At the International Mountain Summit 2014 I had the opportunity to have an interview with Steph Davis, US American Climber and BASE Jumper, one of the bright lights of female alpinism. At the IMS she gave an awe-inspiring talk about her life and her career. She was the first woman to climb Salathé Wall on El Capitan, free-soloed Castleton Tower North Face, Utah (probably first female free-solo in 5.11b), was the first woman to summit Torre Egger and the first American woman to summit Fitzroy, both in Patagonia. She published books which deal with problems she had to struggle with in her career such as overcoming fear in climbing and base-jumping as well as emotional set-backs like the death of her former partner. We talked about that and aspects of her strong personality as well as about media and literature.
At the IMS, you participated in a discussion about the role of media and publicity in alpinism and climbing. What role do discussions like those play in your own activities? Are you interested or rather far away from that?
Well, the media is how I make my living. And so I find it a very positive force. If I had a lot of money by myself I probably wouldn’t do anything with the media. But I don’t have, so it’s important in my job which is partly interacting, creating media, to create something, and to share. I think it’s a powerful force and you can either be like a victim and be afraid of it or you can try to learn and be a part of it and understand how to work with it. And as a climber the only value that you could be paid for is to create something or to give something back. So that’s why we need the media and we have to work with it and create things.
You also said you like social media, too, for creating community. Can you explain that? What do you mean by community? Continue reading