Chicago Mountaineering Club Dinner

A short but sweet trip to Chicago for the Chicago Mountaineering Club Annual Dinner and I got a chance to climb at the new gym called First Ascent.  Thanks for all the enthusiasm for my visit and for sharing a passion for climbing!

Joshua Tree Climbing Camp

joshuatree

Partake in the Lynn Hill experience!

This special event will be hosted at our home in Joshua Tree, The Sethspool, roughly 1 mile down a mellow dirt road located in a private valley with nearly 80 acres of privacy. The Sethspool is a art house showcasing the blend of Joshua Tree’s artist community and the strong climbing heritage of Joshua Tree. The climbing will take place in Joshua Tree National park.  Specific sites TBA

Book your spot by emailing cliffhangerguides@gmail.com!

The Event will launch on Friday night, and guests are welcome to arrive after 3:30 pm. Dispersed tent camping is available throughout the Sethspool compound. Beautiful rehabilitated vintage trailers are available at a additional cost as well. Dinner will be served at 7pm on Friday night.
Minus transportation and alcohol, this is a all inclusive event.

Included:

  • 6 gourmet meals
  • 2 days Lynn hill movement clinics and personal beta tune-ups with video we will staff the event at a 4 to 1 guest to guide ratio
  • Sports massage on Saturday night
  • Sunrise Yoga on Saturday and Sunday (professional Yoga instructor provided)
  • Lynn hill slide show and tall tales
  • Evening campfire stories with special guests
  • Adventure, culture, community & Halloween festivitiesCost for the week end with tent camping will be $1000. If you would like a vintage trailer waiting for you there will be a additional $300 charge. Camping equipment is also available via Joshua Tree Outfitters. We ask for a 50% deposit to reserve the trip and the remainder is due post adventure upon complete satisfaction.  Let us know if you would like to move forwards and we will send a booking confirmation, registration form and deposit invoice. TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM THE EVENT/PARK IS NOT INCLUDED,.This is going to be a very special intimate week end in a very special place, with very special people. Please feel free to review our Trip Advisor or Yelp reviews to understand the quality of experience we love sharing with our guests. This will be a incredibly memorable week end!Cheers,
    Lynn, Seth and Sabra

Interview for Book about climbers in Boulder

How long have you been climbing?
I’ve been climbing since 1975 when I was 14 years old.

What emotions do you feel while climbing?
One of the aspects about climbing that I enjoy most is the absence of the
“thinking” state. Climbing is a kind of “moving mediation” for me, in
addition to allowing me to adapt my body in a spontaneously choreographed
flow of movement. Since climbing involves moving in a infinitely variable
three-dimensional playing field, both my mind and body are fully engaged in
the immediate demands of the moment

Do you envision a day when you are no longer climbing?
I don’t imagine not climbing, but if I wasn’t able to climb, I would put my
energy into another activity appropriate for my current condition.

Have you learned any lessons in climbing that have helped in other areas of life?
Climbing is a kind of metaphor for life. It’s my time to check in with
myself to see how I am dealing with the challenges at hand. If I am too
focused on the result and not the process, I can become distracted at a
crucial moment. I perform my best when I’m able to accept my immediate
sense of fear, uncertainty, fatigue, or whatever type of distraction, and
then re-direct my attention to finding the best solution.

Do you have any regrets in life? If so, what’s the biggest regret?
I don’t believe in having regrets in my life since my mistakes have always
taught me the most and inspired significant growth.

How many minutes a day do you think about climbing?
I have no idea how many minutes I think about climbing per day but since my
lifestyle and livelihood is connected to climbing, probably spend a large
percentage of time per day either thinking directly about climbing, or
something closely connected to my life as a climber.

What was your best day climbing?
I would have to say that one of my best days of climbing was when I did the
first all-free ascent of the Nose, but for me, the more challenging and
significant day of climbing was when I climbed the Nose all free in one-
day.

What was your worst day climbing?
My worst day of climbing was when I fell 75-feet to the ground in Buoux,
France (May 9th 1989) when I forgot to tie my knot.

Is climbing a selfish pursuit?
Climbing can be a selfish pursuit if you pursue it in a selfish way! Many
climbers are selfish in the sense that climbing takes priority over many
other responsibilities in life. I have a lot of attention to NOT being
selfish by giving back to others in the best way I can.

Why do you climb?
Why do I like the color green? It just is! It makes me feel good and fully
engaged in life. I can’t think of a better activity that climbing, which
takes place in a beautiful settings all over the world and allows me to be
connected with people all over the world.

If you could offer only one piece of advice to new climbers, what would it be?
Always double or triple-check your safety systems. Read my book, “Climbing
Free” (you can order a copy on my website:lynnhillclimbing.com), and you
can learn about my roots as a climber and more about rock climbing history
and culture.

Describe your perfect climbing partner.
Someone who I love, respect, likes to laugh, heckle (laugh at themselves
and friends), and someone who values the important aspects of life.

What climber do you most respect and why?
I respect all of my climbing partners and peers! I don’t have a particular
favorite climber, since I appreciate so many different qualities in people.
What I respect most in a climber is their character: their willingness to
take the “high road” – meaning try to climb (and live) in the best style
possible. This means that instead of taking the path of least resistance,
they do whatever necessary to achieve worthwhile and meaningful goals that
are not just beneficial for themselves or their own ego, but inspirational
for everyone!

Climbing Pregnant

Woman lead climbing on a big wall (high angle perspective).

I’ve known Beth Rodden since she was a young teenager and just beginning to branch out from her introduction to climbing through the world of artificial walls and youth climbing competitions, to pushing her limits on natural rock. I happened to be in Smith Rocks and took photos of her succeeding on her first 5.14a called, “To Bolt or Not to Be”. I would post one of those photos but I never saw the roll of film since I gave it to her that day! Beth where are those photos????

I was so impressed by Beth’s positive attitude and determination, that I invited her to join me, along with a team of elite women climbers (Nancy Feagin, Kath Pyke) on an expedition to Madagascar. During our a two-week stay in this remote region of Madagascar, we established a new route up an amazing two-thousand-foot granite face with very few natural cracks. This was a huge first step for Beth on her evolution toward becoming one of the most accomplished women climbers in the world. Beth’s first free ascent of “Meltdown” (5.14c), is not only the hardest traditional route ever done by a woman, but it’s the hardest crack climb in Yosemite Valley. As far as I know, it has never been repeated.

Beth’s next biggest and greatest adventure is motherhood, which is one BIG reason she interviewed me on this topic. I hope you find this interview useful or at least interesting:-)

Lynn on Pancake Flake Nose

Climbing Pregnant: Interview of Lynn Hill by Beth Rodden

When I was 19 years old I met the legendary Lynn Hill. I had just completed my first 5.14 at Smith Rock in Oregon, To Bolt Or Not To Be, when Lynn invited me to go to Madagascar with her, Nancy Feagin and Kath Pyke. Being more famous that most male climbers, Lynn has accomplished things decades ahead of her time. With her free ascent of the Nose, numerous 5.14’s, first ascents on different continents, her list of accomplishments is endless. I was completely humbled that such a legend would invite me to go on a trip with her. I was by far the gumby and weak link of the crew, but I jumped at the opportunity to learn and spend time with some of my heroes.

Lynn is immediately someone that I thought of when I knew I was pregnant. Being one of the most legendary climbers of all time, I wondered what the process was like for her. How did she deal with that changes in her body, in her career, etc. She was kind enough to answer a few questions that I know helped me and hopefully will help you.

You are one of the most accomplished climbers in history, male or female. You have broken barriers that most men couldn’t even achieve. I’m curious about your thought process to have Owen, can you tell me a little more about it?

I’ve always wanted to have a child but as it turns out, this was not very compatible with my career as a professional rock climber. I feel fortunate to have been on so many amazing adventures around the world AND still able to become a mother at the age of 42. I saved money throughout my career so that I would be able to afford to spend plenty of time with my child. I was confident that I could continue to make a living through teaching/guiding, speaking, writing, and working as a design consultant and “ambassador” for companies such as Patagonia and Petzl.

I remember climbing with you well into your pregnancy, can you tell me about how you felt during your pregnancy?

How I felt during my pregnancy varied at each stage. I was definitely more nauseous during the first and last trimester, but I felt more irritable than nauseous during the last trimester. Whenever I felt irritable, I reminded myself that it was due to the hormonal changes and I tried to relax and re-group as necessary.

Can you tell me about how people reacted to your being pregnant?

Most people were happy for me that I was pregnant since they knew that I really wanted to have a child. But I wouldn’t say that was true of everyone… Some people don’t like kids or understand why a person like me would want to give up their freedom and money to have a child.

Can you think of a time during pregnancy when it caught you by surprise?

I gained a lot more weight than I thought I would (35 pounds by the end), but I didn’t look or feel particularly “fat.” Just knowing that there was a human being growing inside me seemed like an amazing miracle and worthy of the temporary inconvenience.

How long were you able to climb for? Gym vs outdoors?

I climbed until I was about five months pregnant, but I could have continued climbing for much longer. Rather than worrying about my fitness on the rock, I chose to do activities such as yoga, which seemed to be a healthier choice for both of us. Since I gained so much weight and my belly started to get in the way, it wasn’t as much fun, nor beneficial to climb under such conditions. The hormones of pregnancy cause the tendons and ligaments to become more lax (so be careful of twisting your ankle/s). I was content to take a break from climbing since I knew that I would get back in shape relatively quickly after giving birth. It took me about 3-4 months to lose all that weight without really even trying. I breast fed Owen until he was just over two years old, which requires a lot of calories so the weight seemed to melt off naturally and easily. Breast milk is much better for your baby that formula and it’s much more convenient as long as you don’t have issues with breast feeding.

Did you see any changes in your body with respect to climbing?

The biggest changes in my body with regard to being pregnant was my size/weight. I made sure to rub lotion on my belly to make sure that I didn’t get stretch marks on my stomach. Either I was lucky or the lotion was beneficial since I don’t have any stretch marks.

Did you have any worries with pregnancy?

My biggest worry about pregnancy had to do with having a healthy child. I wasn’t so concerned about complications on my end, but I did end up having a C-section since Owen wasn’t coming after pushing non-stop for three hours (my labor lasted 22 hours once my water broke).

At what point did you start climbing again after your delivery of Owen?

I started climbing just a few days shy of a month after having a c-section (cesarean). I believe they recommended waiting about a month before doing any strenuous physical activities. I did win the Roctrip event in Millau less than a year after giving birth to Owen. I know that I was still breast feeding!!

How did it ultimately effect your career?

The most significant change was my willingness to spend long periods of time away from home. However I think with a supportive partner, arrangements can be made to help out with the baby while mom is engaged with work. As far as climbing, most mothers (myself included) take far fewer risks for obvious reasons. Even before becoming a mother, I believed in taking calculated risks anyway.

How do you see pregnant professional climbers in the future?

Balancing parenthood with the lifestyle of a professional climber is tricky and it certainly helps to have a supportive partner. For me it has been quite a juggling act to manage all the demands on my time in both my personal and public life. But like climbing itself, the most challenging experiences are usually the most satisfying. Motherhood is certainly more challenging than any climb I’ve done, but there’s nothing greater than the sense of love I feel for my child.

Lynn & Owen studio portrait

Boulder Colorado 100 Year Flood

 

Flood rescue crew Eric, Brad, Jamie

Many of my friends and colleagues have asked how my house and community were affected by the floods. I had some flooding in one of my living spaces and we had some flooding under the house in the crawl space where I lost several hundred copies of my book, “Climbing Free”.

After dealing with my own house, I joined the “Mudslingers” volunteer group to help out a neighbor and the news team happen to be there.

Humanity

For over thirty-years, I’ve kept a piece of paper with a continuous loop of words written by Martin Luther King, Jr. in the form of a man! Though he wrote these words several decades ago, his vision was right on with regard to the direction that humanity has taken:
Screen shot 2013-08-13 at 4.35.15 PM

After reading an article on Truthout.org today, the following paragraph caught my attention: Naom Chomsky says (of the modern period of regression), “This period of regression is marked by inequalities in wealth, income, and power that are fueling poverty and ecological crisis, undermining every basic public sphere central to both democracy and the culture and structures necessary for people to lead a life of dignity and political participation.”

Perhaps it’s time for “we the people” to change from regression to progression!

Psicobloc fall

I did end up checking out the Psicobloc Wall at the competition in Park City.

Having arrived from the Outdoor Retailer trade show, I quickly warmed up and jumped on the wall since they were about to take down the holds on the Women’s qualifier route (5.13)

Lynn Psicbloc1 Lynn Psicobloc 2 Lynn falling 55 feet

When I arrived at the last move over 50 feet above a 12-foot deep pool of water, I decided to let go instead of lunging for the top (55-feet) and possibly falling out of control!

As soon as I began to fall through the air, I was reminded of my 75-foot fall to the ground in Buoux, France in 1989!

Though this time I hit water instead of the ground, my tailbone and neck were sore for days afterwards! Nonetheless, it was fun to watch the competition with a bunch of friends and over 3,000 fans on Friday night!