Jackie: So, Jackie, what do you do? What are you all about?
Jackie: Hi Jackie! I’m a rock climber, routesetter, and freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado.
Jackie: For those not familiar, what is a routesetter?
Jackie: Routesetters are people who put up holds in indoor climbing gyms. Indoor climbingholds are bits of polyurethane in all different shapes that you connect to a climbing wall with bolts or screws. Routesetters use these holds to design courses for people to climb. Tall courses that people climb with a rope for protection are called routes, and short courses where you don’t have a rope and don’t go very high are called boulder problems. I have set routes and boulder problems for several indoor climbing gyms and for major competitions like USAC Climbing Junior Nationals, Mammut Bouldering Championships and other adult level pro events, and the Spot Bouldering Series comps at my home gym, The Spot, in Boulder.
Jackie: Tell me how you got started climbing.
Jackie: I started rock climbing sixteen years ago in a gym in Reno, Nevada and outdoors in the wonderful granite formations around Lake Tahoe. Since then climbing has taken me across North America and Europe and even to China.
Jackie: For my first few years I competed in junior competitions and went to Austria as part of Team USA. When I aged out of juniors (around age 19) I turned my focus completely to outdoor climbing, but my friend Patrick was America’s best speed climber and we got invited to China as representatives for the US by the Chinese Mountaineering Association. We were treated like celebrities–taken to the Great Wall, museums, sports centers, and fancy banquets–and we met people from all over the world who we competed against in speed and difficulty events that more of exhibitions. The whole trip was 11 days and it was a really good time.
Jackie: What’s your normal climbing life like?
Jackie: My boyfriend Chris [pro boulderer Chris Schulte] and I spend a lot of time in the winter driving around the American West to world class bouldering areas like Bishop, California; Hueco Tanks, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Moab, Utah; Durango, Colorado; and Joe’s Valley, Utah. I am a guide in Hueco so in addition to climbing myself I help other people by taking them to the backcountry where you have to have a guide to go climbing. Hueco days are lots of flat hiking and lots of fun climbing in the sun.
Jackie: How about in the summer?
Jackie: In the summers we hike into the high alpine areas of Colorado–Mount Evans and Rocky Mountain National Park–where a day of bouldering often requires several miles of uphill hiking before you even get on the rocks. We get lots of visitors from around the world who stay at our house to visit all the alpine bouldering.
Jackie: All that uphill hiking sounds like hard work!
Jackie: It is! But it’s really rewarding to spend a full day outside climbing and hiking in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, even if you have to carry a lot of stuff to make it possible. You get some fantastic views and even though there are usually daily rain and hailstorms, they pass quickly and the rocks dry so you can climb more, and you are often rewarded with a rainbow or a beautiful sunset as well.
Jackie: I bet Vitalyte comes in handy with all that hiking and climbing.
Jackie: It does! We discovered Vitalyte in Las Vegas and after trying it once we were hooked. We liked how well it rehydrated us without leaving us feeling bogged down by too much sugar. The following summer we used Vitalyte in the alpine and were thrilled with how clean it felt to drink and how well it worked. We use Vitalyte for all our trips now, and I drink it at home when I’ve had a long work day and gotten behind on my hydration. We also share it with our visitors who often need help getting hydrated to get used to the higher altitude of Boulder and the even higher altitude of the bouldering areas.
Jackie: Do you work with any other companies?
Jackie: Yes! I represent La Sportiva for climbing shoes and Flashed Climbing for bouldering pads and other gear. I also work with Kilter Climbing Grips, which is a company that makes holds for climbing gyms. I am proud to add Vitalyte to this group of companies, as all are companies I work with because I believe they are the best in the business. Vitalyte is hands down my favorite sports drink I’ve ever used and I’m excited to share it with all my friends in the climbing community.
Jackie: Well, that about sums it up for now. Thanks for the interview, Jackie!
Jackie: No problem Jackie!