CLIMB CULTURE CO-FOUNDER & HEAD OF DESIGN
Meet Caitie - the other half of the Climb Culture team. Upon finishing her Architectural degree in 2016, Caitie was looking to fill in her newfound time with a hobby. After a stint at trail running/hiking, Caitie found herself one night West End's Urban Climb - and that was that, she was hooked!
WHY DO YOU CLIMB?
Three reasons - Mental Health, Physical Health and the Experience.
What started as just a way to meet new people, soon turned into a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Putting myself through a particularly stressful university degree had left me with a severe case of burnout. Climbing provided me with a sense of focus, determination, self-control, strength and endurance. It allowed me to gain confidence in myself and my abilities. Getting into a "flow" state during my climb allowed me for the first time in years to focus on the moment, instead of what was rushing through my head. Without even realizing, my fitness reched an all-time high, I put on muscle and my general well being improved drastically.
The "experience" is probably the biggest driver for climbing. The whole experience, from being in amongst nature, to forming unique bonds with your fellow climbers, is just incredible. You get to see the world from literally new perspectives and tread in areas few get to go. This makes most climbers very protective of the environment. After all, no one wants to see the places they love disappear to pollution, mining or other negative human imposed circumstances.
3 PROUDEST CLIMBING ACHIEVEMENTS
1. Creating the Climb Like a Girl campaign and delivering $4500 of support to young women in Nepal.
2. Completing Bunny Bucket Buttress as my first ever multi-pitch.
3. Ticking "Chip-A-Hold-Away" (22), my first real project.
MOST MEMORABLE CLIMB
Bunny Bucket Buttress in the Blue Mountains. I know Corey (Co-Founder) has already claimed this as his own most memorable climb, but I'm calling it too for my own reasons. This climb was the hardest thing mentally that I have ever had to do. From the 160m rap-in to start, to quite literally being chased out by hail and lightening, BBB is a climb that I will never forget.
CURRENT PROJECT / GOAL
To work on my fears and be at peace with being in uncomfortable positions while climbing. Anyone that knows me will know of my love-hate relationship with exposure and lead-climbing. My fear is something that has held me back for years. However, there was a point where even top-roping proved all too difficult. My relationship and journey with fear is a slow one, but there's definitely progress at work.
BEST ADVICE TO NEW CLIMBERS
Don’t expect yourself to slay every day. In climbing, some days you'll crush, others you'll cry. However, that doesn’t mean that one bad day is the end of your climbing career. Keep on trying and keep on asking yourself to be in that uncomfortable space of fear. Before you know it, you’ll find that it isn’t so scary and it’s more thrilling than anything else.
Climb like a girl. Pee like a guy.
- Julie Haas