February 12, 2009

Lynn Hill, Climbing Icon. [Urban Climber]

Lynn Hill is one of the icons of elephantjournal.com’s hometown of Boulder, Colorado. She also happens to be one of the greatest climbers of either sex, like, ever. Even more impressively, she’s a kind, caring person and mommy—and still too-rare among climbers, she makes a point of living an eco-responsible life.

Excerpt via her new interview with Urban Climber (click above to subscribe to their e-newsletter). 

Date of Birth: January 3rd, 1961 

Where do you live: Boulder, Colorado 
Profession: Self employed – Ambassador for Patagonia, Petzl, and Beal ropes Years climbing: 33 years! 
Sponsors: Patagonia, Petzl, Beal

How would you describe yourself? 
It’s hard to characterize myself in simple words but I would have to say that I am the following: determined, focused, optimistic, certainly like to laugh but intense when things get serious, reflective, idealistic, and I generally prefer quality over quantity.

What has been your life’s work so far? 
To inspire people to pursue their dreams; to be compassionate and connected to others; to challenge old stereotypes, limiting and/or obsolete beliefs; to question authority, in fact, question everything!

What’s more important: respect or money? 
I think respect is a fundamental quality of being a good human being. Money is an artificial construct that comes as the result of having respect for the right things in life. However, in our modern society, we need both respect and money. Respect being first and money a necessary means of attributing value to our service in society.

What’s one thing you will absolutely tell your son? 
There are so many things to tell him on a regular basis that I don’t have just one idea in mind. My son is currently only five-yearsold so he can’t understand much of what I could potentially tell him when he becomes a teenager or adult. One thing I would want him to know is simply to be himself and don’t try to be something he’s not. What is the most important trait in a person? Integrity.

Who’s the most important person in your life? Why? 
Right now it’s my son because he is my biggest responsibility, my best teacher in life, and hopefully someone who will bring lots of love and new vision for future generations. Is it important to have a plan? It’s helpful to have a plan but even more important to have the presence of mind to adapt to the changing demands of the moment.

Who’s a climber you have a lot of respect for? 
Chris Sharma, not only because he has the vision to create new standards of difficulty, but because he is a genuinely good person that demonstrates the power of having both a passionate and compassionate approach to life.

Name your two best climbing partners past and present.
John Long when I was younger and, in more recent times, Pietro Dal Pra because I trust in his ability, judgment, and integrity as a climber. Both John and Pietro pushed me in ways that were new and exciting. Pietro is a very talented Italian climber with plenty of experience on all types of terrain. We did some amazing climbs together from the boulders and big walls of Yosemite Valley, to the Dolomites, as well as on many crags all over Europe (France, Italy, Switzerland), Thailand, and all across the States from the Gunks to Smith Rocks.

Where is our sport heading? 
Upwards and onwards toward bigger, better, faster, longer, better style, doing the most linkups in a day according to specific style: onsight, all free, fastest time, etc…

Why do you climb? 
I enjoy being fully engaged in the process of climbing like a moving meditation. It’s not possible to thrive and grow in life if I am not challenged on a regular basis.

What would your best friend say is your strongest personality trait?
I have a high degree of integrity, dependability.

What are your favorite disciplines of climbing these days? 
My favorite types of climbing are sport climbing, bouldering, and traditional style climbing. Because I’m a mom, I try to limit my exposure to high risk situations in the alpine climbing realm.

What must we pass on to the next generation of climbers? 
Respect for the environment, other people, cultures, traditions, and doing the best we can in our lives to improve the conditions of the world.

Describe the scariest moment in your life…

…For the rest, and photo, click here.

Bonus: videos!

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