February 18, 2016

Jess and Alex

I’m lucky enough to have my best friend, my roommate, my co-worker, my significant other, and my climbing partner all in one person, Alex (or Ale as his family calls him). Alex and I met at the Factory (our local climbing gym), not too long after that he got a job at the Coop where I had already been working, and it didn’t take long for us to begin training together. We were first and foremost climbing partners. It’s basically impossible to climb with someone who you do not trust, and so the trust between us began to flourish. After watching each other’s bodies dance on the wall our attraction to the other developed rather quietly (considering our employment and the tiniest issue that I happened to be in a relationship).

Let’s fast forward a few months. By now Alex and I are dating, my ex most likely detests me for telling him I fell in love with someone else, and the majority of our co-workers are aware of our new status. We plan a day trip to Suicide Rock up in Idyllwild with a small crew. After a pretty challenging approach, I stared up at what we believed to be “Graham Cracker.” Alex had his heart set on me getting my second trad lead in; I, on the other hand, basically felt as if I were a kid getting on her first roller coaster. Reluctantly, I began the route. After about two pieces of pro I chickened out and down climbed (keep in mind this is my second trad lead– my pro was very close together). I was disappointed and felt as though I had failed Alex, but he was supportive and assured me that with time the fear would subside. Alex and I crushed the rest of the day. We ran up so many routes, I was exhausted by the time we got to the car. When I look back at that day, I vividly remember thinking to myself how much I love this man.

Jess and Alex

 

Jess and Alex
Jess and Alex Mad Rock Lyra Climbing Shoes – Women’s

Mad Rock Lyra Climbing Shoes – Women’s

Before meeting Alex, I only wore flat shoes which were comfortable but didn’t really assist me in pushing the grades in sport climbing and bouldering. Alex always wore the Mad Rock M5’s and we decided to fit me into its female counterpart, the Mad Rock Lyra. The slight downturn, amazing heel cup. and super sticky rubber have definitely assisted me in dialing in my footwork and make me feel more confident to really push my comfort zone while climbing.

 

 

Jess and Alex
Jess and Alex Mad Rock Ultralight Wire Quickdraw

Mad Rock Ultralight Quickdraws

We don’t always have an approach like Tahquitz or Suicide, but when we do our super lightweight Mad Rock Ultralight draws are some of our best investments. These lovely biners are slim, maintain 25kN, and their jingle is the only thing that makes you notice them. Making these bad boys a definite go-to for all of our climbing trips.

 

 

Jess and Alex
Jess and Alex Mammut 9.5mm Infinity Dry – Dry Standard

Mammut Infinity 9.5mm 70m

Some lovers may say their relationship is dangling by a string; well, my relationship with Alex literally hangs by a rope. So when our lives are on the line (not our relationship) we trust Mammut’s Infinity. It’s lightweight, reliable, and durable. That’s why we have two! Every climbing couple needs his and hers ropes, right?

 

Bottle of Red

Nothing beats an exhausting day of climbing with your hubby more than a nice bottle of red wine. When we can, we end our climbing trips with a glass (or a few) of red wine, usually a cabernet. It’s the color of love, the color of our blood, it’s full of passion, and it’s the perfect way to cheers to a day well spent.

 


Jessica works as a customer service representative at the Gear Coop. She obtained her BA in English at California State University, Fullerton. She has been an avid climber since 2011, but her passion will always be literature. Reading and writing are what drives her while climbing gives her some of the best inspiration.