J Tree

How it started:

For a long time I had been searching for something that would bring me anywhere near as much happiness as I experienced when I was a child climbing trees. It had been my absolute favorite thing to do. I had a "treehouse" (a few planks of plywood and a couple stools I shimmied up the tree and wedged in between branches). I spent hours in that tree; climbing up and down every branch that stemmed out almost parallel to the ground from the main trunk, radially, creating layers of "floors". I could climb the interior of the tree under a canopy of light green leaves that grew mostly on the outer edges creating a dome-like roof. It was a solitary and quiet environment, and I loved that about it. The inner confines of that tree were my sanctuary and although the time I spent in it was incredibly peaceful, contemplative, and even meditative, the funnest part was the climbing. I enjoyed the work it took to get to that tranquil space, and it had been something that was missing in my day to day life. One evening I signed up for and attended a women's climb night at REI and FELL IN LOVE, and subsequently, became obsessed.

I immediately joined an indoor rock climbing gym, it isn't exactly climbing trees, but it feels the same. All those feelings: the fear, the uncertainty, the air all around me, the shifting of my weight as I balance on points of contact and negotiate with gravity, the sensation of my body being put to use in a physically challenging way, the feeling of putting trust in my body, the feeling that an economy of movement would keep me from falling on my ass; it all came flooding back.

Since I started I've even ventured outdoors on occasion. In the open air the nostalgia becomes acute in its intensity but so does the fear and the sense that you have no choice but to send, this mostly happens on the highballs, but also on moderate climbs that are closer to the ground, until you get used to taking a chance above packed dirt and rock. Just like when you were a kid.

Climbing is heaven. If you haven't tried it, kinda think you should.

Below are some clips from some super fun climbs, indoors and out.

Red Rocks - Nevada

Potato Chips V2 - This was fun, probably because it's totes my style, the slight overhang did make it a bit more challenging though.

Hangar 18 - Rancho Cucamonga

First V6/7 - When I finally sent this climb I was pretty stunned, although I gave it at least 12 burns so I'm not sure why.

Hangar 18 - Arcadia

Frist V6 - A very emotional send for me, in fact I cried as soon as I sat down afterward. It happened during a time when I was having trouble with just about eveything and climbing did not feel easy, or fun, but climbing had gotten me through many challenges and had even inspired me to take on others, so I was determined to get back to my best self. I gave it a number of tries on a few different occasions and on this day it went.

This is actually the second send because I wasn't happy with the angle of the first video.

Hangar 18 - Rancho Cucamonga

Frist V5- - Probably should've come down a couple more holds before I let go; kind of a hard landing as you can hear from the little yelp I let out at the end.

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