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Climbing’s Best Photos You’ve Never Seen

These upwardly mobile talents were selected from a field of 150 applicants to participate in Climbing’s photo-mentorship program, taught by pro photographers Irene Yee, Randall Levensaler, David Clifford and Duane Raleigh.


FELIPE TAPIA NORDENFLYCHT is a Chilean adventure photographer based in Colorado. Nordenflycht was born in the Atacama Desert where he learned to connect with the fantastic arid landscape of the second and third regions of Chile. For the past year he has photographed climbing, ultra running, and biking. Nordenflycht is passionate about building a community for BIPOC photographers and athletes. You’ll find him running around or swinging on ropes with his camera between the Rockies and the Andes mountains.

For more of Nordenflycht’s work: www.felipesh.com or follow on Instagram @felipesh

Female rock climber at Vedauwoo, Wyoming.
Brittany Goris makes the first female ascent of Yasha Hai (5.13a), Vedauwoo, Wyoming (Photo: Felipe Tapia Nordenflycht)

Nicola Martinez overcomes the roof of 4×4 (5.11), Indian Creek, Moab, Utah.

Hansac Ho is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. When he isn’t climbing or taking photographs he’s working as a product design/manufacturing engineer. “I got into climbing a couple years ago at my university’s gym and instantly was hooked,” says Ho. “Around the same time, I had picked up my first camera and climbing photography just seemed like a no brainer after I went on my first climbing trip to the New River Gorge.”

For more of Ho’s work: www.hansacho.com

Rock climber over water at New River Gorge.
What better way to start off summer climbing than with deep water soloing? “I knew Donovan Bender wanted to pull off a one arm lock-off in the middle of this roof at Summersville Lake, West Virginia,” says Ho, “so I framed it up so Julia Duffy would be in the bottom corner as a foreground element. This photo was what I imagined summer climbing to be: hanging out with friends at the lake and climbing on some amazing rock.” (Photo: Hansac Ho)

Female climber on rock climb at Red River Gorge, Kentucky.
“I captured this moment where Julia Duffy was throwing a heel hook for the crux sequence on Proper Soul (5.14a) on The Endless Wall at New River Gorge, West Virginia,” says Ho. “It was awe-inspiring watching her work this beast of a route.” Duffy recently placed third in Lead and eighth in Bouldering at the USA Climbing Youth Nationals. Keep an eye out for her future exploits. (Photo: Hansac Ho)

“I positioned myself in the corner of this boulder as I wanted to capture the foot placements and the face of an onlooker,” says Ho, and get “the way the sun angle reflected light onto Peyton Sickles’ face as he battled crimps of Tsunami (V8), Moore’s Wall, North Carolina.” Fellow climber Phillip Teasley checks out the beta. (Photo: Hansac Ho)

Jason Quan grew up up around Palos Verdes Estates, California.  “I didn’t know climbing existed until college,” he says. “I got roped into climbing because someone needed a belay partner, and in this case it was my brother.” Quan is an operations manager working in the import/export business. Outside of work, “climbing photography allows me to exercise my creativity and connect with people,” says Quan. “I’m drawn to the dramatic and powerful movements of the athletes, but also to the scale of people in comparison to the outdoors.”

For more of Quan’s work: Instagram @jasonwquan

Rock climber rappelling at stoney point, California.
Rappelling Vicious (5.12a TR), Stoney Point Park, Chatsworth, California. “My friend Jeramy Ov (he/him) and I were practicing anchor building and rappels,” says Quan. “Taking inspiration from Jimmy Chin, I wanted to highlight the last step of the climbing process— rappelling.” (Photo: Jason Quan)

Woman coiling climbing rope.
After a long day of climbing with Climb The Gap, a group out of The Stronghold Climbing Gym for everone as well as BIPOC and queer climbers based in the land of the Tongva people now known as Los Angeles, Quan “captured this shot of my friend Lydia Mok (she/her) coiling the rope with extra pizazz under the guidance of my mentor and friend Irene Yee. (Photo: Jason Quan)

Rock climber climbing at Joshua Tree National Park.
Upper Right Ski Track (5.3), Joshua Tree National Park, California. “Joshua Tree is legendary for trad climbing and we wanted to start the day with a warm-up on one of the most iconic features of the park: Intersection Rock,” says Quan. “My friend Son Tran (they/them) led the route to highlight the gorgeous diagonal crack and the fact that despite this climb being a 5.3, it still looks rad. For me, even easier climbs have their appeal if you change your perspective.” (Photo: Jason Quan)

 

SABRINA CLAROS is “from the stolen Tongva and Kizh land (Los Angeles, California).”  She is a freelance outdoor lifestyle photographer creating for people, brands, and nonprofits. “I started climbing in undergrad with the UCI Climbing Team,” she says. “I was already a photographer, so it was natural to take my camera with me on climbing trips! I hope to continue capturing the diversity within climbing and outdoor recreation and highlighting that everyone belongs outdoors.”

For more of Claros’ work: Instagram: @sabrinaclaros_photography and www.sabrinaclaros.com

Rock climber on top of rock spire in California.
Bao-Son Tran on The Finger (5.9), New Jack City, Lucerne Valley, California. “I chose this location because I wanted the sun to partially illuminate the landscape while highlighting the climb and climber,” says Claros. “I edited the image as a composite, where I blended the pre-sunrise sky with the post-sunrise foreground to create a dreamy, surreal scene.” (Photo: Sabrina Claros)

Female rock climber climbing at night at Stoney Point, Callifornia.
Lydia Mok and the Pump Traverse (V1), Stoney Point, Chatsworth, California. “In addition to the headlamp, I used a small flash and a handheld LED light. The backlight flash helps separate the climber from the dark background by creating a highlight, and the LED helps add some light to the darker areas so details are visible.” (Photo: Sabrina Claros)
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JENNY WALTERS says her grandparents, “raised her to invent chipmunk traps and catch crawdads in creek muck, get nicked by briars picking blackberries and search for deer skulls in the woods. I investigated life with escapades and fervor. This quest is ongoing and still leads me to slipping over river rocks and huddling around campfires with s’mores, but now I’m also listening to stories of hurts and hopes and aiming to honor those epics. The result is a deep sense of home and adventure, equal amounts of fear and fondness, all at the same time. With or without a camera, I’ll always be exploring.”

For more of Walters’ work: jenniferwaltersphotography.com or Instagram @roarkfitness

Female rock climber on rock in Colorado.
Jamie McCrocklin gets happy on Reefer Madness (5.10b) at Wake and Bake Boulder, Ten Sleep Canyon, Wyoming, originally Apsaalooké (Crow), Eastern Shoshone, Cheyenne, and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ territories. “Four friends including Jamie (she/her) and two dogs rock hopped Lee Creek until finally braving the rapids and building a dam with logs from the woods for everyone to arrive safely, and giggling about our shenanigans, at this stunning rock formation,” says Walters. (Photo: Jenny Walters)

Female rock climber on climb at Ten Sleep, Wyoming.
Shara Zaia becoming a titan of her own on Great White Behemoth, (5.12b), Superratic Pillar, Valhalla area, Ten Sleep. “Elevating the voices and stories of under-represented climbers is profoundly important to me,” says Walters. ”Shara (she/her) noticed that she’s never seen another Assyrian climber at the crag, and as a queer person myself, I also understand feeling like you’re not welcome, don’t belong, or can’t ‘see’ yourself in the magazines, ads, and features. I hope that continues to change, and I hope to be a part of it.” (Photo: Jenny Walters)

Female rock climber on climb at Red Rocks, Nevada.
Rachel Melville taking the plunge on Geronimo (5.6) at Jackrabbit Buttress, Red Rocks, Las Vegas, Nevada, originally Nüwüwü (Chemehuevi), Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute), and Newe (Western Shoshone) land. “The sun was setting and a storm was rolling in, but you can see Rachel’s (she/her) cheeky grin, even with the tongue sticking out, happy knowing that we’re almost to the top of this fun romp.” (Photo: Jennifer Walters)

Rodel Querubin is the BIPOC Initiatives Chair for the American Alpine Club, Twin Cities Chapter, and an Arc’teryx Twin Cities Community Ambassador. When he isn’t in the studio or on location as a professional photographer, Querubin spends much of his time passing on his love of climbing and snowboarding, organizing events for the local BIPOC community, and building partnerships and scholarship opportunities. He lives in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife Elaine, who he leans on for guidance and inspiration.

For more of Querubin’s work: Instagram: @rodel.querubin  www.rodelqphoto.com

Climbers on snow ridge on Mount Baker.
A Minnesota BIPOC expedition on Kulshan/Mt. Baker, Washington. “I was struck by the opportunity to show the scale of the mountain,” says Querubin. “The Roman Wall toward the summit was the most difficult part of the climb for this mostly brand-new team of mountaineers.” (Photo: Rodel Querubin)

Ice climber climbing ice at Lake Michigan.
Madhav Singh, one of eight American Alpine Club-Twin Cities BIPOC Ice Climbing Scholarship winners gets in the swing of Bridalveil Falls at the Michigan Ice Fest. “The waterfall offers a unique climbing experience right over Lake Superior,” says Querubin. “In addition to capturing provoking climbing imagery, I am driven to diversify access to and participation in climbing, and in the representation in the climbing imagery being consumed. Many folks I introduce to climbing for the first time often have no idea this sport was an option for them or a space welcoming for them. My hope is to help change that.” (Photo: Rodel Querubin)