Dreams really do come true!

      I got a couple shots in the new issue of California Climbing Magazine – Issue No. 3! SO EXCITED. California Climber is a fairly new independent magazine dedicated to Rock Climbing in California. I like that it focuses on all aesthetic boulder/sport/trad climbs easy or hard.

I’ve been to Malibu Creek State Park to sport climb quite a few times. Here are a few of my past DPM posts about this crag:

The first shot is in the opening page of the magazine. I am leading up Urban Struggle (12b)

The second shot is in the meat of the article about Malibu Creek. This climb is a nice pumpy jug-haul warmup called Johnny Can’t Lead (11a). Both of these pictured climbs are located past a 5.3 & 5.5 approach traverse over pathogenic water that leads into the Ghetto Wall Area.

It’s always been a dream of mine to be in a magazine doing something I love. If it’s not about a published article on laboratory research, climbing definitely is just as satisfying. I come from an Asian family that demands successes. I fell in love with climbing as soon as I mantled my first V1. After the first climbing gym visit, I signed up for membership three days later. Climbing became a change in lifestyle. Any free time quickly converted to climb-time.

Mom & Pop immediately noticed my new-found passion in climbing. They noticed, but didn’t accept it. If my activities did not involve school, volunteering, studying, or making money… my parents didn’t approve. I appreciate everything my family has done for me financially and morally in regards to education. But I still wanted them to accept climbing as a part of my life. So I pushed myself to get stronger and to seek out sponsorship. Initially, sponsorship was a “proof-of-success” to present my parents. Two years later, I still am the happiest person I could ever be thanks to the climbing as a sport and the people in it.

      Balancing life & climbing is fairly simple. I know my priorities. Next spring I am graduating on time with a B.S. in Neurosceince. I started climbing the same time freshman year began at UCR in 2009. Climbing has always been a stress reliever whenever school became taxing. I will take a year off before applying to medical schools. During that year I plan to take a class for the MCATs while working at a research laboratory at UCLA. Balancing life and climbing is easy for me, probably because I’m not in a relationship… & I am perfectly fine with that. For now.

#1 Priority: The ULTIMATE GOAL –> Dr. Duran.

Wow, ok. I wrote more than planned for this blog post. It’s all a distraction to keep me away form studying. Anyways, I always have to thank Anthony Lapomardo for taking epic climbing shots spread throughout the climbing industry. Even though he drags me to other far off places, it’s always worth it to get on gorgeous climbs. Anthony shot those images of me in the magazine!

Hope everyone’s Holiday Season is going well. I am currently enduring through FINALS week at my university. Not much happiness going on at my end, but I’m trucking through it. Right after my last final from 3-6pm this Friday, I am heading straight to Bishop! I might get a couple hours of sleep before I have to hike up to the Druids for some crack-of-dawn climbing. Mental exhaustion will feel less nocicepctive if I add physical exhaustion to the mix, right? Oh, Pontereticulospinal Tract don’t fail me now. Should be a great time. If anyone is heading out to the Eastern Sierras next weekend, see you there! I’ll be there until the 17th of this month.

Stay Psyched & Climb ON!

–> Natalie Duran

Happy Halloween

Another #climbingchickissues source from the holiday: Halloween.
When I started climbing I quickly realized my figure started changing. Muscles developed in places I never knew could get so buff. Numerous shirt sleeves became too constricted. When Halloween 2010 came around, I attempted to try on numerous “cute girly” costumes. But when I looked in the mirror all I saw was a muscly transvestite princess looking back at me. I then came to the conclusion that I could no longer dress as a dainty defenseless character. My only option was an in-your-face strong female movie character. Not complaining, because newly found muscles complement strength in every way possible.

Any of my other chick climbers have these issues? What were you this Halloween?


Laura Croft