Staff Spotlight: Lucie, a.k.a. Loose Cannon

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019


Hello, Eagle family! Now that we’re settling into the end of our first year at Eagle Climbing + Fitness, we’re finally getting around to some of those dream projects that had to take the back seat for a while – such as this blog. Here, we’ll be sharing personal stories of climbing and life, information about upcoming events, ideas for your own climbing and adventure lifestyles, and plenty more content to help tap into this community’s infectious love for rock, trails, ice, snow, and a big comfy couch at the end of it all.

We’ll start with me, Lucie, because I’ll jump at any chance to actually use my English degree. I began climbing as a timid 8 year old in a rock and river summer camp based out of Richmond, Virginia where I first discovered my appreciation for all things adventurous and sweaty. I initially gravitated towards whitewater kayaking as my main outdoor avenue because I had grown up swimming and felt more at home on the water than at height. I climbed sporadically with friends from the camp, but thought that I just didn’t have the body or brain for it. I’ve always been exceptionally short, clumsy, and somewhat hesitant – a trifecta that seemed pretty inappropriate for as delicate and heady a sport as climbing.

Over time I felt a bit waterlogged after over a decade in the pool and on the river. Switching gears and delving into climbing felt more natural than I’d imagined – the same drive that fueled my kayaking translated pretty easily and actually gave me an outlet for all of the anxious mental energy that I had thought would get in the way of climbing. I immediately appreciated the problem-solving challenge of the sport and realized that I could use climbing to organize the scattered thought patterns that usually cluttered my mind. Channeling that energy into climbing helped to clear my head in a profound way. Combined with new opportunities to explore the outdoors, I was hooked on climbing not only as a hobby but as a complete lifestyle.


Fast forward 5 years and I’ve found a way to turn that lifestyle into a career through managing, routesetting, and running youth programs here. It’s a huge privilege to be able to climb and facilitate climbing for a living. My work here has made me into a better athlete not only because I get to live and breathe climbing, but also because I get to introduce others to something I love enough to make the backbone of my life. Witnessing this community embrace climbing boosts my own passion day in and out. 


Wearing many hats through ECF means that I’m juggling a bunch of different goals in my work and in my own climbing, which – at least – never gets boring. As a setter, I completed my USA Climbing Routesetting Level 1 Certification this past spring along with fellow setters Ben Rathbun (Bun Blast) Scott Dodd (Dodder), and Alex Whetstone (Whipstone) and am working towards further certification levels and setting for larger-scale climbing competitions.

I spend most of the rest of my time here coaching, mainly with the Eagles Team – our introductory competitive team all about exploring a deeper commitment to the sport – and the new Junior Talons Team – a group of climbers that started out with the Eagles Team over the last year and are ready to advance their training. I hang out with plenty of newer climbers too in the Eagles Clubs, learning the basics of technique with a focus on fun and skill development.

Beyond the gym, Ben and I have been enjoying the weekly beat-down at Rifle Mountain Park. It takes a special kind of appreciation to unlock its secrets and get nauseous working harder than ever on slick, greasy rock. I promise it’s better than it sounds. The incoming colder weather has pushed us toward the Main Elk crags as well, where we’ve found several worthwhile projects in the sun to keep me and my thin skin from complaining too much.

I’ve also been diversifying a bit with trail running over the summer, and am slowly learning to enjoy downtime full of art, good books, and rest. My personal goals are pretty fluid at the moment as I attempt to navigate the changing seasons and suss out some life balance  – but we’ll all be sharing more specifically about our work at ECF plus our own training and mountain ventures in the near future. Until then, I’m excited to keep exploring and spending more time among the Valley community!