Photo of Tyler Kersey taken by photographer Brook Anderson. Brook is our featured photographer in this month's edition.
From the Common Climber Audience:
We invited readers to submit photos and/or a description of their own experience with climbing and boundaries.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@commonclimber) to see invitations to submit photos and comments for future editions of Common Climber!
As a queer, nonbinary*, person of color, I started with trying to stay under the radar as a climber and just seek opportunities to climb as much as I could. Sometimes my partners weren't great and were pretty toxic.
After I decided I had enough I started to climb with more and more women and queer climbers and try to foster a community of them.
Now I try to educate the incredibly cis white hetersexual male folks of climbing to things like micro agressions and my pronouns.
I have an amazing community that has grown out of this and I just got my first 5.12, hoping to keep getting better and keep competing. Maybe we can get beyond men's and women's competitions and get some intersectional ones.
-- Somaiya (via Instagram)
*nonbinary - When a person's gender is not exclusively male/female. Some refer to themselves as they/them, but this can vary.
*cis - The gender aligns with the sex assigned at birth.
*trans - The gender is different from their assigned sex at birth. Transgender does not refer to sexual orientation (e.g. straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual...)
A person's gender is very important and personally meaningful - it IS who they are. Imagine how we feel when someone calls our female dog a "he" or our male baby as a "she." We experience a deep need to correct that mis-identification. Now make it that much more personal - make it for yourself.
By being gender aware and gender respectful, we are helping another beautiful human being fulfill and align with who they are. This seemingly "small" change in our language is big and significant in change in accepting another. You could even save a life by showing such respect - acknowledging a person's gender identity has been shown to reduce suicidality.
The main boundary to overcome for this route was waiting for this bloody roof flake to dry eh Matt?
Roast Lobster (23) at Lobster Cave, for anyone who was curious and wants a bloody good time.
-- Maxwell Cullen
I had a major health issue and was resigned in hospital. An old time climbing mate appeared in my ward like Jesus appeared to Lazarus and said, “Get up.” I got up we walked around. He invited me back to climbing and I haven’t looked back. Did my first climb in 12 years after leaving the hospital. The picture is my motivation board I had in my room to keep my brain and body moving.
I fell 50 ft. 8 fractures. Lived cause my head didn't get banged..yea life changes in a second.
-- Laurie Feathers
Climbing for me has been about becoming capable in the outdoors and learning to trust myself. Before starting to climb, the longest hike I’d been on was maybe 5 miles, and scrambling...what’s that?! The first time I attempted to scramble to the base of a climb in Joshua Tree, I panicked and the tears started flowing, forcing me and my partner to turn around.
After almost 3 years of repeatedly showing up, facing my fears (many times reluctantly), and learning where to step, I’ve finally started to trust my feet and my body. I feel confident and capable being out on the trail, scrambling up to the base of climbs, or glissading down snow fields - yes, on my butt counts!
Tears still sometimes come, I may still take the less-committing route, but I know if I returned to Joshua Tree, I could make it to the base of that climb.
-- Aimee Warner
I have mental health issues since my teen years, climbing have help me overcome drug abuse, and mental problems. I have my ups and down but climbing always bring me back to reality. #climblife is awesome.
I climb out of bed every morning!
-- Patricia Roughton