Lynn Hill

So, let me ask you this;

When was the last time a 47 year old woman kicked your ass at the climbing gym?  For me, that was yesterday.  I met Lynn at her adorable home in Boulder (she lives just a few blocks from the friends we are staying with).  She had a peanut butter and jam sandwich a glass of water and we went to the Spot for a bouldering session.   If you've never been to the spot, check it out, it's a nice hang, good problems, top out bouldering.  It's great for guys like me, because I often need heel hooks and jiggery pockery to get up a climb, so the 3D style boulders are right up my ally.


Our initial plan was to head out to Boulder Canyon or Eldorado, for some rope tricks, but the weather was looking a little off and I haven't been to the gym in years, so it was a nice treat for me.  After two hours of climbing, I felt like a soggy kleenex and Lynn kept on crushing it.  4 spot after 4 spot.  She is incredible and it's no wonder she is a legend of climbing and in life.  Of course she is genetically built for destroying stone, her 5'2 frame is light, and compact, and her muscle fibers twitch and roll under her skin.  But more than that, Lynn has a joyous nature about her, she is always confident and mentally tough which allows her to climb without a single negative vibration.  Even if she does fail, (which isn't very often) she giggles, thinks about what may have went wrong and attacks it for a second time with the same amount of positivity she did on her first try.  We can all learn something from this, she does not shed an ounce of control or emotional balance.  Climbing is fun, climbing is fun.  With each attempt she looks fresh and determined, and before I can take off my shoes, she's standing on top (AGAIN).  IN my 12 years of climbing experience, I still have not met a climber more naturally talented. Chris Sharma, Dave Graham whomever, we are all mere blips on the radar compared to this little giant and it is humbling and it is inspiring.  I have no doubt Lynn will continue climbing 5.14 into her 50's, and while most of us have given up because we are fat, crusty and angry (only to take up surfing and golfing and high risk rappeling) she'll still be out there, jogging from boulder to boulder, blowing off climbers half her age and doing things before you can get your damn shoes out of your back pack.  


  • Ken

    Yep, I’ve always thought of Lynn as a superb example of what climbing should be about.

    BTW, you’ve been writing some damn cool stuff lately.

  • Hey, easy there…high-risk rappelling takes considerable strength and fitness. Outrunning the cops, for example, demands both speed and mental fortitude.

    Just ask any Pennsylvanian.