Climber Story: Cat Aivati

November 29, 2023 2 min read

Climber Story: Cat Aivati

To start, tell us a little bit about yourself

Hi! My name is Cat. I'm a 33 year old scientist and outdoor adventure enthusiast.

I have been climbing for roughly 8 years and became an adaptive climber in 2023 after being diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis).

How did you start climbing?

The first climbing gym I ever went to was just 10 minutes away from the university I received my PhD from. Several of my lab mates had recently gotten into climbing and encouraged me to try it out in between running experiments.

As a scientist, the problem solving, puzzle-like aspect of climbing was something that I took to right away. It was love at first (on)sight!

What impact has climbing had on your life?

Climbing has provided me with so much: a deep sense of community and belonging, lifelong friendships, meaningful dedication to fitness and a greater appreciation for the outdoors.

Climbing has given me challenging, yet exciting goals to work towards, incredible trips to look forward to and memories with friends and loved ones to look back on for the rest of my life.

Through climbing, I have become a stronger person, both physically and mentally. I have learned to be kinder to myself and have better positive self-talk while also practicing mindfulness and staying fully present during stressful moments. I have learned what it means to persevere in an athletic sense and how to celebrate my own climbing accomplishments, regardless of grade.

I am truly grateful for all of the lessons I’ve learned so far from climbing and can’t wait to see where else this amazing sport takes me.

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

I am an avid cyclist and am hoping to complete my first half-century (50 mile) bike ride by the end of 2023!

If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?

Be kind :)

Favorite thing about Dynamite Starfish?

All of the clever puns and artwork!

Is there something you're working on that you'd like to tell our community about? We love a good story.

I am a San Diego chapter lead for ParaCliffHangers! ParaCliffHangers is a non-profit organization that facilitates both indoor and outdoor adaptive rock climbing. PCH aims to foster community and equity to empower climbers with disabilities.

We currently hold several meetups each month and hope to continue growing our local adaptive community by holding these fun and exciting events.


You can find Cat on Instagram at @cataivati or check out ParaCliffHangers at @paracliffhangers.

Want to get to know more of the climbers in the amazing Dynamite Starfish community? Check out our archive of Climber Stories 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!

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