Latest Posts

monte brento

The Fear Chronicles 3

Nov 23, 2014

It’s almost overwhelming finding a place to start talking about fear, what it does to us and what we do with it. I’ve really appreciated reading the comments and ideas from everyone on these posts, and more than anything I just want to initiate a conversation because it’s so interesting hearing ideas. When I first started climbing, I felt enormously frustrated at being stopped from doing things by fear. Like many climbers, it drove me nuts that I could climb things on toprope that I couldn’t climb on lead with the threat of a lead fall. As a rock climber…

two cupcakes

Eternal Contract Cycle

Nov 15, 2014

Dear Ms. Davis, I am a journalism major at the University of New Hampshire and an avid climber. As a writing test for an internship I am applying for at Climbing Magazine, I am writing an article on Clif Bar’s recent decision to drop you and four other athletes from Team Clif Bar for participating in free-soloing, BASE jumping, and highlining. I was wondering if you could answer a few question for me to add to the piece. 1) How will Clif Bar’s decision affect you? The climbing community? 2) Free-soloing, BASE jumping, and Sky-Diving are major parts of your…

steph estes

The Fear Chronicles 2

Nov 12, 2014

I started climbing in 1991 when I was taken out toproping at Carderock by a friend I met at the University of Maryland. In the first few months of climbing, I had no idea there was any other way to climb. Remember, we didn’t have climbing gyms and the internet at that time. A year later, I was on a student exchange at Colorado State in Fort Collins, and I was riding my bike to Horsetooth Reservoir and going on trips with friends to Devils Tower, Sinks Canyon and Vedauwoo, so I was starting to see there was a lot…

backshot jeff ian

The Fear Chronicles 1

Nov 8, 2014

As you may know, I’ve been running crack climbing clinics in Moab and Indian Creek for the last 3 years now. When people register, I ask them what they are most interested in learning. Invariably, at least one person (and usually a few) says, “I want to learn how to deal with fear when climbing.” I also receive a lot of interview requests from people as diverse as Bulgarian climbing websites to airplane magazines to yoga studios to weed growing journals, and the one question everyone asks is: “You do a lot of scary things. How do you deal with…

octabin magic

October Crack Clinics

Oct 29, 2014

This season I held two Indian Creek crack clinics and one Moab women’s clinic: we were lucky to have perfect weather for all the events and incredibly fun groups of people! Thanks to everyone who attended, to my amazing team: Lisa Hathaway, Chris Kalous, Adeline Guay, Mary Harlan and Chris Hunter, and to the companies who continue to support these events: Evolv, prAna, Mammut, Metolius and Clif Bar. They were the best clinics yet, and I’m looking forward to the spring!


Jabra Rox Wireless Earphones

Oct 16, 2014

Jabra sent me these Rox wireless earphones to test drive and review, and I’ve been using them for several months now (I don’t like to rush into opinions about my gadgetry). These get an unequivocal thumbs up: I only wish my ishuffle was bluetooth compatible, but that’s an Apple complaint, not a Jabra one. I love these earphones because they are small, simple and very nicely built, and they also have great sound. There’s a tiny little magnetized cover on one of them that flips up when you need to plug it in to recharge: very fancy and clever The…

21 kyrgyz horsemen

Old Climber From USSR-Russia

Oct 15, 2014

Hi Steph, I’ve bought Kindle edition of your book ”High Infatuation”. To my surprise during the reading I had the feeling like I was talking with an intimate friend. I started climbing in 1979 in USSR and most of my climbs were in USSR mountains, including that Kyrgyzstan valley, which you described, and nearby valleys. So, I grown up in a pretty different society, but you are writing about the basic things, common to every human. At least climbing human. I’m reading “Learning to fly” now. Thank you for your books and good luck! Alex Telpov, Moscow Thank you Alex,…


More Backcountry Bathrooming for the Ladies

Oct 15, 2014

Hi Steph, I was just reading your Big Wall/Backcountry bathrooms blog post and I thought I should share my experience with a third bathroom issue we women have to deal with: the dreaded periods. I recently switched to using the Diva Cup after looking into more environmentally friendly alternatives to tampons and pads, and I must say that this has been the best idea for the outdoors! No more used tampons to carry out, no more risk of getting new tampons soaked. Simply take out the cup, dump the content, wipe with TP and re-insert. It can be washed with…


Dealing With Death

Oct 13, 2014

Dear Steph, My husband, Eric, and I began climbing in the North Cascades of Washington three years ago when we moved here from the east coast. Our lives revolved around climbing whether it be sport, trad, bouldering or ice. Our distinct passion though was alpinism and we spent countless weekends attempting (and usually tagging) summits in The Pacific Northwest… and then on September 6, as we were descending Le Petit Cheval, Eric was killed in a rappelling accident. We weren’t even on the rock route anymore… were going to rap down a steep section of the scramble path down because…


Oct 13, 2014

Hi Steph This is really just a thanks, one of a number that I have written to friends and others, all different for various reasons. For quite a while I had sort of lost my way with regards to how I felt about myself and how I looked after myself. One day back at the beginning of the year I fired up Twitter and after a very short time I stumbled across a video of a lady named Steph shared by prana. I guess I was touched by your openness and the passion you show in the way that you…