I started climbing in 2011, while I was pursuing exchange studies at University of Oregon. For the past three years, I have devoted most of my time to climbing or working to save up, so I can go climbing. My climbing partners have gradually become my family and my priorities in life have changed tremendously. Climbing has become a way of life. You can read all about it in my former blog Emmaamerikassa.
I am very fortunate for getting my education in climbing in Oregon. I am not kidding when I say an education. The University of Oregon offers a unique opportunity for the outdoor oriented: the Outdoor pursuits program. I took all the climbing classes in the program and spent every weekend at Smith rock practicing the skills I learned in class. I continued educating myself in Finland. I am in the process of becoming a Rock Climbing Instructor (UIAA).
For me, climbing has always been about doing what I thought is impossible for me. I climb because I love climbing. Not because I want to send or because I aim for the hardest grade. I love challenges. I love being scared. I love not knowing what is ahead of me. I love getting humbled by climbs. I love long, committing days on rock. I love the adventure. I love my dirty, smelly self after not showering for a week. Or a month.
I love the nights spent under the stars. I love wrapping my cold, numb fingers around a hot cup of coffee in the morning. I love living out of a car. I wish I had a bigger car. Oh well, I live out of other peoples’ cars. I love to make my climbing partners laugh. At me or with me, I don’t care, as long as people around me are having fun.
I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. I am blown away by the friendliness and hospitality of the people I have met along the way.
Every day spent outside doing what I love, with the people I love, is a win. I hope to inspire you to do the same!