Anna N. on Sunny and Steep

Anna N. on Sunny and Steep

DATE: April 15TH, 2015

AUTHOR: Anna n.

TRAINING STAGE: performance


For the second outdoor trip of the season, a group of five from Never Stop Moving (NSM) made their way up the Icicle Canyon. Unlike the first trip to Vantage, the focus of the trip to Leavenworth was to boulder, for some people it was to boulder for the first time!

The day began early, leaving Seattle at 6am to make it to Eight Mile Campground at 8:30. The first stop for the group were some warm up problems on the Egg Boulders. After everyone had flashed the warmup route, we moved around the corner to a slabby V2. The granite was sticky, perfect for everyone to try a harder route. Everyone in the group tried, pushing through tricky balance moves and jumpy nerves from trying something new. I was incredibly impressed to see the confidence in everyone's climbing. After everyone had tried the slab, we moved one route to the right, up a fun arete. Again, everyone tried and everyone topped out! Shortly after we moved down the road to the Sword Boulder area. We all got to try some crack climbing and more slab with fun finish crimps on the Underwear Rock. To end our day, we headed to the Forest Lands to try one of my current favorite problems in Leavenworth; Sunny and Steep. It was so much fun to watch everyone work on the problem in a different way. I think everyone also surprised themselves on how far they got. To finish the day, we drove back into Leavenworth for a well- deserved local beer before heading back to Seattle.

The trip was a testament to how much everyone has improved since January. In addition to the visible increase in skill and strength, the increase in confidence was very apparent. In my opinion confidence is simultaneously one of the most important and most challenging skill to cultivate in any situation. Since climbing with other women and NSM, I feel like my confidence in my own climbing has improved so much, and, judging from everyone's climbing in Leavenworth, I think others feel the same. The way I think about confidence is summed up perfectly by this quote from Sheldon Kerr, professional skier and mountain guide and all-around badass woman:

"Think of confidence as a practice, like yoga or forgiveness or taking the stairs. Some days its is hard, and some days it is easy and that's OK, but you still have to do it"*

NSM have given me an opportunity to practice my confidence along with technical skills to make me a better climber. I know the trips to come will be just as awesome and I can't wait!

*This quote is from the article “Closing the Confidence Gap with Sheldon Kerr” that appeared in Outdoor Reaserch's Verticulture blog, definitely worth a read!