Age: 20 | Vitals: 5’1-3/8” (very important), 107 lbs. | Years Climbing: 7 | Current Residence: Colorado Springs, Colorado
I was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Oak Park, just outside the city—a pretty rock-poor area of the world. The first time I climbed was in a gymnasium during summer camp, and I vividly remember coming home to tell my mother that I never wanted to rock climb again. So, naturally, I’ve spent the last seven or so years of my life climbing.
I started climbing at Vertical Endeavors in 8th grade, and my first outdoor experience was at Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin. When I was in high school, a tiny wall opened up inside of a fancy fitness center, and I applied for a job the second I knew it existed. I learned a lot from just messing around and figuring things out (maybe not the safest method, but it worked), and I attribute my climbing style (careful, techy) to working here.
I played add-on constantly with guys much taller than me and had to learn my own way to get to the holds that they could just simply reach. This taught me a lot about being inventive and not just taking “the beta” as the norm.
My mother and I both got into climbing together, and soon our family was hooked. And even though (or perhaps, because) I grew up in the flattest part of the country, I’ve been surrounded by an incredibly supportive and passionate community of climbers from the get-go.
I now go to Colorado College in Colorado Springs, and work as the Head Monitor in the campus climbing gym, managing the most passionate team of climbing dirtbags you’ll ever meet. I climb outside as much as possible and define myself as a lover of all things rope climbing. I definitely boulder (aside from the incredible boulders in Colorado, I’ve taken two trips to Joes Valley and even spent a whole week in Yosemite valley strictly boulder climbing), but my passion is roped climbing, and currently I’m especially fascinated by Colorado’s long alpine routes. Although I’ve always seen bouldering as a way to inspect climbing on the most detailed level, the more I get up into the mountains on long routes, the more I feel connected to the routes and the moves themselves.
I could tell you my favorite place to climb, but it would be a list instead of a single place. My most memorable climbing experiences have involved challenging climbing and the best of company. But my current short list includes towers in Canyonlands, Red River Gorge, Lumpy, and the South Platte.
I climb for a million different reasons, but primarily because it’s one activity where I never stop learning. Climbing focuses me—when I’m climbing, I can only think about the climb directly in front of me and it puts all the rest of life into perspective.
When I’m not directly involved in climbing, I try to split my time between artwork (pottery and painting) and just being outside. I grew up with a photographer mother, and artwork was just always the norm. Being outdoors is a crucial part of my sanity. Certain aspects of front-country living just don’t cut it for me, so I try to spend as much time as possible exploring the parts of the world that were here before us, whether that means hiking, snowboarding, running—you name it.