I dream of a world filled with big cams, wide cracks, and breakfast burritos. While most people find offwidths to be uncomfortable and painful, I believe that hanging from my feet, chicken wings, and heel-toes is a beautiful—mostly graceful—style of climbing.
I have been climbing for five years. My brother-in-law introduced me to sport climbing, and together we learned the basics and pushed each other to climb a little harder and climb a bit further. After a few years of clipping bolts, I decided that learning how to climb cracks was the next step for my progression.
I met a local crack climber who was excited to help me learn. Changing from sport to crack climbing was challenging for me. I had never pushed myself harder or been more discouraged.
Thankfully, I had a fantastic partner and mentor, who was there every step of the way. With crack climbing, I discovered offwidths. I loved everything about them. The technique came pretty quickly to me, as I was a dancer before I became a climber.
Over the past couple of years, I have been focused on learning the art and technique of offwidth climbing. I have ascents of offwidth routes such as Trench Warfare (5.13), Jaws of Flesh (5.13), Bigg’s Crack (5.12), and Dark Passenger (5.12). On top of repeating some beautiful routes, I have also been establishing new offwidths with my climbing partner, Daniel Parker, which include Wapiti Crack (5.13a), Weeko Tatonka (5.12), No Bodies Here (5.11b), Velocicracktor (5.11a), and a couple of offwidth boulders as well.
While accomplishing my goals and seeing myself develop as a climber is rewarding, I have found out that there are many other amazing things in my life because of climbing. I have met so many beautiful people and made many close friends through climbing. I get to travel to beautiful places, stand on top of cliffs, and sleep under the stars. I also found my passion, my happy thought, and so many things as I travel this path.
Know more about Ashley Cracroft or check her instagram out at @ashleyreva.