My Guest Blog for “Vertical Mind”

“Why Mental Training is So Important: 5 Tips to being mentally tough – by Tiffany Hensley”

I wrote some thoughts about climbing for the authors of Vertical Mind Book, and Don gave it an exciting title!

It’s something I find the United States climbing community needs.
Everyone could be a little less stressed, a little happier, and more mentally stable.

Not that we’re not –
I’m just saying that –


Don McGrath: “I was really lucky to recently connect with competitive climber Tiffany Hensley at a recent ABS event. Tiffany was super enthusiastic about our new book Vertical Mind because she has come to know the importance of her own mental game when it comes to high performance climbing. I was excited when she offered…”

Read the full blog:


My Typical Workday: Glass of Wine at the Grand Canyon

Stop in Tuscon: Alex McIntyre

Climbing at The Bloc was an excellent experience with great walls, angles, and space.

Visitors actually pay for the orientation on top of their first day pass, which I think is neat – visitors feel the orientation has more value than just safety, and actually want to listen because they’ve paid money for the short lecture! Very cool.

Alex McIntyre is a Mad Rock athlete, so I stopped in Tucson to climb and gave him a ride to The Bloc.

Alex climbs outside now, after leaving his local climbing team, and found the close outside areas to be much interesting than climbing inside. It was awesome to meet up with an athlete on the team that was very motivated to climb outside, and at only 21, was already on the path of developing routes for the future, like his recent FA of “Dead by 30” 5.13d.

See his photo and some writing at the Mad Rock Blog.
See his blog post at GasToBlast

PCI Clinic


Curtesy of Pro Climbers International, after the Portland Boulder Rally Paul Robinson and I will be TEACHING A CLINIC!

SO EXCITED!!! You can tell by my syntax!!! (There’s WAY too many exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!)

After some brain storming with Paul, we decided to teach our individual fortés supérieures.

My half of the clinic, detailed below, touches on what I’ll be talking about with my group.


Technique, Beta Reading & Mentality

Learn how to:

Warm up efficiently for a long session and for minimal injury.

Warm-ups are AMAZING for consistent, longer sessions. On your second consecutive day of climbing, we may walk in already feeling strong and jump on a V7 while feeling fresh, but this is not ideal: a sudden flash pump, or minor injury, will just put us a step back. Warming up the necessary muscles can lengthen a projecting session from just ONE hour to two or three hours. My worst injuries have occurred within the first half hour of climbing.

Make adjustments to your body position using directions of force.

There is a way to listen to your body, and it starts with understanding a simple concept of how we move up the wall. With FORCE!

Make the connection between flexibility and technique.

Can’t sit on one heel, or rock over to the other heel?

You might be missing out of great resting positions, and making important moves harder than they need to be. Recently, Germany’s Team Coach and Author of “Performance Rock Climbing” Udo Neumann recounted that flexibility was not important to climbing 10 years ago. But from observing competitive climbing, he now realizes the power of flexibility: it not only allows subtle directions of force, but efficient resting and extremely high foot placements. Without flexibility, climbers are restricted from a variety of useful technical subtleties. Just not flexible at all? Baby steps. I can show you how to stretch on AND off the wall.

Read sequences, find your strength, but DON’T avoid your weakness.

Mexico’s strongest bouldering competitor, Mauricio Huerta, once told me, “Even when I fail, I am still learning something.” We often cheat or avoid a problem if it doesn’t apply to our strengths, because are afraid to fail. We don’t like to fall over…and over…and over again. But when we avoid these difficult routes, our strengths grow marginally, and our weaknesses are left out of the session once more.

Don’t be afraid to fail. Every failure is a lesson; every failure brings you closer.

Prepare and maintain a strong and positive mentality for a project or session.

Eric Horst posted in Trango’s website that the mental aspect of climbing may be a strong 30% of climbing, with physical strength and technique making up the remaining two-thirds. In Udo Neumann’s interview excerpt in The Circuit (a new World Cup and Performance climbing magazine out of Autralia), Udo offers that for high-performance bouldering competitors, (not word-for-word) “Fitness gets you in the door. It’s intelligent and mentalist climbing that makes you the best.” Breath, routine, and positive psyche contribute to a great mentality right from the start of your session.

Thanks OllyDog!

This warm Colorado season, I’ve been hiking in the mountains to gain leg strength, achieve cardio fitness, and lose weight for my future trips in 2014. Tash always comes with me on dog-permitted trails and usually needs water, so I would bring a plastic sandwich bag and hold it open with my fingers.

Effective? Why, yes.

Good for freezing cold fingers on a summit, cleanliness, reliability, and reusability? No.

Summit and Cairn

So thanks to Olly Dog for the Human / Dog Bottle for the above product they gave me at the OR Show.

BPA Free, the OllyBottle 1 L has a shell that slides of lengthwise, to make a small water trough for the thirsty dogger.

Check out their store:

Here’s the page for the bottle:

Finals Route – Credit: Beau Kahler

Finals Route - Credit: Beau Kahler

I made 5th in the SCS Nationals! Top four above me were French legend Charlotte Durif, hard worker Delaney Miller, perpetual trainee Chelsea Rude, and the newly married Chauncenia Carroll.

Awesome competition, great vibes, and for me, super lucky.

I guess eating really healthy and running regularly actually do something.

The closest I came to preparing on a rope was actually climbing in CATS, once, on a single crimpy traverse, then leaving (two days prior).

Hurray for bouldering!