Sam first got into climbing when working for an organization called Kieve Wavus, where she would climb for free on their indoor climbing wall. She then found Evo in Portland, and started climbing outside with friends. Fun fact: her first climb was Thin Air up at Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire. She loves to rope climb, sport or trad, though trad scares her. She is quick to tell you that she doesn’t boulder, though I think that will change if we ever get to hang out!
A year and a half ago, Sam went to the New River Gorge in WV with a group of climbers from the local gym. She and two other women connected really well on the trip–Sam being in her 20’s, the second woman, Leah, being in her 30’s, and the third, Dolci, being in her 40’s. The trio called themselves the “Decade Sisters.” A year later, in a trip to Red River Gorge in Kentucky, the trio was joined with other women, expanding to the 50’s and 60’s as well. Sam not only had an awesome time, but found herself appreciating being surrounded and inspired by strong women of all ages and backgrounds. She values climbing for the community it brings, but also the friendships. Many of Sam’s friends are climbers, in fact a few of them call her Big Cam Sam (which is ironic because offwidth is her least favorite style of climbing)!
Sam found the LCC initially through an online raffle, by which she won a new helmet! She was psyched because she never wins raffles. She started following LCC on instagram. Fast forward a few months, Sam reconnected with LCC when co-founders Kelsey and Kristin were looking for ambassadors. She is stoked to be a part of the non-profit dedicated to getting women climbing. Her short term goal is to go to the Evo Strong Women’s Summit later this month, holding a booth and connecting with women of all backgrounds. Her long term goal is to climb with 19 different women in 2019! Pretty cool.
Her advice to new climbers? Climbing is supposed to be fun. It’s okay if you are not great. With practice and time, you’ll get get better; you’ll have fun; you’ll find community.