Complete Veggie Protein Berry Blast Review & Coupon Code

Protein powder shakeI was contacted by All Pro Science folks to do a review on their product, Complete Veggie Protein powder. I was happy to find that their product does not contain milk product (in fact, it is Vegan), so I agreed to give this a go myself. Many other protein powders are made from dairy, which, as a somewhat lactose intolerant person, I have learned to become wary of.

While it says you can use the powder just with water, I tried it blended with fresh squeezed orange juice, vanilla soy milk, frozen bananas and ice. I wasn’t sure how that would go with the Berry Blast flavor, but I was happy to discover that I still got a yummy taste of the berry flavor, while getting a hint of the banana and orange juice as well. The OJ and vanilla soy milk added flavor and sugar so the whole shake was quite tasty for the sweet tooth.

The shake kept me satisfied for quite some time – no rumbly tummy until my next meal time!

I really liked the flavor since prior to this I have been used to just Chocolate or Vanilla as choices for protein powder so a little variety was quite welcome, in fact it has temporarily replaced Chocolate as my favorite protein shake flavor. I say temporarily because, well, let’s face it, chocolate is chocolate!

If you’d like to add some variety to your protein shake choices, you’re in luck. The folks at Complete Protein are providing a discount code for readers.

Get 40% off your order using this code: ROCK40

Some “making of” photos of the shake:

Adventure Photography Gear Review: GoScope Extreme 2x Telescoping GoPro Pole

GoScope Extreme 2x Telescoping GoPro Pole
GoScope Extreme 2x Telescoping GoPro Pole

The GoScopeExtreme 2x Telescoping GoPro Pole is a handy tool to use to get more out of your GoPro.

While the primary feature of the pole seems to be for the user to capture themselves in the action, I like to find different/more ways to use tools and found it quite useful to get shots of other people.

I used it in Joshua Tree National Park to get closer to the action by extending the GoPro far above my head. I also used it to swing closer to the action, getting a dynamic shot.

Used for stationary filming: GoScope Extreme 2x Telescoping GoPro Pole
Used for stationary filming: GoScope Extreme 2x Telescoping GoPro Pole while at Malibu Creek State Park in California

Of course you can also use the pole to get more traditional, include yourself in the shot, type video, but I found its collapsibility (from 17” to 37”) and light weight (6 ounces) makes it a great “portable boom” option.

I even used it to get stationary video, by simply resting it on a rock.

The downside to using the pole with the camera pointed to get shots of other people is that you can’t see what you’re getting in your shot (this is not a problem if you are using the pole to get selfie video… it’s just like an extension of your arm, aim the GoPro at your own mug and you’re in the shot). One way around it though is if you have a GoPro Black Edition or GoPro Black+, you can use the Android or iPhone app to preview what the camera can see. It’ll eat up battery time, but it may be worth it. I didn’t get give this a test myself because, well, I have an ancient phone that’s neither Android nor iPhone (I’ll eventually upgrade).

Over all, I say the GoScope Extreme 2x Telescoping GoPro Pole is a worthwile tool for an action adventure videographer’s kit, and especially if said videographer goes on a lot of solo trips.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a GoScope Extreme 2x Telescoping GoPro Pole for free from GoScope as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations in consideration for review publication.

Example video taken using the GoPro on the GoScope Extreme 2x Telescoping GoPro Pole while at Joshua Tree National Park, CA:

5th Annual JTree Tweetup is Coming Up! (Thank Goodness the Parks Re-Opened)

jtreetweetup5I can hardly believe it, it’s going to be the FIFTH Annual JTree Tweetup this year!

While the Government shutdown made me miss out on a 7 day trip in Yosemite, I’m so glad we didn’t have to have anyone cancel plane tickets for the JtreeTweetup!

The official dates are November 8-11, 2013 but we have folk arriving as early as November 5th and leaving as late as November 14th. The Jtree Tweetup is a fun event that sprung from an casual conversation on Twitter among #climb members and soon became an annual event with climbers who have come from across the US and even from Canada. You can still sign up on the wiki page here.


In honor of us reaching our 5th year, I can confirm a new sponsor, Goal Zero, makers of excellent solar equipment for the adventurer! They will be providing light and power for base camp via Light-a-Life lights, a solar panel and a battery from which we can charge cell phones, etc. and they have also provided a VIP kit (only 500 of these were made) to be given away at the event! The package contains a Nomad 7, a Switch 8, and a Limited Edition Rock Out 2 speaker!

So, aside from all the fun, climbing and meeting/making old/new friends, that’s another reason to come out to the desert in November, you just might be the lucky winner and win an awesome solar kit!

To keep up to date on more sponsors and trip details, create an account on the climbingtweetup wiki page and add your name to the 5th Annual JtreeTweetup page.

Gear Review: EMS Down Jacket Review

Gear Review: EMS Down Jacket Review by Ben Pope @benpope –

Let me ask a question…which of these people would you rather be, right or left?

That’s right – big, warm, fluffy, and even more fun to hug!

Last November, at the Fourth Annual JTree Tweetup, EMS was kind enough to circulate some clothing for review. I ended up with a new men’s large Ice Down Jacket . So far, it’s been an admirable replacement for my older belay jacket (also EMS brand). Both stash into their own pocket (though packing a bit smaller would be even better) and having a hood is perfect for cold weather belay duty. Both were polyester shell and lining and down insulation (at least 80% goose, the rest presumably being duck). The fit is roomy with plenty of space for layering underneath. Good for belay duty, but far too warm for strenuous activity. One thing to watch out for: it does leak feathers, but that may be because I received a pre-production model (the lining is polyester, not nylon as advertised in EMS’ materials).

With all that said, the model I have has apparently been discontinued. On the plus side, this year’s versions look like an upgrade: heavier duty nylon and hydrophobic down. I can’t say I’ve done an exhaustive survey (for that, head to Outdoor Gear Lab). For me, EMS jackets have been reliable gear for a reasonable price.

If you are buying a down jacket this year, there are lots of options, and buying a down jacket has probably never been more complicated. Two things to consider are the source of the down, and the treatment applied to it.

Down is an animal product. Therefore, there are ethical and not-so-ethical sources. For those wanting to know more about the source of down in their jackets, Patagonia [link:],The North Face [link:], and Arcteryx [link:] have been exploring those questions, to name a few.

The second area of research is the down’s treatment. There are a number of new, hydrophobic downs that are attempting to protect down’s Achilles heel such as Patagonia’s Encapsil, Rab, DriDown, and DownTek (2013 EMS jackets use DownTek).

For more information on down in general you can read EMS’s lowdown on down here. Stay warm!

National Conservation Lands Also Afffected by Government Shutdown – Red Rocks, etc

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area and other areas like it are also affected by the Government shutdown.

Facing the threat of a shutdown, the Bureau of Land Management devised a contingency plan that helps to answer some of these questions.  Generally:

  • Visitor centers and recreational facilities are closed (including campgrounds and bathrooms).  All permitted activities are canceled and/or postponed.  You may recreate/visit a non-developed area with no controlled access, but keep in mind there are no non-emergency services available.
  • All Volunteer Activities will discontinue for the duration of the shutdown.
  • If you have a meeting with BLM staff during the shutdown it is cancelled.
  • There is no clear guidance on which roads will be closed.  In general, roads that provide access for communities and major transportation routes will remain open.
  • BLM will continue to operate law enforcement and emergency response functions.

The above is from

You can read the BLM contingency plan here:

Government Shutdown – What it Means for Our National Parks – Yosemite, etc

The Government shutdown in regards to our National Parks will take place in 2 phases. Part of phase one includes instructing all day use visitors to leave the park immediately.

Effective immediately upon a lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service will take all necessary steps to close and secure national park facilities and groundsin order to suspend all activities except for those that are essential to respond to emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property. Day use visitors will be instructed to leave the park immediately as part of Phase 1 closures. Visitors utilizing overnight concession accommodations and campgrounds will be notified to make alternate arrangements and depart the park as part of Phase 2. Wherever possible, park roads will be closed and access will be denied. National and regional offices and support centers will be closed and secured, except where they are needed to support excepted personnel. These steps will be enacted as quickly as possible while still ensuring visitor and employee safety as well as the integrity of park resources.

The shutdown process will take place in two phases. Phase 1 includes all activities to notify the public of the closure, secure government records and property, and begin winding down operations to essential activities only. Phase 1 will take place over a day and a half. Phase 2 will be initiated by the Director and includes the complete shutdown of all concession facilities and commercial visitor services. Overnight visitors will be given two days to make alternate arrangements and depart the parks. At the end of Phase 2 operations are expected to be at the minimum levels defined below. The entire closure process – both phases – will be completed within four days.

Read the full National Park Contingency plan here.

OR Show – Summer 2013 Sort-of-Live Casual Perspective Report of the First 1.5 Days

I’ve been in Salt Lake City for less than three days but it feels like a week.

My Outdoor Retailer experience started when I arrived at Pineview Reservoir, location of this year’s Open Air Demo on Monday night, the Open Air Demo day had not started yet but I was there because I had won a glamping spot and because of the kindness of Brook of @brookalooktrout who gave me a ride as her boyfriend navigated. Glamping, it turns out means staying in a hotel like room tent with a picnic basket of goodies for dinner (I was a late arrival so missed some of the night’s activities like dinner and s’mores). Glamping on this occasion also meant enjoying local Utah wines and other beverages while a local jazz ensemble played music and then retiring to one’s “tent” by following a paper bag lantern lit path way. The bonus was getting some really nice goodies like a usb lantern from Backbone (glamping contest sponsor) and a solar charger/speaker system from Eton.

The only downside for me was that I woke up once cold and that I was rather dehydrated the next day (my travel to OR Show was eventful in a negative way but I’ll spare you the details).

Tuesday was fun, I saw some old friends like Martha of Action Wipes, James Mills of  The Joy Trip Project, and Randi aka @upadownamtnmama and had made new ones from the glamping group. Amongst the booths I saw some interesting products like a tether device for hanging gadgets off of you, an electronic device that allows one to text and email from anywhere via satellite, and inflatable SUP boards… which I had to touch to verify they were indeed the inflatable kind. I got out on the water and managed not to fall in. I was invited back for another session complete with pointers towards the end of the show but unfortunately didn’t make it as I had to catch a shuttle back to Salt Lake in order to then take a train to where I was staying.

Official Day 1 of the show is today… I’m typing this from the Convention Center. I’ve had official and unofficial meetings with StoneWear, Petzl, Osprey, Fox River, Travel Chair, Evolv and will soon be leaving to go to Twitter friend Sara Lingafelter’s talk and then on to 5.10.

Today, I also lost and found my phone. I left it at a computer station where I had brought up my email to check on appointment times. When I went back for it a nice man had taken the creative liberty of calling some folks on my contact list to tell them to tell me that my phone would be at his booth, but since I was there we instead talked a bit and I may be reviewing a product from his company. The kindness of strangers is something that has worked out well for me on this trip.

Well this is it for my semi-live dispatch from the conventi0n center, I’ve got  to run to finish out the day! More in a few days, including of course more practical reports on the gear and goods I’m seeing.

Photo from yesterday, more to come
Camera Phone Photo from yesterday, more to come

Premier Protein Shakes and Bars Review and Giveaway

Note from Rockgrrl: I was offered some protein bars and shakes to try out from folks representing Premier Protein. I emailed back to accept their offer of free product but one small issue occurred after I talked to them a bit… the protein they use is mainly based on milk whey, and I’ve recently found that I’ve become slightly lactose intolerant, so I told them and they said that anyone with milk allergies should avoid their product. While I’m not allergic to milk, I still decided to let them know that I would have my husband, Kelly, try it instead.

Premier Protein ShakeWhat did you think of the shakes?
How did they compare to other shakes you had?
Tasted similar to powdered mixes I have used in the past, but better blended (not lumpy).

I think you had one before we did East Buttress [East Buttress of Middle Cathedral, Yosemite, California], did you notice any effect after having it?
It made for a nice on the go breakfast to facilitate an alpine start.   Helps with prehydration, and also good for the protein component of your post-exercise recovery drink.

What did you think of the bars?
The taste reminds me a bit of the Tiger bars which I grew up loving, with a crunchier texture and not as dense.

Anything else?
What sets the drinks apart from the powdered protein I have used in the past is the convenient packaging.    This is valuable  when time is of the essence but I try to avoid individual packaging in regular consumption to minimize my garbage “footprint”.
Premier Protein goodies!
Premier Protein goodies!

Premier Protein Yummy Pack Give Away – 5 Winners!

Premier Protein has offered a great give away package for 5 readers in the US!

They will get:

– 4 Premier Protein shakes: 2 shakes in each flavor (chocolate and vanilla)
– 3 Premier Protein meal replacement bars: 1 bar in each flavor (Chocolate Peanut Butter, Double Chocolate Crunch and Yogurt Peanut Butter Crunch)
– 3 Premier Protein Crisp bars: 1 bar in each flavor (Chocolate Mint, Honey Caramel and Peanut Butter Caramel)
Premier Protein nylon bag

Enter by commenting below with what you think your favorite product will be (see above) and/or by tweeting:

I want more protein @premierprotein #rockgrrlgiveaway

Entries will be counted up to midnight PST on June 30th. Winners will be chosen at random, you can have a total of 2 entries (one for commenting, one for tweeting). Winners will be contacted via email or Twitter by midnight July 1, 2013.

You can also find coupons for Premier Protein stuff on their Facebook page, here.

Good luck and comment or tweet today!

Guest Post: Little Mustang

While riding all alone across the high plains yesterday, me and my horse found this abandoned, starving and thirsty, wild-horse foal in the desert… (he must have fallen asleep when his herd left – by the state he was in, I was guessing 1-2 days ago).

Baby Mustang. Photo: Ivana Crone
Baby Mustang. Photo: Ivana Crone

I decided to attempt to deliver him back to his herd.

First, me and my horse had to befriend him, so he would follow us… – that was easy enough, since he was so lost and lonely. I got back on my horse and tracked the hoof-prints of the long-gone herd in the sand-dunes, with the baby-mustang trailing behind me. Until there they were – 50 wild horses in a distance. When they saw me they took off at a mad dash.

I knew I had to get VERY close for the delivery (the foal was so attached to my horse by now, he would have to leave him and join one of them instead). So I stretched my horse to a full gallop after them, the baby miraculously keeping up. And we stampeded away for awhile through the clouds of dust, me alongside the 50 wild horses… I was running so fast, managing little by little to close the distance to them… Until they noticed the foal!

The lead stallion pranced over to me, rearing and pawing with my horse, until he sniffed me and the baby, and then took off full-speed with the colt behind him. I saw him taking him to one of his grey mares, who let the baby feed immediately…

Ivana Crone is a climber and photographer contributing to she spends part of her year on a cattle drive in California.

Climbing Pants Review – Outdoor Research Women’s Voodoo Pants

Outdoor Research Women's Voodoo Pants - Black version

If you’re a climber girl you’ve probably known the pain of finding great climbing pants. I know I have. Sometimes I’d think I’d found the perfect pair only to have them tear or lose their shape. Well, can I tell you how lucky I feel that Outdoor Research sent me the Women’s Voodoo Pants to review?

First off, I loved how they look on. They have a great cut and are flattering. Little details like stitching on the back pockets also help one get away from a look that says “only for outdoors use” to a look that says you can transition to the street too.

Secondly, I loved the feel of the fabric, sort of slick and stretchy in a good way. The articulated knees are a good mobility touch but don’t look too obvious or baggy.

One initial drawback to the pants was that I had requested the wrong size. I have a hard time with pants so went with what I thought was my “normal” size. I had to go one size smaller to get the pants to fit in the waist. I almost didn’t request a replacement though, because I liked the fit elsewhere and felt I could still wear the pants if I wore thick long underwear under them and/or a belt. In the end I did request the smaller size though and was happy to find it fit my waist better and still looked good elsewhere (though of course it was smaller all over).

Once I got to really using the pants is when I really started to love them.

I just got back from a trip to Idyllwild, home of Tahquitz and Suicide Rocks (old school granite climbing). I wore the pants in the varied weather conditions we found there and put them through a bit more than I had expected.

Some things I discovered I love about the pants after wearing them on the trip and out at local crags:

1. The color. The shade of grey was not too dark in the sun and not too light for getting dirty.

2. The water and wind repellancy. During the Tahquitz trip I got on multipitch climbs with a lot of shade. The winds blowing off of the snow at the base of some of the climbs was a bit chilly but the pants did very well in preventing them from blowing right through. I also accidentally splashed a little bit of water on them while trying to drink from a bottle while we were on a rough dirt road. I was able to brush the drops right off.

3. That the pants are somewhat wrinkle proof. I had these crumpled up in my pack on the day we hiked to Suicide Rocks. I wore shorts for the hike then changed into the pants for the multipitch climb. I almost felt overdressed when I put them on. I was also happy to have them in the end because it got chilly.

4. The abrasion resistance. I had a hard time on one of the classics in the area, Flower of High Rank, and fell unexpectedly. I thought for sure my shirt and pants had holes in them but they did not. I actually had an abrasion on my knee (broke the skin) but the pant leg was fine (see photos).

5. Packability. The pants offer nice protection without bulk. This is great for packing to a crag and just packing in general.

Me on the summit of the Larks
Me on the summit of the Larks

6. The pocket on the thigh. This is a zippered pocket in a handy place for accessing a topo map of the route.

Cons of the pants?

I’d say I wouldn’t mind the pant leg bottoms being a tiny bit slimmer and/or there be a way to button the legs up to turn them into capris… though the pants were easy to roll up and seemed to stay up once I did that so that request is more about aesthetics than functionality.

I think an adjustable drawstring inside the pants might be handy. If I lost more weight I’d have to start using a belt or wearing more layers at the waist to keep the pants up, on long trips I notice that I do tend to lose weight so that would be a factor.

My general impression: these are my new favorite climbing pants, and especially shine in multipitch climbing, providing coverage without loss of flexibility (check out the pic of me leading a roof on Whodunit!).

By the way, my Tahquitz trip report is still to come 🙂