Rock Climbing in Zion with Mary Harlan

Rock Climbing in Zion with Mary Harlan

May 09, 2016

She's a rock climbing, fire fighting, community volunteering superstar...

What would you do if you found your wanderlusting self a soon-to-be mother? That wasn't the kind of journey you were planning? If there's anyone who can make dreams out of what the universe spontaneously deals the human race, it's Mary Harlan. Her motto? Try the improbable. Many people look for excuses why they can't do things. Mary looks for the reasons she has to do the hard things.

What's so hard for Mary? How about climbing 2800 feet, 8 pitches of 3 classic Zion routes, plus a 4 mile descent from the trail. That's hard for anyone, and Mary, along with her climbing partner, Helen Sinclaire, are heading out to Zion this month to set a new record. All 3 routes in under 7 hours each--completing them in under 24 hours.

Mary free climbed Moonlight Buttress back in 2013, and has been training in Utah's Indian Creek while still balancing her firefighting work life, mama home life, and coach volunteer life.

The duo will drive to Zion in 4 days, train for 2.5 weeks to gauge their weaknesses and strengths. Mary tells us that Helen is the "brawn" of the team--possessing a natural crazy strength. While Mary is the brains of the team--more willing to lead scary pitches that mess with your head.

The routes?

Moonlight Buttress | 12D | 6 5.12 Pitches | Finger Cracks -->

Sheer Lunacy | 12C | "Easiest" | 5.9 | -->

Shune's Buttress | 11C | Most Physical | Wide, Graveling, and lots of Face moves--a mix of everything.

Mary's connection to the desert is strong, and she favors Zion and Indian Creek. Here's to pushing boundaries and accomplishing the improbable.