This week's guest on the podcast is mountaineer, climber, and photographer Rebecca Ross who is on her way to the Republic of Georgia in less than a month.
She's been adventurous since early on but her climbing career started only in May 2017 shortly after completing a Basic Climbing Education Program offered through the Mazamas.
The skills and knowledge she’s gained over a short amount of time has led her to successfully obtain two international climbing grants: leading her first international expedition to the summit of Pico de Orizaba in December 2018, and another expedition planned in 2020 to summit three peaks in Mongolia.
Rebecca jumped right into leading climbs, which is really interesting and brings on a whole other set of issues and responsibilities. During preparation for the trip to Mexico she cut a team member and another left. Find out why in the episode. What struck me was how Rebecca knows how she wants to climb and sticks to that for safety and good team togetherness.
Big surprise we talk about equipment. She borrowed a backpack for Three Fingered Jack in Oregon but it was too big and had other fit issues. Her story reminded me of a hut to hut ski trip I did years ago with my husband and friends. One borrowed climbing skins last minute and didn't get a chance to test them out. They didn't work well and he ended up bailing days early. This all brings up something Rebecca emphasized was important to her. She takes lots of classes to keep upgrading her skills, increase her knowledge, and understand the equipment and tools. This can be particularly important for women who aren't always seen as knowledgeable in stores so can be steered in wrong directions.
Rebecca goes over some of the mundane parts of expeditions like planning, grant writing, and negotiating. It's all good stuff. She certainly has made a mark for herself in a short time by working smartly and pushing past her own fears (she's afraid of heights!) and standing up for herself.