Currently, I’m reading Lynn Hill’s Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World and would highly recommend it to anyone. This book got me thinking about inspirational climbers, particularly female ones. Here are my top three:
Lynn Hill: known for making the first free ascent of The Nose on El Capitan. A true inspiration to me, especially since she also happens to have a gymnastics background.
I’d like to share three great quotes from the book…
Remarks Brooke Sandahl as Lynn successfully free climbs what is considered the hardest pitch up the Nose on El Capitan:
That looks like a contortion only Houdini would make up.
Reflection by Lynn herself:
The spirit of free climbing is about adapting one’s personal capacities and dimensions to the natural features of the rock, not the other way around.
John Long’s take:
Mastery is admirable in any field. But when this mastery plays out by slaying gender stereotypes, embracing primal terrors (always a factor in climbing), having the vision and chops to do long-established things in novel ways, fighting through injuries, slim wages, and one’s own doubts and insecurities, and growing more modest in the process, a mere rock climb becomes a victory for the human spirit. Though choice or temperament, most of us are followers. Greatness, on the other hand, is almost always a path leading into the unknown and unproven. And Lynn walked that path like a giant…the biggest little hero I’ve ever known is Lynn Hill.
Beverly Johnson: true pioneer in rock climbing and mountaineering, with the first female solo accent of El Capitan’s Dihedral Wall. She’s also got a great book:
Beth Rodden: today’s top female climber who recently sent Meltdown, a 5.14 in Yosemite.
If you want more info on female climbers, check out the wikipedia page.