Hill, Lynn 1961(?)–

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Hill, Lynn 1961(?)–

PERSONAL: Born c. 1961, in Los Angeles, CA; married Russ Raffa (a salesperson), 1988 (marriage ended); children: Owen. Education: College at New Paltz, B.S., c. 1983.

ADDRESSES: Office—P.O. Box 383, Eldorado Springs, CO 80025. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Professional rock climber. Lynn Hill Climbing Camps, Eldorado Springs, CO, owner. Member, Access Fund.

AWARDS, HONORS: First woman to complete a grade 5.14 climb, 1990, in Cimai, France; first woman to scale a grade 5.14 climb, 1991, Mass Critique in Cimai, France; has won more than thirty international climbing competitions.


(With Greg Child) Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World (autobiography), foreword by John Long, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 2002.

SIDELIGHTS: Lynn Hill started rock climbing when she was just fourteen years old, and since then she has become one of the world's leading sport climbers. As distinguished from mountain climbing, sport climbing is the difficult and dangerous competition of ascending mountains and cliff faces without the benefit of any equipment whatsoever. A woman in a field dominated by men, especially in the sport's earlier years, Hill has set numerous records, including being the first and only person to climb the three-thousand-foot face of El Capitan in Yosemite without mountaineering equipment. Her autobiography, Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World, is a reminiscence of her years in the sport, as well as a reflection on her personal and professional life. Hill talks about the challenges of competition, the famous climbers she has met and befriended—some of whom would later die in climbing accidents—and her marriage and decision to become a mother. She also offers rock climbing tips.

Reviewers of the book enjoyed Climbing Free as both an entertaining and informative work. A Publishers Weekly contributor, for example, called it "remarkably entertaining." David Pitt, writing in Booklist, appreciated how the author avoids "ego or pretension," despite her amazing success in the sport, calling the autobiography a "quietly inspiring" work that "is a must-read for fans of sport climbing." Climbing writer Susan Fox Rogers concluded that Climbing Free "is a wonderfully universal story, as perfectly balanced and strong as Hill is on the rock."



Great Women in Sports, Visible Ink Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.

Hill, Lynn, and Greg Child, Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 2002.

Newsmakers 1991, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1991.

Notable Sports Figures, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 2004.


Booklist, March 15, 2002, David Pitt, review of Climbing Free, p. 1203.

Book World, May 5, 2002, review of Climbing Free, p. 4.

Books Magazine, summer, 2002, review of Climbing Free, p. 20.

Climbing, September 15, 2002, Susan Fox Rogers, review of Climbing Free, p. 120.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2002, review of Climbing Free, p. 309.

Life, August, 1989, "Upward Mobility: The Best Woman Climber in the World Gets Paid for Going Higher," p. 104.

Los Angeles Times, May 19, 2002, review of Climbing Free, p. 15.

O, the Oprah Magazine, July, 2002, James B. Meigs, "Extreme Living: Adventure Isn't about Risk or Thrill Seeking or Proving Your Mettle. It's about Going for Something with All Your Heart," p. 35.

Publishers Weekly, December 13, 1999, John F. Baker, "Three on the Rope," p. 16; April 29, 2002, review of Climbing Free, p. 54.


Altrec.com Outdoors, http://www.altrec.com/ (January 24, 2006), Peter Potterfield, "Lynn Hill: One of the Great Rock Climbers of the Era Takes on Writing and Motherhood."

Lynn Hill Climbing Camps, http://www.lynnhillclimbs.com (January 24, 2006).

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