Eva Bombeck competitively rock climbs cliffs, boulders


By Rachel Magnin

Archer senior Eva Bombeck ’15 looks down at her friends from the side of a cliff; the only things supporting her are her hands clutching the cliff above her, her feet supporting the rest of her weight and a mat below to break the potential 15 foot fall.

Bombeck climbs the side of a cliff over the ocean in Smith Rock as her teammates wait below. Photographer: Jim Albo

Some high school students play soccer or basketball in their free time, but Bombeck’s sport is somewhat uncommon. Bombeck is a competitive rock climber, practicing “four or five times a week” throughout the season and “two or three times a week” during the off-season. She has been competing in indoor and outdoor climbing competitions since she was eight years old.

When asked about how she began competing, Bombeck said, “I started climbing when I was eight… I joined this summer camp and then I joined [a] competitive team.”

Bombeck added, “my favorite part is probably going outside with my friends because there is indoor climbing and outdoor and I really like being outdoors and like camping with my friends.”

While Bombeck loves traveling with her climbing friends, she also said that “it’s hard sometimes to balance between competing, hanging out with my friends as well getting my homework done.”

According to Bombeck, when she is in season she “competes in one competition every two weeks.”

When asked about how rock climbing has affected her as a person, Bombeck said:

Bombeck ascends the side of a cliff with mats below as her only safety net. Photographer: Christie Cuarana
Conquering a mountain in Bishop, CA., Bombeck ascends the side of a cliff with mats below for safety. Photographer: Christie Cuarana

Climbing is like a metaphor for life. Just trying climbs over and over again like I’ve been trying to get [to the top] of this climb outdoors in Bishop like on the way to Mammoth for literally 4 years and we come back to it every spring break and I finally got it the last spring break so just like never giving has been a really important life lesson I have learned.”

Bombeck’s close friend, Shane Gussman ’15 said, “I think rock climbing has made Eva a very determined and passionate person and I think she brings that to different aspects of her life… especially her schoolwork and friendships.”