Lynn Hill, a California-raised rock climber, has lived a life of superlatives. In the 1990s Lynn Hill was not only the best female climber in the world but also the world’s best climber and arguably the world’s best woman athlete.
Lynn Hill Free Climbed The Nose in 1993
In 1993 Lynn Hill became the first person, man or woman, to free climb the 3,000-foot-high Nose of El Capitan, one of the world's classic big wall routes, leading every pitch from the base of El Cap to the summit slabs. Lynn's announcement to the world, a dig at all the men climbers who had tried the route, was, "It goes, boys!"
Hill Free Climbs Nose in a Day in 1994
The following year, 1994, Hill completed an all-free, 23-hour marathon ascent of the Nose, again leading every pitch. This remarkable feat, at the time the hardest big wall free climb in the world, presaged today’s difficult free routes on El Cap done by Tommy Caldwell, the Huber brothers, and others. She was also the first woman in the world to redpoint a 5.14 route when she climbed Masse Critique at Cimai, a limestone cliff in southern France.
Hill Continues to Define Boundaries of Women Climbers
This quote comes from Lynn’s 2002 autobiography Climbing Free, a wonderful and inspiring memoir of motivation, focus, achievement, friends, and climbing. Lynn Hill continues to still push the climbing envelope of the possible in her early fifties, balancing the demands of parenthood with that of being one of the world’s most prolific rock climbers.
“For me, climbing is a form of exploration that inspires me to confront my own inner nature within nature. It’s a means of experiencing a state of consciousness where there are no distractions or expectations. This intuitive state of being is what allows me to experience moments of true freedom and harmony.”
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