Mind Tools are a climbing accessory created to help climbers overcome fear, making them the first mental training tool for climbers on the market.
They are colorful slip covers that fit on most common quickdraw models. Each one uses an empowering word to help encourage climbers while they’re on route.
Mind Tools were created by Catherine "Freya" Pitura; an ACMG Apprentice Rock Guide, Yoga Teacher, and founder of Conscious Climbing.
“I created Mind Tools because I struggled with fear and anxiety around climbing – and around a lot of things, if I’m honest!” Freya recalls. “I tried to out-train my fear by getting stronger, but it didn’t really work.”
Freya climbed full-time recreationally for 8 years before turning professional with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides in 2015.
During the transition from recreational climber to professional guide, Freya took time off climbing to develop herself in other aspects.
Toward the end of what would be an eight year climbing stretch, Freya started noticing signs and symptoms that something wasn’t right.
“I freaked out a couple times in the mountains. That hadn’t happened to me before. The lowest point was being underprepared on an alpine traverse of seven summits – where there was no going back. I found myself in the hut that night essentially having a panic attack. I knew I couldn’t be in the mountains this unstable – I had to address it.” Freya remembers.
After a full season of numerous red flags, Freya walked away from the climbing lifestyle, choosing to explore herself outside of climbing.
“I realized I had taken physical training as far as I could – I had mastered my body, but I hadn’t mastered myself. I realized I wasn’t climbing as well as I could because my self-esteem was really low. That was a problem. I knew I had to deal with it if I was to progress at anything.”
That climbing season Freya got a flash on insight walking back to camp one day.
“The whole spiritual school attendance seemingly came out of nowhere. But it came at the right time. I was walking back to camp one day, through the woods, when a lightning bolt of insight came to me – The Conscious Climber. After that, I met a great Spiritual Teacher with a small school near the crag I was at and began learning about consciousness. I had been the climber, now it was time to become conscious.”
Freya knew she was meant to help out the climbing community.
“The particular experience I’ve had with climbing and life is just geared toward talking about it. I suffered a lot, but also experienced a lot of profoundly beautiful things.”
When asked how she came up with the idea for Mind Tools, Freya says:
“I totally prepped my mind to receive a creative idea. Plus I had the perfect mix of education and experience to be the one to do it. The idea of Conscious Climbing has never left me - it just becomes more clear as time goes on.”
It’s been a long road to bring this product to life, but now that it’s here Freya feels happy.
“I just want it to spread positivity and encouragement around the crags. I want people to feel better. It’s about Love.”
“In my time off climbing I did a lot of soul searching, looking within the depths of my being. I found a lot of stinky shit in there! I had been carrying around a lot of garbage. Looking inside I found I was living life with a big pile of disempowering B.S. weighing me down!” Laughs Freya. “And by B.S. I mean belief systems!”
Freya says that with the help of a good Teacher and proper knowledge she was able to clear a lot of B.S. and lighten her load.
“The most important thing I realized is that our Mind is the gateway to our experience. What we think and how we feel is reflected to us. So if I want a better experience, I better work internally!”
In her time off climbing, Freya successfully passed her Apprentice Rock Guide examination and began teaching students in Squamish and Penticton, British Columbia.
“I really approached the ACMG exam in a holistic way; I took the time to sit still and connect to my inner power, pray, read spiritual texts, think healthy thoughts, feel what I was feeling, accept where I was – and just believe in myself.”
“I used to think that just eating healthy and physical training all the time would get me “there”. And it was good while it lasted, but it didn’t change my ruling subconscious programs, and it didn’t lead me to lasting peace and happiness. I had to do something different for that.”
She says once she learned that we are more than just physical bodies; that we are mental and emotional bodies to, AND we have a Soul AND a Spirit – she was like, “Whoa, I need to pay attention to that.”
Freya believes she passed her Rock Guide Exam with proper preparations and positive thinking.
“Yes, I practiced for the exam. But what really helped me excel was my mental and emotional training. I would have been a nervous wreck if I didn’t properly train internally. Just like Adam Ondra visualizes his goals, I use inner powers to help me succeed to.”
Freya says she learned that physical performance is directly influenced by the mind. Mind Tools then, are reminders to reorient the minds energy to empowering thoughts.
“How we operate is totally subjective – meaning how we experience our self on the rock has so many factors behind it! I know for me, I had to totally re-empower myself to feel comfortable on lead.”
How we’re programmed is a big factor to how confident we feel on the rock.
“I feel like I speak as an underdog, but I know for me, the more positive and determined I am – the more I BELIEVE in myself and my Heart– the more magical life becomes.”
Mind Tools are created to help empower the thoughts of the people who climb, so they may experience a more positive climbing experience; with less fear and stress, and more good feelings.
It might sound like a “cute idea”, but the connection between psychology and physiology has been proven over and over again in scientific studies. Mind Tools simply work by positively influencing the mind and improving physical climbing performance as a result.
It’s mind over matter in action.