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One Couple, Two Distinct Climbing Careers

How does one couple balance their two distinct climbing careers? We asked Emily how she and Adrian manage to make it work and how their new YouTube series, DangerStik TV, plays into the mix.

Q: You and Adrian are both working on some pretty big projects. Can you give us a rundown of what you are both working towards?

“Adrian has guided Everest every spring for the past 12 seasons. He’s there now, as an expedition leader for 40 people- basically a small village. His personal goal is to climb K2 this summer without supplemental oxygen.

On my side of things- I’m trying to free climb (not free solo) El Capitan via the Golden Gate Route in a single day. I’ve climbed that route in 2015 over 6 days and now I really want to do it in a day. It’s the epitome of hard, big wall climbing.

El Cap is so iconic. It’s incredibly steep, technically difficult, and there’s no easy way up. To be able to free climb it in a day is a massive test of strength, endurance, and experience. It’s the culmination of over two decades of climbing for me.”

Q: With such different climbing goals, and ultimately different lifestyles, why did you and Adrian decide to start working on DangerStik TV together? 

“Adrian and I do a lot of things apart and it was sort of my way of connecting with him more- having a project together. A lot of the time, we have separate sponsors and separate projects BUT we also share a lot. I wanted to formalize that by telling the story of how we make it all work.

There is no magic formula for having a good relationship. I wanted to illustrate that despite our climbing careers and the alternative lifestyle we lead, really, we’re just like every other couple and we deal with the same struggles, we’re just in a different setting.

That’s the idea behind it- to connect with people on that level but also through these extreme and adventurous things that we do. Basically, I think it’s a good story- and I wanted to share it!

Q: The demands of your respective careers force you and Adrian to spend a lot of time apart, what adventures bring you guys together?

“We are both climbers and skiers in the broadest sense of the word but we have different specialties. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses but those differences actually complement each other really well. I can support Adrian in a lot of his training/objectives and vice-versa. We get to do a lot of things together.

In the winter, ski trips are the primary thing that we do together. We’ve been on a couple of big mountain ski trips- we’ve been to the Himalaya (Cho Oyu) and to South America (Ecuador and Peru). We’re going to Ecuador in early December with my dad and our friend Lindsay.

On the rock climbing side of things, we’ve climbed El Cap together. This fall we’re going on a rock climbing trip for both of us to try to climb our hardest routes. So there is a lot of crossover despite the fact that we specialize in different disciplines.”

Q: Tell us more about your upcoming trip to Ecuador

“Ecuador is my favorite country for one thing- it’s the perfect mix of culture, adventure, luxury, and suffering.

I’ve climbed Cotopaxi before and I skied it last year with my friend Michelle Parker.

This year our Ring of Fire Ski Expedition is going to be a really fun trip to bring my dad and my friend Lindsay along for. They are both avid climbers and skiers and it’s going to be the perfect challenge for them this fall. It’s a great objective for everyone, even having been there a couple of times, skiing/climbing in Ecuador is never boring for us. From my dad who is in his 60’s and my friend Lindsay who is in her 30’s- it’s such a cool trip because it’s fun for everyone.”


For information on the Ecuador Ring of Fire Ski Expedition or any of our other expeditions check out our website. For any questions call our office at 877-873-5376 or send us an email We hope to climb with you soon!

DangerStik TV is produced by Susie Theis. Check out her Instagram here.