Date of Birth:
What is your primary means of adventure, AKA what gets you most psyched?
Scary traditional climbing is what gets me the most psyched. Right now my primary means of adventure is my coursework at Harvard.
Invent your dream adventure by combining five places, disciplines, pitches, peaks, environments, etc. and stacking them together into a combination. Why did you pick each part?
My dream adventure involves long, long climbing days, summits with 360 degree views, and maybe lions on the beach. After our fill of first ascents, surfing. Really good food. And wolves! Maybe a long train ride followed by riding horses to get somewhere incredibly remote. Lot’s of time to be disconnected.
Describe 5 climbs, trips, or moments that have defined you as a mountain athlete:
1. The Evictor, 5.12+ R, Eldorado Canyon, Colorado.
The Evictor represents that moment when I found traditional climbing. After top‐roping the route (as I had no experience placing gear), I knew I wanted to lead it. The climb was as perfect combination of technical and powerful, aesthetic and sustained, beautiful and intimidating. I set myself to learning to use cams and nuts, to understanding the complexity and intricacy of Eldo gear, to practicing controlling my fear and climbing above a small and finicky piece. When I eventually sent the route (my first real trad lead), I was hooked. Inspired by that process and result.
2. Climbing with the Iranian Alpine Club 2011
In 2011, I went to Iran as part of an exchange between the American and Iranian Alpine Clubs. The premise of the trip was beautiful in its simplicity: a group of human beings brought together by a shared passion for climbing and in spite of immense difference in politics, religion, and culture of our respective countries. In doing this, we would venture to the valley below Alam Kuh, an intimidating 1000 foot vertical face that topped out at 16,000 feet (the Iranian version of The Diamond). While the climbing itself was phenomenal (golden granite buttresses peppered the landscape below the massif itself—most unclimbed, with inviting crack systems and roofs and lichen‐covered slabs guiding us to the summits), it was the partnering and interaction with the Iranian climbers that was most effective. I came away from the trip with incredible lessons of expectations (there were more Iranian women climbers than American women), cultural relativism, and respect for the experiences that climbing can bring into our lives.
3. Road Trip 2007
My first climbing road trip, with fellow CAMP athlete Sarah Watson, in spring of 2007 has to be included on this list. For two months, we lived in her van and traipsed around the glorious West – Boulder, Indian Creek, Red Rocks, Maple, Little Cottonwood, Tahoe, Yosemite. I had gobies the size of silver dollars on both hands at the end of Road Trip Day 1, we slept far too many nights in sketchy parking lots in Vegas and Salt Lake, my dog spent the night in Yosemite jail – the list of hilarious and sometimes ill‐advised experiences goes on and on. As a climber, this trip taught me about solid partnerships and provided a brief introduction to the vast and incredible climbing of the American West. Sarah, let’s do it again!
4. Fraid Line, 5.13‐ R, Eldorado Canyon, Colorado (first female ascent)
It is difficult to select the particular routes that have defined myself as a climber, but included on this list certainly needs to be one of the hard Rincon Wall routes that I ticked between 2011 and 2013. I feel like these routes were where I came into myself as a climber – the moments where I found confidence in myself and my abilities, and began to see that translate to quick sends of hard(ish) climbs with Eldo‐style gear (i.e. small, finicky, often may‐or‐may‐not‐hold). Up until this point in my climbing career, I still dealt with a lot of self‐doubt, fear, and inability to push through uncertainty. Reflecting back on the transition from The Evictor on to routes like Fraid and Free Line, Paris Girl, etc., it is clear that this was the period when I sort‐of found myself as an athlete.
5. Skinny Love, 5.13c, South Platte Colorado (second ascent)
Including Skinny Love is a sort‐of acknowledgment of the transitions that I have undergone in my relationship to climbing. It was a route that I had worked on for years – never quick committing myself fully to, but experiencing bursts of motivation over a handful of seasons. I finally set myself to finishing Skinny Love when I made plans to leave my home of Boulder, Co to move to Boston for graduate school. The pressure to see the process through to completion before leaving became somewhat metaphorical to the current life transitions I was experiencing. I sent the route on the absolute last day before leaving town to drive east – a somewhat stressful way to send that I do not recommend – but the send made me feel ready to move on to the next adventure and all the uncertainties that would bring.
Describe your most memorable night in the mountains:
Food poisoning in the mountains in northern India. I will not elaborate.
What has scared or intimidated you as a mountain athlete?
Human error – caused accidents by experienced athletes. I also really dislike rappelling, though that is certainly not unique.
What would your adventure partners be most surprised to learn about you from before the time when they met you?
I am incredibly scared of heights.
What are your top 5 all‐time favorite pieces of CAMP equipment?
- Laser (and Laser CR) Harness
- Speed 2.0 Helmet
- Photon Express quickdraw
- Photon wire carabiners
- X‐dream ice tools
Why are you a CAMP athlete?
CAMP’s gear is light and durable, and they are a company that values history, human relationships, and the spirit of pushing oneself hard to discover what you are capable of.
It meant a lot to me when I climbed:
- Skinny Love, 5.13c South Platte, Colorado (second ascent)
- The Evictor, 5.12+ R, Eldorado Canyon, Colorado
- Free Line, 5.13‐R, Eldorado Canyon, Colorado (first female ascent)
- Israel, 5.12+ X, Boulder Canyon, Colorado (first ascent)
- The purple route in the gym in Boston circa 2006; the moment when I became a climber.
The adventure, route or race I had to train the hardest for was:
Skinny Love, 5.13c, South Platte, Colorado.
The adventure, route or race that wrecked me the most was:
The Quickening, 5.13c, The Monastery, Colorado. It took me an entire season to send this route after falling at the chains after only a few days. This was a great lesson in humility, expectations, the process of red‐pointing, and PATIENCE. It also ruined projecting for me for approximately two years.
I most want an all‐expenses paid trip to:
My short list of climbing or adventure goals this year:
- North Korea