May 3, 1980
Grew up in the flatlands of Davis, CA and have been residing in Estes Park, CO and Yosemite, CA for the past 5 years.
Marmot, La Sportiva, Petzl, Bluewater, Metolius, Powerbar, Oakley
Beth Rodden grew up in the suburban flatlands of Davis, CA; a far cry from where a future professional rock climber ‘should’ grow up. The second child to her family, all she wanted to be as a kid was just like her older brother, David. It wasn’t until the local climbing gym came to town that she really branched out on her own. She spent every extra minute she could at the Rocknasium, after school, on the weekends, and holidays. After an entire two months she started entering local competitions and eventually travelled nationally and internationally. Over then next four years, she earned four Junior National Titles, and one Adult National Title.
After dedicating so much time to competitions, she turned her focus to sport climbing, and traditional climbing. In 1998, she redpointed her first 5.14 in Smith Rock, OR, ‘To Bolt or Not to Be.’ It was there that she met the legendary Lynn Hill and was invited to travel to Madagscar with Lynn and a team to pioneer routes on virgin granite cliffs. Although she was a newby at traditional and wall climbing, Beth jumped at the opportunity to learn from such inspiring women.
After returning from Madagascar, she returned to the states and travelled straight to Yosemite Valley. She had her eye on climbing El Capitan and eventually trying to free climb it. Over the next eight years, along with Tommy Caldwell she went on to free climb three routes on El Cap, getting the first ascent of Lurking Fear and repeating the famous Nose route.
Eventually Beth fell so in love with Yosemite, she made it her home, and continues to enjoy the wall climbing and short routes, along with the extensive bouldering. The past few years she focused on one pitch traditional routes in Yosemite, repeating classics such as The Phoenix (5.13a), Cosmic Debris (5.13b), and Book of Hate (5.13d). Recently, she established her hardest climb to date, Meltdown (5.14) which took her four months of work.
With a handful of 5.14’s under her belt, two of which were first ascents (Meltdown and the Optimist) and several El Cap free ascents, Beth is one of the most well rounded and accomplished female climbers in the world. She continues to live in Yosemite during the best climbing seasons and enjoys traveling the world the rest of the time. She has been a member of the elite Marmot Athlete team since 2002 and continues to work closely with the company for product development and slideshows and clinics. Beth has learned that the future is never certain, but she knows that she will always climb, no matter what, and will always have a great love and respect for the mountains, where she truly feels at home.
Changes weekly, but whatever it is I eat it every day. My kicks lately have been pasta, burritos, and Trader Joe’s Oreos—not
Happily married for 3 and a half years, Only American to climb 5.14b (The Optimist—First Ascent), First woman to free climb 2 routes on El Capitan, Yosemite (Lurking Fear FFA, The Nose), Second Ascent of Country Boy 5.13d (trad climb), Climbed 4 5.14’s, almost built a house with Tommy—hopefully finished soon:)
She’s scared of spiders and falling. She loves television, especially HGTV. She likes to bake, when she has time, and feels that the use of margarine is a crime in baked goods. Always orders desert.
Read Name Droppings by Chris Kalous from the June 2008 Mountain Gazette.