by Lynn Hill
Late Summer 2008
By the mid-70s, climbing style had become much more than just a way of climbing, but a philosophical attitude toward life. Most of us were liberal, nonconformist nature types who prided ourselves on living simply and on the cheap to maximize our time on the rock. This minimalist approach to life carried through to climbing: We aspired to do the most challenging climbs with the least material aids, reducing our impact on the rock while striving for purity and adventure.
In 1983, I moved to New Paltz, New York, and joined forces with a dedicated band of Shawangunks climbers, with whom I began pushing myself on increasingly difficult traditional-style routes. We took pride in climbing in the best style possible and didn’t hangdog
or pre-inspect our routes from above. Most of our new routes were fairly heady since they followed steep, poorly protected faces.