Team Touchstone Athlete Profile: Hannah Donnelly

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Team Touchstone Athlete

Team Touchstone, our competitive youth climbing team, is made up of a veritable cornucopia of crushers of all ages.  Meet the kids who are representing us at competitions around the country – nah – world! This week we sat down with veteran comp climber Hannah Donnelly.

Name: Hannah Donnelly

Age: 18

Years climbing: 8

Years competing: 8

Sponsorships: I am a Black Diamond Advocate and Athlete

What are your notable competition achievements?

I have been nominated 2 years in a row for the North Face Young Gun Rookie Team. I was chosen for the Rookie Team for the 2015 climbing season.

Team Touchstone ClimberWhat about notable outdoor achievements?

I have climbed many 13a’s outside, and my favorite of the grade is Snooker in the Red River Gorge. One of my other favorite outdoor rope climbs is Deliverance 12d in Maple Canyon. I have also climbed many V9’s outside, however I have yet to break the barrier to V10’s. Some of my favorite V9’s include Space Cowboy and Lost in Space in Tahoe, and Acid Wash Right Sit in Bishop.

What is your favorite style of climbing?

My favorite climbing varies. I enjoy both slab and 45-degree overhangs, and I thrive on long endurance climbing with small crimps. The Red River Gorge suits my type of strength when it comes to ropes. I am always willing to try problems out of my comfort zone, including slopers and big moves, as these types of moves or problems are more gratifying once achieved.

Where is your favorite outdoor climbing destination:

I can’t say specifically which place is my favorite. I go to a new climbing destination and I say it’s my favorite, but then I go back to a place I’ve already been and I am reminded of the simple beauty that the “old” place has. It’s not only the beautiful view, or the rock, or the sun that beats down on your face that makes a place beautiful, but who you are with. Your friends and all the memories you bring home make the destination. A climbing destinations isn’t the sends that I conquered on that one specific boulder (or the climbs I couldn’t do at all on the trip), it’s the simple memories with the people I care the most about in a beautiful place.

Team TouchstoneThere is always a point in a climb that you feel like it’s not possible, and the question you asked yourself is “Why?”. Why do I spend endless hours of my life training, eating, and breathing this sport when the goal just seems so far away? Yet the goal and feeling of accomplishment is worth the struggle, and every climbing destination is my favorite because it offers everything.

What is your favorite aspect of rock climbing and/or competition climbing:

Hmmm this one hard, I feel like I have been climbing forever, however I am still a ‘baby’ compared to some of the old mentors that climbing has produced. I have had way to many injuries to count, and however rough the recovery may have been, every time that I was forced to rest I realized what was important not only in my climbing but in my life as well.

Team TouchstoneI figured out that climbing to me was a lifestyle, a daily struggle to fit in society just enough to then allow you to escape for months on end into the depth of a project. I realized that climbs are metaphors for our lives. It teaches you to live with heartbreak and struggle, and yet still get back up push yourself harder to get strong enough to do what you are meant to do, send your climb. I have realized that the plastic competition climbing is not my life, I as a climber am more than training for a competition I am training for a long time of climbing; a climbing lifestyle. I am training to allow myself to fail have a cry and yet still get back up get stronger and reach the goal that is possible.

Fun fact about you:

I am going to school next year to become a sports massage therapist.