Photos by Nathalie DuPré
Matthew Gant, Red Bank
How many years have you been climbing?
What got you into rock climbing initially?
My love for the outdoors and for exercise.
What are some of the most challenging aspects of rock climbing?
Injury prevention and sustainability. It is easy to get injured if you’re overtraining or not warming up properly.
Describe some of your most memorable climbing experiences.
My most memorable moments were on multi-pitch climbing adventures in the mountains. I also enjoy repairing climbing safety anchors and introducing new people to climbing. However, nothing beats simply spending time with friends in the outdoors!
What advice do you have for those looking to get into rock climbing?
Figure out what you most enjoy, and do it, whether that be rock climbing or something else! Have fun and don’t take it too seriously.
What’s the most rewarding thing about rock climbing for you personally?
I can sum this up in two categories. First, climbing has taken me outdoors. Experiencing nature is something we all need, and outdoor climbing has allowed me to experience some of the most amazing places on earth in a unique and challenging way.
Second, climbing has taught me a lot about my character and also helped to build it. Climbers encounter stressful and uncomfortable situations, and I find the way people navigate these situations (such as a calm, methodical approach vs. throwing a tantrum) closely parallels the way they handle other obstacles in their lives. There is much opportunity for introspection and growth after going through an epic climbing adventure!
Is there anything you’d like to add?
If you are a climber, consider supporting a local climbing organization such as the Southeastern Climbers Coalition by attending a trail day, fundraiser, or becoming a member. Protecting outdoor climbing resources will not only ensure you have places to get out in nature and climb, but also provide that same opportunity for future generations.
“I like them all! Leda on Mowbray Mountain is particularly special to me, as it was the place I first learned to climb.”