Member Spotlight: Liz Ward

Liz, a mom and teacher (and so much more) has been climbing for almost a year, but she has certainly been bitten by the climbing bug (too soon?)! Here's to Liz and the crew that she climbs with-- we look forward to seeing them back in action soon.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where do you live and what do you like to do?
I'm a native Vermonter. I live in Burlington with my two sons. I like to ski, hike, and of course climb! My sons, Jackson, 15, and Lincoln, 11, and I climb together with our "Climb Crew" at Petra or outside any chance we get. I tried ice climbing for the first time this year and LOVED it. Can't wait to get back out there.

What's a fun fact that many other Petra Members might not know about you?
I took a break in 2008 from teaching to build an inn. Although I loved innkeeping, after 8 years we sold the inn and I returned to teaching elementary school.

What is your climbing background? How long have you done it and have you traveled to climb?
I have been climbing for almost a year. I started climbing at the end of May 2019 and I was hooked. I haven't traveled to climb yet but I hope to later this year. My favorite things about climbing are the community, the personal challenges, and problem solving. I recently went to the Bolton Dome for the first time and sent my first lead route!

What is your favorite type of climbing? Crimpy, slopey, overhanging?
In the gym I prefer crimpy routes. I need lots of work on slopers! I welcome any advice.

How has your involvement in the Petra community/Vermont climbing community evolved and what has it been like being part of this group?
I've met some great people at Petra and out in the climbing community. Being new to the sport everyone is very supportive. I've taken classes with Tim and Craig and participated in an Ice Bash clinic with Andrea. I've learned from the best and I've made some incredible friends through climbing.

What do you value most about the Petra Cliffs community, especially in the current state of the Coronavirus?
From my first visit to Petra when I knew nothing about climbing, I have always felt supported and welcomed. Every time I walked in I was greeted with a smile. I appreciate the communication and behind the scenes work that is being done by Andrea, Steve, Tim, and everyone else to keep us connected during this time. I respect their decision to close the gym before it was mandated.

What would you tell a fellow Vermonter who is thinking about getting into rock climbing?
Find other climbers! Visit a gym. I was introduced to climbing by a friend who was already a Petra member. Since then I have learned so much from the Petra staff, their members, and my friends.