Climber Spotlight: Steph Davis

When it comes to female badassery in the realm of rock climbing, BASE jumping, and let’s be honest—life in general—few athletes shine brighter than the prolific Steph Davis.

With more climbing accomplishments and death-defying experiences under her belt than days in a year, Steph has consistently broken the conventional boundaries of climbing and inspired the community with her passion for high places. Steph was the second female to free climb Yosemite’s El Cap in a day (after no other than the legendary Lynn Hill) and the first female to free the Salathė Wall. She climbed Torre Egger in Patagonia with Dean Potter (also in a single day), and has free soloed the Diamond in Long’s Peak (four times), as well as the North Face of Castleton—with a BASE jump from the top thereafter. Not to mention her other international climbing expedition achievements in Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Baffin Island, Argentina, Italy, and Patagonia. These are just a few highlights from her impressive and vivacious career.

Steph on the Salathė Wall:

Steph free soloing:

As a current resident in the rock-endowed city of Moab, Utah—Steph has and continues to conquer its hardest crack climbs, while also pursuing her later-found love for BASE jumping.

 

Related: Climbing Destination Guide: Moab, Utah

 

She shares her wisdom and zeal for both endeavors through her business, Moab Base Adventures—wherein she guides and teaches BASE enthusiasts, as well as holds climbing clinics at Indian Creek.

I love high places, seeing the world from above. Living in wild places is what makes me feel most alive, the most myself. If I got to choose, I would be a bird.

Steph BASE climbing off of Moab towers:

Steph climbing and jumping off of the Tombstone in Moab:

And, when she’s not living in Moab, Steph lives simply in the comforts of her Honda Fit, her cabin in the outskirts of Indian Creek, or elsewhere in the world that she’s inspired to explore. But Steph Davis’ compelling nature spans beyond just her awe-inspiring adventures with climbing, base jumping, and wingsuit flying—she’s also challenged the perception of what an athlete’s diet should entail, by fully embracing a vegan lifestyle since 2003, only to reach even more impressive feats.

Steph also actively shared her life’s experiences and thoughts on simple living through her writing. We were especially inspired by these words shared on her blog, High Infatuation:

I’ve learned that climbing really is a metaphor for life in many ways. You have to do what feels right, what lights you up. Do your best always. Conserve. Never waste anything. You can only have what you can carry—choose it carefully, make it last, take care of it. Appreciate what you have for as long as you have it. Be ready to do without it. No matter what happens, deal with it. Adapt, instantly when necessary. Take care of yourself. Try to help. A lot of times you fail, sometimes you succeed.

Either way, you’re never the whole reason for it. It’s easy to confuse intense emotion with fear. Intensity is what you came for; don’t irrationally try to run away from it. You never know what’s going to happen, even in the next second. Every decision you’ve made was the best one you could have made at the time: remember that when bad things happen. Things will not stop changing. No matter what, the only thing you can count on is yourself.

Keep livin’ in the peaceful freedom of the sky Steph! Thanks for never ceasing to inspire us all!


Steph Davis is a professional climber, BASE jumper, and wingsuit flyer. Her sponsors include prAna, Clif Bar, Evolv, MSR, and Mammut. To learn more about Steph, explore her blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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