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Weekend Warm-Up: Flying with Steph Davis

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Photo: Steph Davis

Professional climber, BASE jumper and wingsuit pilot Steph Davis quit law school after one week to follow her passion for climbing.

Nearly three decades later, Davis has compiled an impressive CV that includes the first woman to solo 5.11, summit all the peaks of the Fitzroy Range in Patagonia, free climb the Salathe Wall on El Capitan, free solo The Diamond on Longs Peak in Colorado and climb Torre Egger.

Davis specializes in free soloing, where climbers use no ropes or other protective gear.

Steph Davis in action. Photo: Scott Rogers

In 2007, Davis became fascinated with skydiving and eventually adopted BASE jumping. She credits BASE jumping with helping her become “comfortable with falling, feeling afraid and responding to fear with deliberate action instead of hesitation.”

She married BASE jumper Mario Richard in 2011, and the pair started Moab Base Adventures, the first company to offer tandem BASE jumps from cliffs. Richard died while wingsuiting in the Italian Dolomites in 2013.

Later that year, she published Learning to Fly: An Uncommon Memoir of Human Flight, Unexpected Love, and One Amazing Dog, an account of her personal loss, her journey of recovery and how she overcame her fear of falling through BASE jumping and sky-diving.

Watch Steph Davis’ story and how she deals with fear in the short film below.

About the Author

Peter Winsor

Peter is a journalist, travel writer and photographer based on the Gold Coast, Australia.

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