Steph Davis (b. 1973, USA)
There’s a poem by William Butler Yeats called ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem’. And he says ‘The best lack all conviction and the worst are filled with passionate intensity’, which is of course opposite of how things should be. And for me, climbing is about passion and intensity.
Casual Route 5.10, Long’s Peak Diamond, free solo ascent
I really like soloing. It’s good for me because I’m the type of person which rises to the occasion. If I’m climbing with a weak partner or no partner, I’ll do everything right on. I’m always thinking four steps ahead, completely focused.
Pervertical Sanctuary 5.10+ (or 5.11a), Peak Diamond, free solo ascent
Good finger locks, good foot locks, calm breathing. I felt how I wanted to feel. Solid, grateful, and totally in the moment.
Titanic ED 6+/A2, 90°, 1000m, Torre Egger, first one-day ascent of the mountain, with Dean Potter, first woman to summit Torre Egger
Dean and I went to Patagonia after a two year break from it. Together, we made the first one-day ascent of Torre Egger. We have both spent many seasons in Patagonia, both together and separately, with a lot of effort, success and heartbreak. To make this ascent together really meant a lot to us, as husband and wife and as climbing partners.
Salathé Wall, El Capitan, Yosemite, first free ascent by woman, 10th overall, 11 days spent on the wall on the final push
For me, that was a dream of a lifetime.
Free Rider, El Capitan, Yosemite, first female ascent, third woman to free-climb El Cap After sending the route free in April, she returned in late May to free the route in a day. She led 38-pitch route in 22:15.
Franco-Argentine Route, Fitz Roy, Patagonia, ascent with Philip Flaming
Red Pillar 5.10 A1, Aguja Mermoz, ascent, with Isaac Cortez. Became the first woman to ascend all seven major ridgeline summits of the Fitzroy massif.
The Epitaph 5.13b, 3 pitches, Tombstone, Utah, first free ascent, with Dean Potter. He led the crux second pitch – a 70-meter rope-stretcher – while Steph followed it free and let the final 5.12 pitch.
The Potter-Davis Route V 5.11 C1 WI4, north face of Poincenot, Patagonia, new route, alpine style, 25 hours (Cl 205)
All Quiet on the Eastern Front VI 5.13 A3, 1100m, Tahir Tower, Kondus Valley, new route and the first ascent of the mountain, with Dave Anderson, Jimmy Chin and Brady Robinson
Chouinard-Herbert V 5.11+, Sentinel, Yosemite, first free ascent, with Kenny Yaeger
The rock in funky, and the gear is weird. It’s a serious and weird climbing.
Zodiac, El Capitan, Yosemite, with Beth Cost, a paraplegic, who made the first female paraplegic ascent of the wall
Coyne Crack 5.11, Indian Creek, free solo ascent of the difficult, thin crack, she had climbed the route several times before and led it with three pieces of gear just prior to the solo
Soloing Coyne Crack was not pn the edge for me. I felt very much in my element, wheras I wouldn’t consider soloing some 5.10 friction route where it would be way out there. I have to be solid, a hundred percent.
Scarface 5.11c, Indian Creek, free solo ascent, she down-soloed it afterwards
Alien 5.12b, Rostrum, Yosemite, ascent in the third try, the crux is a huge roof with a crack through it
Alien was stiff. It’s really exposed and you are doing hard moves out this giant roof.
Regular Route, Half Dome, Yosemite, speed ascent, 3 hours and 54 minutes, with Dean Potter
Zen and the Art of Leadership VI 5.11 A4, Jushua Tower, Gibbs Fjord, Baffin Island, new route, with Russ Mitrovich, Brandon Kannier, 21 days spent on thewall, one day rapping, early on the route Davis on-sighted two runout 5.11 pitches on bad rock
The main reason I’m so fat is that I ate nothing but fat for three weeks while sitting in the portaledge.
Right French Coloir TD- 5.9, 60o ice mixed, 400m, Guillaumet, Fitz Roy Area, Argentine Patagonia, ascent, with Charlie Fowler
Shipton Spire, Inshallah (God Willing 5.12 A1), new route, with Kennan Harvey and Seth Saw
Crimson Cringe 5.12, Yosemite, on-sight ascent of the steep, classic Yosemite crack
Rubio y Azul, Torre da la Media Luna, Fitz Roy Area, Patagonia, ascent, with Charlie Fowler
Piola Route, El Mocho, Fitz Roy Area, Patagonia, ascent, with Charlie Fowler
Peak 3850, Ak-Su Valley, Kyrghystan, French Route (5.12a, 15 pitches), first free ascent, with Kennan Harvey, they placed two bolts on the 5.12a crux pitch
Russian Tower, Perestroika Crack, ascent
Peak 4520 (a.k.a. Peak 1000 Years of Russian Christianity), French Route V 5.12, rope solo ascent
Partly to prove something to myself, I soloed a 30 pitch rock route on a peak there, inventing my rope solo systems and spending a night on the route. For me, that was a really pivotal experience.
Obelisk IV 5.11, Long’s Peak Diamond, first all-female ascent, with Elaine Lee, seldom done off-width at 13,000+ feet
Ticks Are for Kids 5.13a/b, Indian Creek, first female ascent of Steve Hong’s 160-foot crack
I knew it was my last chance, since I was leaving for Patagonia. I knew my legs would be twice as big when I returned.