Climbing-Related Things I Have Bookmarked In The Last Year [An Exhaustive List]

In case you’ve already read all the books you got for the holidays….

Climbing Community/Culture/Meta

  1. Women, First Ascents, and Competition, Article by Thomasina Pidgeon [Gripped] 
  2. LT11’s Jordan Shipman on Vision and the Lack Therof in the Climbing Industry [LT11]
  3. Ten Top Tips for Staying Alive [UKClimbing]
  4. Collette McInerney on Women Sending Hard [Five Ten]
  5. Sonnie Trotter on Dave Graham’s Secret and Hard Climbing [Sonnie Trotter]
  6. NYT Profile of Ashima Shiraishi [New York Times]
  7. It’s Not Cool to Care [The Stone Mind]
  8. Spiral of Death [Rock and Ice]
  9. Women and Development [B3 Bouldering]
  10. Climbing is (Not) the Best [The Stone Mind]
  11. Exorcising Dirtbags: Let the Right One In [Climbing Magazine]
  12. Return To Sender: Writeup of Sender Films [NatGeo]

Long Term Road Trips

  1. Getting Out of the Midwest, Trip Budgeting [MP]
  2. Western U.S. Road Trip, Planning Details and Destination Recommendations [MP]
  3. How To Budget for a Climbing Road Trip [Roll Global]
  4. Guide to Safely Sleeping In Your Vehicle for Free [Roll Global]
  5. 9 Traits of the Ideal Road Trip Companion [semi-rad]
  6. Hobobo Guide to Free Wifi [Roll Global]
  7. Steph Davis on Living in Your Car, Safety Issues [High Infatuation]
  8. Steph Davis on Food on the Road [High Infatuation]
  9. Steph Davis on Where to Sleep While Dirtbagging [High Infatuation]
  10. Steph Davis on How to Set Up Your Truck i.e. the Shelf! [High Infatuation]
  11. Simple Living Manifesto [72 Days Project]
  12. Making Your Road Trip 40% Better [semi-rad]
  13. The Ultimate Road Trip [semi-rad]
  14. Interactive Map: Breweries of the United States [Pop Chart Lab]
  15. Active Fire Mapping Program [US Forest Service]

Lifestyle/Road Trip Blogs 

  1. Mike D’s Climbing Roadtrip Blog
  2. Furgonetten
  3. Peder and Jess
  4. Dirtbag Life

Interviews 

  1. Really Great Interview with Alex Johnson [DPM]
  2. Interview with Collette McInerney on Bolting and Climbing Hard [Climb Find]
  3. Zen Quotes from Chris Sharma [Climb and More]
  4. Interview with Chris Sharma in Ceuse [Petzl]
  5. Chris Sharma Interview [UKClimbing]

Mental Aspects of Climbing

  1. Fear of Falling – Article Explaining Clip Drop Training Technique [UKClimbing]
  2. Attitude and Climbing [MP]
  3. The Rotpunkt Method [The Stone Mind]
  4. Escaping Climbing Grades [Alli Rainey]
  5. Escaping Grade Imprisonment [Alli Rainey]
  6. Mental States, Peak Performance, and Big Dreams [Alli Rainey]

Training for Climbing

  1. Climbing and Training for a Half-Marathon [MP]
  2. Exhaustive Collection of Mostly Horst-Authored Training Articles [Nicros]
  3. Upper Body Strength+Power in Climbing & Training [Alli Rainey]
  4. Hangboard Training with Ryan Palo [Metolius]
  5. Sport Climbing Training Plan, Discussion [MP]
  6. How Do I Get Better Faster? [Power Company Climbing]
  7. How to Climb Harder than Other Newbs [Power Company Climbing]
  8. Relationship Between Lock-Off Ability and Performance [Eva Lopez]
  9. Training Tuesdays: Training Program [Climb On, Sister!]
  10. Training for the Red River Gorge [MP]
  11. Pushing Through Plateaus [Alli Rainey]
  12. How I Broke Through My Biggest Climbing Plateau [The Morning Fresh]
  13. One Workout Every Climber Should Do [DPM]
  14. Training Wonks Discuss Training [MP]
  15. Spice Up Your ARC Training [Lazy H Climbing Club]
  16. Training Obsession [Will Gadd]
  17. H.I.T. Training [Cragmama]
  18. Article about Professional Climbing Coaching for Adults [Climber Magazine]

Climbing Videos 

  1. Tomorrow I Will Be Gone, Bouldering in Rocklands [Outcrop Films]   
  2. Zombie Roof Solo [Will Stanhope, filmed by Dave Pearson]
  3. Red River Gorge: Gray’s Branch [Colin Delhanty]
  4. Cell Block Six [Sean Stewart]
  5. Protips 3 Jason Kehl [Climb X Media]
  6. Protips 6 Lauren Lee [Climb X Media] 
  7. Protips Slopers [Climb X Media]
  8. Climb Like Sharma [Rock and Ice]
  9. Demon Seed [Sean Stewart]

Destination Specific Links 

  1. Ten Sleep, Wyoming [Roll Global]
  2. Ten Sleep Canyon Camping Options [MP]
  3. Climbing on Cayman Brac [JB]
  4. Fired For Sandbagging route page [MP]

Gear

  1. Blank Slate Page Where You Can Buy the Ten  Sleep Guidebook [Blank Slate]
  2. What to Put in the Ultimate Back Country First Aid Kit [Roll Global]
  3. 12 Reasons the iPhone is an Awesome Piece of Climbing Gear [Adventure Journal]
  4. 10 Cheap Substitutes for Expensive Camping Gear [Adventure Journal]
  5. Bliss Wrap [Icebreaker]
  6. Foam Mattress Topper [Walmart]

Miscellaneous

  1. Pretty Nice Climbing Photo Which I Bookmarked For Unknown Reasons [tumblr]
  2. Elvis Leg of The Climbing Soul [Tara Reynvaan]
  3. A Zen Story [Stone Mind]
  4. Making a Crimp Mug [?]
  5. Excellent RouteSetting Blog [RouteCrafting] 
  6. Dream World [The Ascent Blog]
  7. Finding the Power of the Unplugged Mind [Proactive Outside]
  8. Physiological Responses to Rock Climbing in Young Climbers [British Journal of Sports Medicine]

Have more links or better links? Did I forget to bookmark something good? Post up in the comments and let us know!

how to be a dirtbag climber girl

Someone found my blog by searching the title of this post. I can’t seem to replicate it (maybe the all-knowing google knows that I know where my blog is?), but I thought I’d answer the question anyway.

My most important advice is to be confident, and do it your way.

This is also known as the fake-it-till-you-make-it principle. If you’re a girl considering a dirtbag lifestyle and hesitating, don’t! Just go do it! Before my trip this summer I worried a lot about not climbing hard enough to make it on the road, not knowing enough climbers to make it work, and a lot of other silly things. None of these worries are important. I have never talked to anyone who regretted living on the road for a while.

I know so many people who hit the road, found community, and never looked back. It will work for you too. Sell your shit. Quit your job. End your lease. Hit the road! Or don’t listen to me and do it your way. That’s even better.

Go find the wild places, because they’re there. Mt. Fitz Roy in Argentina by flickr user StuckInCustoms

A bunch of my practical advice for dirtbag livin’ is on this blog. Check out my post about living in a truck, or the dirtbag beta series for some tips. Steph Davis has a lot of great tips on her blog as well. Wherever you go, you will need to find out where to sleep, where to do laundry/get wifi/get food, and where to get beer. Sometimes this info is easy to find on the internet, sometimes it’s easier to find by word of mouth.

There is only one bit of ‘how to be a dirtbag’ advice that is female-specific (that I can think of).

All climbers should be able to pee standing up without taking off their harnesses. It makes life so much easier! If you weren’t born with the right equipment, you should look into getting a PStyle. They are cheap, easy to clean, and don’t look like funnels. I will never go climbing/camping without mine!

What’s your advice for aspiring dirtbags? Sound off in the comments?

Living in a Truck: A Manifesto

Meet my tiny universe.

This is where I lived for the summer. Below are 10 of my best tips for living in the back of a truck (or any small space)

#1: Stay Clean(ish)

This applies to your person and to your truck. I make a point of cleaning up the cab a bit every time I refill, and getting my bedroll out requires a certain amount of open space. The entire red mat on the left in the photo must be clear for the bed to unroll. When you’re living in a small space, a small mess can become a big mess quickly. On the upside, even large messes rarely take more than 15 minutes to clean up. Also, these are a great idea, and a good deal.

#2  Have Bins

Or drawers. Or crates. Or shelves. You need something to keep everything in your small space organized and out of the way. In the same token, you don’t want stuff you need every day (like clothes) to be hard to access. If I were going to set up the truck again, I would find somewhere else to store less-used clothes so that the green drawers could be a set of two, and fit standing up.

The organization system I had for the truck worked well. I mostly cooked using the cooler as a counter, and all my food and kitchen related items were easily accessible in the open top crates. The blue bin in the back stored re-fill items, like extra rolls of toilet paper, cans of camp fuel, or packages of baby wipes.

#3 Get Indoors

You might notice that I don’t have the traditional dirtbag truck build. Instead, I use a shelf, an idea I picked up from Steph Davis. The great thing about this for me is that it avoids creating the tunnel like space that most people end up with after building storage underneath a deck. I can even sit up straight inside my truck (with a regular-height Leer cap) because I am so short. It’s win-win.

Taller folks (like my friend Tom, who is 6’4″) would probably need to get a van instead to get sittable-space. I strongly encourage having it if you’re going to live in your vehicle. It means that your vehicle can be a home on four wheels, somewhere you can hang out when you need to, instead of just a bed on four wheels. It also means that if the weather is bad for some reason, you can cook inside your vehicle. In windy conditions, this saves time and fuel, because your food will cook faster. If it’s raining, it means that you don’t have to put up a tarp to stay dry while you cook.

Home on 4 wheels

#4 Actively Avoid Accumulating More Stuff

See #1. Depending on your financial situation and the amount of spending money you have, it can be tempting to buy more stuff. This makes it harder to keep your space clean, and it also makes it harder to stick to your budget. The fewer possessions you have, the better.

#5 Bring Something Homey 

This was important for me, because I was on the road by myself. Most of the time it’s awesome, but sometimes, it’s lonely. I brought my favorite, most comfy, best-blanket-in-the-world and slept with it most nights. Bring something that will make your feel connected and loved, because at some point on the road, you might need it.

#6 Bring Entertainment

You’ll want to be able to entertain yourself, but also other people. If you like reading, a Kindle is a great idea, because it will save you a ton of space in books. If you read all your books, you can explore the large number of books Amazon will sell you for free. Be warned: some are scarily bad! A deck of cards or an easily packable board game are also great to have, in case the weather’s bad or you have to kill time until your climbs come into the shade.

#7 Bring Extra 

… of important but small and easily misplaced items, like head lamps or lighters. In fact, for lighters, you probably want something on the order of 3, not counting the one in your pack. Tie one to the stove, so you won’t lose it. Get a cheap light up key chain and keep it somewhere you can find it easily in the dark, like your glove compartment. Your back-up light can then be used to find your real head lamp.

#8 Get an Inverter

This makes charging your phone, ipod, kindle, etc easy to do if you’re driving around. If you don’t already own them, buy jumper cables at the same time, just in case. I know more than a few folks that have drained their batteries by powering things using their car.

#9 Be Comfy When You Sleep

If this means putting up screening so you can crack a window, do it. My bedding was very simple–the ridged plastic bed liner that came with the truck, covered by the red yoga mat you can see in the picture, on top on top of a 2 inch thick foam pad I got for free from a friend. I sleep deeply and well no matter where I am, so I didn’t need much in the way of creature comforts for my bed. I met people who sleep on mattresses though. Know yourself–you’ll want to be able to get a good night’s sleep.

#10 Be Safe 

Don’t park in sketchy areas. If you have a bad feeling about something, listen to it! I slept in a few rest stops along the way (generally not advisable) and more than a few Wal Marts. My rule was always to never sleep anywhere I didn’t feel safe, and only sleep in places where someone else was already sleeping. This worked out quite well for me, and I never felt threatened by anyone while I was on the road.

Anything I missed? Sound off in the comments!

Maple Canyon Dirtbag Beta

Unfortunately folks, my road trip has reached its end. As I get re-acclimated to civilized life, I’ve finished up the last installment (for now) of the dirtbag beta series. You can see my posts on Ten Sleep and Smith here and here.

Where are you going to sleep?

There are two options for camping in Maple Canyon, lettered and numbered sites. Lettered sites are better for dirt bags–unlike numbered sites, they can’t be reserved. If you occupy a lettered site, you can be assured that you won’t have to move camp. Lettered sites cost $3 per night. The other option is to stay in an un-reserved or un-occupied numbered site. There are some perks, like proximity to the right fork and left fork trailheads, and a shorter walk to the bathroom. The numbered sites cost $8 a night, and can be reserved online at www.reserveamerica.com

Rest Day Essentials: Snow College

Snow College in Ephraim, UT, can hook you up with showers and internet on your rest day. Showers, in the Rec Center at 350 East Street, are $2 a person. The ladies’ shower has stalls, the mens’ is locker-room style. An extra $1 gets you access to the pool, gym, and courts at the rec center, in case you feel the need to get your blood moving on a rest day.

The library, located nearby, has free wifi. The study rooms on the 3rd floor have big screens that can be hooked up to your computer for watching movies or tv. If you’re a mac person, you might have to bring your own adapter. As a bonus, the latest issue of Climbing Magazine can be found in the magazine racks on the first floor.

Try not to rest on Sunday! Everything will be closed, and there will be nothing for you to do.

Getting Beer

Due to Utah’s 3.2% Law, getting decent beer can be a bit complicated.

Option 1: Bring it with you. This is the best option.

If Option 1 doesn’t work out, because you didn’t plan ahead, or because you drank all your beer too fast, there’s always…

Option 2: Go to a state liquor store. If you are really a beer snob, you might have to go all the way to Provo to find microbrews that pass muster.  I have been to the state liquor store in Ephraim, and was not impressed with the selection, but the selection in Mt. Pleasant or Nephi might be better.

Rest Day Paradise: RV Park in Manti

I have heard that for $4, you can get a shower, sit in a hot tub, surf the internet, and swim in the pool! Laundry machines are also available.

Ten Sleep Dirtbag Beta

In a follow up to my Smith Beta post, here’s some dirtbag beta for Ten Sleep Canyon! Ten Sleep is much more of an insider’s town: here are all my best tips!

Where to Camp

You can camp for free anywhere along the Old Road. The Old Road is labeled as WY435 lower in the canyon, and as road number 18 higher up in the National Forest.  There are many sites, both in the lower part of the canyon and in the upper part of the canyon. The upper entrance to the Old Road is currently hard to find due to construction–take a right just after the road becomes dirt. The upper canyon is closer to the climbing areas Mondo Beyondo, Vallhalla, Superratic, and FCR.

Where to get _________ without leaving Ten Sleep:

Where to get beer: Any of the bars in town will sell you a ‘package’ of cheap beer or a six-pack of nicer beer. It’s expected that you still tip the bartender, even if you don’t plan to hang in the bar.

Where to get groceries:  Don’t expect to find fresh fruit or vegetables in town. The Pony Express at the gas station sells eggs, bread, milk, and a few other food items. See the section on Worland for info on grocery stores.

Where to get clean clothes: The Ten Broek RV park has laundry machines available. Washers are $1.50, and dryers are $1.25. Detergent can be bought in the RV store for $0.50, and the RV park has free wifi.

Where to get your fix: The 2nd Street Coffee Shop and Bakery frequently has a contingent of climbers staring at screens inside, or on the porch outside. Please support the bakery by buying coffee, breakfast, or baked goods when they are open (6am – 2pm, Tues-Sat). The free wifi stays up when the bakery is closed, but the family prefers that you stay on the front porch off-hours. All the baked goods sold at the bakery are made on the premises, and all are delicious! You can also purchase copies of the 2011 guidebook in the coffee shop. I cannot emphasize enough how awesome and climber-friendly this business is. Please support them!!

Where to get yourself a treat: The ice cream cones at Dirty Sally’s are a meal unto themselves. The waffle cones are home-made and impossible to resist!

Where to get chalk: The country gifts store at the eastern end of town sells blocks and loose chalk, both Metolius brand. Early afternoon seems to be the best bet for finding the store open. Look for the ‘Troutfitter’s’ sign, near the shaved ice stand.

Where to get down to business: For evenings, days when the coffee shop is closed, or when you just need a brew, the Ten Sleep Saloon also has available wifi. You can print or make copies at the library for $0.25 a page, and faxes can be sent from the bank for $2.00 a page.

Up-canyon Honorable Mention: The Deer Haven Lodge is located a short drive from most of the upper-canyon camping on the old road. Turn right at the intersection of the old road and US 16. The lodge will be on your left. You can buy a beer at  the bar, stock up on some ice, use the free wifi to check your email, or pay to take a shower.

Worland 

Worland is a 20-30 minute drive west of Ten Sleep on 16, depending on how fast you drive. According to locals, speed enforcement on this particular stretch of highway is high.  Worland is a larger town with more businesses and services.

There are two grocery stores in town, an I.G.A. and a Blair’s. Both are going to be more pricey than your average city or suburban grocery store, both sell beer in separate stores attached to the main buildings.

I haven’t spent much time in Worland, so I don’t have much more advice on what’s around and available. Have any advice for fellow dirtbags? Sound off in the comments.

Comparative Shower Pricing 2012 

RV Park in Ten Sleep – $8

RV Park in Worland – $5

Deer Haven Lodge – $5.50

Buffalo YMCA – $2

Buffalo Pool – free? (this one is unconfirmed)

Ten Sleep Creek – free! Best accessed via the lower entrance to the Old Road.

Have any Ten Sleep tips or tricks? Sound off in the comments!

Smith Rock Dirtbag Beta

I said goodbye to Smith Rock on Wednesday morning, bidding a fond farewell to a beautiful place to live and climb. Here’s some dirtbag-approved Smith Rock beta on where to go, what to do, and where to eat while you visit the park.

What to do on a Rest Day…

Rainy Day: The Green Plow

When it rains, long-term bivy residents can be found at this independent coffee shop in Redmond, a 10 minute drive from Terrebonne. Free wifi, great coffee, and comfy chairs make it a good place to hang out for a while if the weather sucks. There is a large room in the back which could be used by a large group to play board or card games.

Getting there: From the bivy, go into Terrebonne and then turn left on U.S. 97. Take exit 119 and turn right on 6th street, passing Walmart and other large chains, until you reach downtown Redmond. The Green Plow will be on your left. Parallel parking on the street is available.

A latte and a cookie hit the spot on a rest day at the Green Plow.

Chore Day: Rainbow Laundromat

To my knowledge, this is the closest Laundromat to the park. Depending on your tolerance for sketch, you may or may not like it. There is a change machine for coins, and you can buy laundry soap there if you need it. Budget two hours for washing and drying.

Getting there: Turn left on U.S. 97, then take exit 119 and  turn right onto 6th street. The laundromat will be on your left a ways down. It is tucked back from the road, located right next to a tattoo parlor. There is a sign with a rainbow on it in the parking lot, towards the edge of the road.

Hot Day: Steelhead Falls

Located west of Terrebonne, on the Deschutes River, the Steelhead Falls are an excellent option for a hot afternoon rest day. The falls are reached by a short, 15 minute hike downhill. Nearby rocky outcroppings provide low-commitment cliff diving, with jumps between 10 and 15 feet. Bolder jumpers can swim across the river to reach higher cliffs. Icy water feels incredibly refreshing on a hot, sunny day. Local dirtbags sometimes put up slacklines across the river, of varying heights.

Getting there: Turn right onto U.S. 97, then left onto Lower Bridge Road. Right on 43rd street, left on Chinook, left on Badger, right on Quail, then left on River road. Signs appear at some point to direct you through the last few turns.

Steelhead Falls on the Deschutes River

Life Essentials: Beer and Food

Thriftway in Terrebonne: The local grocery store has good produce and a decent selection of beer. Block ice can be found in a cooler on the end of the freezer aisle, towards the back of the store. Also has an ATM To get there, head to town, then take a right just before Redpoint. There is an espresso place on the back side of the store where you can get your coffee fix if needed: snobs need not apply.

Ferguson’s Market: Limited selection of food items, well-stocked on cheap beer, some mid-range beer. Located on 97 right before the right turn to reach the state park.

Sun Spot: Great food in a diner frequented by locals. Located on 97 before Ferguson’s, can also be reached from the bivy by taking a left just before Redpoint. The breakfast is amazing, and the milkshakes (made with local favorite ice cream flavor flavor huckleberry) are delicious.

Terrebonne Depot: This climber owned and operated establishment gets rave reviews from everyone I’ve talked to. Happy hour is from 3pm to 6pm, and the Depot is closed on Tuesdays.

The Ice Cream Stand: On the road just before the turn to the bivy is a small store which sells delicious, delicious huckleberry ice cream. Sizes start at a single, and go all the way up to ‘The Monkey.’ Bring cash.

1st World Essentials: Internet

Best option = Redpoint: the climbing gear store has a guest network you can use, and camp chairs and outlets available for your use. It can be hard to go in without buying anything—you have been warned!

Next Best = The Green Plow: a bit more of a drive, but a comfier option if you’re planning a marathon computer-use session. The armchairs are comfy, chairs abound, and the internet is fast enough to watch streaming video.

Commercial = Starbucks in Redmond: I never feel guilty about using the internet from my car outside a Starbucks without buying anything, mostly because I once had a serious addiction to Chai lattes. If you need to get your Starbucks fix, Redmond is your closest bet.