Lynn Hill Reflects on a Lifetime in Climbing — And Still Crushes

Is Lynn Hill immortal? According to the climbing icon, her career has kept her ‘humble and playful.’

After years of attempts by the best in the world, Lynn Hill freed ‘The Nose’ of El Cap at 5.14a/b in 1993 — and then freed it in a day in 1994, when everybody assumed that the best climbers in the world were male. Later, she survived a 100-foot ground fall. Now in her 60s, she’s still as stoked as ever.

In “Full Circle,” Hill reflects on her life in climbing — deeply enough to tell us what she would say to herself as a young girl, ostracized for being a “tomboy.”

If there’s a chip on Hill’s shoulder, it’s rarely, if ever, seemed obvious. Patience and sublime technique are her calling cards, seemingly in both rock climbing and life. Nature, she says, is her medicine. In her evaluation, she’s come full circle and climbs for enjoyment — not performance — these days.

For most of us, “Full Circle” somewhat confounds that assertion. Watch Lynn Hill eat a techy 5.12d compression arete “for breakfast” and see whether or not you think she can still climb hard.

Runtime: 6 minutes

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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.

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