For many professional climbers, the story goes something like this: born in Colorado to climber parents who had them rope up by age 5. But for Katie Lambert, the story is much different.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Katie grew up far from the world of rock climbing. She was introduced to nature and climbing at the age of 15, and very quickly knew that climbing was the way she wanted to spend her days.

However, living in the deep south meant that the rocks were too far away to climb with any consistency. She held on to her dream for many years despite the challenges of geography, and, against many odds, Katie found herself in Yosemite Valley in the summer of 2006 without any plans to leave.  


Related: Destination Guide: Yosemite Valley


Katie on Peace (5.13d) in Tuolumne Meadows:


After that fateful move to Yosemite, Katie quickly proved herself to be one of the sport’s most passionate climbers, and also one of the strongest. Within a few years, she bagged numerous first female ascents in the Sierra, many of which are 5.13 or harder. Because of her incredible strength, she started getting attention from climbing companies and eventually scored multiple sponsorships. Her dream of making climbing into a lifestyle had come true.


Although she calls the Sierra home, Katie now climbs all over the world. She also gives back to the climbing community with her youth-based nonprofit, Sacred Rok, an organization she created with Ron Kauk.


Related: Climber Spotlight: Lonnie Kauk


In her well-written, thoughtful, and down to earth blog, Katie explains how climbing has impacted her life:

I can honestly say that rock climbing has saved my life in many ways, because without it I don’t know where I would be. I hope to continue on this path of not only climbing these beautiful granite walls and boulders but also to keep letting these things shape me and my life.

Katie Lambert is a La Sportiva, Eddie Bauer, Mammut, ClifBar, and ClimbTech athlete. Thank you, Katie, for your inspiring dedication, persistence, and passion! Moja Gear wishes you the best of luck in 2015.