Today: Aleasha McKnight, the head route setter at the Minnesota Climbing Cooperative, which centers on bouldering. She also works at Vertical Endeavors. The co-op will host a spring climbing competition from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday — the Spring Social Competition. Entry fee is $5 for coop members; $10 for nonmembers. The public is welcome.
I’m re-reading the 15th book in “The Wheel of Time” series by Robert Jordan. It’s pretty epic fantasy.
I’ve been studying the new Arkansas bouldering guidebook. I’m in love with that area and spent most of the spring climbing there.
National Geographic: They consistently post amazing photos from all over the world that are accompanied by interesting, informative stories. I especially appreciate pieces on how climate change is affecting animals and communities across the globe. Awareness is key to change!
#routesetting: A great feed to see what folks are doing with plastic. I get inspired, whether it’s people using particular holds/features in a way that I haven’t considered or forcing movement that seems impossible until someone does it.
Organic Climbing: One of the best companies in climbing, that originated in Minnesota. They make the best bouldering crash pads.
egrips Climbing Holds: My favorite hold company. They’re always posting some freshness!
Being in touch with those that are moving my sport and industry is vital to growth and motivation.
Music, pretty much 24/7. Always expanding that Soundcloud playlist! Sango and Drake are a pretty good example of my current taste. For podcasts, I stay up on “This American Life,” “Snap,” “Radiolab,” “TrainingBeta,” “Here Be Monsters,” “Love and Radio” and “Chalk Talk.”
My main focus is working, training and traveling. I’ve spent 40 days on the road so far this year, with many more trips in the works. I’ve been crazy about Arkansas since my first bouldering trip in October 2015 to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. I went back four times over the following year.
My first solo trip was to Cowell in spring 2016. That place is extremely accommodating for a solo climber. You can go days without seeing other folks. That is key for me because I appreciate my privacy and prefer climbing alone. The past two trips I took, this spring, saw some of my best days of climbing ever. I was lucky enough to find untouched rock, develop it and get some first ascents. Can’t get enough of that place!
Now, I’m preparing to spend my 35th birthday in South Dakota — my other favorite place to climb. There is the most amazing limestone crag just outside of Rapid City, where I’ve spent the last couple of birthdays. The free camping is so pristine, and the canyon is magical. By far, the best sport climbing I’ve done yet.
This summer, I’m also looking forward to getting back in to biking and kayaking — with my dog, of course! He’s getting quite old, so my local adventures are focused on time with him.