Marilyn and Megan in Rumney

Rock Climbing for Women: Embracing Adventure and Defying Gravity at Any Age

In the world of rock climbing, age is just a number. Meet Marilyn Pratt, a remarkable woman I recently had the pleasure of meeting through Presently 71-1/2, Marilyn embarked on a passionate rock-climbing journey just a little more than one year ago. Her story is nothing short of inspiring and refreshing, as she defies stereotypes and embraces the challenges and joys that climbing brings.Marinlyn top rope

Finding Zen and Mindfulness on the Wall

For Marilyn, climbing is more than just a physical activity; it’s a path to finding inner peace and mindfulness. Having loved the outdoors since she was young and enjoying canyon scrambling adventures, Marilyn discovered that rock climbing takes her to a whole new level of Zen. The process of figuring out routes, solving problems, and being fully present on the wall gives her a sense of calm and fulfillment like no other. With each ascent, Marilyn finds herself fully present, embracing the challenges, and experiencing a profound connection with herself and her environment.

Marilyn on top

From Little Clumsiness to Dancing on the Wall

Even though Marilyn admits she wasn’t the most graceful child, she has found her rhythm on the climbing wall. She describes the feeling of defying gravity and maneuvering her way up the routes as a dance, an exquisite expression of strength and determination. Through her journey, Marilyn demonstrates that climbing is not just a physical activity; it’s an art form that allows us to express ourselves and push beyond our perceived limitations, regardless of age.

Fighting Gravity and Overcoming Obstacles

As we age, our bodies face different challenges, and Marilyn understands the battle against gravity all too well. Rock climbing has become her secret weapon in the fight against the physical limitations of aging. Through climbing, she strengthens not only her body but also her mind and spirit. However, Marilyn also acknowledges the obstacles she faces, such as overcoming the fear of falling and maintaining a healthy balance between pushing her limits and avoiding injury.

A Community Connection

Marilyn’s inspiring journey in rock climbing has not only been a personal one but also a chance to connect with others. She believes in the power of community and has experienced it firsthand during her time living abroad in a Kibbutz, a cooperative living community. Whether it’s sharing tips and tricks, cheering each other on, or having a date night climbing session with her partner, Marilyn cherishes the connections she has made in the rock climbing community.

From Scrambling to Climbing: Marilyn’s Evolution

Marilyn’s climbing journey began with a climbing outdoor session with her partner and his daughter. She gravitated toward bouldering, honing her skills at her home gym in Hackensack, NJ, the GOAT Climbing Gym. Starting from scratch, she gradually built her strength, technique, and confidence with top rope on a 60-foot wall. She built stamina and endurance. She learned effective and efficient body positioning to prevent injuries. Every day she challenges herself to become better, to push beyond her comfort zone, and to embrace the joy that climbing brings.


climbing in RumneyMarilyn Pratt is a true testament to the power of passion and the resilience of the human spirit. Her story is a reminder that age is not a limitation when it comes to pursuing our dreams. Through rock climbing, Marilyn has found a renewed sense of adventure, connection, and personal growth. Her journey serves as an inspiration to women of all ages, proving that it’s never too late to embark on a thrilling and fulfilling adventure like rock climbing.


Looking for more inspiration? You may like an article called “Woman Rock Climbing – No Age Limit“. Learn about Mary Rose who is now at least 74 years old and still climbing.

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