Rock Climbers

Climbing magazine's in-depth profiles and interviews reveal the stories behind rock climbing's most intriguing people: the stars of the sport and the lesser-known local heroes. We ask rock climbers how they got started, what motivates them, and how they get better and stronger.
  • HPShred

    Interview: Shred All Fear Talks Mullets, Mustaches, and Mountains

    We first learned of Shred All Fear from their video, “Moab Madness!!!”. In it, the “band” climbs Ancient Art with magnificent mustaches on their faces, masculine mullet wigs on their heads, and electric guitars on their backs. It’s ridiculous and amazing. When we reached out to Shred All Fear about an interview, they responded with this list of demands...

  • Alex-Stasia-Cedar-Sufferfest-660

    Inside the Sufferest: Two World-Class Climbers. On Bikes.

    Cedar’s 18-minute film titled Sufferfest was selected to tour the world with the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Check banffcentre.ca for showing locations and dates. Or head to climbing.com/videos to view the film in five smaller episodes.

  • Matt-Segal-Air-China-Fall-1

    To Bolt or Not to Bolt

    I operate under a philosophy that routes don’t need to be repeated safely, so I don’t establish them that way. The joy in climbing routes like these is all my own, and I don’t always feel the need to equip routes with the greater community in mind. Some people might view my approach as reckless. I always try to have a minimalist approach to establishing new lines, but others place a higher importance on repeatability. To each his own—but it’s important to think through your bolting philosophy as a first ascensionist. Have a reason to place—or not place—each bolt.

  • Matt Segal makes the first ascent of Orangutan Roof (5.13+) in Independence Pass, Colorado, in 2008. Photo by John Dickey

    The Art of Development

    The rules of accepted practices in route development are often unclear and confusing; they differ from region to region, usually because of the area’s history, local ethics, laws regarding drilling, and more. To help decode the topic, we picked the brains of a unique cross section of first ascensionists to help paint a picture of the first ascent landscape in America today.

  • Sharma-Yoga-Warmup-158

    Chris Sharma

  • Vet-Ex-Featured-660

    Invisible Wounds

    Hours before sunup, we click on our headlamps and follow the blue-hued cones of light on the first steps of what will surely be a very long day. We’re embarking on a 20-mile traverse of the Mummy Range in Rocky Mountain National Park, over the course of which we’ll summit seven peaks over 13,000 feet. For the first half hour or so, our crew of eight military veterans doesn’t say a word—the only sounds are gravelly footfalls and varied degrees of labored breathing in the thin alpine air.

  • Cedar-Wright-Gravity-Ceiling-158

    Rock Therapy

    The rope arches in an unbroken loop from me to Lucho, 30 feet above. “At least there’s no rope drag,” I quip, trying to make light of his predicament. We are six pitches up the South Dragon’s Horn on Tioman Island, off the coast of Malaysia, living proof that climbing can go from fun to fubar in a microsecond.

  • S'more Energy (5.11c), Endless Wall, New River Gorge

    Red River Gorge vs. New River Gorge

    When the Red River Gorge and New River Gorge rivalry threatened to boil over, there was only one place to settle it: on the basketball court. - Huge spotlights suddenly lit up the small community basketball court in Lansing, West Virginia, near the rim of the New River Gorge. Lights, really? Who rigged those?

  • Stephanie Forte's Story

    Every few years, Stephanie Forte, 44, whips herself into top shape and climbs a flurry of hard 5.13s. A New Jersey girl with a sharp wit, a publicist's poise, and fierce athleticism on the rock, Forte has written for Climbing many times and has had her hands on all kinds of climbing-related events and causes.

  • Survivors - Enduring Desperate Situations

    Survivors - Enduring Desperate Situations

    We surveyed readers and more than a dozen climbing historians and writers in North America and Europe to collect 25 stories of stamina, ingenuity, and human will, some well-known, others not. Our hope is to remind readers to take care and prevent accidents--to"do nothing in haste, look well to each step," as Whymper famously said after the Matterhorn tragedy.

  • Staying Alive

    Staying Alive

    Survival tips from climbing rangers - Nobody expects to be loaded onto a litter and evacuated off his first big wall. Or stuck in a snow cave, out of food and fuel, hypothermic, and praying that a storm will quit and someone will find him. Yet it happens, every year, and not just to newbies. Climbers make mistakes, or get unlucky, and rescue rangers drop from the sky and save our asses.

  • Chris-Sharma-515c-Project-Oliana

    Half Life: Chris Sharma and His Career So Far

    Sharma has delivered everything that "the next generation" is supposed to in rock climbing. He has been setting new standards for 15 years—half his life. And now, on April 23, he turns 30.