I recently had the pleasure of meeting and climbing with +Sasha DiGiulian , the top female sport climber in America, as well as one of the top female climbers in the world. She happened to be in the gym I climb at in Vancouver - The Hive, while in town to host the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival. Climbing in the gym can get really boring for me. As fun as it is to have so many different problems to work out, meet new people and hang out with friends while climbing to good tunes in a warm and controlled environment, no matter how you look at it, it still isn't rock climbing - there's no rock!
Sometimes I wish I wasn't back in school, and that I spent my money to travel all winter and just keep climbing forever working odd jobs when I need to. The inspiring thing about meeting Sasha, beyond the privilege of watching someone climb who is a master of the sport, amazingly fluid and in control and so above and beyond my skill level - was learning about how much work she puts into balancing her life as a professional climber.
To say she is a busy person is a serious understatement. If someone can travel the world on a weekly basis, compete and train at the highest professional level, AND stay in school and stay so positive was both eye opening and motivating. It goes to show that at times, when you feel like putting off school (or work) to just go climb because it feels like that's the only way to really get where you want to be in climbing - it's grounding to know that a top end pro is able to balance a life way more complicated than your own and still be the best. Sure she was crazy busy, probably stressed out from time to time, and obviously school and personal life suffers from a career with so much time away - but she still somehow manages to pull it together, focus, and do it all with an amazingly positive attitude.
A few years ago I saw this video of a young Sasha (at age 18!) becoming the first woman in America (and one of three in the world) to climb the grade of 5.14d, and have always remembered this very wise and inspiring line -
"While no American woman has ever climbed 9a (5.14D), I think maybe not enough have tried" http://vimeo.com/33306702
Thanks for for the motivation +Sasha ! You continue to inspire the climbing community, and even when things seem impossible and crazy, if there's anyone with the focus and attitude to get through it all and come out on top it's definitely you!
And now some more winter motivation...some random pictures of climbing in Powell River. A few from the Lake Blufs, the Eldred on a rainy winter day, Matt crushing on a boulder hidden away on top of Carag Dur, and a less bearded younger version of me at Higgy Land.
|Stemming on Great Gig (5.8)|
|Andy D plugging gear into the amazing detached flake of Pink Isn't Well (5.9), Lake Bluffs.|
|Getting rained out isn't so bad :)|
|Matt Hodgson crushing. The Red Wizard - V Awesome.|
|Me clipping on a route at Higgy Land years ago - Photo: Tara Trigg|
Frayed Ends of Insanity (5.12a/b)