Socialite Spotlight: Sierra Blair-Coyle
Wiles Magazine had the opportunity to catch up with rock climbing phenom, Sierra Blair-Coyle from Scottsdale, Arizona. Despite her young age, Sierra has already logged in 10 years of climbing experience and has built a fairly extensive resume, competing in some of the most renowned climbing contests in the United States. A sponsored athlete since the age of 10, Sierra currently works with a number of respected and renowned brands, including: Sanuk, Omega Pacific, Roxy, BlueWater Ropes, Climb X Gear, Asana Climbing and Quotable Cards.
WILES: What inspired you to pursue rock climbing professionally at such an early age?
SIERRA: I began climbing at age eight and ever since, I have always wanted to push myself as far as I could go. Being a professional climber was something I had always wanted since I first jumped on the wall. My goals were always very high and it helped me to become better and stay motivated.
WILES: Where are some of your favorite places to climb?
SIERRA: My favorite places to climb are California, Salt Lake City- Utah, Vail- Colorado and Jacks Canyon, Arizona.
WILES: ”Keep Moving, Keep Climbing” was a quote we saw on your Twitter feed. How is this mantra and/or rock climbing similar to life challenges and perhaps how you might overcome them?
SIERRA: For me, this mantra really relates to my life. I like to view it as life happens and no matter what, you just have to keep going on, or in my case, keep climbing.
WILES: How has your Mom inspired you and what you do?
SIERRA: My Mom has inspired me in both life and in climbing in so many ways. She has always been such a great mom to me; she’s been extremely involved in everything I have done since I was born. I have the best Mom in the world! She is always there at every practice, competition, and actively involved in as many things as she can be. My Mom and my Dad have always believed in me and supported me in every endeavor in life.
WILES: What essentials might we find in your backpack?
SIERRA: Aside from a now rotten banana, I try to keep my climbing bag light with only the essentials: usually a pair of Sanuk’s or two, my climbing shoes ClimbX Rockstar’s, my Asana chalk bucket and bag, my harness, as well as my shuffle and Wintercrest Sports Stick.
WILES: What advice would you give to other women interested in pursing rock climbing?
SIERRA: Head to the gym and begin climbing! Some gyms have climbing walls and offer classes for beginner climbers. If not, other climbers are always willing to help out. Meeting other climbers will help you get started, everyone is extremely helpful in the climbing community; it’s very tight knit.
In 2010, Sierra Blair-Coyle was the youngest qualifier for the World Cup; had a fifth-place showing at the ABS Nationals; and had already had two top-five finishes at the Mammut Bouldering Championships. A two-time Junior National Speed Champion, she has gone on to compete in more than 100 climbing and bouldering contests. She placed seventh at the 2012 ABS Nationals. This fall, Sierra will be attending her first year of college at Arizona State University on a full academic scholarship, where she will focus her studies in the W.P. Carey School of Business. Ultimately, her goal is to get a masters degree in taxation. Follow Sierra at: @sierrablaircoyl