CYPHER AMBASSADOR - MARY EDEN
What was your first experience climbing?
When I was 19 I moved to Moab, Utah from Somerset, Kentucky. Moab rocked my world! I came here and started living myself to death. My first real experience with rock climbing was seeing climbers at Wall Street, which is a road side climbing area in Moab. All I could think was that I had to get up there, on the rock. I took what measly amount of money I had in my bank account and blew it all at the local gear shop. But being a new climber, I didn’t have a belay! Luckily, my friend’s daughter was competent- and best of all - willing to belay in exchange for ice cream. I’ve since found dedicated belay partners, and my obsession with climbing has only grown stronger.
What is your favorite type of climbing?
My favorite type of climbing changes seasonally. At the moment I absolutely love searching the desert for undiscovered invert offwidth boulder problems. It’s exciting when you think you may have found something new and wicked -- the process of cleaning and sussing out the beta, it’s like opening a present. But the real joy comes in sharing it all with friends….then watching them suffer!
Any style of climbing that you particularly dislike?
I do not particularly dislike any form of climbing. I have preferences, but I firmly believe in being a well rounded climber. My weakness is in face climbing, so I’ve been working on that a lot. I think it will make me a better crack climber too. As Lisa Hathaway says “Climbing is good for Climbing!”
Where are your favorite areas to climb?
Indian Creek, near Moab, is my favorite place to climb. It feels a lot like a second home to me. I also really enjoy climbing at Joshua Tree, The Black Canyon of Gunnison, Unaweep, Zion, Enchanted Rock, Tennessee Wall, Red River Gorge, and any desert tower of course!
Tell us about your all-time favorite climb.
I have a lot of all-time favorite climbs. It's like choosing one favorite song. Impossible! One of my favorite multi-pitches I have ever done was Washer Woman in Canyonlands National Park. That route was just pure fun climbing. The entire route was enjoyable and varied -- hand crack, offwidth, totally weird little hike in the middle, then ending with a face climb finish. The second pitch, you climb into a window in the tower and end up in a chimney on the other side of the tower. It’s pretty rad. The view was incomparable. A recent favorite route was actually in Enchanted Rock, Texas. It has an awesome name: Ding Dongs & Taco Sauce. It was like a shorter, granite version of the Crack House in Moab. It starts with fist jams in a roof and then pulls a bulge to a finger crack finish. My favorite all time boulder problem is Pig Pen in Joshua Tree. It was the first V4 I ever sent, and I worked so hard for it before getting it on the very last day we were staying there. I remember wanting it so very badly.
Why do you climb?
Why do I climb? Why do I like beautiful sunsets, margaritas, good laughs, shiny gear, and kittens? I’ll never truly be able to explain the joy I find in climbing. I love the struggle, the community, the challenge, and growth I experience in this sport, and all that good stuff just translates over into every aspect of my life.
What other hobbies/interests do you have?
Climbing dominates my spare time but I do balance it out with other interests. I love canyoneering. It’s like rock climbing and hiking had an evil baby. You get to these very remote places of incomparable beauty, and proceed to chimney, stem and perform all sorts of other shenanigans just to escape the thing.
I also paint, mostly in the winter when it’s too cold to go outside. My medium is acrylic, and I like to paint realistic landscapes from my favorite adventures.
Most of all my other love is for horses. I grew up training arabian/paint horses and participating in endurance rides. I love having the bond you get with your horse. They are beautiful, strong, spirited, and friends for life.
Who inspires you?
The Climbing community as a whole inspires me, especially all the folks who put in all the work to pave the way for everybody else -- the trail-builders, route-equippers, weekend clean-up crews, and all my fellow guides. But most importantly, the experienced climbers who take the time to mentor new climbers. To teach. There is always a new generation coming up -- who better to teach them than ourselves? Passing down knowledge of safety, ethics, and history? We are a big family. I was inspired and educated by local climbers who took the time to teach me. I cannot count the number of amazing humans that have helped me get to where I am today. Real life role models who have inspired me to push past what scared me, and made me stronger.
Tell us about your dream vacation.
Anywhere with stellar climbing, good humans, and awesome food. Preferably somewhere warm. What can I say? I’m easy to please.
Favorite post-send meal.
My favorite post-send meal is all-you-can-eat sushi. I am excited/starving just thinking about it!
What are your long-term climbing goals?
My long term climbing goal is to be able to onsight 5.12 in any style, and finish my AMGA Rock Guide certification. I would love to summit all the classic desert towers, climb scary hard routes in the Black Canyon of Gunnison, and one day, free moonlight buttress. But mostly I want to have fun with my climbing family.
Anything else your fans should know?
Never turn down a good top rope.