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Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World
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Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  289 ratings  ·  30 reviews
From the age of thirteen when she began climbing, it was clear Lynn Hill had an unusual gift. Before long she was arguably the best rock climber in the world, establishing routes so bold and difficult that few others could follow. And in 1994, Lynn succeeded on a climb that no one—man or woman—has been able to repeat: the first "free ascent" of the Nose on Yosemite's El Ca ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 17th 2003 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Rachel
I bought this book at a presentation by Lynn Hill at a bookstore in Marin County, back in 2002. I remembering shaking Lynn's hand and getting her signature on the book, but somehow I never got motivated to read it until now ... 12 years later. When I finally got started on it, I thought, "Wow, this is GREAT! What took me so long to read this?"

The best part of the book turned out to be Chapter 1 ... Lynn's chilling story of her 72-foot fall in Buoux, southern France (1989) ... which was because
...more
Andraea
Awesome climbing book! Makes you want to drop everything and go climb around the world!
Anja
Dec 30, 2007 Anja rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: rock climbers!
Lynn Hill is a personal hero of mine, and not just because she is one of the best female rock climbers the world has ever known. She has faced much discrimination based on her gender and size to do something she loves; she never let any of that hold her back. If I could award this book -and it's author- an award it would be a humbleness award. In her extensive climbing career she has performed feats that have yet to be replicated and in the process shown the world that women can climb -competiti ...more
mark
Mar 26, 2014 mark rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: woman, adventurers,
Do you ever wonder why a particular person seems so perfectly fitted to the life they lead, congruent with who and what they are? How they seem to flow with the events that surround them, be they “good” or “bad” with an intuitive harmony that appears effortless—and come out the other side for the better? In Climbing Free, Lynn Hill tells the story of her life in such a fashion that the reader gets a sense that tey were the objective observing witness, validating Lynn’s interpretation of events t ...more
Justin
If your checking this book out then your probably already a climber, or someone interested in the sport. Your likely already aware of Hill's reputation as one of the greatest climbers of our time and are interested in getting some insight into her ferocious talent and life. 'Climbing Free' is written in a breezy conversational style as Hill recalls the events and relationships spanning her life.

At the top of the climbing game from the mid 80's to 90's, Hill climbed with the second wave of Yosem
...more
Laura Westmeyer
Captivating and inspiring book written by Lynn Hill - one of the greatest climbers of all time. After every chapter I wanted to do something great with my life and train harder for climbing. She wrote this in her 40s, so it´s sort of a biographical account of her experiences and lessons learned in life. Super interesting and a great read.
Highlights of the book are: her experience with other famous climber friends of hers, a failed Aconcagua summit, freeing The nose, and of course the marijuana p
...more
Kelley
A woman who climbs up a 3,000 ft rock face in 23 1/2 hours...incredible and this is only one of her accomplishments.I really enjoyed this book..and I thought thru the beginning that it would be perfectly fine for non climbers...but as the book went on there was a lot of describing the rock formations and sequences of the climbs and I think people would get bored. However the things that Lynn has accomplished are just amazing....and super inspiring! I also thought it was awesome that she persued ...more
Tiffany Stoneman
Inspiring and motivational. A truly remarkable story about the woman who changed the history and future of climbing.
Elizabeth
Apr 20, 2014 Elizabeth is currently reading it
Not only an amazing climber but a well-written author as well!
Theresa
I don't often say this about a book I've spent the time to read cover-to-cover, but this one was downright awful. I kept waiting for it to get better. It didn't. As a woman climber, I thought I might find a little inspiration or wisdom in Hill's biography. She has, after all, carved out a place for women in this male-dominated sport. Instead, I was irritated by her self-righteousness and completely bored by the artless description of her climbing experiences. It reads like a high-school Freshman ...more
Mihaela C.
"Must read" pt. orice catarator
Renee
Wondering why I didn't read this before! Excellent book. Lynn is a female pioneer of my sport, but her book was surprisingly humble and captures the feelings and connections from climbing that keep me hooked. The fact that she's my height also is inspiring. She doesn't make excuses and works hard for her success. I had the pleasure of climbing with her once in Colorado and her movement is art. Also loved all the history I learned from this of other early groundbreaking climbers.
Pueblo
Exciting stories from the climbing legend. Surprised me how well written it is.
Sheri
If you climb or enjoy any mountain sport this book is a rewarding read. It doesn't really solve the mystery behind the motivation, of athletes who take part in extreme sports. Being a gym climber, it made me REALLY want to get outside. Great insight to focusing on the task at hand (Literally) and the mind of a premier athlete. Plus I always double or triple check my knot now!
Betsey
The reason why I gave this book only two stars is because I don't think it would be worth reading unless you are into climbing. This is not a book about technique. The one annoying thing about the book was how many times she mentioned her ability as a gymnast and how it has helped her be a better climber. I can't even touch my toes, so it got a little irritating.
Patagonia  Books
In Climbing Free Hill describes her famous climb and meditates on how she harnesses the strength and the courage to push herself to such extremes. She tells of her near-fatal 80-foot fall, her youth as a stunt artist for Hollywood, her friendships with climbing's most colorful personalities, and the tragedies and triumphs of her life in the vertical world.
Renee
Truthfully, I didn't finish the book. I think Lynn Hill is an amazing climber and worked hard to get there, paving the way for female climbers. And I love Greg Child, but I struggled getting into it - probably because I'm used to his style and not him tailoring his style to someone else. I think I was expecting his voice.
Young
What a great book about climbing and the life of true climbers. How adventurous, courageous, and brilliant. Lynn Hill is personal hero of mine, when it comes to climbing. Her humbleness and her sheer talent are revealed through her passion and true love of the sport. So inspiring.
Bettina Oswald
Lynn Hill wrote a great book with many adventurous life stories of herself and other courageous friends. Her writing is inspiring and transmits love to nature and climbing. The book portraits a very humble person yet being one of the most impressive climbers of the 80s!
Rob
Best part by far was the chapter on free climbing the Nose on El Capitan. Simply amazing. It was fascinating to read Lynn Hills life story and discover how she reached the heights of the climbing world. It is too bad the writing is sub par.
Kristi
Wow!! What an inspirational book. This book reminded me to push my percieved limits everyday, and not to let gender roles hold me back. I was very inspired by Lynn and I will read this book again I'm sure!
Bill
Yet another climbing memoir. Some of the stories I have read/heard before, but Lynn Hill's viewpoint is often interesting and different. Worth reading if you are into climbing.
Chrissa
Lynn Hill is one of my personal heroines. I enjoyed this book. This is the second time I've read it.
Theresa
She is an amazing women, leading the way for women climbers, too bad i don't live near mountains,
Jody
My height and smaller hands then me, she rocks it...anyone can do anything with the right mind set!
Liz casarella
an easy read that brings you to beautiful climbing locations
Chelsea
If you only ever read one book about climbing, make this one it.
Zabetta Camilleri
Absolutely awesome.
Jon Ullon
Lynn is the shit!
Tammyxo.
she's so cool.
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