Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

The Hit List for 2011…

Now that the weather has been so nice, we’ve been starting to line up some climbing trips for the coming months. Since our move to Charlotte a few weeks ago, we are getting pretty psyched about being so much closer to the rock. I’ve decided to put all of this newfound mental energy to good use and come up with a 2011 Hit List. I hesitate to call it a “Project List” because I don’t want to take it too seriously. I dont want to get caught up in the the overtraining, number-chasing, and ego-driven mentality that so many folks end up with when they take climbing too seriously. Climbing has always been a fun and creative outlet for me to RELIEVE stress, not add to it, and I have found that whenever I have the wrong mindset about it, it stops being fun (and I usually get hurt). But I am a firm believer in setting goals to track progress, and I know that goals tend to carry more weight when they are written down for others to see – plus I thought it might be nice to have some input from some fellow climbers to help tweak my list.

Enjoying the rest before tackling the roof on Heresy (5.11c)

Currently my list is still a work in progress. I am hoping to be able to add to it in some places and get more specific in others – and some stuff might get knocked off because it just doesn’t seem feasible a few months down the road. But here’s what I’ve got so far…

1.  Redpoint Heresy (5.11c) at Lilly Bluffs, TN – Crux is high on the face, the 25 foot roof at the end is only 10c, and there is a great rest before heading into the roof, not to mention fixed draws. I got up the nerve to lead it last October and made it through with only one hang at the crux, so I’m hoping that on my next trip out there I can send.

2.  Redpoint New Yosemite (5.9+) at New River Gorge, WV – Amazing hand crack as classic as its namesake.  Now that Cragbaby is here our multi-pitch days have ceased for the time being, so its been a while since we’ve gotten our rack out on a regular basis (and I also am kind of a pansy on gear…)  This was on my list to lead many years ago and I never got around to it.  I followed it shortly after C was born and felt really comfortable on it, so I’ve decided its high time I tie in on the sharp end for it.

Hanging out at Miguels back when Cragbaby was doing time on the inside

3.  Redpoint Discombobulated (5.11b) at New River Gorge, WV – Loooong classic sport route that has a little bit of everything.  Crux is fairly low on heinous credit card crimpers, the rest of the terrain is much easier but packs quite a pump.  Pulling over the bulge at the end is exciting with the wild exposure and big whippage potential.  I led it once a couple of years ago, took a couple of tries at the crux and hung on a couple of bolts to de-pump, but overall didn’t have too much trouble with it.  Then I led it a few months later when I was only 5 weeks preggo – and I flailed and flopped my way all the way to the bulge…and then bailed.  I swear I’ve never felt that exhausted in my life – that was my first lesson in pacing myself during pregnancy…Anyway, its about redemption now and I can’t wait to get back on it again!

4.  Find a Long-term Local Project – Possibly Slabsters Lament (5.12b), Crowder’s Mountain – This one may get waxed from the list pretty darn quick – I’ve never gotten on it, never even seen it, but a friend of mine suggested we work on it together.  I think it would be good to have a long-term local project that its easy to get back to and put in some work on.  Any suggestions for other routes at Crowder’s?

A nice welcome back to trad - Team Jesus (5.10b) last May

5.  Lead a 12a (Sport) – This could also play in with number 4, but I’m sure there are also good (and probably better) options at the New and in Tennessee.  I’ve never led a 12 before, so just leading it bolt to bolt would be an accomplishment for me.  Any recommendations?  I climb like the stereotypical girl – crimpers call my name, and thin, technical face climbs are my game!  No burly beefcake suggestions, please!   Which brings me to my next goal…

6.  Get Horizontal – okay mind out of the gutter, guys.  In the words of “Odub,” my favorite climbing rapper – “you gotta work those weaknesses at length until they become your strengths.”  I’ve been on the steeps in the gym all winter, trying to improve my overhanging skills, so my goal is to not shy away from routes in my grade range just because they aren’t “my style.”  I’m looking for a few classics in the 10+, 11- range that are burly jug-hauls with airy falls where I can utilize my Sharma scream.

7.  Climb in the following areasGrandmother Boulders, NC (never been there, long story, wanna make it happen this summer), Red River Gorge, KY (only been once, and I was pregnant so I couldn’t lead anything, would love to get back there on the sharp end), Foster Falls and/or Tennessee Wall, TN (now that we’re closer to TN sandstone, we’re hoping to hit up Chattanooga at least a time or two this year).

A goal from several years ago, Zoo View (5.7+)

8.  Get Back into Trad – Goes along with number 2.  Though I’ve always been a sport junkie that only did the trad thing on moderates during rest days, I began flirting with a love for gear after a summer spent at Moore’s, Linville Gorge, and Squamish, BC a couple of years ago… but before one thing could lead to another, I got preggo and stopped leading.  I’ve led one trad route since Cragbaby entered the scene (Team Jesus, 5.10b, NRG), and it reminded me how much fun gear can be.  Multi-pitch is out for us for another year or so probably until C gets older, but I would like to do more single-pitch trad routes, especially cracks.

9.  Consolidate Bouldering Grades – I sent my first V5 outdoors this past fall at Hound Ears – Hamslung (V5).  It felt really hard, of course, but ironically didn’t feel like the hardest problem I’d ever sent.  It’s only been since Cragbaby’s arrival that I’ve gotten more into bouldering, so I feel a little all over the place with grades – It seems like one minute I’m flashing V4, only to get shutdown and unable to commit to a V2 in the same area.  I think the best solution for this inconsistency is just to get more mileage at grades of all levels and in lots of different areas.

GHSP started morphing me into a pad-person last summer...

10.  Giving Back – Steve and I have been blessed over the years to have had some fabulous mentors along the way – Emil Briggs, Scott Gilliam, and Stephanie Alexander just to name a few.  It might sound a bit hokie, but I hope that at some point I’m able to influence others in a positive way with regards to climbing – whether its bringing a newbie outdoors for the first time, teaching a partner how to clean anchors, or sharing my experiences with the next generation of climbers (aka Cragbabies).


23 Responses to “The Hit List for 2011…”

  1. We should #climb @ the NRG together. I like your list 🙂 #makeithappen @ericalineberry: My #climb ing hit list for 2011


  2. christie

    nice post and great forecast for 2011! As for the last goal, you and steve have been fulfilling that for almost the past year b/c I consider you 2 wonderful mentors that I am so fortunate to climb with. For your 12 option, what about that 12 sport at bridge butress next to that 10c crack, high times. Its hard as we both know, but its short and has all the moves.Just a thought 🙂 I know you have it in you!


  3. nice list! let me know when you’re going to the New. I’ve never been! @ericalineberry: My #climb ing hit list for 2011


  4. Great stuff! You continue to inspire me!


  5. Mark Daughtridge

    A truly impressive list from a truly impressive climber and 2 1/2 of the coolest people I know. As Danny said this is an inspiration and hopefully it’ll help me to get out a bit more often and not rest on the (meager) laurels of what I’ve already managed. Keep on pushing the limits and stay safe. 🙂


  6. Alison Domnas

    Nice Erica! Hope you guys are doing well, kisses to Canaan!!


  7. Thanks for the encouragement guys! I guess that means I have to follow through with all of this now that I’ve made it public! 🙂

    Christie – You mean “Let the Wind Blow” ? I have thought about that one. I can do all the moves on it, and like you said its short, so that might be a good option 🙂


  8. Huck

    Relating to 10, you have accomplished this and I know I am not the only person. Both Steve and you encouraged and inspired me, and I am grateful for the crag lessons and mentorship. I have always thought fondly of you both, so thank you. And good luck in C’lotte…


  9. Matt

    We’ll go to Grandmother very, very soon.


  10. Brian

    Dead Painters Society at Endless – 12a slab. Nice route and the crux is down low or Freaky Stylee – 12a also at Endless. Classic thin face climbing. Either would be a great choice. I’d lean towards Freaky Stylee unless you really love thin slab.


  11. Don’t know about the east, but a good “girl” 12a is Heinous Cling at Smith. Heinous crimping for 30 meters! Only problem is there are only 5 bolts so it is difficult to bolt-to-bolt it. And of course a/the crux is right before a clip! Interested in coming West this fall? 🙂


  12. Matt Paden

    Nothing like goals to keep you motivated. I’ve been injured for over a year so it feels weird to have goals that are things I accomplished years and years ago, but it’s still have fun to get better and see progress. New Yosemite is a killer route and great choice for a trad goal.


  13. Ben Newton

    I too would love to climb with yall at gmom or anywhere in the Boone area. Its been too long


  14. Huck – thanks, that means a lot!
    Matt B and Ben – YES see you at Gma soon!
    Laurel – We are headed out west this fall, but more than likely it’ll be in California (probably J-tree) since hubby has a conference in Anaheim for work!


  15. In case ya missed it earlier, here’s my #climb ing hit list for 2011!


  16. Great post! I love the last part about giving back 🙂 Good luck on completing your hit list!


  17. Kyle Timbers

    It’s always nice to read about others like ourselves still psyched on climbing after having little minions. Our daughter Ella loves being at the crag. She has her own harness now, and I am sending in her pumas to get soled up with the stickiness!! Stay psyched! I am sure we will no doubt meet in Boone or the New, we will be the other ones with the baby.. hah

    Also, I recommend First Strike at bridge buttress.. AWESOME .10a trad.


  18. Kyle Timbers

    Oops forgot.. .12a sport you might like (i.e. crimpy)

    All at the NRG, all criiiiimpfest.

    Eight Ball in the Side Pocket – bubba
    Fired For Sandbagging – bubba
    Ministry – butcher’s (OK i know it is .12b… but if you like cruxy crimps, it might be easier than some .12a’s around)
    Morning Dew – Fern – a good mix of crimpy and a bit of gnar.
    Pockets of resistance – Rico
    Out of the Bag- Rico ONE OF THE BEST!! sure its given an .11d, but it feels everything and more 12a
    Low Brow – The Other Place – awesome awesome awesome


  19. Hey Kyle –
    Were you guys at Hound Ears this past year? I think I talked with your wife while your little girl was fast asleep in her backpack. 🙂 It is always great to connect with other folks who are making the effort to stay active once the kiddos come along! Thanks for your suggestions – you’re not the first to suggest Pockets of Resistance, and I followed Out of the Bag a long time ago and loved it, so it looks like I might be spending some time around Rico this year


  20. Kyle Timbers

    Erica- I wasn’t able to make it to Houndears this year but my wife, Veronica was there and climbing. And if there was a sleeping redhead in a green backpack, that was surely Ella.. hah We have countless photos of her sleeping in that thing, she loves it.
    We live in Boone so we will have to get together at grandmother or something and let the kids play while we… play.
    Can’t wait to get back to the New this year either!


  21. I’m not sure I’d recommend Heinous Cling as your first 12a! I’m working on Churning in the Wake and wouldn’t dream of leading Heinous! It’s effin’ scary! My stick clip isn’t even big enough. You’d do better to just try Crack Babies which is a 12b, but at least it’s well protected. On the other hand, if you can get someone to put the rope up, it’d be fun to top rope!

    You should go out multi-pitching! Leave C with the grandparents for a day- you deserve it!


    • @Aimee – Yeah I’m not really feeling 5 bolts for 30 meters at my limit, so Heinous is probably not gonna make it to the list anytime soon…I’m hoping that we perhaps can get some multi-pitching in this summer.

  22. Tonya

    impressive set of goals 🙂


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“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN