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UP YOU GO: Roxanna Brock (left) teaches an Eastern Oregon student proper rock climbing techniques on the climbing wall in a clinic at the college Thursday. (The Observer/LAURA MACKIE-HANCOCK).
UP YOU GO: Roxanna Brock (left) teaches an Eastern Oregon student proper rock climbing techniques on the climbing wall in a clinic at the college Thursday. (The Observer/LAURA MACKIE-HANCOCK).

By Raenelle Kwock

Observer Staff Writer

World-renowned rock climber Roxanna Brock is a very busy person.

Besides climbing all over the world and nearly all the popular areas in the United States, the Las Vegas resident hopes to write her third rock climbing guidebook.

She also writes articles, teaches rock climbing in Las Vegas, takes pictures for climbing magazines and travels all over the United States to give slide shows and clinics.

Before she taught a clinic and presented a slide show in La Grande Thursday, Brock answered questions in an e-mail interview.

Brock has been climbing for 11 years. She got interested after a boyfriend started rock climbing. They lived in different cities, and she wanted to surprise him by learning how to climb, so they could climb together.

"I surprised him all right," she said. "I got so good, so fast that he couldn't deal with it. I had to let go of that love interest and climbing became my real love."

Rock climbing attracted Brock because of being outside and the focus of the experience.

Brock said rock climbing puts her in the moment.

"There is nothing more freeing to me than the silence of trying to figure out how to climb something," she said.

"My attention is totally focused on the problem, to figure out how to climb this thing without falling. I'm very aware of my body, the position of my body, I feel the rock, I hear the birds (and various other creatures), the wind blows on my face. One can't imagine a more surreal experience."

Brock has had so many memorable climbs. One of those climbs was Desert Gold in Red Rocks, Nevada.

It is a 5.13 grade (or level of difficulty) crack climb that has a completely horizontal section, where you climb upside down, she said.

Desert Gold was a big accomplishment after Brock's divorce a year and a half ago.

"I was feeling like I couldn't do anything on my own," she said.

"I found a wealth of friends who were willing to hike an hour just to give me a belay on a difficult route. I found that I had all the strength I needed to accomplish my goals and I didn't need someone else to lean on. It's an ongoing learning experience and thus the reason for my trying to give other women (in my clinics) the confidence I've found in rock climbing."

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