‘Spiderwoman’ mountaineer uses iPod for support
Her face a picture of calm focus, this lone climber carefully considers her next move.
And so she should – Steph Davis has no rope, safety harness or parachute and is 430m (1,400ft) above a very hard landing.
But, after all that effort clambering up the north face of Castleton Tower, she is rewarded with the thrill of donning a chute and jumping off.
One of the world’s top free-climbers, Ms Davis became the first person to scale and then base jump the tower in Utah, spurred on by a new-found love of flinging herself from tall objects.
The jump is a really special one. Although the tower is 120m (400ft) tall, it sits on top of a 300m (1,000ft) talus cone, or scree slope,’ said the fearless American.
The 35-year-old, who has 18 years of climbing experience but started base jumping only a year ago, prepared carefully – scaling the peak three times beforehand with a rope.
Then came the 30-minute ascent with nothing but climbing shoes, chalk bag – and her iPod. But the base jump almost didn’t happen.
‘It was a little stormy and windy when I started the climb,’ she said.
‘When doing low jumps, it’s important to have no wind, or at least no wind blowing into the wall.’
Yet Ms Davis maintains she lives a relatively normal existence. ‘I am not an adrenaline junkie,’ she insisted.