I come from the land of smog and eight lane highways, the GTA (greater Toronto area), and am the daughter of a dirt bike racing father and shopping mall loving mother. Not exactly a birthplace, nor lineage, one might expect a rock climber, let alone a mountain climber to come from. While my upbringing was devoid of mountains, it was packed full of passion and energy - I was raised to approach everything in life with zeal and 100% effort.
It wasn’t until that fateful year, Y2K, that I discovered rock climbing. During the first few years of learning to climb, I spent five days a week in a musty old grainery turned climbing gym in my hometown of Newmarket, Ontario. Training in the gym was everything - I mean, plastic holds were really all I knew. Finally, a summer into my climbing obsession I was introduced to real rock on the limestone bluffs of Lions Head, Ontario. The world opened up to me just a little bit more that day, and it didn’t take long for me to realize the GTA may be the financial centre of the country, but it certainly wasn’t the climbing centre!
I now call Squamish, BC home, where world-class granite is a bike ride away. Squamish allows me to indulge in all my climbing obsessions: sport climbing, traditional climbing, bouldering, and alpine climbing. When the rains settle in, we hole up in our small community bouldering cave, the Grand Wall Bouldering Co-op, for hours of finger tweaking training sessions.
Most may find Squamish winters to be intolerable, but with the winter rain comes metres and metres of snow in the nearby mountains. Skiing was not a part of my adventurous repertoire in Ontario, and it wasn’t until a few years after relocating to British Columbia that I first strapped the sticks to my feet and realized that skiing powder was the closest thing to taking an illicit drug I had ever done! I now spend my winters skiing powder in the backcountry terrain north of Pemberton, BC. I like skiing almost as much as climbing – and that’s saying a lot!
Why do I climb? I love the feeling of moving fluidly and with power, over rock. But, if I’m truly honest with myself, I really just like being stronger than the boys!