Meet Anna Pfaff: Alpinist & Osprey-sponsored Athlete Ambassador.
“I truly enjoy all types of climbing from bouldering to big walls, but I am especially drawn to the complexity of alpine, traditional, ice and mixed climbing. There is something about alpinism that makes me really feel alive. I am drawn to experiencing all the elements, the physical skill and endurance needed to perform, critical thinking, risk management and negotiating objective hazards. It is a feeling of freedom because you have the freedom to fail. The mountains provide a solitude where you can become one with nature.
Alpine climbing puts one in such majestic, surreal positions. It still astounds me that we can climb frozen waterfalls. The balance between grace and savageness can be poetically obtained while ascending these frozen crystal formations. I love the varying terrain in the mountains . One pitch may be sunny granite rock climbing while the next you are front pointing and scratching your way up an icy crack system. It is truly a meditative state where all other aspects of life are put on hold. It can sometimes be a tipping point between sheer lunacy and sound sanity. The mountains are alive and provide continuing education. Ultimately they make the decisions and the true you is shown.”
Anna recently sat down with us to provide her answers for our 10 Questions interview series:
1. What place inspires you?
I can’t really narrow it down to a favorite location. Each place has been unique in its own perspective. I really enjoy being in remote unexplored areas of the Himalaya the most but have also had some of my best adventures in more developed areas like Yosemite, Patagonia and Peru or even in my backyard! I feel really fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience different types of climbing in all kinds of locations.
2. What one item do you always have in your pack?
A headlamp and chocolate.
3. Who do you most admire?
I’ve been inspired most by fellow climbers and partners throughout the years. I am around so many strong, motivated and psyched athletes who are on all sorts of rad endeavors.
I admire genuine people trying their hardest, enjoying life and overcoming personal boundaries. I am inspired by everyday interactions with many folks.
4. What is your favorite food?
5. Which Osprey pack are you using right now? What is your favorite feature about your pack?
Right now I am using the Mutant 38. It make as a great alpine pack and can be used both on and off the route. It also make an excellent backcountry ski pack.
6. Do you have a favorite quote? What is it?
“The best climber is the one having the most fun”” Alex Lowe
“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela
7. What’s the number one place you’d love to visit next?
8. What is your favorite nonprofit?
Dzi Foundation: The dZi Foundation works in partnership with remote communities in Nepal to create lasting improvements in their quality of life.
9. Is there an adventure, trip, or journey you’ve taken that you’d say was “life changing?” What was it and how did it change your life or outlook?
The first time I traveled to the Himalaya I was awestruck by the culture, mountains and vastness of the region. Everywhere I travel is a learning experience with people, places and partnerships and I thoroughly enjoy sharing these experiences with others.
10. If you could give any advice to yourself at 10 years old, what would you say?
“Eat more ice cream!”
About Anna Pfaff:
I started climbing in 2002 while attending nursing school in Colorado I love all types of climbing from bouldering to big walls but I have a passion for the mountains and the complexity of alpine, traditional and ice climbing. Quickly, I found an affinity for remote alpine climbing in the largest ranges around the world. I have completed multiple expeditions to the Karakorum Range of Pakistan, Himalaya of Tibet, Nepal and India, the Tian Shan of Kyrgyzstan, the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy (Colombia), the Peruvian, Bolivian and Patagonian Andes, to include six first ascents and multiple new routes.
Sharing cultural experiences, meeting new people, traveling both domestically and abroad has opened my eyes to the world as a climber and an individual. I always strive to share these experiences with others, to influence and inspire them to get outdoors and test their comfort zone. I inspire and challenge people to lead an active lifestyle whether in the backyard or far abroad.
When not climbing abroad I can be found locally in the San Juans of Colorado or working as a Trauma nurse in Oakland, CA.”
Follow Anna’s adventures: