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.
  • HPPutnam

    Everyday Hero: 5 Ordinary Climbers Who Saved a Life (Part 5)

    A tiny ledge three pitches off the ground. The anchor is unclipped. Your belayer has just fallen over the edge. Now what?

  • HPYardley

    Everyday Hero: 5 Ordinary Climbers Who Saved a Life (Part 4)

    Everyone’s heard the story about a distraught mother lifting a car off her baby pinned underneath. Hoisting a falling climber back up onto a ledge comes pretty close.

  • HPJoeFaint2

    Everyday Hero: 5 Ordinary Climbers Who Saved a Life (Part 3)

    We’re told to carry the Ten Essentials, but we’re also told “light is right.” Most of the time we climb without all the survival gear needed for every possible scenario. Improvising with the gear we do have becomes essential.

  • HeroSplashHP

    Everyday Hero: 5 Ordinary Climbers Who Saved a Life

    Because of experience and training, innate ability and fortitude, or just instinctive reactions in moments of crisis, average climbers can respond to deadly emergencies in extraordinary ways. With courage, calm, stamina, strength, and ingenuity, on a day when nobody expected anything but the simple pleasures of climbing, they end up saving a life.

  • Hero1HP

    Everyday Hero: 5 Ordinary Climbers Who Saved a Life (Part 1)

    “Never take your brake hand off the rope.” That lesson is drilled into every climber from the first day he or she ties in, yet it’s all too easy to witness climbers disobeying this fundamental rule simply to swat a fly or reach for a snack. Now imagine keeping your brake hand on the rope even as you stare death in the face.

  • 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.