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Why climbing mountains is easier than talking about them with Vikki Weldon

If you’re a regular reader you know that I love to watch inspirational videos when I run on my treadmill in the morning. It was recommended to me that I check out Vikki Weldon’s FEAT Canada speech on one such run and the second it was over I sent her an email to see if we could connect. You can check out her video here:

The thing I loved about her presentation was the fact that she was uncomfortable on the stage and not afraid to show it. Her forte was climbing rock faces of Morocco, not sharing her story in front of hundreds of people. Her true adventurous spirit didn’t stop her though and she took the stage to share her inspiring story with honesty and passion that was igniting. I’m so honored that I get to share her story with you!

Vikki grew up climbing in Calgary, AB at the Calgary Climbing Centre. Vikki is one of four children of a very active, outdoor, climbing family! She was heavily involved in competition climbing as a youth, and was a National Youth Champion in difficulty for 7 out of her 8 years competing. She was also a National Open Bouldering Champion for 3 years in that time as well.

 

Vikki now focuses on outdoor climbing and travelling. She is currently based out of Squamish, BC where she lives with her climbing obsessed boyfriend and their pretty husky, Tundra.

Snuggles with Tundra. Photo: Stacey Weldon

Snuggles with Tundra. Photo: Stacey Weldon

Jami, “What are your accolades and accomplishments? Go ahead, pat yourself on the back!”

Vikki, “I am predominantly a sport climber, and my proudest achievements include 3 5.14a redpoints, my most recent this fall in BC. I have also climbed 5.13 trad. Another proud accomplishment was my second ascent of Blue Jeans (5.13b), a 7 pitch sport climb in the Canadian Rockies in 2013”.
Jami, “What do you do when you’re not climbing?” 

Vikki, “I am a registered nurse specializing in pediatrics. It has been a very rewarding career that is challenging and fun, while at the same time flexible enough to allow me to dedicate myself to climbing.”

Starting up the successful attempt on Adder Crack (5.13 trad) in Squamish, BC. Photo: Andy Weldon

Starting up the successful attempt on Adder Crack (5.13 trad) in Squamish, BC. Photo: Andy Weldon

Jami, “Okay so tell us about Climbing! Tell me about some of your new accomplishments since your FEAT Talk where you put up your own climbing route in Morocco”

Vikki, “This time last year, I was just returning home from Morocco. It’s crazy to think that only a year has gone by, as I feel like I have done so much in that time. This past year, some of my proudest accomplishments have been climbing two 5.14a’s (one while in Spain, the other home on Canadian soil), as well as achieving a new level in traditional climbing. This past summer I redpointed a 5.13 crack climb called Adder Crack in Squamish. That was definitely a highlight.”

Hanging at the belay during an attempt on Blue Jeans (5.13b multi pitch) in the Canadian Rockies. Photo: Wiktor Skupinski

Hanging at the belay during an attempt on Blue Jeans (5.13b multi pitch) in the Canadian Rockies. Photo: Wiktor Skupinski

Jami, “What is scarier? A hard pitch or a FEAT Stage?”

Vikki, “Well, the FEAT stage was definitely intimidating, I’m not much of a crowd person. I’d take a hard pitch any day, even if it is scarier than standing up in front of a big crowd. Being outside, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life is my happy place.”

Bouldering with a fun crew in Bishop, CA. Photo: Stacey Weldon

Bouldering with a fun crew in Bishop, CA. Photo: Stacey Weldon

Jami, “What is your favorite inspirational quote?”

Vikki, “It’s a cheesy one, and definitely overused in the climbing world, but it always rings true for me. “The best climber in the world is the one having the most fun” – Alex Lowe”

Jami, “Can you tell us about a time that you were scared?”

Vikki, “Well I’m scared pretty much every time I go traditional climbing, but my confidence is growing more and more. This summer, I backed off a pitch while climbing in Washington Pass with my partner Tom. It was a corner pitch that was a bit wet and dirty, and in my mind, I had failed before I even started up the pitch. I made it half way up before fear paralyzed me and I had to come down for Tom to lead. Following him, I did the moves easily. I was frustrated with myself for giving up. Confidence and trust in yourself and your gear is an important lesson that I feel I am continually learning.”

Jami, “Who inspires you? Why?”

Vikki, “One climber that truly inspires me is Emily Harrington. She has a sport climbing background like myself, but she has branched out and become a very well rounded climber. She free climbed El Cap recently, and she has been on multiple mountaineering expeditions. I’m inspired by people like Emily who don’t limit themselves to just one genre of climbing. She wants to do it all, and she excels in so many areas. That is the type of climber that I strive to be.”

Los Humildes pa Casa (8b+/5.14a) in Oliana, Spain. 50m of tufa! Photo: Tara Reynvaan

Los Humildes pa Casa (8b+/5.14a) in Oliana, Spain. 50m of tufa! Photo: Tara Reynvaan

Jami, “One song that always makes you get up and dance…”

Vikki, “T. Swift’s “Shake It Off”. Always.”

Jami, “Can you finish this sentence, My favorite family adventure is:”

Vikki, “Anything outside. Skiing, climbing, hiking. Everyone in my family does it all, and we are a big family. The rare chances that we get to all get out together is so special (and a tad ridiculous).”

Jami – I LOVE families that go on adventures together. As they say, families that play together, stay together.

Jami, “Girl Guide Cookie Talk:  Do you like the chocolate or vanilla ones best?”

Vikki, “Chocolate. Always chocolate.”

Attempting Dinosaur Highway (5.14a) on Vancouver Island, one day before the send. Photo: Rich Wheater

‘Chain Reaction’ 5.12c in Smith Rocks, OR. Photo: Simon Wilson

 

 

If you want to check out one of the most inspiring Instagram accounts I’ve ever seen check out Instagram.com/vikkiweldon. It’s the best way to connect with Vikki and follow her through the mountains.

Thank you Vikki and I look forward to hearing about your next Morocco!

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Jami

I’m a Family Travel Writer based out of beautiful Vancouver, BC. Our family adventures take take us all over BC, Alberta and the Pacific Northwest. You'll regularly see us hiking, biking, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and camping our way around the province. Our passion is recreation and our mission is to explore and protect this beautiful earth of ours.

JamiWhy climbing mountains is easier than talking about them with Vikki Weldon

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