I am a climber, highpointer, and geologist! I mostly grew up in Meridian, ID, but I’ve lived all over the West. I started rock climbing in December 2003. As a kid, I was on various climbing teams in Idaho, and competed through USA Climbing’s youth circuit from 2004 to 2014. As soon as I could drive, I began climbing outside more seriously. Recently, I’ve been living in northern Utah, where I earned my Geology B.S. at Utah State University. I lived in Boulder, Colorado for 4 months as a science teacher, and that’s where I learned how to trad climb. Now, I’m hoping to go to grad school for geology and keep climbing as much as I can.
What was your first experience climbing?
Technically, my first experience climbing was playing on huge granite boulders in my friend’s neighborhood when I was a toddler living in McCall, Idaho. At age 6, I took an indoor rock climbing camp at the YMCA in Boise, Idaho, and immediately fell in love with it. I joined their competitive team a few months later, and never looked back.
What is your favorite type of climbing?
I consider myself an all-around climber, but I’d have to choose trad climbing. When I was a little kid, I never thought I’d be able to trad climb because of the barriers of expense and technical knowledge. Seeing myself as more than a gym rat was tough back then. Trad has opened so many doors for me since I have way more options for routes to climb and crags to visit. I still love the focus on movement and strength in sport climbing, so I try to find a balance between the two disciplines.
Any style of climbing that you particularly dislike?
I don’t think I wholly dislike any type of climbing, but I generally avoid bouldering outside. It’s a fun challenge and great training, but I don’t think I have the patience for projecting most problems. I prefer long days in the mountains covering lots of terrain, rather than staring at 15 feet of slopers for hours on end. I also try not to fall while bouldering since I shattered my ankle on a highball in 2017!
Where are your favorite areas to climb?
I love all the climbing in Zion National Park (UT), Squamish (Canada), and El Potrero Chico (Mexico).
Tell us about your all-time favorite climb.
It’s so hard to choose! The climb that has taught me the most and drawn me in many times is ‘Crackhouse’ in the Utah desert. I still haven’t sent it because it’s so long, but I’ve really enjoyed every session I’ve had on it. It’s a mind-blowingly long roof crack that includes a few different sizes. I first tried it before I even knew how to crack climb, which is wild. In the last couple years, I’ve made progress putting together some of the sections, and every time I visit it feels more attainable. It forces me to get into a Zen fighter mode, and takes every ounce of my energy and technique, which I love!
Why do you climb?
To quote Steph Davis: “I found myself unable to step off the path once I’d stepped onto it. It was almost as if I didn’t have a choice.” I believe that once you find the thing that makes you happy to be alive, you should pursue it as much as you can. Climbing gives that to me, and lets me have an outlet for whatever I’m feeling. It forces me to be completely immersed in the movement, the risk, the gear, the rock, and the elements. The friendships I’ve forged through climbing are really meaningful to me, and of course the views are usually amazing too!
What other hobbies/interests do you have?
Geology is my other main passion. Earning my degree was a big step for me, and I feel like it’s made me a more well-rounded person. It really opened my eyes to the world and how much there is to learn. Science is rad!
I used to do a lot of ‘highpointing’, which is the niche hobby where you climb the highest mountain in every U.S. state. I completed 49 of the 50 state highpoints from 2011 to 2014, including Gannett Peak (WY), Mt Rainier (WA), Mt Hood (OR), and Granite Peak (MT). These early experiences in mountaineering, backpacking, and road-tripping provided a great foundation for me as a dirtbag. I also had the opportunity to be in a documentary (American Highpoints) when I climbed Gannett Peak. Now I’ve been trying to climb all the National Park highpoints as a side project since no one has done it before.
Which 3 emojis describe you best?
- The climber girl
- The microscope
- The goofy smiley face
What or who inspires you?
Steph Davis is my biggest role model in climbing. She is an outstanding all-around climber, and seems to have an amazing character and philosophy. Reading her books totally changed my life and inspired me to travel and climb more. Watching videos of her climbing teaches me a lot!
Tell us about your dream vacation.
I think my dream vacation would include a combination of climbing and science! It would be really neat to go to the Galapagos Islands and learn about the unique animals and geology, and then go climbing in Ecuador and Peru. Ideally the climbing would include short approaches, good protection, lots of sunshine, tons of long routes, and a rad partner.
Favorite post-send meal.
The bison burger from Boise Fry Company, with a side of purple fries and garlic aioli fry sauce. Then, a gluten-free chocolate brownie for dessert!
What are your long-term climbing goals?
I would love to sport climb 5.13, and also put up a first ascent somewhere, hopefully in the desert! Primarily though, I just want to travel and climb all over the world. I’d also love to keep coaching climbing and be a mentor to newer climbers.
Anything else we should know?
Don’t confine yourself to one identity! It is totally fine to be a dedicated climber while also pursuing other passions in life. Don’t feel like you need to give up one part of who you are to go after something else you love! You can be many things all at once—don’t let others put you in a box. The world is a big place with a lot to offer!