Questions

Jun 28, 2013

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You are an inspiration, I have so many questions for you I don’t know where to begin. I will start with a little bit about myself, My name is Noah i am 23 years old, grew up in alaska and I basically love everything that is challenging and will give you that “I feel alive” feeling that so many adventure seekers are always after. I climb mountains, Rock climb, used to ride BMX professionally, Recently getting into high lining and grew up snowboarding. I’m also a Deputy Sheriff in Oregon for pretty much the same reason, gives me a thrill and makes me feel alive some days. Ive always wanted to learn to base jump and want to gather knowledge about how to get into doing that? I feel what you are doing in the perfect circle seems like such an amazing thing. Free soloing, feeling free but having that challenge then having that reward at the end of essentially flying away from something you just conquered.

A Perfect Circle from steph davis on Vimeo.

How did you get into Climbing?
What does your husband think of you free soloing?
How did you get into Base jumping?
How many jumps sky diving until you can do something like that?
How did you know that the climbing life was the way you should go?
I find myself often day dreaming of great adventures in far of lands like base jumping in Norway or climbing in china, I feel almost afraid to leave my job, buy a van and go climbing and travel and try to live the dream but then i look back on school loans that i cant default on. How did you do it? I look at sky diving prices to go and its 200$ a jump roughly, Then they say you need like 100+ jumps? maybe 1000 jumps? I don’t think I got that kind of money but I want to venture forth and live the life i want.

What kind of advice would you and your husband have for someone like me?

Anyway I thought I would message you and at the very least let you know that your video was motivating and inspiring and I dream of doing what you are doing every day. Climb safe!

and have a wonderful day!
Noah

Hi Noah,
This is a lot of questions, so here goes :
I started climbing when I was a freshman in college at University of Maryland. I was eating lunch outside the cafeteria one day with my mountain bike, and a guy asked me if I wanted to go rock climbing, which I had never heard of. I went to see what it was, and….
Mario understands and respects my free soloing. He sees it as really similar to the seemingly unimaginable (to me) base things he does–something I do in a respectful, cautious way when I feel the inspiration and because I know I am capable of it.
For both questions of how I started base jumping and how people can get into it, check out Learning to Fly.
After I started climbing, I stayed in school and got a master’s degree. I had scored really high on my GREs and LSATs, and I thought I should go to law school. I did that for 5 days, and decided it was time to follow climbing. I was on scholarships and fellowships through my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and I also worked as a teaching assistant through the master’s, so I actually earned a small stipend. I worked as a waitress to support myself while living on the road. Since I didn’t earn much money, I lived in my car instead of an apartment so I could afford essentials like food, gas and health insurance. Before I got support from sponsors, I bought everything I needed from thrift stores and got my gear secondhand at swaps or garage sales. I have always believed in staying out of debt and living below my means; for me this has been the recipe for a life of freedom.
Your first 7 skydives are extremely expensive through the training phase. After that, it costs anywhere from $13 to $27 a jump, depending on where you go. Although I did not do this, many people get a coach rating very quickly so they don’t have to pay for skydives when coaching someone else–and many skydivers get a tandem rating or work as a camera flyer to make a living in the sport (much like climbers living on the road).
Hope that helps!
Steph