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Visiting Rocktown in the dead of winter is the first time I ever climbed on rock so cold I felt like my fingers would fall off.

As I’m gearing up for winter this year, I’m working on mentally preparing myself for icy digits once again. With the weather in Red River Gorge dropping from 80 degrees one weekend to 50 degrees the next, it won’t be long until I’m back in my North Face and rocking hand warmers.

Cam and I didn’t get to enjoy climbing while the weather was warm because we were working on the van all summer. Now that we’re mostly settled in (minus still needing to finish up the back doors and a few other little projects), we’ve been getting back into the swing of things. Basically, we’re picking up right where we left off: in the cold.

I am starting to think I actually perform better in the cold. I’ve found that my 5k time is the fastest in 40-degree weather, and I actually feel more energized when cold temperatures roll around. The lack of sun does seem to bring me down, though.

This year my goals are to feel more comfortable on ropes, and maybe lead on grades I know I’m capable of doing. I’m physically able to do a lot more than I’ve let myself do, but I’m always waiting for the conditions to be just right to try to push myself outside.

If I don’t want to waste another year just messing around, I need to start now. And that goes for everything in my life. My photography (much of which has been sitting on my laptop for nearly a year), my writing and my health always take a backseat because I’ve been too afraid to fail.

I can start moving in the direction I want to be right now, even if it is getting cold. I might just need some hand warmers.


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