Steph Davis: The Interview

By Andrew Tower ,

Photo courtesy of Steph Davis /

Steph Davis is one radical lady. She has certainly been there and done that. From climbing desert towers to jumping off them to Patagonia alpine to Yosemite big walls she has had a sticky little hand in each and every pot of climbing joy. Her life is one to be envied for sure. With a book out and a climbing resume that stretches well beyond the length of most, this lady certainly deserves some attention. She took some time out to answer some questions for the other day while she was house ridden with some kind of sickness that only served to give her a bad case of cabin fever.Where are you living and how long have you been there?Moab. Since 1995, I think. I’m very bad with dates. But definitely over ten years? Definitely

Why Moab?Because it is the best place in the whole world!

I can see it as a good wintering spot but isn’t it just unbearable in the summers? Yes, but then you can go to Rifle. And it’s still the best place in the whole world, that’s how good it is

Do you have any winter projects in “the best place on earth?” or are you planning on traveling this winter? I am psyched to be in Moab all winter. It is the winter paradise. I want to climb down at Indian Creek, but I’m also doing a very short trip to Italy. Four days!

Photo courtesy of Steph Davis /

Photo courtesy of Steph Davis /

What’s in Italy and what can you do in four days?I’m going to the Lecco Film Festival, because they translated my book into Italian. I would stay longer, but it’s kind of cold in late January, and I really do love Moab in the winter.

While you’re in Moab all winter are you going to see Sparkle Motion at all?I hope so. I miss every show and it’s just awful. Lisa has nearly given up on me. See the problem is scheduling. They usually start playing around 9:30. I am usually asleep around 8:30.

Are you an old lady sleeper?I am like a puppy. I use a lot of energy so I have to sleep a LOT. I wake up at 5:00 a.m. usually.

That’s ridiculous. Way too early.Well, it’s light out. I mean, usually.

Photo courtesy of Steph Davis /

Photo courtesy of Steph Davis /

If you didn’t live in the “best place on earth” what would be your second pick? Arco, Italy.

So I suppose I don’t have to ask you where your favorite overseas climbing area is then. Yes, but I also like Patagonia. Arco is awesome because it’s kind of like Moab, except Italian, and limestone instead of sandstone, and a massive terminal base cliff instead of short ones. But Moab is still better, of course.

What’s on your Christmas list this year?Nothing. I want nothing. Seriously!

Nothing!?I’m easy to shop for.

Did you have any New Year’s resolutions this year that actually happened?Well. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because that makes no sense to me. I was born on November 4, so New Year’s Day is not a year. I do that on my birthday.

Photo courtesy of Steph Davis /

So you must have just made some.But it’s kind of different from resolutions, actually. I always try to do something on my birthday that is something I hope I will be doing a lot in the year to come. So this year on my birthday I was doing wingsuit BASE. jumps in Lauterbrunnen.

Wow.And then I pay attention to the things that happen on that day, because I feel like that has some implication too.

Speaking of, why did BASE jumping stick so hard with you?A lot of things. There is a lot to learn and it exemplifies freedom in many ways. I also feel very comfortable with people who are living on the fringe. As normal as BASE seems to me, I’m realizing that it is still very little understood or accepted by many people.

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See Climbing 272, on sale in January 2009, for a Perspective with Steph Davis.

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