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Climber Interview: Tia Stark

Written by Leslie Kim

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Posted on May 12 2020

Hey Dynamite Starfish community! We hope you're doing the best that you can right now. It seems like climbing is just around the corner and we're pretty stoked about being able to get out once it's safe!

Our interview today is with one of our favorite people to climb with or just to generally be around: Tia Stark! She self-identifies as one of the salty ones, and she's been climbing around Southern California for a long, long time. We love the energy she brings to the crag, as well as her famous chicken-shaped chalk bucket. If you recognize her from some of these photos, it might be because you've seen them in local climbing guide books throughout the years. Chances are: if you've climbed in Joshua Tree, you've probably climbed one of her dad's routes, too!

tia climbing
Photo by @eric_fallecker

To start, what are a few ways you identify yourself? (some examples: name, age, pronouns, type of work you do.) But really, anything you believe is important.

안녕! I’m Tia (she/her). I live in Los Angeles and am a doula, server, climbing instructor, and student!

How did you start climbing?

I started climbing around 30+ years ago. My Dad was a climber so I was kind of forced into it.

tia boulder @theolinder
Photo by @younglinder

What impact has climbing had on your life?

I have been climbing longer than I can honestly remember. I mean, I remember learning how to ride a bike, but not how to climb. It’s something I foresee as staying an active part of my life (hopefully) for the rest of it. I’ve learned so many life lessons from climbing and met so many wonderful people. The lessons I’ve learned from climbing transfer into how I view and exist in the world.

What are some other things you do that you find most fulfilling?

Being in birth work is something I feel very strongly about. Our current healthcare is broken and doesn’t support birthing people or their families. Providing education as well as emotional and physical support for those giving birth is something we should all have access to.

Also cooking. I love to cook and food nourishes more than the body.

tia climbing @theexperimentalphotographer
Photo by @the_experimental_photographer
If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
“There's only one rule that I know of, babies - God damn it, you've got to be kind.” Point for those of you who’ve read this book. But seriously, be kind, be bold, and laugh often.

Favorite thing about Dynamite Starfish?
That you’re a strong, independent individual who creates rad stuff! Also, that you spread good vibes into our climbing community.
high maintenance tia climbing
Photo by @benjamen.baron

Want to follow Tia's adventures? Follow her on IG at @starkincorporated

Tia is the co-creator of our "Salty" sticker. To get one, click the link below!


Salty — Weatherproof sticker. $3.50

Want to get to know more of the climbers in the amazing Dynamite Starfish community? Check out our archive of Climber Interviews here.

 We hope you have enjoyed these sneak peeks into climbers' lives. We're on a mission to share diverse stories about rock climbing. Let's push the boundaries of who we know as climbers. Let's use our energy and passion for the outdoors to love our environment and inspire one another.

Have someone you think we should feature? Send us a message and let us know!

Until next week!

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