Live It Up

Beth Rodden and Tommy Caldwell

Jan 1, 2006
Outside Magazine

"The First Couple of Rock" is no cutesy moniker for this fearless duo—considering their roster of both individual and joint achievements in the rock-climbing world, a legitimate coronation just may be in order. Married for two years, the couple met back in 2000 at a climbing slide show—Beth a then-20-year-old former child climbing prodigy just breaking into the world of traditional climbing and Tommy, a life-long adventure-climber known for his challenging routes. Matrimonial bliss has boded well for their careers; the trust and familiarity which is so vital between climbing partners is evident in the success the two have had belaying each other on some of the most formidable faces in the world, including a 31-pitch ascent of "The Nose" of El Capitan this past October. Marriage has also translated into greater commercial success; their film (aptly titled The First Couple of Rock) recently won Best Climbing Film at the Vancouver Mountain Film Fest and the couple has been commissioned by Marmot to design a clothing line set for launch in Spring 2006.

Despite all the trappings that inevitably come with power couple status, there is no denying their impressive individual achievements. Rodden, widely-considered one of the best women climbers in the U.S., completed the toughest-ever first ascent for a woman, a 5.14b slab of volcanic rock called "The Optimist" in Oregon's Smith Rock State Park. She is the youngest woman to ever climb a 15.4a and she has also established numerous big wall free routes in Madagascar including the longest and hardest one to ever be established by an all-female team. Caldwell is famous for such record-setting feats as free-climbing Salathe Wall in a single day and making a free ascent up the staggeringly difficult, 5.15d Dihedral Wall of El Capitan in May of 2004, a climb considered to be the most difficult in North America. See more on Caldwell's accomplishments in the February issue of Outside.

Tommy Caldwell
1. Raise a functional family.
2. Build a house (not have one built for me).
3. Write a book.
4. Bigger and better things in Yosemite.
5. Apply my Yosemite-learned big wall free-climbing skills to the bigger mountains of the world.
6. Truly give back to the climbing world that has given me so much.
7. Do an Iron Man triathlon.
8. Explore the world, always. 9. Learn another language.
10. Boulder V14.

Beth Rodden
1. Raise a great family.
2. Improve my French.
3. Build the house with Tommy.
4. Graduate college.
5. Learn to sail.
6. Travel the world (safely).
7. Volunteer.
8. Continue to push myself climbing.
9. Learn to fly a plane.
10. Be a good daughter to my parents and a good wife to my husband.

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