About Me

Pamela Shanti Pack in Indian Creek, UT Photo © Andrew Burr

“Pamela Pack is one of the top offwidth authorities in the world.” ~Climbing Magazine August 2013

I am a professional climber and surveyor with a degree from Yale University and a Professional Certification in GIS and Remote Sensing. I have been seeking out North America’s most challenging inverted and vertical offwidth climbs since 2008 and was the recipient of Climbing Magazine’s Golden Piton Award for traditional climbing in 2009 for establishing , Gabriel 5.13c, a 65′ inverted offwidth roof, in Zion National Park. I have over 50 first female ascents of offwidths throughout the American West including the first female ascent of Lucille 5.13a (onsight) in Vedauwoo, WY. Offwidths continually challenge my physical and psychological limits.  Keep checking back in to my blog as I will be updating often with stories from the Wide world! ~Pamela Shanti Pack

FAVORITE OFFWIDTH FIRST ASCENTS

  • FFA of the roof variation of Liquid Sky Indian Creek, UT
  • FA The Dark Passenger 5.12 Long Canyon, UT (Pamela Pack and P Kingsbury)
  • FFA Goliath (Pitch 2) 5.12a Indian Creek, UT
  • FA The Soul Assassin 5.12 R Indian Creek, UT (Pamela Pack and P Kingsbury)
  • FA Gabriel 5.13c Zion, UT
  • FA Girls Just Wanna Have Guns 5.11a Indian Creek, UT
  • FA Break A Leg 5.12 Indian Creek, UT
  • FA The Forever War 5.13 R Vedauwoo, WY
  • FA Spatial Relations 5.13a Vedauwoo, WY
  • FA The Event Horizon 5.13 Moab, UT (Pamela Pack and P Kingsbury)
  • FA The Wing 5.12c, Vedauwoo, WY

PUBLISHED ARTICLES

VIDEOS AND TV

  • 2014 (upcoming) Pamela Shanti Pack: First Ascent in Canyonlands National Park, Dispatches, Outside TV
  • 2014 Pamela Shanti Pack: First Ascent in Canyonlands National Park (Preview), Outside TV
  • 2013/2014 Pamela Shanti Pack: Offwidth Outlaw. Presented at: Banff Film Festival, Adventure Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival. Sheffield Film Festival and the 2014 Radical Reels Tour

30 comments

  1. Pamela, you have been an inspiration to me since our first meeting years ago in the Guatemalan jungle. I was a novice backpacker and budding adventurer, and you made our 3 months in the back country of Central America so much fun, and you instilled in me a sense of my own ability to achieve not only new physical goals, but to tackle and achieve some of my most memorable professional ones as well. You always have been, and continue to be, an inspiration. Thank you for all that you do, and for always setting an amazing example for us all. I don’t think I fractured any ribs back then, but I definitely puked and hyperventilated, and you were right there by my side! –Lara:)

    • Pamela Shanti Pack

      Lara, thank you for the lovely comment. I remember our adventures in Guatemala and Belize with such fondness. And to this day you are one of the most extraordinary, wonderful and unique woman I’ve met in all my travels. And yes indeed we sure did a whole lot of puking together — I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Thank you for being an inspiration to me as well Lara! Big hugs ~Pamela

  2. Scott Beguin

    I was entertained, interested, and inspired by the “Craig’s List” article you wrote in the newest issue of Climbing. That was a huge goal for you to set for yourself. I thought it would be awesome to do something like that, but as a mere mortal, I will keep the list to any ten that are “classics” in the creek. Recommendations are welcomed. You have inspired me to venture outside of the box, and Craig has always amazed me with his diversity and talent. Thanks for the article and all the beta that goes with it. However, nothing will speak louder than experience. I also need to buy and/or borrow more big gear.
    Ciao,
    S.A. Beguin

    • Pamela Shanti Pack

      Scott, Thank you so very much. I am pleased that you enjoyed the article and that it has inspired you to seek out a few of “Craig’s List” in the Creek. I think you will really enjoy the Dentist’s Chair and the Tooth Fairy — they are Craig classics. Craig was certainly an inspiration to me and many others and I am thrilled to pass along a bit of enthusiasm for the wide. Feel free to contact me anytime for gear recommendations or to borrow gear and again thank you for the lovely comments. Offwidths are beautiful! Cheers, P.

  3. Mia T

    Of all active climbers today, male or female, you inspire me the most!

    Offwidth climbing is by far the most intriguing and alluring form of climbing that require such discipline and willingness to suffer. I do love it, and I always seek out the wide cracks at any given area, even if I’m not that skilled yet.

    I enjoy reading your stories and tips, maybe someday I can even learn how to do an invert………at least once!!!!!

    “Offwidths are beautiful” is one of my favorites to date.

    • Mia, Thanks you so much for the kind words. I am thrilled that you are seeking out the wide cracks and enjoying them so much! It is indeed such an alluring form of climbing that requires such exciting and varied techniques, pain tolerance and patience. I do hope you get on an invert one of these days and would love to hear all about it when you do!

      Please feel free to contact me anytime for advice on techniques, routes or training and let me know about your progress!!

      PS And I am so happy you enjoyed the article!

  4. Spencer Greiner

    Hey Pamela, I read your article “Craig’s List” in Climbing Magazine. I was there that day in Vedauwoo. I was in a climbing class at Red Rocks that Craig was teaching. I remember showing up the first day of class thinking how lame it was going to be since I had been climbing for a few years. I was just expecting someone to set up a top rope at the schools climbing wall, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was pleasantly surprised to meet Craig on that first day and, to get my ass kicked every day for the next two weeks. We climbed all over the Front Range and at the end of the first week, Craig proposed we take a trip up to Vedauwoo. It was there on that fine day that you sent Lucille. I remember you and your climbing partner talking to Craig, and that quote from your article, “today history will be made”. I also remember thinking, if I can barely scrape my way up this 5.8, this chick must be an absolute badass for even attempting the 5.13 monster Lucille! Those were the most rewarding two weeks I can remember, and reading your article was like hopping into a time machine. That was my first experience climbing off-widths, and I remember being humbled by a meager 5.8 that Craig literally walked up. I think it took me like 45 minutes to reach the top. Hahaha! I wish that I had gotten the chance to know Craig more than I did, we climbed together only a handful of times before he died a few months later. I remember hearing the news of his death, and much like yourself, I wanted to do something to honor him. He was the most humble, graceful, and yet powerful climber I have ever had the privilege to know. I think your repeating of Craig’s various climbs was the best possible way to honor him, and I enjoyed reading your article more than I can say. Thank you for the wonderful piece of literature and good luck with those off-widths. I decided it wasn’t my bag. I’ll leave those cracks to the real climbers. Cheers Pamela, and cheers Craig. You are missed.

    Spencer Greiner

    • Spencer — I was very moved reading that beautiful note from you today. It means so much to me that you enjoyed the article and that it brought back those memories for you of what must have been an incredible two weeks with Craig. I was certainly smiling at your description of being schooled on a 5.8 wide crack that Craig walked up — I remember quite a few 45 minute for 30′ of progress days myself when I first started climbing offwidths! Really, hearing from someone else who was there that day brings me right back as well. Although I was only Craig’s student in spirit I learned more from him, and about him, repeating those ten magnificent routes than I could have possibly imagined. Again thank you so much for the wonderful letter Spencer and cheers to you as well. ~Pamela

  5. Gary McCay

    Hey Pam, I’m not in San Diego, CA anymore (New Jersey since 12/11), but still looking forward to the day that you’ll make it out to Mt. Woodson and make short work of the classic OW’s up on “The Hill.” Undertow, 5.12 has your name written all over it, as does Mother Superior, 5.12 (started at the very bottom, a opposed to a standing start, 11+). To have your name as having visited a place like Woodson would put a smile on a lot of faces, including my own. WHEN you decide to make a trip out there, drop in to the Supertopo “2012 Mt. Woodson” thread and there will be someone who will give you a tour, no doubt.

    • Gary it’s always wonderful hearing from you! I am so sorry I won’t get you as my Mt. Woodson tour guide!! I am still excited to get out there one of these days. It would be awesome to catch up — send me an email — I’m eager to know what you are doing in NJ?!

  6. Tito

    hello, one you’ve inspired me to really get into off-width…and i was where did you get or who made you massive cams in your vid, i’m just planning on making my own gear from now on and really need some basic specs to go off of…thank you so so much…

    • Tito, I am always glad to hear I can inspire people to get climbing wide cracks so thank you! The massive cams I use in the video are called Valley Giants and are made by Tom Kasper. They are available here: http://www.valleygiant.com. They are expensive but he does a great job on these cams so they are well worth the price. His web-site has all the specs on his cams. I use the 9″ cam more than the other sizes. I will use the 12″ cam on rare occasions. I hope this helps out and feel free to contact me if you have any more questions! Cheers, Pamela

  7. C

    Hey! I know you hear this all the time but it is SO inspirational to see such a strong, fierce woman climbing crazy offwidths. I’m a relatively new climber – about 1.5 years in – but have become a crack addict. I’m hoping to develop out some offwidth skill and your website has been extremely helpful. If I wanted to plan a trip to Vedauwoo this spring – what do you think would be some good, entry level test pieces to work on (lead). I’m a fairly recent trad climber and have made it up (barely) some 10a cracks on lead but have never led an offwidth before. Followed Big Guy at Scarface in Indian Creek tho after my climbing partner almost vomited setting up the top rope for me… Clearly I’d like to absolve him of that joy. Any suggestions would be great.

    Last question is what do you think would be best week to go in the Spring — aka are you planning on going this spring?! Thanks again for the inspiration. I’m just a weekend warrior at this point w/ work and all but utterly hooked.

  8. Hey it’s SO awesome to hear that you are getting so psyched about crack climbing, especially offwidths, and that my blog is helping you out! Vedauwoo is my favorite place to climb a great place to start leading offwidths. Spring in Vedauwoo can be beautiful but can also be really cold and snowy since it’s at almost 9000′ so your best bet is end of April or May. I generally spend the entire month of May in Vedauwoo so it’s a great time to meet up if you’d like a tour!

    As far as good entry level test-pieces — prepare to be humbled as there are 5.9s in Vedauwoo that will crush your soul. I’m sure you have heard that Vedauwoo is famous for sand-bags, but once you adapt to the place — the sharp granite, the high altitude and the flared rock — the grades will feel more accurate.

    As far as gear — it takes a bit of getting used to placing cams in the flared rock and over-camming in Vedauwoo almost guarantees you will never get your cam back out. Big Bros are useful for the wider squeeze chimneys but the flaring nature of the cracks means it will take a bit of work to seek out the more parallel placements where the Bros work best.

    The feldspar crystals in Vedauwoo are ridiculously sharp and will rip you hands, knees, elbows and fore-head up on day one so I highly recommend taping (including your palms), knee pads and elbow pads. I wear light-weight neoprene knee-pads and non-neoprene, stretchy elbow “braces” – I get an XL so I can pull them up over my triceps. I’m going to post my taping method online in the next few weeks!

    A few awesome Vedauwoo wide cracks:
    Edward’s Crack 5.7, Nautilus
    Upper Slot 5.7+, Nautilus
    Labyrinth 5.8, Reynold’s Hill
    Strawberry Jam 5.8, Crystal Freeway
    Middle Parallel Space 5.9, Nautilus
    Mainstreet 5.10a, The Coke Bottle
    Left Torpedo Tube 5.10a, Nautilus

    PS I’m actually in the process of writing an article about climbing in Vedauwoo at the moment and will let you know when it’s out. Feel free to contact me anytime you have more questions and certainly when you are in the Voo!

  9. Andrew Roth

    Hey, Pam! You look carefree and fantastic! We shared some time and laughs at the Vermont Studio Center. Are you painting at all? All the best, Andrew Roth

    • Andrew, It’s SO awesome hearing from you! Wow yes we had some good laughs back in VT eh?! I wish I were painting but climbing has been somewhat consuming. I’m super eager to see your work and catch up with you! Big hugs – p.

  10. Dear Pam,
    I don’t want to elaborate on how much of an inspiration you are for many, many climbers around the word (because it’s too obvious!) so let me get straight to the point.
    You’re excelling in the field dominated by men, showing everyone that it’s all about dedication and not about gender. Would you kindly agree to appear on a new website about climbing? It’s going to predominantly target women, aiming to inspire healthy lifestyle and passion for climbing.
    If you had a spare minute, please kindly let me know.
    Best,
    Zof.

  11. Robin Russin

    Pam– are you the same Pam who went to RISD Summer Session? I found some great letters from you today, and then see you’ve climbed in Vedauwoo. If you go back there, you should get in touch with my old Laramie buddy and climber Mark Jenkins!

    • Robin, Yes indeed that’s me! Wow how amazing to hear from you. I would love to catch up and hear about your life. I will send you an email to the address on your note. Really so wonderful to hear from you!! I do indeed know Mark Jenkins — quite an extraordinary man. ~Pamela

  12. kevin mcg

    Pamela- i started following you since the craigslist article a while back and just wanted to say how much i admire your tenacity when it comes to wide cracks. Sadly i do not live in laramie (have considered moving there) but am a short drive away in a colorado mountain town. i have spent about a dozen days there so far this season and have been making my rounds on all of the wide classic moderates (mother#1, upper slot right, fantasia). i have become more interested in testing my ability at levitation as i would love to send some of the more stout offwidths around (ie: crack of fear, luciell and belly full of bad berries) although i know not all those climbs require such technique, i would love to get my feet wet on some of the voos best inverted boulder problems in hopes that one day i can slay a .12 OW.i just wanted to e mail you and see if you had a reccomendation for any boulder problems in the voo you would reccomend to get started on getting my feet over my head. in addition, besides what has recently been published in climbing what other classic climbs in the voo do you reccomend (10+ to -12)? also if you are back in the voo any time this fall i would love to meet you and watch you crush some wide cracks.

  13. Nate Goodman

    Hey Pamela,
    You are super inspiring and I hope to get strong like you one day soon! Anyhow one of my buddies is getting hitched this September. We’ve been stoked to climb wide cracks together and our time I feel has been rather special. His Bachelor party is in Vedauwoo (this frames the passion for wide cracks). Looking for an awesome gift for him and thought a poster of you crushing would be really neat. Any way you’d send a signed one out for him? I’d pay postage or whatever.
    Thanks for your time.

    • Nate I’m so sorry I didn’t catch up on my blog until now — but thanks so much for the note and yes of course I would be happy to send a poster out to your friend! Just send along an address and I will send one right out. That is awesome that you guys had his bachelor party in Vedauwoo!! PS I have a great list of inverts for you — are you looking for just Vedauwoo or anywhere in the US in particular! Psyched you are climbing upside-down:)

  14. Nate Goodman

    Hey Pamela,
    Thought while I was asking favors I’d ask where I can find ‘the biggest tits in country music’ along with some recommendations for some other places to learn to invert. Any suggestions/ or tips would be very much appreciated.

    • Nate Goodman

      Pamela, You are super rad for getting back to me. No worries about the delay- Funny that you responded today, he is getting married this weekend! Please send mentioned item to Chris Erickson C/O Nate Goodman 4025 Moorhead Ave. Boulder Co, 80305. No need to expedite the shipping. It’s just neat that you’re willing to send one out. As for Inverts – I live in Boulder, and have more or less exhausted our moderate local OW.. especially with the flood and all. Vedauwoo or surrounding areas are more than acceptable. Found Dolly Parton – not what I expected. It’s quite small if I located the correct thing. Also found Despiendency or what ever. its large sharp and hard – it made me feel like a bitch cuz I couldn’t do a sit up, but could hang, also found the problem that’s right out of the Blair lot. pretty cool but didn’t have a chance to work on it. I’ve been reading your training blog for inspiration and new ideas – I get to go to the RRG in early November and want to Onsight Wide Pride more than… well most things. I built a 4.5 inch crack – not long maybe 20 inches but its enough to work on my foot work and stack strength ( I use a hang board for my hands). It took me 2 weeks to hang on my feet by themselves and that shit hurts! (love it). Any advice about using my tools would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your time, Keep slaying it and leave some wide crack for me… I’ll catch up some day. Sincerely, Nate Goodman

      On Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 2:56 PM, Pamela Shanti Pack wrote:

      > ** > Nate Goodman commented: “Hey Pamela, Thought while I was asking favors > I’d ask where I can find ‘the biggest tits in country music’ along with > some recommendations for some other places to learn to invert. Any > suggestions/ or tips would be very much appreciated.” >

  15. Nate Goodman

    Also,
    One of my buddies is getting hitched this fall. We’ve had a lot of fun together climbing wide cracks, and his bachelor party is gonna be in Vedauwoo. I thought a picture of you crushing it would be a sweet thing to get him for the wedding. Would you be willing to sign and send one out? I’d be willing to pay for shipping or whatever it takes.
    Thanks for your time.

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