Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World
By Lynn Hill with Greg Child
Foreword by John Long. New York: W. W. Norton, 2002
“It has often been said that climbing can be a metaphor for life, but few books have given such thoughtful attention to the lessons each brings to the other as Climbing Free. Interwoven among the tales of Lynn Hill's better known accomplishments are many poignant stories of the diverse personalities, familiar and remote landscapes, and communities that influenced her growth as a climber and a person. It goes without saying that the influence went both ways.
There are plenty of anecdotes from the legendary climbs to satisfy one's taste for exciting crux moves as well, from pioneering traditional free ascents in California in the 70s; early 5.13 and 5.14 sport climbs in the East, Europe, and elsewhere (…)
What sets Climbing Free apart are the insights into the meaning of Lynn Hill's experience. She speaks from a unique vantage point, having achieved many goals that others deemed impossible for her, or at all. Along the way, she observes the extremes of human behavior, from the most supportive to the most selfish, lifelong bonds and recurring loss of friends to the mountains, life on the road, a home abroad, working truly-odd jobs for survival during the lean years, and the different challenges of a corporate climbing team.”
Bob Palais, „American Alpine Journal” 2003, p. 449
“Hill's life story is, in a sense, the history of climbing in America, and though she notes that she is a woman in a male-dominated sport, she doesn't belabor the point. The result is a wonderfully universal story, as perfectly balanced and strong as Hill is on the rock.”
Susan Fox Rogers, “Climbing” 2002, No 125, p. 120
“My intent has been to describe the experiences that have most shaped my life and love for climbing, writes Lynn Hill as she introduces her autobiography. In 13 chapters this is what Lynn Hill has succeeded in doing but... do I know anymore about her as a person than I did at the start? Maybe a selfish point of view but I finished this book feeling slightly empty and wanting more. We all know about Lynn's incredible climbing achievements and reading about these from her perspective was very interesting especially Chapters 11 and 12. But having read quite a few autobiographies in recent months, what comes across is a depth and private side to the person that is difficult to glean from magazine articles and interviews.
(…) In conclusion, some great writing and some inspiring pictures but I feel Lynn Hill has missed an opportunity to write a timeless classic. This book will be read by many but may not stand the test of time and excite and inspire future generations. Read and enjoy but don't expect too much.”
Lucy Creamer, “On The Edge” No 123, p. 65-66