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


Cragbaby #1 in 2010

Hi fellow adventurer, and welcome to Cragmama, a blog chronicling adventures both big, small, and everything in between!  This website was started way back in 2009, born out of a desire to inspire healthy living for mamas-to-be.  As an expectant mama myself, I was disappointed with the lack of information out there for those of us that wanted to continue rock climbing during their pregnancy.  I began chronicling my journey into motherhood on the blog, both before and after my son was born.  Those first early years of blogging and motherhood were filled with tips and tricks for all the “crag logistics” we constantly found ourselves running into on climbing trips – naps, diaper changes, camping, crag food, finding extra partners.  Then eventually that turned into potty training, encouraging your child to hike on his/her own, etc.  As my son grew, so did the topics I wrote about.  You can find a lot of those “oldie but goodie” posts in the Creating a Cragbaby and Toddlers at the Crag sections of this site.

CragKiddo #1 in 2019

Then in 2013 our world was forever changed for the better when I found out I was pregnant with baby #2, this time a little girl.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that much had changed in those 4 years since my first pregnancy.  I now had access to climbing harnesses made specifically for expectant mamas, as well as MANY more options for maternity active wear.  A few well-known female climbers started documenting their pregnancy journeys, such as Beth Rodden and Carrie Cooper.  It became more and more routine to run into another pregnant climber, both at the gym as well as at the crag. 

Cragbaby #2 in 2014

After my daughter was born, I found myself with a host of new material to write about, many of which were the “times two” version of older posts.  (Some of those can be found here.)  But once we began homeschooling in 2015, I realized I just didn’t’ have the time (or energy) needed to keep this blog rolling at the pace I’d been going.  I had to prioritize, and family came first, so I backed off of my writing, sticking mostly with trip reports, and an occasional gear review sprinkled in here and there. 

Fast forward to nearly 4 years later, and my adorable cragbabies have grown into amazing cragkiddo adventure buddies!  And while I don’t have the HOURS of time to devote to my writing that I once did, I AM finding myself with a few more free chunks of time.  And recently I’ve realized how much I’ve missed writing, collaborating with brands for gear reviews and giveaways, and all that great social interaction from like-minded adventurers. 

Cragkiddo #2 in 2019

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you’ve been with me for a while, expect more action on this blog than what you may have seen in recent years.  And if you are a relatively new follower, hopefully you like what you see, because you’re about to get more of it!  Look for some reviews not only of gear, but of experiences and activities, as well as a new feature called “Crag Profiles.” 


Partnering with Cragmama…
I welcome opportunities to write, guest post, review gear or travel experiences, etc.  If you would like to partner with Cragmama in any capacity, including advertisements,  feel free to drop me a line at  Some of the product links in my posts may be affiliate links, but only in situations where I strongly recommend a product that I have found to be superior after extensive personal use.

Our family in on of our happy places!

I love comments!  Its nice to know that there are folks out there reading, and that my posts aren’t just floating aimlessly along out there in cyber space!  Feel free to share your own ideas, opinions, and recommendations!  Got a post idea you’d like me to write about, or a climbing question you’d like answered?  Don’t hesitate to drop me a line!









47 Responses to “About”

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  3. I think it is great you are encouraging other families to be active and do what brings happiness!
    It is very inspiring to know that other women and their families are interested in pursuing their lives, especially after birthing children. I feel your blog site is a great tool for families that have common interests or may need additional inspiration. I shared your link on Facebook as well as on my families website. I enjoyed the information you shared on your site and hope that others may enjoy too. 🙂



    • Hey Sarah! Thanks so much for sharing my site with your tribe! Glad you found the information useful!

  4. Sam Graves

    Awesome Blog! Its great you are taking “cragbaby” out with you, and the pictures are amazing! Have you ever climbed in New England? I.E. Pawtuckaway, Acadia, Rumney, etc?


    • Hi Sam, thanks for the kind words! I am so glad you are enjoying the blog. Unfortunately the furthest north we’ve ever climbed was Kentucky…but Rumney and the Gunks are definitely on our list of destinations we want to hit in the next few years.

  5. Kara

    Hey I Like your stuff here a lot! My friend mentioned the name of your blog to me recently and Its neat to read about your outdoor adventures! I’m a mom to a 11 month old and I enjoy the outdoorsy stuff as well! Thanks for sharing your stuff!


  6. NAK

    Yes! Ive been searching the internet for weeks hoping that somehow i wasn’t a freak of nature that would be giving up my pithy attempts at keeping my not so child frioendly hobby a part of my life.

    i have a 2.5 year old and a 3 month old….and i still like to think i’m a climber. We have the luxury of living near short topropes…so once the newbie is weaned I climb there. once a year we go to New River Gorge. Last year I climbed pregnant…this year will be interesting with both children needing attention. We shall see if I get anything done (especially as i’m still all soft from pregnancy)

    I will be stalking….err…reading!


  7. Pierre

    Crag on! Don’t forget about “cragdaddies” either! We got our one month old in the pea pod, and he touched rock this weekend! Glad to see others taking the kids to the crag despite what the magazines tell us not to do. Looking forward to seeing other cragrats at the crag!


    • Kara and Sarah – I’m so happy to hear you guys are enjoying the blog! Its so nice to “meet” other outdoorsy mommies!

      Pierre – Yes, Crag-Daddies deserve props as well 🙂

  8. Glen

    This is the first time I have seen your blog…. can’t wait to show my wife she will get a kick out of it. (no cragbabies yet) Anyway as one of the leaders for the rope rescue team in Stokes County, I just want to say thanks for the work you are doing identifying routes and with your guidebook. It will be a valuable tool for us to assist with access for rescue at hanging rock and neighboring climbing areas.
    Thanks again and stay safe.


    • Glen – Thanks for the encouragement. Hopefully you guys won’t have to use the book for rescue purposes that often, but it will be there when you need it!

  9. Jen

    Great blog! My soon to be hubby and I love the outdoors and would love to have a family and continue our outdoor passions as well! I really needed to see your blog to know that yes you can integrate both 🙂 will continue to follow your blog! Great job!!


  10. Sonia

    Love Pierre’s term…”cragrats” =) We have two of them. Our daughter, 2 yrs old now, went on her first climbing trip to The New (all the way from upstate NY!) right after she turned one. She could basically boulder before she could walk. Not bragging, just speaking the truth =) We also have a 5 1/2 month old son who will soon follow in his sister’s footsteps. Both dad and I are thinking that we better hit the crags more often, because before you know it, they’ll both be stronger than us!

    Hope to meet you someday and have a crag-date/play-date =)

    Mom to Sun-Ah and Tru


  11. hey erica,
    great to come across your blog via the athleta chi site. it brought back fond memories of my climbing days in north carolina. i used to live in winston salem. a co-worker and his wife introduced me to climbing…a way to release stress from our corporate jobs.(thankfully i am now self-employed as a yoga teacher and writer) it was love at first toe hook. loved hanging rock and stone mtn.
    best to you….kellen
    p.s. my blog is, should you care to take a look. i used to do classes, “yoga for rock climbers”.


  12. Awesome blog! Just came across it from a twitter friend. I subscribed. Keep up the good work!


  13. Awesome! The very first time that I heard of the words CragMama and CragBaby.


  14. Just found your blog from a Twitter post and love it! We are a rock climbing family too (my husband just built a climbing wall for our kid’s room!) and have started a blog to use as a wellness circle of sorts. I’m going to email you. 🙂


  15. I love your website! I just stumbled upon your site while researching child carriers. Great job! My wife and I have a one year old and we also love doing all of the outdoor adventures with him here in Montana. I especially appreciate and share your beliefs on the wilderness and God’s creation. I feel closest to God when I am in the mountains with my family.

    Again, great site!

    Kind regards,

    Sean Bracken, Esq.


  16. Erica

    Thanks for all the kind words, everyone! Glad to see more and more adventurous moms and dads (and babies!) popping out of the woodworks!


  17. Jennifer Doherty

    I am Jennifer Doherty, a freelance content writer. I love writing articles as a hobby on topics related to travel, photography, education and sports tour, shopping, hotel, and vacation, party etc. I have checked your site: and found some quite interesting articles on travel with lot of information. I would be really thankful, if you allow me to do relevant informative guest post in your blog. I would like to contribute an informative and relevant article for your site without charging you a penny . I guarantee you that the article will be 100% copyscape protected and will be of around 500 words. There will be “dofollow” links for my site.
    Contact me at writerjennifer.doherty[@]gmail[.]com. Looking forward for a positive reply. 🙂

    Thanks and regards,


  18. Love this blog!! My kid is definitely a crag baby! His first trip to the rock gym happened when he was around 6 weeks old and his first outdoor climbing trip happened sometime before he was 3 months old! So good to find like-minded mamas out there!


  19. George

    Fantastic blog! Good to see that many more folks are in the same boat (little one on the way – two months away), and that the resourceful don’t give in to the excuses that the majority of new parents do.

    Keep up the good work and the writing! (but pleeease put a helmet on poor C at the base of the wall – a dropped quickdraw or cam from above, or a broken hold, is like a missile – it’s all it takes)


  20. Brenna

    Thank you so much for the time and effort in creating this site. My husband and I are both climbers, and have to little girls that are also cragbabies. We have our third due in July. I am still running, climbing, and teaching my children the joys of their bodies and being outside. We are currently stationed here in North Carolina (originally from Utah… ) and I honestly just needed this kick in my brain today to remind me that we can make regular climbing trips much more of a routine than it has become.
    In Utah the climbing trips were easy because we had tons of friends that climbed with their kids…
    North Carolina – not so much. It has been much trickier taking our girls out here without all the fellow climbing families around to help lend a hand/spot/belay.

    Anyhow, thanks for the inspiration.


  21. Erica

    Julia – Not sure how I missed your comment a few months ago, but welcome! Always good to cyber-meet another cragmama 🙂

    George – Thanks for the encouragement, and congrats on your newest addition! As far as the helmet goes, we always have one with us, and are sure to put it on C whenever we are in areas with loose rock or if he is situated in the “drop zone” with regards to gear/rock/etc.

    Brenna – Where in NC are you? Would love to cross paths some time!


  22. Although my 2 boys are older (10 and 12) now it is great to see families not afraid to “get out there” with their little ones. Even 12 years ago camping in the mountains of Colorado with a 4 month old was not as common. We are currently living over seas but I cannot wait to return to Colorado at the end of the summer so we can return to our outdoor adventure ways. My boys and I look forward to returning to our climbing which we have been away from for too long.
    Thanks again for giving new mamas the courage to incorporate their little ones into their outdoor lifestyles.


    • Erica

      Cheyenne – It does seem that more and more families are getting out there and adventuring. Refreshing, isn’t it! Thanks for the encouragement and best of luck in getting back into climbing this summer!

  23. Andrea

    I love your blog! I am a mother of 10 month old twins and when I came across CragMama I felt that I met a kindred spirit. You’ve inspired me to finally build a bouldering wall in my backyard (I moved to a city with no gym several years ago and the closest gym is almost 2 hours away. 🙁 ). I thought having babies meant my climbing years were over for a while, but I think we can have two crag babies of our own.


    • Erica

      Andrea – Double the cragbabies = double the fun. 🙂 Your comment is well-timed as I’ve got an interview coming up with a cragmama of TRIPLETS! Thanks for reading, and best of luck with your cragfamily adventures!

  24. Edward

    Great blog!!
    My wife and I are expecting a baby in a few months and your stories are very inspirational! I love your philosophy and I can’t wait to teach my little one to enjoy the outdoors, climb and nature!
    Even though in my country there are no mountains at all (Holland, flatest country in the world.. 🙁 ) there are plenty of climbing gyms and great climbing areas in Spain and France are a short flight away.


    • Erica

      Hey Edward,
      Glad you are inspired here, and congratulations on your soon-to-be-here bundle of joy!


    Hey, what is the status on the new Piedmont Guidebook? Really looking forward to it. And congratulations and good luck with #2.


    • Erica

      Hey Chris, Thanks for asking. Everything is with the publisher and last I heard we were on track for sometime this fall. I have seen the finalized drafts of Stone and Crowders and they are looking good. 🙂

  26. Hello,

    Would you share our story with your readers in article? We are trying to spread the word about exciting new product for outdoors.




  27. Karen Kang

    I’ve visited your site and found that your site’s themes are related with ours. Therefore, we’d like to place a 3-month site wide 125*125 banner ad (Do Follow) or Text Ad(Do Follow) on your site. And a sponsored post is also available. I don’t want CPM or CPC. Would you please quote me your price?
    (If you don’t do 125 x 125 banner ad, we can also go with other size and type. Also, if you have other site that allow Ads, you can tell me)
    Looking forward to your KINDLY reply!


  28. Brittany

    Hi Cragmama! I just found your blog, and I am so excited that it exists. Currently not a cragmama (craglady?), but will be excited to keep reading about your life, kids, and hard sends! BTW I hope you enjoyed Sauratown, I was there the really beautiful, sunny, and warm weekend and had a great time (except for the approach).
    Good luck with everything! Brittany


  29. Gary Herman

    Just read your review of Rocky Face Park! Sounds like y’all had a great time. A native, and still a resident of Alexander County, I feel blessed to have such a great park in our small county. I’m not a rock climber, but I love hiking and geocaching. Keep up the good work!


    • Erica

      Thanks Gary! You guys have a wonderful resource in Rocky Face park! Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  30. Scott

    My wife and I love reading your blog. It’s inspiring to see your family so dedicated to staying active.

    We are considering going to the New for the first time this upcoming Memorial Day. Our kids will be 4 and 2 by then. Can you recommend any kid friendly areas (easier access, flat bases, less crowded, etc)? I’m looking to get on 11c-12as while my wife likes more moderate stuff. Thanks!


    • Erica

      Thanks for the message Scott – it’s always fun to hear that folks are enjoying the blog. You won’t regret making it up to the New. It very well may turn into your favorite climbing area. 🙂 There are a lot of kid friendly areas, but unfortunately the ease of access tends to make those areas also the most crowded. Summersville is a good bet for the range of climbs you are looking for, plus the lake is awesome too! Beauty Mountain is pretty easy access and nice and flat (and actually tends to not be AS crowded as other areas), but you have to be on the lookout for poison ivy. Butchers Branch is also a great place when it’s hot, and offers a wide range of routes, but the hike is a little longer/more strenuous. Bridge Buttress and Junkyard have the shortest approaches and will be the most crowded – and they are trad areas (not sure if you want trad or sport?) Endless wall is our fave, and the hike is pretty easy…but there are ladders to contend with for hte kids (we belay my oldest down, and the youngets is in a carrier.) that’s all i have time to write for right now, but i could write a book on the New, I love it so much, so I’ll let ya know if I thnk of anything else. Hope that helps!

  31. Homeschool/Climbing Mom of 3

    Hi Erica,

    Will you email me directly? I’d like to invite your family to my state’s homeschool convention as my guest. Would also like some climbing advice about taking kids as I am about to go outside for the first time since I started climbing 3 1/2 years ago. Thank you!


    • Erica

      Hi!!! So sorry for the delayed response…your comment ended up in my spam filter somehow. Email sent…

  32. Great blog! Love seeing other outdoor parents!


  33. Katie

    Thanks for your inspiration Cragmama!!


  34. Lara

    Just curious if you are still happy with the Treadwall? I am trying to choose between a Treadwall Kore 6 or a Moon Board for my garage gym. I only have space for one option and the Moon Board would be modified as my ceiling is only 8 feet tall.



    • Hi Laura,
      Yes we are still loving the Treadwall. If we had to do over again…we would do the same thing, only sooner lol. We had entertained the idea of a moonboard for years (also would need to be modified due to ceiling height…), and ended up shying away from that option b/c we wanted something that would complement our gym routine once everything opened back up, rather than being a solution that was really only super helpful during covid, but wouldn’t be used that much years down the road. For us, we have access to a fantastic gym (when it’s open ;)) that already has a moonboard. Also due to scheduling/kids/etc we rarely get to go together, therefore our training is almost exclusively bouldering. The treadwall seemed like a great way to add power endurance to the mix (from our own home, where we can easily climb together!). So for us, it didn’t seem to make sense for us to shell out all that money for something our gym already had wehn we could spend it on something we didn’t have access to already. Hope that ramble helps!

    • Steve

      Lara, I covered several aspects of what Erica is talking about in more detail on my guest post here:

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