Climber Story: Lindsey Mathewson

September 21, 2022 3 min read

Climber Story: Lindsey Mathewson - Dynamite Starfish

To start, tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Lindsey and like so many of you, I love to climb! Although I occasionally boulder, I spend most of my time sport, trad, and top rope climbing. In addition to hanging from cliffs on a regular basis, I also make art, much of it inspired by climbing and the mountains. I don’t really stick to one style or medium; I prefer to mix it up on a regular basis. One of odder things I’ve done over the years is to scrape dried paint off my palettes and arrange them to form mosaic-style paintings. Lately, however, I’ve been on more of a watercolor and ink kick which lends itself nicely to mountainscapes and rock formations!

How did you start climbing?

Like many people, some friends had checked out a local gym and invited me to join them one fall evening. It was terrifying...and thrilling...and I was instantly and completely hooked!

The following spring, I took a weekend course in building climbing anchors so I could top rope at our local crag, Devil’s Lake. I then got into sport climbing and eventually trad climbing. As I mentioned before, I do go bouldering on occasion as well, but my taste in boulders is…odd. I mostly seek out crack boulders and am so thankful that a handful of friends are as enthusiastic about them as I am!

What impact has climbing had on your life?

Climbing has had a huge impact on my life. To start, it influences my art every day. I love drawing and painting mountainscapes, rock formations, and my favorite crags! I’ve done art based on formations at Devil’s Lake, Red Rock, El Potrero Chico, and various mountain ranges. I do have a Red River Gorge piece in process but it has been slow going.

On a more serious note, climbing has also been good for my mental health and dealing with anxiety and stress in everyday life. Furthermore, it was the first thing that got me thinking less about my dress size and more about what my body can do and the cool places it can take me.

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

When I’m not climbing or making art I love hanging out with my husband and our cats and playing board games with friends! I’ve been a board game nerd since college and it’s such a fun way to spend a Friday night.

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

Sticking to climbing, I’d say this:

It can be easy to get fixated on grades and styles. Remember that regardless of your abilities or preferences, we are all climbers and we are all a part of the climbing community. Be welcoming to all, stay safe out there, and climb on, friends! 

Favorite thing about Dynamite Starfish?

All the punny artwork! I also love climbing puns and what others might call “bad dad jokes.” I prefer the term “trad dad jokes.” 

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

Yes actually! I co-organized an annual Midwest women’s climbing weekend called Beta Bust (@beta_bust_midwest) and that is coming up in a week and a half! Women and non-binary climbers from all over the Midwest get together for a weekend of camping and climbing. We also partner with a local guide service to offer clinics and guided climbing for those looking to advance their skills or try outdoor climbing for the first time.

Registration for this year closed, but it’s an annual event so follow along for updates for next year! Aside from very cheap camping and the optional guiding, it’s a free event. I’ve met some people who have become close friends at Beta Bust and I’m so thrilled to be a co-organizer so I can spread the word and help others have some of those great experiences too.

You can find Lindsey on Instagram at @lindsey.mathewson or on her website

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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