I’m from Nashville, TN but didn’t start climbing until I went to university in New York City. After my first road trip out west, I was completely hooked not only to the sport of climbing but the lifestyle that surrounded the sport; the community, the way of life, and of course the emotional connection with nature. I dedicated myself to the sport completely about three years later and have never looked back.
I’ve lived a pretty transient life for the past 10 years and continue to live in locations seasonally, chasing the best climbing conditions and hanging at some of my favourite climbing locations, like Colorado in the summer, Spain and the Southwest desert of the US in the winter.
When I was younger I had a huge fascination with big cities and the art and culture places like that fostered. When I started climbing I don’t remember it being so much about the outdoors. It wasn’t until a few years down the road when I was exploring these wild western spaces that I remember realising how much I really needed this relationship with nature. Being outdoors became pivotal to my existence at that point and it hasn’t really budged.
Climbing is such an interesting sport where you can have such big fluctuations in performance from one season to the next depending on injury and really just life. It can take a lot of time and effort to perform at the top of your game all the time. My best year for performance in terms of numbers was the spring of 2013 when I did my two hardest climbs ever a 13d (Maroncita) and 14a (China Crisis) in Oliana Spain. But for me, performing at a high level and balancing new challenges in my life is just as, or even more, rewarding than those single climbs. I would say the mission to find this harmonious balance between work and climbing life is probably the most challenging part of my life, with climbing as well.
My friends jokingly call me a “bag lady” for a number of reasons. One, I am living out of bag most of the year and often find myself in the midst of multi destination travelling where I need a number of supplies; from my camera gear (I make my living as a photographer and videographer as well) to climbing gear (rope, harness, quickdraw, rigging materials) to my normal everyday street clothes and toiletries. Over the last years, I’ve been most impressed with Sea to Summit’s TravellingLight™ Packing Cells and Padded Protection for my electronics. Not only are these cells PERFECT for the way I travel and organise, but they have seriously stood the test of time in terms of durability. I’m not easy on my gear and, this line of packing cells has lasted again and again.
My next most coveted item is the Flame™ Series Women’s Sleeping Bags. I don’t do much day or overnight hiking, BUT weight is still a big issue when I’m considering all the items I’m going to need on a trip. Many times I don’t know what my sleeping situation is going to be when I land, and my Flame™ bag is just SOOO easy to pack in with the rest of my things. Again, this is a must-have item for me!
I also don’t leave for any trip big or small without my Ultra-Sil™ Shopping Bag, Aeros™ Traveller Pillow and DryLite™ Towel.