Lynn Hill
At a little over 5 feet tall Lynn is a small woman, and in the male dominated world of rock climbing that's considered a disadvantage. Yet in 1993 she was the first person to climb the 3,500 foot vertical granite face of Yosemite Valley's El Capitan without the use of any artificial hand or foot holds. It set a new landmark for climbing difficulty that went unrepeated for 10 years, despite many attempts.

Climbing is Lynn's passion and she has pursued it competitively, professionally, and culturally. A frequent winner of international climbing competitions, the host of her own climbing camps, a media representative for the Patagonia equipment company, and mother.

I bumped into her once unexpectedly when I was rock climbing in the backwoods, and met her again for this interview outside of New Paltz, New York where she was giving a public lecture and slide show. She spoke to me about what it takes to be both realistic and idealistic.

Interview Excerpts
Read the full interview :
"There’s a million ways to make it work in this world, one route would be education through traditional means: college education, trade schools, self-taught. But you still have to provide a service that somebody’s willing to pay for. That’s what work is, and we get paid for providing a service or product…"

"I’m a curious person. That, I think, is a quality that’s necessary for education: if you’re not curious then you’re not interested, and if you’re not interested then you’re not going to learn. I got an education in biology so I could go into physical therapy — that was the original idea — or become a doctor. But I figured that doctors had to work too much…"

"When somebody is passionate about something they create their own reality. Your positive thoughts about whatever you do brings the opportunity, it attracts the opportunity. I wasn’t even conscious of that at the time but that’s what I believe now. You have more power than you’re aware of just by virtue of what you think. It’s an aura that you create…

"I took advantage of the opportunities that came my way, but they came my way because of who I am and what I was doing. I didn’t realize there was much value to these things; it’s really hard to quantify. In the end people seem to find inspiration in the fact that through determination and focus I have been able to do things that other people haven’t done…"


Lynn Hill, at Wikipedia
Lynn Hill, her LynnHillBlogs
Lynn Hill Climbs, Home Page

Copyright © 2010, Lincoln Stoller. All rights reserved.