climb, my eyes just were not doing well. I had a pounding headache and my eyes wouldn't stop watering. It hurt just to keep them open. I had thought that it was just irritation from my contacts because I wear them so infrequently. Because of that, my partner and I decided that it would be best just to head back (while I could still see) so I could take my contacts out and just call the climb a bust. We got down and packed up camp with plans of heading into town and drowning our sorrows from the failed climb in a few drinks before leaving CO. I had assumed that once my contacts were out, the pain would go away. Despite taking my contacts out and repeatedly rinsing my eyes with saline, the pain got worse. We ended up driving to Montrose to grab a bite to eat and get a drink and by the time we arrived I was so sensitive to the sunlight that I couldn't open my eyes without experiencing extremely sharp pain. And when we walked out of the dark restaurant I was instantly blinded the sun and knew something was seriously wrong. So off to the Emergency Room we went.

After some torturous tests followed by some much needed pain meds and numbing eye drops, the doc came back and diagnosed me with UV Keratitis. Basically the sun had burned my corneas. After getting back I had talked to my friend Melissa at Adventure Tykes, who informed me that cheap sunglasses can be worse than not even wearing sunglasses at all. And my main climbing partner Scott, aka The Alpine Hack, has been wearing Julbo's forever and constantly tells me how amazing they are. So in my weakened state, I reached out to Julbo asking for help. I wanted to see if their sunglasses were all that they were cracked up to be. Fortunately for me (and you too! Keep reading!), they were kind enough to send me a pair of a MonteRosa's to try out. 



Julbo MonteRosa

I was stoked to get back on Sneffels again, this time with appropriate eye wear. And after making it up to the summit with my sight in tact and without pain, I was sold! The MonteRosa's are a female specific frame and come with removable side shields. My sunglasses came equipped with Spectron 4 lenses, which are appropriate for mountain environment, use on the water or in bright sunlight. They are so dark that Julbo actually advises against driving with them on though. Julbo has many, many, many lens options available in varying prices; with even the cheapest options blocking out 100% of UVA, B and C rays. They carry frames suitable for everything from infants and children to performance sunglasses for running and cycling to mountain glasses for high altitude sun protection.

Happy Eyes!

A few more things I absolutely loved about my Julbo MonteRosa's.... The frames fit comfortably around the ears with my climbing helmet on. When wearing my climbing helmet for 12ish hours this was extremely important. The removable side shields were very useful. On the approach hike in when my glasses kept fogging up, removing the side shields provided instant ventilation. On the climb, putting the side shields back on provided extra protection from harsh sunlight reflecting off the snow. 

At the end of the day I'm now a huge believer in quality eye protection from the sun. If I would've listened to The Alpine Hack earlier and invested $100 in a pair of sunglasses, I could have spared myself an expensive ER visit and a lot of pain. Don't learn your lesson the hard way like I did. To save one fortunate reader from a similar peril, Julbo has offered up a rad looking pair of Tensing sunglasses to give away. So do yourself a favor and protect those precious eyes. Enter today using the rafflecopter app below, 1 lucky winner will be notified by email next week after contest ends so make sure your contact info is correct. Good luck!





An Ugly Success...

If you recall, at the end of the last month, I attempted to climb my first 14-er. You may also recall it didn't end well, it was more of a beautiful failure if you will. Since I'm not the best at accepting failure, my partner and I decided to head back this last weekend for some redemption. Without telling anyone except my roommate, The Alpine Hack and I took off towards Ridgway, CO around midnight on Thursday. We had decided to follow the same plan of attack as last time, drive through the night and hike into camp early in the morning and get some rest to climb the next day. The approach hike in this time had significantly less snow than last time, as in absolutely no snow, so the hike in went much faster this go round. What took us about 3 hours last time, we ticked off in under 2 hours this time. Things seemed pretty optimistic already!


New view from our old campsite

We arrived at our old camp super early and figured it would be best to keep hiking and set up camp higher since there was so much less snow this time. Once camp was set up, we took some silly pictures, made dinner and crashed hard. The alarm was set for 4 am and we had every intention of getting an early start. After unexpectedly waking up at 2:30 am we both decided to go back to sleep for a few hours... Only to wake back up at 5:30 am realizing the alarm didn't go off... Just to inadvertently fall back asleep and wake up again at 7:30 am. So much for an alpine start... We drug ourselves out of the tent and quickly made some oatmeal while getting our packs organized for the day. Shortly after our mid morning hustle to get out of camp and a hike through the talus field from hell we found ourselves back in the snow (all of which went 1000x better than last time thanks to Julbo!). We took a quick break to throw our crampons on and started the trudge up the snow field to the base of the climb.

Talus from Hell

Time to trudge... Almost there!

We finally arrived at the base of the climb and climbed up to a nice little ledge. Off came the crampons and out came the rope. We were finally climbing the North Buttress of Mt. Sneffels!  We pitched out the first few pitches of the climb before deciding that time wasn't exactly on our side due to our late start and the terrain was easy enough to simul-climb. We continued like that for most of the climb with the exception of a few sketchy spots where I was put on belay. The Alpine Hack was an animal, this was totally his style and it was incredible to watch him in his element. The climbing itself was unlike anything I had ever done. Technically it was easy enough, but I'd conservatively guess that 75% of the "holds" I grabbed were not attached to anything. That took a little getting used to, and as soon as I got used to it the terrain changed on us. We came to a short ice/snow pitch and the crampons and ice tools came back out. After topping out on that we had a short down climb into the top of the Snake Couloir followed by a long snow pitch leading to the final mixed pitch before topping out. The last pitch was kind of tricky, but I finally got to use my Trango Raptors in a way they had been designed for. I pulled through the crux using some dry tooling techniques I had never thought I would ever use.

Ice/Snow Pitch

The tricky mixed pitch

The Alpine Hack had set up a belay right below the summit and from there he let me run up to the summit first. The views were absolutely beautiful. 14,150 feet... I had never been that high and it was incredible to get there via such a fun route. We took our obligatory summit pictures and had a quick snack before starting the descent. 

After an easy hike/down climb we reached some snow. I wasn't very comfortable down climbing the snow, it was steeper than it looked, my feet weren't getting enough purchase in the snow and I got scared. My awesome partner quickly put me on belay and lowered me down almost a full rope length to where I reached a semi flat spot. At that point he climbed down to me and we repeated the lowering process another rope length until I got to the boulders where the snow ended and we could hike out. We started our hike down, hoping we were in the right couloir for the descent route. It was getting pretty late and by the time it started to get dark, we realized that in the rush earlier that morning we had both forgotten our headlamps. It was now totally dark, we were both exhausted, it had been a long, physically draining day for us both and it was no where no close to being over yet. We continued to scramble down through a never ending boulder field of death; falling down and stumbling had become the norm when we couldn't see where we were stepping. It was starting to get really ugly at this point. There was more crying on my end than I would like to admit, my partner and I actually became frustrated with one another to the point of yelling at each other and at one point I contemplated just bivying in the boulder field of death because I didn't think I had anything left in me. My partner insisted that camp wasn't too far away and if we kept moving the terrain would get easier. I was scared and both physically and mentally exhausted at this point, but I trusted in him and just sucked it up and kept moving. Sure enough... We finally got out of the boulder field and crossed over a stream a few times and before I knew it we were at the tent. 

Checking the time revealed that it was midnight... And I had to be back in Salt Lake City by noon to pick my kiddos back up. So after a quick rest we packed up camp and started the hike back to the car. We arrived at the car at 3 am and quickly made plans to stop at Denny's in Montrose (the only place open at this hour) to refuel before the long drive back. After eating, we drove home in silence, stopping to swap driving shifts every few hours so we could each get some sleep. All in all, it was an incredible experience and I learned a ton from it. Things could have gone very bad and we were lucky that we made it out without incident. On the drive back my climbing partner asked when I wanted to do another one. I immediately replied with "NEVER." However, after taking a few days to let everything sink in, I was already turning around and asking him when we were doing another one. 

I had got my summit, but it certainly didn't come easy and it wasn't pretty.






Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Color Me Rad - Race Entry GIVEAWAY!!!!

Last minute GIVEAWAY!!!!!

I've got 2 free registration codes for the Color Me Rad race in Salt Lake City next weekend (June 22, 2013). If you are in the Salt Lake City vicinity and would like to run with me and my kiddo - ENTER NOW! I'll have the giveaway open til June 17th and pick 2 winners at midnight. Winners will be notified and will have until June 19th to register for the race. 

Since Rafflecopter sucks now, I'm going to do the giveaway the old fashioned way! Comment in the blog post if you'd like to enter! Additional entries for liking my facebook page, following my twitter account, liking Color Me Rad's facebook page, and following Color Me Rad on twitter and by tweeting the following "@climbrunliftmom is giving away 2 free race registration codes for Salt Lake City's @colormerad5k! ENTER NOW - http://bit.ly/11womi2". Comment once below for each item you've done. On June 17th at midnight I'll choose 2 winners from the comments using Random.org.  





A little about the race:
When Zoloft and balloon animals can't seem to raise your spirits, the best way to brighten your life is to run Color Me Rad 5K
Historically, running has only been acceptable when trying to escape the law, personal responsibility, the truth, and grizzly bears. 
Instead of running FROM something, get ready to run FOR something at this year’s Color Me Rad.  Run for the Hell of it.

Color Me Rad is coming to a town near you with a tsunami of color that'll make colored tears of joy run down your cheeks and will renew your will to live.
After 5K of color bombardment, we guarantee your outlook will be brighter, your boyfriend will be more affectionate, your girlfriend will be less needy, the hair on your head will grow back and the hair on your back will fall out, your black and white TV will turn into 720p HD (I know you w
ere hoping for 1080, but we organize races, we're not miracle workers), and your gray outlook will turn green like a spring morning.

You’ll start off with a shirt as pure and white as your grandpa's dentures and you'll soak up enough color while running to change your skin tone forever.  You'll wind up looking like a pack of skittles – just make sure not to “taste the rainbow.”
So cast your DYE and get red in the face from Color Me Rad, and not from the embarrassment of passing up on the run of a lifetime.

How it works:

Start out as clean as a newborn babe, and throughout the run, you'll coat your chaffing thighs with Color Bombs of bluegreen,pinkpurple, and yellow until your face, shirt, and body come out silk screened like a tie-dyed hippy on the other side.

Each section of the run adds a new explosion of color to your clean, painter’s palate until you cross the finish line into a final blitzkrieg of color.