My name is Olga, I’m a 41 (turning 42 this December) year-old professional. My job involves a lot of zoom calls and writing (passive aggressive) emails.
How did you start climbing?
I moved to the United States on a work visa when I was 29, and about a year later someone I went to school with back in Russia invited me to the climbing gym!
I loved it immediately, but unfortunately I hung out with the wrong crowd (trad climbers eww!) and also was a bit too much into ultra running which wasn’t the best jump start for my current favorite climbing discipline — bouldering!
I juggled ultra running and climbing for about 10 years until I finished the race of my dreams in 2021 and realized that my dreams have always been somewhere else. I called it quits and have been living my real dream since then 😆
What impact has climbing had on your life?
Climbing has allowed me to meet people who inspire me and build a girls club I missed out on a lot when I was young. Being a skill sport, it allows me to keep getting better despite getting older.
Also, climbing helped me understand that seeing your friends achieving their goals is sometimes more satisfying than achieving your own. True story!
What are some other things you do that you find most fulfilling?
I don’t really do anything other than climbing 😁
If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
It you want to get better in climbing, quit ultra running. If you don’t ultra run, maybe start and then quit? (Kidding!)
Is there something you're working on that you'd like to tell our community about? We love a good story.
I’ve been working on a climb in Leavenworth since the fall of 2020. I planned it to be my first V7, but alas it’s fall of 2023 and I still haven’t done it.
I have been very open about trying it and failing on it again and again. I love meeting a complete stranger who somehow knows about the whole nosebleed drama and asks me how my last session went 😅
It is hard to be open and vulnerable, see friends and strangers doing it and moving on, or trying it, giving up and moving on, and here i am, always there, always under the same rock. It was very frustrating for the first couple years but now I feel curious every time when I go back.
What will go wrong this time? Will I do the mantle first try in iso, but won’t be able to do the reachy move to the arete? Or will I do the move to the arete consistently but will consistently fall of the mantle? Maybe I won’t even be able to start it this time...which has happened too!
I hope for some more dry days this year, because the saga has to live on!
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.