It’s time for a new story of the every day climber, brought to us by Lily He in her series Rock Roots. This month we’ve got a two-for-one deal for you with a joint interview with climbing buds Isabelle Blankmeyer and Kristen Runci. Here’s more from Lily:
Isabelle and Kristen have been friends since they met climbing at the Rock Spot in Boston, MA. This climbing pair has extended their friendship outside of the gym, but went back to their roots and took a climbing trip to Puerto Rico! They climb together because “figuring out sequences is a lot more fun as we try to work with our height as an advantage or disadvantage.” Isabelle started bouldering with a coworker at the Rock Spot and instantly loved it, later expanding her experiences to toproping and lead climbing 2 years ago. Kristen planned to just run on a treadmill when her uncle brought her to EarthTreks in Rockville, MD, but got “the most glorious feeling” when she touched the top of a 5.3, and promised her uncle she’d start climbing regularly in Boston.
LH: What was the impetus for this trip? What is the climbing environment like in Puerto Rico?
IB: The motivation behind this trip was to find somewhere to climb outside in the winter. I had gone to Greece last winter, but Puerto Rico is a much cheaper trip. We found plane tickets on sale for ~$300 round trip, non-stop, and had enough people to rent a house to make lodging even more affordable. There are 4 main crags, and though most of them are limestone, Cerro Las Tetas is basalt – so cool! It is like climbing on granite but with a lot more nubbins. The texture at the cliffs really makes it possible to climb in 80-90 degree weather.