I intend to use this blog to share climbing stories and reflections. Of course, general musings will be included from time to time!
I was born into a flat, warm reality in Miami, Florida in 1982. From my earliest years, I remember nakedness and the smell of the earth, the water, and the orange trees fondly. Restlessness runs deep in my family, and as mountains slowly worked their way into my teenage consciousness, climbing became a constant outlet for self-expression and connection. Adventure camp and guiding were my foundation for learning how to climb and be self sufficient outside.
I had a sobering climbing accident at age 24 (2006) in which a partner and I fell 40-50 feet from a rappel anchor onto a sloping rock ramp. We both virtually walked away from the fall. Today, I try to listen to a voice saying, “Love what you do or don’t do it.” A euphoric climbing year followed the accident and that October, my friend Kate Rutherford and I free climbed our first really challenging big wall (Moonlight Buttress, Zion National Park, Grade 6 5.12+). We surprised ourselves, and empowered one another to try harder than ever before. I tend to be inspired by the challenges of climbing bigger rock walls in remote settings. I’m motivated to climb all styles, however, and with my current school schedule, learning how to project a single pitch is teaching me a lot.
Questions from Rock&Ice Article by Lizzy Scully
Where do you love to climb?
It looks like National Parks, but I’ll go pretty much anywhere with friends, especially if it’s away from a highway. Locally, I love Eldorado Canyon and the South Platte most of all. I dream about big, expansive, adventurous places.
What’s your most recent epic? Graduate School!
Why is it so hard to pin you down?
Maybe it’s because my great grandfather was from the Ukraine, and he traveled across Eastern and Western Europe with an urn. Like, a family urn.
What was in it?
I don’t know, but he inspires me. He didn’t even bring a clean pair of underwear.
You climb in serious venues. What happens when you get gripped?
I sing songs, but if I’m really scared I won’t be singing, just focused and quiet.
What do you sing?
Corny folk songs that I learned in fifth grade, like this one about a guy who falls in a well and doesn’t get rescued because his name is so long.
What have your learned from any accomplishments?
After doing them, I realize how attainable they are.
What do you recommend to other who may look up to you?
Build out a van, definitely don’t get a dog yet, and enjoy your freedom. Most of all, love what you do, and get comfortable with many unknowns.