'I made this page to display some of my proudest moments over the years. I took these from the "news" section of my former website. These chronicles date back a pretty long way and some of the moments mentioned here, especially from the earlier years, can now be seen as the baby steps I have taken as I''ve improved my skills and strength as a climber. I know for sure, though that for every climbing achievement, I poured every ounce of my heart and soul into them. I can honestly say I could not have tried any harder than I did. I hope I have inspired some others to push themselves and to follow in my footsteps. I hope you will achieve your dreams as I have done mine. Thanks for reading! -- Lisa Rands
Lisa climbs The Mandala (v12)
Jan 18 2008, Bishop, California: Lisa climbed The Mandala (v12), becoming the first female to climb this line first done by Chris Sharma in 2000. The problem has gained almost mythical status as one of the most popular and most famous lines in the world, and for good reason: it is an extraordinary climb. Lisa was psyched to achieve this goal that she''s been aiming for since last season when she first started trying it. A torn bicep, weird weather conditions, a mystery illness, and a flim project revolving around her ascent of the super-highball This Side of Paradise (v10) kept her from success then, but this season, on just her third day of tries, she climbed the line at the third attempt, saying that moments before doing it, she felt strangely certain of success. She nailed the critical, and for her extremely long, first move to perfection, and powered through the rest of the sequence with precision, only hesitating for a second before turning the lip onto the icy summit.
Here''s a shot of Lisa on The Mandala from last season (clearly not the cold, crisp conditions enjoyed on the day she climbed it):
Lisa Wins Bouldering Regional
Jan 12 2008, Ventura, California: In a quest to qualify for the National Bouldering Championships, Lisa drove down to Ventura to compete in the ABS series regional at the gym there: Vertical Heaven. It was a fun event that was really well attended, especially in the mens field. Lisa beat out one of the stronger women competition climbers, Alex Puccio, to win the comp and was within a whisker of flashing all the finals problems (falling with her fingers touching the last hold of the last problem). Alex showed up out of the blue from Colorado to surprise Lisa. Of course, Alex was even more surprised to see Lisa there! All in all a great training session to prepare for the real projects outside!
Results: <a href="http://usaclimbing.net/rockcomps/comps/event_details.cfm?id=1574">http://usaclimbing.net/rockcomps/comps/event_details.cfm?id=1574</a>
Lisa Wins "Stone Fort" Bouldering Competition
December 1 2007, Chattanooga, Tennessee: Lisa flew in from California to compete in the third and final leg of the Triple Crown Bouldering Series, held at the Stone Fort (a.k.a. Little Rock City), near Chattanooga. This outstanding sandstone area provides one of the densest concentrations of world-class bouldering in the United States. It had been three years since Lisa last competed at the area, and having missed the previous two events held at Hound Ears and Horse Pens 40 she had no chance of winning the series title. Nevertheless, she was ready to test herself against the strongest local climbers on their home turf, get an amazing workout, and enjoy some incredible bouldering.
At this event climbers compete by climbing their best 10 problems among the 250 or so natural lines established at the area, and readily pre-practiced by those living in the vicinity! It may not be a "fair" competition, but it is a lot of fun, and a daunting test of skill for visiting "rock stars" such as Paul Robinson (this year''s men''s winner) and Tony Lamiche (who won the event last year).
Lisa felt good on the day and pulled off what she describes as one of her best days of climbing ever. She dispatched four v8s, five v9s and crushed the v10 Bedwetters on her second try. At the very end of the day Lisa fell on the last move of King Cobra, another v10 -- which ultimately escaped her that day. Lisa gained first ahead of the very talented and strong local Kate McGinnis who was the winner of the overall series.
Climbing Magazine Report: <a href="http://www.climbing.com/news/hotflashes/triplecrownstoneft07/">http://www.climbing.com/news/hotflashes/triplecrownstoneft07/</a>
More photos: <a href="http://www.triplecrownbouldering.org/gallerylrc07.htm">http://www.triplecrownbouldering.org/gallerylrc07.htm</a>
Lisa makes first ascents at Rocklands
July 2007, Rocklands, South Africa: Exploring previously undiscovered boulders is a dream to most climbers. In the Rocklands it was reality for Lisa and a team of ardent adventure-seekers from across the US. At two entirely new areas, Lisa climbed two beautiful arÍtes. The first -- a sit-start -- took her a while because of a long move at the top which she kept fluffing. When she finally stuck it the rest of the group had long since been referring to the line as Lisa''s Arete in her honor. See a photo of it in the On the Road section, Rocklands 2007. The second line at the New-New sector was a stunning leaning arete with super-burly moves over a pretty sketchy landing: Backbone (v10)
Lisa Rands on Backbone (v10, sit), New-New sector, Lorraine Farm, Rocklands
Lisa on TV!
July 28 2007, NBC: In a segment for the show Jeep World of Adventure Sports on the mainstream national television channel NBC, Lisa is featured climbing This Side of Paradise at the Buttermilks, Bardini Boulders -- see the news below. All the climbing footage, which includes a few problems at the Main Buttermilks area too, is really well shot by Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer. The interviews on the other hand aren''t so amazing. Funny that: maybe those guys should spend a bit more time indoors or in studios and less out at the rocks, ha ha! The best part of the show is undoubtedly Lisa''s ascent of the scary highball This Side of Paradise, shot in beautiful light. Another good laugh is watching me talking all kinds of crap while trying to look serious for the viewers -- how embarrassing! I am also shown doing a boulder problem by a ridiculous method just to make it look desperate for the camera. My only other bid for glory is a clip of me jumping off of This Side of Paradise in sheer terror, though if you are really perceptive you will also catch cameos by Chris Sharma and Ethan Pringle doing the same thing, so at least I was in good company! This is no doubt a piece geared to the casual observer, rather than climbers. For showing what women can climb when they put their minds to it, it is pretty good.
Here''s the blurb from Jeep: Check the schedule here
You can view a web version of this show (in two parts) at the link here:
Lisa climbs Super-highball This Side of Paradise (v10)
January 24, 2007. Bishop, California: Lisa made the first female (and fourth overall) ascent of the stunning Bishop testpiece This Side of Paradise (v10), at the Bardini Boulders, first climbed only a little over a year ago by Matt Wilder. This line (aka The Bardini Arete) gained a reputation as one of the greatest lines in Bishop long before it was finally climbed, and certainly remains one of the boldest and most sustained. The crux, a huge move to a pinch just below the lip, comes with the feet about 20 feet up. Being short, Lisa had to pull her weight up onto her left foot, perched on a knob, high on the steeply overhanging arete, and make an enormous lock-off to the pinch from a very bad right-hand crimp. Above the pinch came a pair of crimps and a moment of contemplation before the mental crux, a bold and punchy dyno to a good jug. But it was still not over, as Lisa needed a steady nerve to gain the slab (photo below).
Lisa before the final hard move of This side of Paradise (v10)
Lisa Rands featured in Dosage IV DVD
December 2006: The latest DVD from Big Up Productions (<a href="http://www.bigupproductions.com">www.bigupproductions.com</a>) features Lisa making her groundbreaking ascent of Gaia (E8) at Black Rocks on the gritstone of England. This excellent DVD includes must-see footage of top climbers Chris Sharma, Dave Graham, Tommy Caldwell, and others climbing the most amazing lines around the world. Lisa''s segment is a gripping account of her battle with nerves as she attempts Gaia. It splices the shocking scene from Hard Grit (a film by Mark Turnbull and Richard Heap) in which a climber takes a death-defying fall from the route, with footage of Lisa''s ascent.
Lisa makes first ascent of Pinotage (v10)
July 2006, Rocklands, South Africa: It''s a rare thing for Lisa to find a first ascent of any boulder problem, but one as beautiful as Pinotage is truly extraordinary. When she and her household of climbers found this area, The Sassies, in Rocklands, they knew they had discovered gold. First ascents were made left and right and Lisa waited for cold conditions to attempt this stunning sit-start she named Pinotage in honor of a local wine grape. What a line! Perfect crimps lead to a huge move past a sloper to a diagonal crack.
Wills Young on Pinotage (v10), Sassies, Rocklands
Extreme Grit! Gaia -- Second E8 for Lisa
April 16 2006: E is for extreme and Gaia''s E8 grade has never been in doubt. This sweet, enticing line tackles a shallow groove in a free-standing 50-foot tall prow at Black Rocks, England. It was made famous in a sequence from Hard Grit, a film by Richard Heap and Mark Turnbull, which opens to Jean-Minh Trinh-Thieu (a top French climber) taking a harrowing fall from the climb''s precarious upper section, breaking his leg.
The do-or-die section comes near the top, where a mistake crossing a tenuous section of sloping holds, climbed on pure friction, carries the risk of hitting the ground from 40 feet, or swinging into the lower arete. Lisa waited for appropriate conditions to make the ascent--a week of amped-up nights, as weather changed from rain to snow to sun and back again.
"When you reach the top you get this crazy adrenaline rush and excitement that you don''t get when you do something 100 percent safe," she says. This was Lisa''s second E8 after End of the Affair. She is the only woman to have climbed a route this grade.
Lisa reaches for the sloper on Gaia (E8). Photo: Josh Lowell
Lisa cranks v10s in Fontainebleau
March 2006: There were frustrating conditions in Fontainebleau, France, as is typical of the area, but Lisa was able to make a rare female ascent of some spectacular lines. One of these was Haute Tension, (v10) a beautiful tall wall at Cuvier Rempart, with the crux up high, and Megalithe (v10) at Rocher Greau, near Nemours, a pretty frightening highball arete that takes a steady head. She climbed both ground-up. See the report of her trip to Fontainebleau in the On The Road section of this website.
Megalithe (v10), Rocher Greau, Fontainebleau, France
Lisa boulders So High and Planet X
Feb 2006, Joshua Tree: In a weekend at the end of February, Lisa Rands pulled off two amazing female firsts: So High and Planet X. She climbed the impressive and awe-inspiring So High ground-up, bouldering it out above a couple of bouldering pads. So High is one of the most famous ultra-highball problems in the United States and had never before seen a female ascent (as far as we know). Planet X is another outrageous and famous highball that demanded a huge dyno way off the deck. Obviously a good weekend for Lisa!
So High -- note the spotter, low right. Photo Tim Kemple
Planet X. Photo: Tim Kemple
Lisa free-climbs St. Exupery Spire, Patagonia
December 2005: On Christmas day, Lisa Rands and Wills Young made a fast all-free ascent of Saint Exupery Spire, in the Fitzroy Range of Patagonia, via the excellent 2800-feet long 22-pitch rock route Clara de Luna (VI, 5.11). Lisa led the crux pitches, and the pair simul-climbed the entire line in around 6 hours. This may well be the first free ascent of the popular Clara de Luna by a woman. From the Polakos bivi site on the Torre Glacier, the climb sits atop a 3 hour, 3000-vertical-feet approach. For more info about Lisa''s Patagonia trip, see the On The Road section of this website.
Lisa at the summit of St. Exupery, Patagonia. Photo: Wills Young. Sports Illustrated interviews Lisa
July 2005: No it''s not the swimsuit edition! In their July 27 2005 "Bonus Adventure" section, Sports Illustrated, the world''s best-selling sports magazine, ran an amusing interview with Lisa. Click the image to see the close-up.
Lisa triumphs at Petzl Roc Trip, Squamish
June 24-26 2005: Petzl''s set-up for the "invitational" event was a relatively informal competition between top athletes including such stars as Lynn Hill, Liv Sansoz, and accomplished local Thomasina Pidgeon (a.k.a. the climber formerly known as Darlene). At the end of the day, Lisa made an inspired send of the striking highball testpiece, Ride the Lightning (V8), which she climbed from the low start, putting her win beyond contention. She also climbed the second female ascent of No Troublems. For more details see: <a href="http://www.petzl.com">www.petzl.com</a> and <a href="http://www.climbing.com">www.climbing.com</a>
Lisa Rands climbs Ride The Lightning (V8, highball). Photo by Luke Laeser, Climbing Magazine.
Lisa climbs Shine On (E7), at Stanage Edge, England
Sunday, May 15, 2005 - With her ascent of the powerful and bold Shine On, her third E7/8, Lisa continues to push female climbing and change the image of what is possible for a woman in the sport. That such an ascent is about total confidence is a given for any line of this grade, but in this case -- an overhang with big moves off small crimps and sloping pockets -- it is also about strength and dynamic power.
Being short means Lisa has to make a huge move around the lip, and she had to call on her bouldering muscle to complete the sequence. While it is not such an airy undertaking as The End of the Affair or other famous "death routes" on the grit, it is in every way a mini-classic. Call it an ultra-bold super-highball, or the world''s shortest super-route, Shine On is a gem in the Stanage crown.
Lisa top-roped the line before soloing it.
Lisa''s climbing recognized with "Golden Piton" award from Climbing Magazine
January 2005: "An eerie flash of brilliance from a cultish discipline shunned by most women, was Lisa Rands'' ascent of The End of the Affair at Curbar edge, one of British gritstone''s classic E8s" ― Climbing Magazine.
The introduction states: "Each January, Climbing reviews the performances of the year: who was bold or strong, what was off-the-map wild, which "last great problems" finally went down … and choose the dozen or so absolute best efforts of the year."
Lisa received the Golden Piton Award from Climbing Magazine
Lisa was also recognized for both her bouldering prowess and her ascents on "the grit" in Rock & Ice magazine''s "People of Climbing" issue. First, she is mentioned in the section "10 American Women Climbers (who burn off the guys)" including a mistaken reference to an ascent of Sectioned at Wimberry ― an ascent she hasn''t (yet …) done. Hey, I guess once you have the reputation, and you''ve looked at a line, some people just assume you''ve done it! Then, in a separate section titled "The Bold," is another paragraph about Lisa: "The only female to make this list, Lisa Rands has shown that you don''t need cajones (aka testosterone-induced stupidity) to go big," this time correctly referencing her true achievements. Click the Rock & Ice image in the press clips section.
Lisa is Triple Crown Series Champion 2004
Saturday December 4 2004: Lisa won the Little Rock City bouldering competition at the diverse and extensive bouldering area not far from Chattanooga, Tennessee. On a long-awaited blue-sky southern winter day, a crowd of hundreds of competitors were shuttled from downtown Chattanooga to Little Rock City for this, the final round of the Triple Crown Bouldering Series. The day began crisply with fine temps, perfect for pulling on this fantastically featured sandstone, and turned almost balmy by the afternoon. Lisa climbed strongly to create a giant margin of victory in this three-part series.
Lisa wins Horse Pens 40 bouldering competition:
Saturday November 6 2004 -- Lisa won the HP40 bouldering competition at the amazing Fontainebleau-esque bouldering playground near Steele Alabama. On a perfect warm sunny day there was a huge crowd of climbers for the event which had a festival atmosphere. Lisa made short work of two V9s, Slider and Ghetto Superstar, plus a slew of V8s such as the awkward and powerful Law Dog and the slopey Consumption to give her a big margin of victory.
Lisa makes history with gritstone E8:
Monday October 11, 2004 -- Lisa led the stunning arête The End of the Affair (E8 6c) at Curbar Edge, England, to become the first woman ever to lead a traditional E8 at Britain''s most popular climbing playground The Peak District (and perhaps anywhere). The route was first climbed by gritstone aficionado and technical master Johnny Dawes back in 1986, and marked the end of his most prolific streak of death-defying ascents. For shorter climbers, the holdless rounded arête with its huge reaches presents a truly mind-bending proposition. Due to its awesome appearance, The End of the Affair soon became the most sought-after hard-grit line in the Peak and has remained, along with another Dawes testpiece Gaia, probably the most popular line of its grade (if you can call an E8 popular!).
Lisa wins competition at Hound Ears:
Saturday October 2, 2004 -- Lisa won the Hound Ears bouldering competition at this outstanding bouldering area near Boone, North Carolina. It was a beautiful early fall day with the leaves just beginning to turn color. A sprinkle of rain in the early afternoon wet some of the topouts and dampened scorebooks for a short while, slowing the accumulation of points, but as the skies brightened toward evening, conditions became better and better and it turned out to be another fantastic event. This was the third time Lisa has competed at Hound Ears, and it was her third win. The competition was the first of the "Triple Crown" series. See <a href="http://www.triplecrownbouldering.org">www.triplecrownbouldering.org</a> for more information.
Lisa climbs V10 in two tries:
June 2004 -- Invited by climbing equipment manufacturer Petzl to attend the Petzl Roc Trip in Targasonne, France, Lisa showed up fit for the April 29-31 event that drew around 500 climbers. She had a great few days at this beautiful bouldering area high in the Pyrenees and made fast ascents of numerous area testpieces. On the Saturday of the big gathering, she inspired everyone by climbing Tony Lamiche''s beautiful, tall V10, Absinthe, in just two tries before a huge crowd of onlookers, many shooting photos or videotaping the ascent. She had already climbed one V9, a V8, and flashed a V7 that day. Then, later, she made short work of another V10 -- making two V10s in the same afternoon (neither of which she had tried before). Among the many problems she dispatched fast at Targasonne was the Baleine Boulder''s classic sloper testpiece Magic Instant (V9), which she powered up in just two attempts.
"Granite''s my favorite type of rock. I really enjoyed this area," says Lisa. "I feel like I was robbed of my bouldering season earlier this year because of my knee injury, so I was really motivated to get fit for this trip. What a treat to get there and find such amazing granite boulders all over the place!"
April 2004 -- Lisa wins 2004 Phoenix BoulderBlast!
On April 25 Lisa pulled off her third consecutive victory at the world''s largest outdoor climbing competition, held in the Queen Creek bouldering area near Phoenix, Arizona. Several hundred climbers competed and several hundred more showed up just for the party.
Only half an hour into the contest, Lisa split her index finger deeply when she caught it on a sharp edge as she jumped down from a move. "I was feeling really strong, but I split my finger so bad that I was struggling to climb," says Lisa. "Even though I ended up with about half my last years'' scores, I felt like I put in about twice as much effort!"
"The one good thing about that day was that Gina was mixing great margaritas at the Voodoo booth. … I think I''ll be taking a few days off now."
On Sunday, September 21 -- Lisa climbs White Lines, on Curbar Edge:
Curbar is one of the major grit edges on the east of the Peak, not far from Sheffield. White Lines (E7 6b/c) was first done by Johnny Dawes and has extremely thin climbing up an unprotected near-vertical wall culminating in a precarious high-step, using a tiny, embedded one-finger crystal for support with the right hand. This 30-foot wall is followed by a rest and gear at a horizontal break, then some slopey moves around an overlap and a bold and exposed finish over a four-foot overhang protected by micro-cams of doubtful worth. The route is on immaculate rock with great positions.
Lisa is only the second woman to do an E7 on grit, and the first to do one in nearly 10 years (Airlie Anderson "headpointed" Master''s Edge in 1994). Lisa headpointed White Lines in traditional "hard grit" style -- leading it after top-rope practice. Because she''d done the route first on top-rope, she opted not to use crash pads for the lead ascent.
What Lisa says: "On Saturday, I top-roped it three times and was ready to go for it, but it started raining. On Sunday, the weather was really sunny and humid and conditions were terrible because the wall is sheltered from the wind. When I top-roped it, it felt desperate. I felt like I could fall off every move. We had waited all afternoon for conditions to get better. I looked around and saw my friends sitting there watching. The sun was about to set. . I thought, ''It might rain all of next week: I should go for it now!''
When I led it, conditions still felt really bad, but once you reach a point on the climb, you''re not going to reverse it, so you just keep going. I focused as hard as I could and tried to use perfect technique for every move. During the crux I never looked down, other than to see my feet. Once I got through the initial boulder problem, I really focused on relaxing. I placed the last bit of gear and convinced myself it would hold if I fell. Then I stayed as relaxed as I could pulling over the top roof, and felt very solid.
It is a really good feeling when it all clicks and you just climb and feel more solid than you do on a top-rope. It''s a game of learning to control your own fears and put your mind in a relaxed place, even though you know there is the potential to get hurt. It was very rewarding because I felt that I put so much mental energy into it. I didn''t feel disappointed. The climbing definitely didn''t feel easy."
April 26 2003: Lisa pulled down strongly again at the world''s biggest and wildest outdoor climbing competition, the internationally renowned Phoenix Bouldering Contest. There was a new format this year in which only FIVE problems (down from eight last year) were scored from a list of just 14 alternatives (an attempt to make the challenge more equal for all the top-tier climbers). Lisa''s 4200-point total was nearly three times greater than that of her nearest rival.
April 12 2003: Lisa dominates at the Petzl Roc Comp in Baltimore, Maryland To win the Petzl Roc Comp competition, Lisa cranked off all four finals problems in front of a huge crowd of 700+ spectators raucously crammed into the Earth Treks Gym in Timonium, near Baltimore, Maryland. No other women managed the last two.
March 2003: Lisa spent a few weeks at Hueco Tanks, Texas, early this spring having to wait out strangely warm weather nearly to the end. On the last weekend of her visit, she completed both Chablanke and Sarah -- two V12-rated problems -- on consecutive days (29-30 March). The problems are listed as V12 by Fred Nicole in his tick-list printed in Climbing Magazine last year. Sarah is a problem that begins with a sit-start on underclings in a roof and turns a lip to finish with a very tricky rock-over on a slab (the stand start Lisa flashed). Chablanke is a sit-start to the super-classic Sign of The Cross, a beautiful smooth sweeping overhang with the crux involving very technical and powerful moves using bad pinches on a 40-degree overhang.
Two days later, under pressure to leave, Lisa also pulled off an ascent of Woman With a Hueco in Her Head (V10) a face-climbing testpiece on the world-famous Mushroom Boulder. Though not rated as high as other problems she climbed, Lisa found it the most satisfying "send" of her trip!
Over the preceding weeks, Lisa made quick work (in a short session or a couple of tries) of: Swiss Crisp Mix (V10), Dirty Martini (V9), Dragonfly Sit-start (V9), Sex After Death (V9), and flashed many classic Hueco classics including Better Eat Your Wheaties (V8), Mushroom Roof (V8), Something Different (V8), Mr Serious (V8), Wild Turkey Roof (V8), Right El Murray (V8), and the ultra-classic Center El Murray (V6).
December 2002: Lisa cranks at the Buttermilks for the Petzl bouldering benefit, climbing to donate dollars toward the Access Fund. "It was a really fun day. I hadn''t been bouldering much before arriving [from England], and I was bleeding out of six fingertips by the end of the event!" says Lisa. The scores were taken as the best eight sends of the day plus $25 bonus for climbing a circuit of "classics." Lisa skipped the "classics," missed the easy bonus cash, but got stuck into the boulders, pulling 138 dollars for her best eight: Center Direct (V9), Moonraker (V9), Soulslinger (V9), High Plains Drifter (V7), Change of Heart (V7), Pain Grain Sit-start (V7), Saigon (V6), Smooth Shrimp (V6) ... All money went to the Access Fund.
September-October 2002: Lisa learns to trad climb on the venerated gritstone cliffs of England. Her best efforts were a flash of a "don''t fall" E5/6 called Nosferatu, a "headpoint" ascent of Pebble Mill (E5 without spotters or pads, and another ground-up ascent of the powerful E5, Moon Crack. She has also ticked several E4s including the spectacular Rasp Direct and the heady Moon Walk.
August 8 2002: Lisa wins the PCA Open in Salt Lake City. Rock & Ice magazine double-page spread.
July 27 2002: Lisa wins the famous Open des Ecrins at L''Argentiere -- France''s biggest and longest-running bouldering competition against a huge international field.
July 20 2002: While training for the upcoming bouldering comps, Lisa climbs Du Cote de Seshuan (V11), at Magic Wood (Switzerland). This is Lisa''s second V11.
June 27 2002: Lisa becomes the first, and only, US woman to win a Bouldering World Cup.
April 20 2002: Lisa wins the Phoenix Bouldering Contest, the world''s largest outdoor bouldering contest.
Feb 28 2002: Lisa climbs Thriller (V10) in Yosemite Valley. First female ascent.
March 23 2001: Lisa climbs Plain High Drifter (V11) at the Buttermilks, to become the first American woman to climb a problem of this grade.
Jan 3 2001: Midnight Lightning in Yosemite Valley, CA. She is the second woman ever to climb this problem and the first to climb Midnight Lightning without toprope practice.'