Kyra Condie has been on our girl crush radar for a long time now, and watching her take 2nd (behind Alex Puccio) at last weekend’s Portland Boulder Rally totally made it official. With her quick and aggressive climbing style, this 20-year-old Minnesotan, has made a name for herself on the competition scene. Despite setbacks, like 10 fused vertebrae, Kyra has managed to win Youth Bouldering Nationals and regularly podium at national and international comps.
As a kid Kyra wasn’t what you’d call… naturally built for elite athletic competition. With a 70° “S” curve in her back, she had major surgery and took several months in recovery. She tells us, “It wasn’t until after this back surgery actually that I started doing well in competitions. I think having it renewed my psych levels and determination to not let some stupid surgery get in the way of my goals.” These days her back doesn’t restrict her climbing except for a little discomfort in dihedrals or while doing sideways dynos.
When Kyra isn’t training and competing, she spends her time as a pre-vet student at the University of Minnesota, and now that she’s out of the youth comp circuit she says, “I’m extremely excited to spend more time focusing on outdoor climbing. For example, this summer I spent 7 weeks in South Africa’s Rocklands trying to get better at outdoor bouldering. I’m hoping to split my time more evenly between the two.” Having spent 9+ years of her life working hard in the gym, it’ll come as a surprise to no one when Kyra starts making headlines for boulders outside.
If you’ve ever seen Kyra climb you probably noticed that she climbs quickly, aggressively, and with killer instinct. You may also notice that she usually has her hair down (but seriously, how does it not get in your way??). Hair is not the point here, back to climbing. It’s super fun to watch her climb and makes you want to get after it, like immediately. On her climbing style she says, “The wall that I grew up climbing on and still train on to this day is a 30ft long bouldering wall that transitions from 45° to 60°. I think my climbing style just developed from only ever climbing on this steep terrain and only ever having older guys to climb with. I never learned to move with the slow precision you see a lot of good female climbers climb with because I didn’t really have anyone like that to watch. I had to learn to keep up with the guys and not get too left behind. I’m a pretty competitive person, so I wasn’t about to let being smaller get in the way. I think some of the announcers at competitions have called it “reckless abandon” on the wall, and, as funny as it is, I think that’s a pretty accurate description of what’s going on in my head. Instead of looking at a move and thinking “that’s really far away…” or “this looks impossible” it’s more of a “here goes!” or “I will grab you.”
As is true for so many of us, Kyra keeps on climbing because she loves it and the community that it brings. “Almost everyone I’ve met through climbing is a realist who’s good at problem solving and just loves life and the challenges it brings. These are the type of people I’d want to surround myself with anyway and it just so happens that everyone shares climbing as a passion and lifestyle,” she shares.
Thanks to Kyra for chatting with us! Best of luck with upcoming comps, outdoor projects, and the final semesters of college. We’re rootin’ for ya.
Photos from Kyra’s IG