March 3, 2017

How long have you been climbing and why did you start?

I have been climbing for 13 years.  I started because conventional sports didn’t interest me- but I wanted to be active.  Over time it developed from being something that I’d do on the weekends to a focus that creates a drive and passion unlike any other activity I’d ever done.

What are your favorite places you’ve climbed?

My favorite places to climb are Australia, Africa, and Colorado.  Each area presented its own challenges and style that forced me to learn, grow, and expand how I view the world and my place in it.

It seems like you’ve done it all: bouldering, sport, trad, big wall.  How were you able to transition to each?

The transitions between each discipline was a series of fortunate events; such as, meeting the right people, being open to new experiences, and accepting the fact that I didn’t know everything.  That last one took a while to really work out.  Once I found an interest in a discipline I threw everything I had into it, which created success and more motivation to continue on.  I also was incredibly humbled the bigger the projects became and learned that failure is only when you quit completely.

Rueck

Do you have any big trips planned in the near future?

I always have a trip planned; my next big adventure is Corsica March 2017!

Tell us about an epic adventure you’ve had on or off of the rock.

Epic can take many forms, but an adventure that I had that has made a lasting impression was when I was in Africa.  I was 25 years old and fresh off the farm in the middle of Malawi.  Life in Africa is hard to put it simply. Being able to simply turn on a faucet and take a drink of water is a luxury in the United States that I didn’t really understand– but during my stay there simply going to get a loaf of bread could turn into an ordeal.

I was with my team of climbers and photographers, going to get some food for the day’s adventures in bouldering (which was amazing) when all of a sudden someone is shouting at us in the native tongue of Malawi.  As it turns out the disgruntled native thought we had murdered his family.

We watched helpless as the villagers created a circle around us and had a thought that scared the hell out of me, “Are we going to get out of here alive?”

As the minutes stretched our chances seemed to dwindle until our driver shouted into the crowd and they dispersed.

Fun times.

Rueck

What are your go-to shoes for the different forms of climbing?

My go to shoes for training, sport, and bouldering are the Futura and Skwama depending on if I need to edge specifically or not.

For multi-pitch and big walling it can be a combination of the TC Pro (which I would not have survived Yosemite without) and the Genius (the shoe for China Towers!)

Back in March you were featured as the Weekend Whipper.  Can you tell us about how you felt during that fall? Also, why the heck were you not wearing a helmet?!

Ah yes.  The weekend whipper.  I honestly just remember watching the ground rush towards me- there was no thought, there wasn’t time.  Although when I stopped I do remember thinking, “Huh, I can’t believe those cams down low held…”

I get asked about the helmet thing a lot.  There are a lot of unknowns in climbing, but I didn’t feel a need to wear one on this route.  Probably because if the gear ripped I was screwed anyway.  The choices we make right?

Rueck

Have you taken any other big falls since Pure Pressure?

I always fall.  In fact I think I fall 99% of the time and don’t 1%. The thing is with Pure Pressure it wasn’t the length, it was the gear and the ground being so close together that made it dangerous.

If you could have a drink with any famous person, dead or alive, who would it be with and what would you drink?

I love this question.  Alexander the Great and Whiskey

How often and what are you focusing on when you train?

I have specific 4 to 6 week cycles I will do two or three times a year– when it gets nasty during those periods of training I focus on the route I am doing it for, the goal I want to achieve, or the technique I wish to engrain.

Bonus question: If you could have any superpower what would it be?

Intelligence (it is a super power) and something that I could actually achieve in real life! 🙂 (doubtful but a girl can dream).

Rueck