Taking a Break

I’m currently working on writing my master’s thesis and I have a month left until the rough draft is due. So, I will be taking a break from blogging for a little while, but you can bet your buttons (pun) I’ll be back at it with vengeance! As soon as I graduate in May, climbing, sewing and reading whatever the heck I want will be top priorities. :)

I sense awesome climbing adventures are on the horizon because plans are brewing for Idyllwild, Yosemite and lots of local climbing at Woodson. I’d really like to post about every Woodson climb I do from now on with pictures and beta. Sort of for other people, but mostly for me to remember what I’ve climbed, how to get there and to remember the beta. BTW, wouldn’t a blog about a year of Woodson climbs (sort of like A NEW DRESS A DAY blog), where someone climbs everything at Woodson, be awesome?! Maybe two years? Pictures, beta, etc… I really think it would be great. BUT, I can’t climb that well yet, so it’s just a pipe dream right now.

I’m reading a few biographies of women climbers, so some books reviews and some reflection on those will be in order. As well as other fiction books I’ve been reading and a theology must read list I’ve created throughout my time at seminary.

I have a few sewing projects that I can’t wait to get underway. I will attempt to alter a cardigan (see the earlier post about it) and a dress I bought at a thrift store and I’m going to turn it into a shirt. I’ll finally get on those pin cushion rings. As well as ‘thrifting’ adventures, because I’ll finally have time to venture out to all of the local thrift stores. Who knows what will happen then.

Oh, summertime, how I love thee. Can’t wait. One of the hardest projects I have ever undertaken will be coming to a close in just about two months. Hard to believe. Now to figure out what to do with the rest of my life… :) The possibilities are endless.

Knowing the Lingo

When I first got into climbing years ago, I don’t really remember learning a bunch of new technical terms. Since I climbed mostly in doors and didn’t stick with it, I guess that’s understandable. That’s also why I was taken aback when I got back into climbing this past year–there was a whole world of climbing vocab I never learned! 


I was constantly staring blankly at people because they were using terms I’d never heard before. As a newbie in a group of seasoned climbers, I had a hard time keeping up because they used so much climbing slang. If I just couldn’t figure out what in the world they were talking about, which was quite often, I’d just suck it up and ask. Lame-o. I’m keeping you from my folly. 


It might seem like using these terms is unnecessary or that you could get by without learning them… but you can’t. You have to learn them and you have to use them–it’s just all part of the experience. You might feel like you’re nerding out on climbing, but everyone will understand exactly what you’re talking about and you wont skip a beat. 


So here’s a list of helpful climbing terms that you will most definitely hear if you venture out doors. I stole these definitions from Rockclimbing.com but added my own two cents. If people are yelling some of these terms from below as you climb, now you’ll know what the crap they mean.


Here’s one I just learned that I thought was kind of cute–Belay Betty – usually a non-climbing significant other designated to belay.


Beta – n. information about a route. This was one of the funnier ones because my friend Laura and I felt so official using it. Here’s an example of how it’s used, “This climb looks hard, give me the beta.” The beta is basically how you climb it, how you use the holds, which holds to use and where the route goes, etc. etc.  


Campus – (1) vb. to work out on a campus board. (2) vb. to climb with feet dangling as if using a campus board. When there are no foot holds to speak of, sometimes you have to campus. 


Chicken Wing – n. A type of arm bar useful in off widths and tight chimneys. Bend arm at elbow so that hand touches shoulder. Insert in crack and push against opposite sides. Works especially well vertically in squeeze chimneys, with elbow pointing up and pressing against one side of chimney, and heel of hand against the other side. 2.(v.) To Chicken Wing: bad climbing form on a face climb where the climber’s elbows point out and back at an awkward angle.


Chickenhead – n. A knobby feature (resembling a chicken’s head) which provides excellent holds for hands or feet.


Clean – (1) v. To remove protection devices (gear). On a multipitch climb, the climber who seconds (follows the leader), takes out all of the removable gear placed by the leader. (2) adj. A clean climb, or a climb that “goes clean” is one that can be done without using a hammer to pound in pitons or mashies. This method is called clean because it does not damage the rock. (See pin scars.) (3) adj. To complete a climb or project without hang-dogging or falling, especially on top-rope. Oh yes, hang-dogging, that’s another one. You haven’t really done a climb, unless you’ve done it clean. 



Crimp – vb. to grip in a way such that fingertips contact the hold with knuckles raised slightly.


Crimper – n. a small edged hold which is conducive to crimping.

Crux – n. the most crucial, difficult part of the climb. Climbs are rated by their most difficult move, aka the crux. 


Dyno – n. abbreviation for “dynamic movement”, a move that requires some use of momentum. (antonym: static movement) 2. (vb.) to perform a dyno. I can’t do this very well yet, but I’m working on it. It’s when you have to “jump” to get a hold. 


Flag – vb. To dangle a leg in a way that improves balance. Also refers to using feet without 
holds to improve balance and create sideways momentum. Its when you cross one of your legs behind the other to help your balance. This is kind of a counter-intuitive move, but it really helps once you get the hang of it. 


Hike – v. To send a climb in excellent style. Usage: “I was falling all over that climb then I took a rest and hiked it.”



Jamming – v. Placing and wedging a body part into a crack in order to hold yourself on the wall.


Jug – n. A big hand hold, usually a great relief to find. (See also, bucket.) Also a verb meaning “to jumar” or the act of ascending a fixed rope with jumars. Usually 5.6 and easier climbs are “juggy”, because they have giant holds. 


Lay back – n/vb. a move requiring pulling with arms to the side and pushing with the feet in the opposite direction. (syn. lieback)


Locking Carabiner – n. A carabiner with either a screw gate, or twist lock, locking mechanism.


Locking off/Lock-off – v./n. A powerful holding position in which one elbow is fully contracted, allowing the other arm to reach out for a hold. Limits the amount of reach available. Locking off is super hard for women because it requires a lot of upper body strength. You’re basically in a one handed chin-up position and reaching for another hold. 


Match – v. To place both hands or feet on the same hold. This was one of the first terms I learned. Its usually very helpful when people suggest that you match on something. For some reason, its easier to tell if you should match from the ground. Maybe its because you feel like every extremity should have its own hold, you are generally against matching… dunno. 


Mantel – n./vb. a climbing technique involving the transfer of upward force from a pulling action to a pushing action much like a child would climb the kitchen counter to reach the cabinets above.



Pumped – adj. tired. referring to the state of forearms in a desperate state, swollen and unresponsive. 


Protection – n. Gear placed on a climb to protect the climber in the event of a fall. ie: nuts, pitons, cams, bolts, quickdraws.

Pinch – n. Any hold that must be pinched.

Quickdraw – n. two caribiners connected by a webbing (usually) or rope. Used to link elements of protection, or more commonly, to link the rope to a piece of protection. It’s good to know what this is when you start building anchors, etc. If someone asks you for a quickdraw, you’ll know what they’re talking about. :) 


Rack – n. The set of protection equipment used for a climb. No, its not what you think. It’s referring to all the gear that climbers lug around with them. 


Redpoint – n/vb. a clean ascent with no falls, placing protection while climbing. Just like “clean”, you didn’t really climb it until you redpointed it. 

Ring lock – n/vb. a Jam for a crack that is wider than fingers and narrower than hands. Involves bridging the crack with the thumb, and stacking the fingers on top of the thumb.



Runner – n. a sewn or tied loop of webbing or rope used to connect protection elements. Another piece of gear that is good to be familiar with when someone asks you for it. 

Roof – n. a 180 degree overhang.

Send – vb to complete a route successfully. Similar to “hiking” something. You’ll probably only hear this when you’ve been complemented for “sending” a climb. 

Slab – n any climb that is less than vertical, especially those devoid of features requiring smearing of the feet. Just like a crack or face climb, this is a particular kind of climb. 

Sling – n/vb a loop of webbing or rope (see runner).

Sloper – n. a downward sloping hold. AKA really freaking hard to hold on to. 



Smear – n/vb the act of placing a large surface area of shoe rubber on a hold to create maximum friction. When there are no foot holds, you have to smear the wall. 

Stem – n/vb movement requiring opposing outward pressure much like a child climbing a door jam.

Taping up – v. The action of applying tape around the knuckles or used to improvise gloves with bare palms in order to protect from rock crystals digging into the flesh. Especially useful in crack climbing. I was recently mocked for taping up. I guess people have mixed feelings about it. However, I climbed a crack without tape over a month ago and the scabs are just barely healing… don’t fight it. Tape up. Chicks may dig scars, but I have a feeling guys don’t. 

Obsession

O.K., maybe it’s not obsession, but I am floored by Steph Davis. I just read a wiki article on this chick and I got goose bumps. I feel like I did my college years all wrong. I should have been climbing and living out of my car. I wonder if I could ever get there… How did she pay for her student loans?

I’m so getting her book and reading it as soon as I turn in my thesis.

She’s even got a masters degree. How in the ….

***Update: Couldn’t wait. Right after I posted this, I bought Steph Davis’ book and Lynn Hill’s book. :) They look like inspirational books, I’m really looking forward to reading them.

Don’t Dump the Frump!

Got an old frumpy cardigan? I do… I have a few. Actually, I have a few cardigans that are now too large for me to wear because I have lost some LBs. Check out this great tutorial on one of my new favorite blogs! You can take a frumpy cardigan and make it fitted or shorter. Sweet!

You could even add a little fabric flower (DIY!) to make it super duper cute.

Everything in it’s Season

Epicurious.com has this great interactive map that shows you what’s in season in your state! 

Here’s what’s in season, when, in California! I’m going to print this out and put it in my recipe binder. I think it would be nice to make myself a little dessert/veggie dish calendar, so I know what to make when throughout the year. 
January:
Avocados
Broccoli
Grapefruit
Kale
Kumquats
Lemons
Mushrooms
Oranges
Swiss Chard
Tangerines
February:
Avocados
Broccoli
Swiss Chard
Grapefruit
Kale
Kumquats
Lemons
Mushrooms
Oranges
Tangerines
March:
Artichokes
Asparagus
Avocados
Broccoli
Grapefruit
Kumquats
Lemons
Mushrooms
Oranges
Tangerines
April:
Artichokes
Asparagus
Beets
Cherries
Kohirabi
Lettuce
Mushrooms
Spinach
Strawberries
Tangerines
May:
Apricots
Artichokes
Asparagus
Cherries
Nectarines
Peaches
Plums
Raspberries
Strawberries
June:
Apricots
Artichokes
Asparagus
Avocados
Nectarines
Okra
Peaches
Plums
Raspberries
Strawberries
July:
Apricots
Avocados
Green Beans
Nectarines
Peaches
Plums
Raspberries
Strawberries
Summer Squash
Tomatoes
August:
Eggplant
Corn
Figs
Melon
Nectarines
Peaches
Plums
Summer Squash
Tomatoes
Tomatillos
September:
Asian Pears
Chile Peppers
Corn
Eggplant
Grapes
Okra
Peppers
Persimmons
Tomatoes
Tomatillos
October:
Apples
Artichokes
Asian Pears
Brussels Sprouts
Grapes
Persimmons
Pomegranates
Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Tomatillos
November:
Apples
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cauliflower
Corn
Cucumbers
Peppers
Pomegranates
Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
December:
Beets
Cabbage
Carrots
Guavas
Kiwis
Lemons
Lettuce
Mushrooms
Oranges
Scallions

Piety… or Pie on Sunday.

My roommates and I made a blueberry pie with a lattice top this afternoon. De-lish.


*Note: I made this pie with flour as a thickener for the filling, but a friend just suggested tapioca pudding instead, because my pie came out kind of watery.  


Making the pie crust:

Here is the recipe for the pie crust. 

You have to measure out 1/2 c. of shortening,
but then remove a tablespoon.
Cut in the shortening until it is well mixed in. 
Then tablespoon in ice water slowly until it forms a dough,
not too sticky but so that it sticks together. 
Like so.
Roll half of the dough slightly bigger than your pie pan.
The other half of the dough will be for the top.
Fold it over the rolling pin
to transport to the pan so you don’t rip it. 
Press gently down to form it to the pan.
Cut off the excess. 


Making the filling:  

Flour, sugar and cinnamon. 
Frozen blueberries. 
Fresh would be better,
but the grocery store sold out for this little project. Lame. 
Spoon it into the crust and
cover with a tablespoon of lemon juice. 
Then drop in a tablespoon of butter. 

Now to make the lattice top:
Now we use the other half of the dough.
Roll it out and cut it into half inch strips.
Ta-da!
Place the strips slightly apart. 
Pull back every other strip and place a strip down going the opposite direction. 
Put the strips back. 
Now you have to pull the strips back going the other direction.
Same thing though, every other one, the opposite ones this time. 
Put them back. 
Repeat until it is done. 
Beautiful! It’s OK if the strips don’t fit…
Just cut them off! 
Then, with a little bit of ice water on your fingers,
get the bottom crust wet and press the strip down. 
Cover the edges with tin foil,
make sure its shiny side out. 
Sugar the top and don’t let roommates pick at it. 

Work it.

I had a really good night at the climbing gym. I felt stronger than usual and I haven’t been at the gym all week, that’s including the regular gym too. I have felt terrible all week, struggling to get up early and just feeling lethargic. I pigged out on food this week too, so I feel really out of shape at the moment. Tonight came as a surprise.

Right now I’m in the middle of writing my masters thesis and the rough draft is due in less that two months. Yikes. So I’m really having to cut out unnecessary time expenditures (like writing a blog…). I have considered how much time I spend climbing and a friend of mine made an excellent point tonight. Climbing is one of those all consuming things. First you go to the gym, then you climb outside. First its once a week, then its once during the week and once on the weekend. Then its every single spare moment. In addition to all this time spent actually climbing, there is the tendency to spend every other spare moment on the computer looking at climbing clips on Vimeo or reading climbing blogs… I’m realizing that right now I have to cut back. My friend suggested that I cut out all of the interweb climbing stuff rather than cutting out actually climb time. I think I will do just that and will also limit my climbing during the week to once or twice, both short.

However, I will continue to go to the gym every morning like I usually do. I can continue to contribute to my climbing performance by really concentrating on doing work outs that will benefit climbing. I’ve started to gather some specific work outs and I will continue to gather more. Being a woman, I have poor upper body strength, so focusing on this problem is huge. My goal is to be able to do a pull-up by the beginning of Summer. In addition to this, I want to lose about 10 more pounds. I’d also like to be able to hang on a campus board for at least 5, 10 second intervals. I’m almost at 10 seconds… just one interval. I’ve got my work cut out for me and I think this will suffice until I get this thesis done with.

I found a great website that has a ton of information about weightlifting and tons of other stuff. Each work out has a small clip that shows you how to do it. It’s amazing! I’ll be referencing this quite a bit.

Enjoy!