Climbing Archive

Scroll the list below or use the navigation tool on the left side of each page to find stories and interviews from all of your favorite Athletes on the La Sportiva Climbing Teams.

Paige Claassen - Just Do It

Paige Claassen - Just Do It

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I’m staring down the barrel of the long sideways move out left, the intro to the crux. I guess I’ll take a moment to assess the conditions, even though my training barks “focus only on the task at hand”. The air is warm – too warm. Where was that unnerving wind, the one that twisted all my quickdraws around the bolts, blew my hair in my eyes, and made that distracting noise as it whipped around the arête to my right, yet kept me on the wall. Now, not even a hint of breeze graces the warm red rock. No one is cheering anymore. I’m all alone up here. 

Daniel Woods - Reflections From Spain

Daniel Woods - Reflections From Spain

Thursday, June 5, 2014

In April, Courtney and I took a trip to Spain. Our objective was to immerse ourselves in the iconic limestone and see what cool sends we could achieve.

Abbey Smith - Andaman Sea Climbing

Abbey Smith - Andaman Sea Climbing

Monday, April 7, 2014

I’m circumnavigating a remote sea stack in the Andaman Sea by kayak searching for stunning lines to climb. No guide, no grades, no chalk – just spectacular limestone walls begging to be climbed. It’s up to me to judge whether the rock is solid, the landing is safe, the crux too high, and my ability satisfactory. To me, finding rocks that haven’t been climbed before is the ultimate adventure.

2014 Red Rock Rendezvous!

2014 Red Rock Rendezvous!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We are excited to report on another successful Red Rock Rendezvous from Las Vegas, NV!  La Sportiva has been a long-time supporter of the event and we have watched it grow, morph, and evolve in many different ways over the years.  One thing that has never changed is the great people that come together to make it happen and the amazing rock climbing that can be found in the surrounding area.

Daniel Woods - Raging in Red Rock

Daniel Woods - Raging in Red Rock

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I recently returned back from a two and a half week trip to Red Rock, NV.  Our objective was to check out Paul Robinson’s aesthetic test piece, “Meadowlark Lemon (v15),” as well as the multitude of classics and undone projects that Red Rock has to offer. My previous trips to Red Rock involved participating in the classic event known as the Red Rock Rendezvous.  I had yet to sample the mysterious Grade A sandstone that this area presented.  Welcome to the desert!

Beth Rodden Quiet Time in Yosemite

Beth Rodden Quiet Time in Yosemite

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
As any frequent visitor or climber can tell you, the familiar sounds of the Valley consist of garbage trucks emptying huge dumpsters, the obnoxious belch of Harley motorcycles revving their engines, chainsaws at the wood cutting lot, the voices of the interpretive rangers on the open air “Green Dragon” valley bus tour, generators from RV’s in the campgrounds, and the constant sound of traffic that any person who lives in a populated area has learned to drown out.  But as I pedaled through the Valley this October, it was void of all of those sounds.

Nik Berry - Sendero Luminoso

Nik Berry - Sendero Luminoso

Thursday, September 19, 2013
David Allfrey, Mason Earl and myself went to Mt. Hooker in the Wind River Range from August 8th to August 24th.  The goal was to climb the most inspiring line on the face. We were not concerned about if it would go free or not.  We wanted the King Line!

Access Fund - Conservation Team

Access Fund - Conservation Team

Thursday, August 1, 2013
Having the correct footwear for the variety of tasks we complete in a given day allows us to put our focus on completing projects. We know, whether it’s jogging in the morning, kicking dirt all afternoon, or climbing in the evening, La Sportiva has contributed to our overall happiness and success on the road.

Nik Berry - The Prophet

Nik Berry - The Prophet

Monday, July 1, 2013
86 degrees in May!?  I think to myself.  Should I just turn around and go to Rifle where I can belay from my driver’s seat, never be 10 feet away from a cooler of cold microbrew, and hang out with a plethora of great friends?  Well why not check out Yosemite and I can at least figure out some routes I would like to do in the fall.

Paige Claassen - To Bolt or Not To Be

Paige Claassen - To Bolt or Not To Be

Monday, April 15, 2013
Staring up at the blank face, I wondered how I’d ever remember each precise movement. There wasn’t much room for error, and no place to recover if I wasted energy, so I needed to execute each move perfectly. I tried reading the route from the ground, but an endless pathway of tiny chalk marks up a featureless wall left no distinguishing features for reference. I tried video taping other people on the route, but the footage just looked like they weren’t actually grabbing holds.

Alex Honnold - What a Day!

Alex Honnold - What a Day!

Monday, April 1, 2013
On March 14th I free soloed three classic routes in Zion in a 12 hour day. It was the hardest free soloing effort I’ve put in...

Tommy Caldwell - Sport Climbing is Neither

Tommy Caldwell - Sport Climbing is Neither

Thursday, March 14, 2013
The old school thought bolts were a desecration of rock, a show of weakness.  Climbing should be dangerous. If you are climbing above a bolt you are one of those spandex wearing, sport climbing pussies. And you shouldn’t have the right to call yourself a climber. “Sport climbing is neither,” they would say.

Paige Claassen - How to Do Spain

Paige Claassen - How to Do Spain

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Spain. When traveling outside the US, Europe is a safe and common option.  You can rent a car, many people speak English, and you’ll likely recognize what’s served on your plate. Yet it still isn’t easy. Traveling of any kind requires flexibility and a bit of research before you go. Here are a few tips I’ve learned over my past few trips to Spain that minimize traveling frustration and maximize the time I have to enjoy my trip.

Joe Kinder - The Plush Life in Spain

Joe Kinder - The Plush Life in Spain

Saturday, December 15, 2012
Back again!  We are back in one of our favorite places to climb and it feels great.  I think I fell in love with Cataluña the first time I visited Siurana about 10 years ago.  It was during one of my early European trips with Dave Graham and we were overtaken by the climbing and the whole ambiance.

Mark Smiley - Worst Route in the World?

Mark Smiley - Worst Route in the World?

Monday, November 5, 2012
"Well…at least after climbing the Wishbone, every other route we climb the rest of our lives will be better." Silence. "Just think, we are going to climb the worst route in Canada, and maybe the world. The worst! That's kinda worthy right?" More silence.

Alex Honnold - Soloing the Monkey Finger

Alex Honnold - Soloing the Monkey Finger

Monday, April 30, 2012

I'd thought about onsight soloing it for a long time, basically since 2008 when I soloed Moonlight Buttress. It seemed to represent an ideal challenge - a secure style of climbing, difficult but not really cutting edge, and a manageable size - something I could get my head around.


Paul Robinson - Sweden

Paul Robinson - Sweden

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I've been invited here to Stockholm, Sweden to compete in the La Sportiva Legends Invitational Bouldering Competition to be held at Klattercentrat in the city of Stockholm.  I had previously heard about the climbing potential around Stockholm and decided to book my ticket so that I could spend a couple of days bouldering outside before the main event.

Loren Rausch - The Classics

Loren Rausch - The Classics

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I realized after introspection gained from visiting the various climbing areas is that the routes I remembered the most weren’t the hardest.  They were the moderate, long, and exposed routes that brought me directly to a beautiful summit.   Here is a list of three of the most enjoyable and classic routes I have done, where the lack of hard grades puts me at ease and I can just climb for the pure joy of it.

Daniel Woods - New Areas

Daniel Woods - New Areas

Thursday, September 1, 2011
Over the last few years I have focused on establishing my own lines. The thrill of figuring out new moves on fresh rock is priceless. Knowing that you can be the first person to complete the line is very motivating.

Paul Robinson - South Africa

Paul Robinson - South Africa

Monday, August 22, 2011

I always was under the assumption that climbing first ascents was harder than doing a repeat, but little did I know how much harder it truly was.

Matt McCormick - Pakistan

Matt McCormick - Pakistan

Thursday, August 11, 2011
Panic of suffocation hit me as I blindly batted away the frosted nylon of our bivy sack, sucking for oxygen. Having decided to bivy two thirds of the way up an unclimbed granite pillar in the Charakusa Valley of Pakistan, I was “warmly” squeezed between Pat and the granite wall on a ledge just wide enough for the two of us to lay sideways. Will lay curled up in his sleeping bag further down the ledge. It was only 11pm.

Adrian Ballinger - 24,000 Meters in Three Weeks

Adrian Ballinger - 24,000 Meters in Three Weeks

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On Lhotse's summit, on May 26, three of us jointly became what are believed to be the first climbers to summit three 8,000 meter peaks in three weeks...

Sean McColl - Comp. Perspective

Sean McColl - Comp. Perspective

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Finals iso didn't even open until 2 in the afternoon so we spent the morning in our hotel. I  woke up just after 9 to get the complementary breakfast and had a few hours to kill before  needing to get to the gym. I figured what better way to kill some time than to play video  games, so I broke out my laptop and played Starcraft II for a few hours.

Kate Rutherford - The Fitz

Kate Rutherford - The Fitz

Friday, April 15, 2011

After long flights, I arrived on the bus in all the sunny glory that is lusted after in El Chalten. We rolled in on the evening of January first. The other climbers and I were totally stressed, ogling the sunny peaks, knowing our partners were climbing. I had been checking the weather multiple times a day already, and knew I was totally blowing it, showing up right in the middle of a perfect window.

Kate Rutherford - Patagonia

Kate Rutherford - Patagonia

Friday, April 1, 2011

Here is what you need: Luck, a plane ticket to El Calafate, some pointy things, good boots, insulation, and really good wind protection. Some people even claim that you need a t-shirt for when it is so hot, you can climb Fitz Roy in your short sleeves: I have yet to see the day.

Because what you really need is good weather! This was my fourth season attempting to climb down there, and the first where the weather, stars, health and frosty mountains all conspired for real success.

Daniel Woods - Warpath

Daniel Woods - Warpath

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Warpath lies in Castle Rocks, Idaho beneath the infamous Comp Wall, which has many classic Tony Yaniro routes from back in the day. The scenery consists of big snow capped mountains in the background, with giant, egg-shaped, white granite boulders in the foreground. Surrounding these boulders is sand, pine trees, and cacti. This area resembles Bishop and Hueco all in one.

Matt Wilder - Gambling

Matt Wilder - Gambling

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The plan was to spend time in the Ticino region of Switzerland repeating classic boulder problems I’d seen in various videos. I was also hoping to potentially add a few new lines. As the days counted down to the start of the trip, I found myself obsessively checking the weather forecast for the region. A week before I was due to leave, the long-range forecast looked clear and I was psyched for a killer stretch of weather. Then things started to go wrong.

Lauren Lee - Desert Life

Lauren Lee - Desert Life

Saturday, January 1, 2011

On my first trip to the desert my senses were dull and oversaturated by the convoluted style of city life. It would take quite a bit of time and awareness to fully appreciate the wonders of Southwest Utah. Over the next decade I gradually came to understand this foreign environment in all its majesty and to eventually call it home. It calls to me, drawing me ever nearer to the roots of my existence and the quiet within.

Kate Rutherford - Perfect in BC

Kate Rutherford- Perfect in BC

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The weather was perfect. We landed on the glacier and the next morning we made a huge breakfast and packed for four days. We walked out on to the glacier. Mt. Tiedemann, 3838 m (12592 ft) one of the high peaks in British Columbia's Coast range. This became the object of Julia Niles and my desire a mere six days before standing before it.

Audrey Gariepy - Schooled

Audrey Gariepy - Schooled

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Jen Olsen, Ines Papert and myself recently returned from Nepal with cold toes and a C+ grade in Alpinism.

Eric Horst - Lifer

Eric Horst - Lifer

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Like the changing phases of the moon, everything in life waxes and wanes. While you will likely improve as a climber for many years to come, there will come a day when your physical skills begin to wane.

Loren Rausch - The Wolf's Head

Loren Rausch - The Wolf's Head

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The void drops away beneath me for hundreds of feet, the wind teases my balance.  I shift my weight onto a rounded knob, look back at the giant arc of rope between Bridget and myself, and laugh.  This is no epic, if fact it’s the antithesis of epic. 

Jacinda Hunter - Climbing

Jacinda Hunter - Climbing

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Every year my kids get older.  One begins kindergarten while another starts junior high.  Time has passed so quickly I wonder how I even came to the place where I am.  I wonder where I might be going.

Beth Rodden - The Birthday Party Wall

Beth Rodden - The Birthday Party Wall

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
As I untied from the Birthday Party Wall I felt exuberant. The familiar sense of adrenaline soothed my body. I had missed this; my body and mind had been void of this feeling for far too long. It had gotten to the point where I couldn't even remember what it was I was missing, I just knew I didn't feel whole.

Vasya Vorotnikov - The Injury

Vasya Vorotnikov - The Injury

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
... it’s always when you’re feeling the best that a seemingly insignificant nothing can exacerbate into a whole lot of something.  And so, by Murphy’s Law or not, my foot decided to blow up...

Bean Bowers - French Alps

Bean Bowers - French Alps

Monday, November 1, 2010
No elbowing our way through the teleferique line this morning. No cappuccino either, unless you count the packs of instant cappuccino from Nescafe we pump out on the bivy stove. It’s quiet and still, the glacier suspended in its own, slow time capsule in the frozen crust of spring’s early morning cold.

Alex Honnold - The Crucifix

Alex Honnold - The Crucifix

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I climbed the Crucifix in Yosemite Valley, CA for the first time in the spring of 2009 with my good friend Jon Gleason. Even before we'd climbed it, the idea of soling it had crossed my mind. It's a natural step up from Astroman or the Rostrum: about the same size but slightly harder and more physical.

Paige Claassen - 6 Weeks

Paige Claassen - 6 Weeks

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Most climbers would agree that the words “road trip” and “freedom” typically mean one in the same. I had never experienced the significance of this synonymous connection until I hit the road for six weeks on a trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Colin Haley - Interview

Colin Haley - Interview

Thursday, July 1, 2010

In North America, most of today’s climbing youth approach the mountains with a degree of respect that borders on trepidation – first spending the obligatory seasons in Yosemite and Indian Creek, learning to ice climb in Colorado or New Hampshire before venturing into serious alpine terrain.   Not so Colin Haley.

Beth Rodden - Interview

Beth Rodden - Interview

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hi, Beth! Thanks for sitting down with me today to talk about what’s been going on lately. It’s probably news to some people that you’ve been on the Injured List for a while. What happened?

Joe Kinder - Fully Equipped

Joe Kinder - Fully Equipped

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

We returned to our winter hub in Hurricane, Utah for the third year in a row. I was psyched to have bought a new drill over Christmas and could not wait to use it. Doors opened to new cliffs, new routes went up, and the area’s growth was added to. The most empowering and satisfying endeavor I have been a part of in the last year has been putting up

Daniel Woods - Interview

Daniel Woods - Interview

Thursday, April 1, 2010

You just put up one of the hardest if not the hardest boulder problem in the world! How long did it take to work it out?

Lauren Lee - Interview

Lauren Lee - Interview

Friday, January 1, 2010

I first saw Lauren Lee in a bouldering video on Climb-X Media when I started climbing in 2001. But it wasn’t until the summer of 2008, when we traveled for a month together in southern France for a Rock and Ice story on the Verdon Gorge—the grand canyon of Europe—that I got to see the other side of Lee outside of the limelight of the climbing “pro” media.

Sean McColl - Interview

Sean McColl - Interview

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

La Sportiva catches up with Pro Climbing Athlete Sean McColl to talk about the traveling climber's life and the World Cup circuit.

Paige Claassen - Outdoors!

Paige Claassen - Outdoors!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gazing up from the base of this playground, a beautiful, blue streaked, French slab of limestone, I wonder how I could ever have hated the feel of natural rock on my hands. I look back to the years I began climbing and see the gangly gym rat who spent hours training in the gym with her Dad, never to see her effort pay off on the cliff.

Jason Kehl - Beginner's Mind

Jason Kehl - Beginner's Mind

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Nobody wants to face the facts when it comes to an injury, but when I injured my knee last January in Hueco Tanks, Texas, I new I would be taking the entire spring season off. This is hard to take for anyone, let alone an athlete. We make a living with our bodies and in turn our bodies thrive off the activity. Coming to terms with that fact is only half the battle and not only will the body need mending, but the mind too.

Kate Rutherford - Namibia

Kate Rutherford - Namibia

Monday, June 1, 2009

Once you get off the airplane in Windhoek, going climbing in Namibia is easy; the people are friendly, the food great, and there is plenty of exploring and new routing to be done. Aside from the fact that your body will have atrophied by the time you get to the crag and your bags could be lost, Namibian granite is a perfect climbing destination.

Jon Glassberg - So ILL

Jon Glassberg - So ILL

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

When boulders seem to materialize out of farmland and prairie you know you’re not in Kansas anymore…  You have just entered into Southern Illinois...