Hello, hopefully now loyal Action in Solitude readers! I want to thank each and every one of you for visiting our site, and helping us along on our slow but steady growth process. At a time like this, it seems like the last thing I would want to do would be send you into the loving arms of other blogs, but I am confident enough in your devotion to share with you some other really great blogs, and know that you good folks will still come back to us. Because … I love you.
Wait, did I just make things weird? Was that too soon? I said, “Olive juice,” not “I love you,” weirdo. Geez, get a room.
Anywho, here it is — separated by category — some of my favorite blogs for climbing, yoga, fitness, and all-around interesting content! This week is my first installment, featuring my four favorite climbing blogs. Click on the blog title to go to their homepage, or click on my favorite posts to read that article! Check them out, let me know what you think, and let me know of any quality blogs I may have left out!
This blog, maintained by long-time climber and Petzl employee Justin Roth, is extremely well-written, which might be my favorite part about it. Roth’s sometimes funny, often insightful views on climbing topics range from something as banal as “the crap climbers put on their hands,” to the philosophical, like his post on the perceived value of any given climb. “The Stone Mind” comes from a Zen anecdote, and most of Roth’s posts center around the climber’s mentality and thought processes. Zen Buddhist terms, ideas and quotes weave themselves through much of his writing, and it’s clear that Roth is a truly enlightened guy. His words are honest, never elitist, and relatable to climbers of all ability levels — from novices to seasoned pros. If you’re looking for a blog about the latest hard sends, or burly training methods to send V12, then keep searching. But if any aspect of your climbing head could use some improvement, or at the very least some examination, check out the Stone Mind.
“How to spot a climber in the wild” (evidence of Roth’s dry humor!)
Andrew Bisharat’s blog is both aesthetically pleasing and incredibly interesting. There’s an overwhelming amount of content to sort through, leaving me clicking through post after post with tantalizing titles like “How to climb 5.14 (The Simple Way)” and bookmarking them for later, when I have time to genuinely read and digest Bisharat’s often quote lengthy article. He is clearly a very opinionated guy,and many posts are his thoughts and moral standings on many different topics in climbing. He labels these as “rants,” but they’re much more sound and researched than any rant I’ve ever experienced. Bisharat dedicates some space to telling some climbing stories of his own, as well as some submitted stories from climbers around the world (including Tommy Caldwell). My favorites, though, will always be Bisharat’s essays writing is sometimes light, more often dark, but always manages to be somehow … different. For a climbing blog with a strong literary presence, check out Evening Sends. Added bonus: the comment sections of many of his articles can be hilarious, or a little bit spicy.
“Climbing gyms aren’t the problem; assholes are” (Hear hear!)
And now for something light-hearted, satirical, and straight-up funny. The writer of this blog assumes the persona (at least I hope it’s a persona!) of Wesley Summers, an extremely witty, opinionated, and somewhat naive newbie climber whose passion for climbing is only outmatched by his ignorance. Many of his posts are in derision of some popular-topic-or-another in climbing, and Summers’ hard-and-fast arrogant opinions incite many to near violence in the comment section. Wheter it’s his first 5.12 send (in the gym, on a route he set, top-rope, and after one fall) or the benefits of bringing a full camping stove set-up for picnics at the crag, nearly every one of his posts has pissed someone off, and how. If Summers’ purpose is to show us how we, the climbing community as a whole, take ourselves too seriously, then he has hit the nail on the head perfectly. But if his blog is trying to serve as a legitimate source of information for fellow climbers, then he better check himself before he wrecks himself, because his advice teeters the line on stupid, and sometimes topples into downright dangerous. I mean, come on. His advice on telling your mother you’re a rock climber:
“Don’t tell your Mom anything! In fact, don’t try to explain climbing to anyone who doesn’t climb. There are only two possibilities: Either they’ll think you scramble around on 3rd class terrain with Vibram FiveFingers on your feet. Or worse, they’ll think you’re planning to one day climb Mt. Everest. There is no middle ground, and in both those scenerios (sic), you’re a giant pussy.”
For a laugh, or to get your panties in a bunch, check out Rock Climbing Life.
This one’s for the ladies! This Blogspot, run by Texas boulderer / new mother Jeline Guiles focuses specifically on the stories and accomplishments of female climbers, as well as provides some pretty great training tips (which would kick the asses of men and women, alike). More than being a tick list of her personal accomplishments, Climb On, Sister is more a general interest blog with a decidedly feminine quality. The “Sending Sisters” tab leads you to a slew of autobiographical bios, written by (and about) other female climbers from around the world. It’s refreshing because most of the names on there, you won’t recognize (with the exception of perhaps Delaney Miller), because most of these women aren’t pros; they’re mothers, they’re wives, and professionals. Each bio obviously takes the tone of whoever writes them (and some are pretty darn funny), but they all center around the same topics; how they started climbing, and what keeps them coming back? If you’re feeling tough, check out Guiles’ training section. She posts some of her own burly training techniques, as an Evolv-sponsored boulderer and all-around crusher. She also features quite a few guest posts by fellow climbers and even a male (gasp!) doctor. Also check out Guiles Instagram account, where she regularly posts pictures of female climbers, bits of climbing news, as well as photos of her freaking adorable little baby girl. I mean, for real, how is this child so cute? #canthandlethecuteness
If you’re a female climber looking for a little inspiration, or a even a dude tired of the macho scene, check out Climb On Sister!
“How to climb like you’re taller” (Mad respect cuz she’s a fellow shorty)