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Steph Davis is a rock climber, BASE jumper and wingsuit flyer from the United States. She is a top climber, specializing in free (no ropes) solo climbing the world’s most challenging peaks. Steph is a committed vegan.
In 2003, Steph became the second woman to free climb El Capitan in one day. In 2005, she became the only woman to free climb the classic Salathe Wall, on El Cap, and to climb Torre Egger, the most dangerous summit in Patagonia.
Steph has free soloed the Long’s Peak Diamond, in Colorado, a massive granite wall at over 4,000 meters. She has also free-soloed and BASE-jumped Castleton Tower, in Moab, Utah. In 2008, she climbed Concepcion, one of the hardest pure cracks in the world. She has climbed new routes in Pakistan, Kyrgyz, Baffin Island, Argentina, Italy, and Chile, and is the first U.S. woman to summit Fitzroy and all seven main peaks of that range in Patagonia.
She was raised around Columbia, Maryland, the daughter of an aerospace executive. She grew up playing piano from age three. In 1990, at the University of Maryland she first began her love with climbing.
While at Maryland, Steph spent summers at Devils Tower in Wyoming. She became an exchange student at Colorado State University to improve her climbing, and moved there to keep climbing as she graduated from Colorado State University with a master’s degree in literature. She started law school, but quit to move to Rifle, Colorado, to pursue climbing.
For the next seven years, she lived out of her vehicle, first in a car and later out of a pickup truck, driving to climbing areas, guiding, and working as a waitress. She found Long’s Peak in the Rocky Mountains and made 15 ascents in two summers.
She made Moab her home by “acquiring a storage unit and a library card” and got a sponsorship from the climbing shoe company Five Ten. Her sponsors are prAna, Mammut, Five Ten, Clif Bar, and MSR/Thermarest.
Steph spends summer and fall climbing in Yosemite or Moab, and the winter on alpine expeditions in the Andes. Her favorite spots include Yosemite, Indian Creek in Utah, the Dolomites in the Italian Alps, and in Colorado: the Diamond on Long’s Peak, Rifle, and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
Steph has authored the book High Infatuation: A Climber’s Guide to Love and Gravity. In High Infatuation, Davis writes on the universal themes of life, love, friendship, personal empowerment, and more, told through a career in climbing. The book follows the journey of this remarkable woman, and the readers learn what it means to live a truly adventurous life. She is also currently working on a second book called “Learning to Fly” about learning how to transcend fear, and discovering evolution and freedom through flight.
Davis has been profiled in publications including Outside, Men’s Journal, W Magazine, and Sports Illustrated.