Climber Story: Courtney Schatz

April 06, 2022 3 min read

Climber Story: Courtney Schatz - Dynamite Starfish

To start, tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m Courtney, a climber from Ohio. I’m 26, but most days I feel like I’m still a kid. I spend a lot of time making climbing videos on my YouTube channel, court climbs.

How did you start climbing?

I started climbing when I lived in Southern California. I’d just graduated college and was having a really hard time finding a job. Not only that, but I had just moved to the area and I didn’t really know anyone there besides my husband. I went through a really bad time mentally.

I often felt that I didn’t have any sort of purpose and it would send me into a spiral. But then, a climbing gym opened up near our apartment and it became one of the major reasons to get up in the morning. At first, I mostly bouldered because I usually went without a partner, but over time I made a couple of friends and that really helped me feel a lot happier. A lot happier! 

What impact has climbing had on your life?

I’d been climbing about a year when my husband and I moved to Ohio for job related reasons. I remember when we moved here we had no idea what Ohio was like and joked that it could just be a “snowy corn field”. While there are plenty of snowy corn fields, we have also found an incredibly wonderful community of climbers here. I remember being amazed the first time I went climbing at the Mad River Gorge because I felt like I was in a fairytale world full of lush greenery. 

And then we took our first trip to the Red River Gorge and everything changed. It’s a six hour one way drive for us, but when weather is good we try to go down at least a couple of weekends a month. The Red is like no other place you have ever been. The best way to describe it is that it feels like it is it’s own universe, with its own rules about time, societal norms, and landscape.

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

I started making climbing videos for my YouTube channel in October 2020 in an attempt to remind people that there’s a lot of good in the world, and that there are cool people and places out there that they can be a part of if they want to. I love feeling of knowing that you’ve shown someone a piece or part of your world that was previously unknown to them and it’s made their life better somehow!

I also love to run, play guitar, write, play with my cats, and hug people. One of my favorite things is a baked good paired with coffee. I live for meaningful conversation and inside jokes that first started years ago and are still around.

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

Oh wow, what a great question. I think mostly “You matter, you are loved! The world can be a rough place but I’m glad you’re here, keep going, you’re doing your best and that’s great!”

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

I have a plan to climb 100 5.10as in the Red River Gorge and document it. I was inspired by Alex Johnson climbing 100 V10s. I live 6 hours from the Red, but I’m gonna try my best to climb there as much as possible and tick them off one by one.

You can find Courtney on Instagram at @courtliveshappy and on YouTube at Court Climbs.

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!

Until next time!

Dynamite Starfish
Dynamite Starfish

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