BeWild: An Interview with Libby Sauter

Recent AAC Award Recipient and BeWild Speaker Libby Sauter will be here June 2. We sat down with to learn more about her and what you can expect in her talk on June 2.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
May 25, 2016

The Mountaineers and adidas outdoor are pleased to present  Libby Sauter as part of the BeWild Speaker Series on June 2. 

Libby has set numerous speed records in Yosemite, but dedicates her life to helping others as a pediatric ICU nurse in strife-torn countries around the globe. She was recently one of five inductees into the 2016 Hall of Mountaineer Excellence by the American Alpine Club. At the event, AAC President recognized the recipients as "not only people who live big climbing lives, but who live big lives period."  

We sat down with Libby to find out what makes her tick, on the wall and off.

[Mountaineers]: You are a climber, a high-liner, a former Yosemite Search and Rescue volunteer, and a cardiac nurse. Do you have any hobbies or pursuits where there isn’t any kind of life-or-death component?

[Libby]: Of course! I love to read and play the piano, eat cheddar popcorn and ice cream...For me the life or death component isn't what I seek, but rather challenge. I seem to only be able to feel truly at rest after overcoming some sort of challenge - be it working 240 hours in three weeks in Libya, climbing El Capitan in a day, or correctly hitting the final chord on the music piece I've been practicing.

[Mountaineers]: Are there natural landscapes that particularly inspire you as a climber?

[Libby]: Growing up in Vegas taught me to love the simplicity of the desert. But once I learned to climb, the opposite is what began to attract me. While the desert is all about understated beauty, the mountains big and bold, looming before me, are now what get my heart racing.

[Mountaineers]: Are there any inside scoops that people coming to your to your talk on June 2 are going to get? 

[Libby]: June 2nd has been a pivotal day in my life in recent years. I'm going to delve into a little personal history and hopefully make some headway in answering the proverbial "why do we climb."

Join Libby June 2

Seattle Program Center | 7pm

Libby Sauter is a 30-year-old nurse who splits her time between saving children's lives with international NGO Novick Cardiac Alliance in some of the world's most dangerous places and climbing hard on some of the world's most challenging rock faces. In her downtime she enjoys playing on a "highline" - a thin piece of rope strung high above the valley floor. In 2014, she set the female speed record on The Nose, El Capitan with Mayan Smith-Gobat. She's even completed two routes of El Capitan in a day, while most climbers spend a few nights on the face making the challenging ascent.

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