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Rising Star: Lisa Rands


AGE: 26
HEIGHT: 5' 4"

SEEN NEXT: September 14 and 15 in Rovereto, Italy, in the Bouldering World Cup series, where her explosive style and sheer power could quash dominant Euro competitors like Sandrine Levet, the 2001 World Cup champion. POWER GRRRL: Rands claims more than 50 female first ascents and regularly climbs problems rated V9 and V10 (bouldering routes are rated V0-V15). In March 2001, she nailed Plain High Drifter, in the eastern Sierra, becoming the first American woman to pull a V11.

MINCEMEAT: Lisa hits the rocks three to four days a week, often climbing through blistered or torn digits. Her words of wisdom: "Taped fingers let you climb longer. Especially when you're bleeding."

NOBODY'S PERFECT: Rands tends to choke in competitions, especially indoors when clawing her way up plastic holds. In March she lost the 2002 American Bouldering Series Championships—despite a healthy lead—after failing to notice an easy initial hold. "I get nervous," she says. "Sometimes I can't control my head."

SECOND OPINION: "Lisa climbs at the same level as the men," says U.S. climber Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou, 38, who earned four World Cup titles in the early 1990s. "She's so exceptionally strong that she could dominate the world circuit—once she gets the mental part together."

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From Outside Magazine, Sep 2002
Filed To: Rock Climbing
Lead Photo: Art Streiber/Montage