Inspiration. Information. Improvement.


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What I Do and The Science Behind It (2) | Alli Rainey Climbing


by Alli Rainey

“Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” (early 20th century baseball star Satchel Paige, who started playing pro ball at age 42 and retired at 59)

What I Do: I don’t use age (or reach/height/gender/weight, for that matter) as an excuse or self-imposed barrier/limitation on my climbing potential.

The Science Behind It: Today, let’s talk about age – I’ll discuss those other issues, and probably think up some more, in future blogs. I’m in my mid-30s, and I currently climb harder, train harder and recover better than I did when I was 10 years younger than I am now. I’ve gained a significant amount of power and strength in the past couple years, a process that has accelerated during 2011 in particular. Read more of her article here: What I Do and The Science Behind It (2) | Alli Rainey Climbing.

Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number

Written by Jeline Guiles

With so many years passing quickly, too quickly for my taste, I’m slowly having to come to terms with the fact that I’m getting older. Come August 2011, I’ll no longer be in my Mid-20′s (which I was completely fine with), but will be joining the Late-20′s club as I turn 27. (27?! Ugh…and I used to think that 24 was geriatric when I was a little kid!) (more…)

Highlights from Vail World Cup

The women’s comp problems looked awesome! Great video from Jon Glassberg.

Bouldering World Cup Womens Finals • Vail, Colorado • 2011 • LT11 from Louder Than 11 on Vimeo.

Rock and Ice Article

Climbers Who Cheat

Is dropping weight in order to succeed on a hard ascent “cheating”?

There’s no doubt at all that losing pounds is the surefire quickest way to help you climb harder. Training to improve finger strength, getting better at lock-offs, and even back-stepping (the single most useful technique in all of climbing!) (more…)


Katie Levy of Adventure Insipired writes about Girl Beta! Fueling Psyche in the Women’s Climbing Community


Logo courtesy of Mercedes and

After spending time with Alison Vuocolo discussing her efforts to get more women out bouldering, it seemed no less than necessary to profile Mercedes Pollmier. Mercedes launched Girl Beta back in January, a website dedicated to igniting passion and inspiring the women’s bouldering community by sharing knowledge through written posts and videos. It’s definitely a site you’ll want to keep your eye on!

Mercedes on Authentic Battle Damage Stand, Boulder Canyon.

Mercedes hasn’t always been a climber, but has a significant amount of experience as an elite athlete. After amassing a number of accolades as a tennis player, including an NCAA Division I scholarship, she started strength training with Dave Wahl out of the Paradise Rock Gym in Denver and became a member of the National Mauritian Tennis Team. Despite her love of tennis, she couldn’t resist bouldering on plastic while spending so much time in a climbing gym and learned to love the sport. Mercedes says she climbs because it’s “a personal challenge, a problem to solve, [and] requires a lot of body awareness. The climbing community is a great thing to be a part of.” Now, Mercedes is a strong, talented climber with ascents of problems like Dark Continent (V7-V8) and Authentic Battle Damage Stand (V8).

Mercedes was inspired to start Girl Beta during a road trip to Red Rocks. She’d searched for videos of women climbing the boulder problems she wanted to do, but couldn’t find any. “Generally, there are not enough women climbing together and I would love to see more of that,” she says. “I think [it] would take away some of the shyness, hesitation and fear of failure…sometimes, having the boys around can be intimidating and may be a limitation for some women.”

Mercedes recognized a clear lack of resources specifically for women to help them achieve their climbing goals. With that in mind, her aim was to create a blog that would help female climbers and generate buzz about women in climbing. Mercedes wants to help women unlock beta and sequences for specific problems they might not otherwise be able to work through.

Mercedes climbing hard in Joe’s Valley.

Pretty soon, Seattle-based women’s-specific rock climbing clothing company Vertical Girl took notice, and is now the website’s sponsor. According to Mercedes, the partnership makes complete sense. “Vertical Girl and Girl Beta share the same philosophy and goals in growing the female climbing scene.” she says. The two organizations are now working together to develop Girl Beta and hope to reach more of the climbing population. So far, Girl Beta provides information on problems in five states ranging from V4 up to V10.

But Girl Beta doesn’t just exists as a medium for sharing videos of hard climbing. In keeping with the site’s tagline, “Inspiration. Information. Improvement,” Mercedes and the Vertical Girl team work together to share training tips and other knowledge with the women’s climbing community. Recent additions in that section of the website include discussions about women’s physiology and using video analysis to improve climbing technique with Flannery Shay-Nemirow.

The women behind Girl Beta and Vertical Girl are working to inspire women who love to climb, and to help us all achieve our goals. You can help by contributing information, training tips and beta, by suggesting a problem to them, even by climbing with them! For more on how you can get involved, visit or send a note to

Women’s Physiology and Technique in Climbing

In this post, Keith Lohse talks about female physiology in sports and climbing. To see a more detailed written comparison of male and female physiology click here. More information on how to train deficiencies to come…

ABS 12 National Championships

A few weeks ago I was able to catch up with some competitors and coaches of this years ABS Nationals. This segment was sort of thrown together on a whim and I thank Stephanie Marvez for tracking down the climbers and asking more relevant questions than I could have.

In this video: Kelly McBride, Sarah Shaw, Jesse and Tyler Youngwerth, Robyn Raboutou, Alex Johnson, & Angela Payne.

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