Times of change / by Mayan Smith-Gobat

The last two months have slipped past incredibly quickly... I have been enjoying having a house and the structure of a training program for a bit. It is amazingly nice to add a touch of routine to my otherwise transient and unpredictable life. Winter in the desert has been amazing this year, with beautiful sun-filled days and perfect temperatures for climbing in the sun. A nice change from hiding in the shade, as we climbers generally do to get good conditions for most of the year. Esacalante

Ben, racking up and enjoying the sunshine!

Training has been pretty exhausting, however, I have been climbing as much as possible. Mainly on the beautiful and abundant sandstone around here, trying to finally become comfortable on these splitter cracks...  I spent a fair bit of time out at Escalante, Indian Creek and even a weekend in Zion! Achieving a small degree of success - climbing has been going well, I am managing to on-sight some mid-twelves and even climbed a few of Rob's harder trad routes. But I am still far from really feeling comfortable on this terrain.

Monkey Finger, 5.12b - My first route in Zion, thanks Sean! Fun times...

After almost two years of completing a couple six to eight week cycles of training throughout the year, I am staring to feel my body morphing and becoming much stronger. My core no longer sags, shoulders feel strong and even my dynamic movement is much better! This time I feel ready for another stint on the road... Travel is an integral part of my lifestyle, and I love to see new places, meet new friends and climbing on a huge variety of rock! However, being on the road constantly quickly becomes tiring and I often find myself dreaming of a home, with a garden, maybe a dog and horse - a place which I never have to leave...

Ah Yeah! Those are dreams for later... Right now this is where I want to be, and I really do love my life! I feel extremely lucky to be supported by such amazing companies and have great friends all over the world.

Climbing near Moab, this place really is stunning!

Change promotes growth and is often very positive, however, it can also be very difficult. The last month has been one of these times for me - I was presented with an offer to join the Black Diamond team, and after much thought, I accepted. As a climber I am moving more in the traditional, big-wall direction, therefore I feel that Black Diamond is a better fit for me. BD aligns much better with my goals as a climber and I believe that I will be able to represent them more completely. This said, I am still very sorry to part ways with Petzl, I really appreciate everything they have done for me and am very thankful for their support over the time I have been with them. However, though sad to leave Petzl, I am very excited for this new opportunity and happy to be part of the Black Diamond team. Bring on the adventures!

New gear... Ready for Brazil!