• Mayan Smith-Gobat: What I've Learned
  • Josh Lowell: What I've Learned
  • Steve Hong: What I've Learned
  • Steve House: What I've Learned
  • Daniel Woods: What I've Learned
  • Steph Davis: What I've Learned
  • Nick Duttle: What I've Learned
  • Thomas Huber: What I've Learned
  • Art of Freedom: The Life and Climbs of Voytek Kurtyka
  • Alex Megos: The Hatchling
  • Ryan Vachon: Top Ice Climber and Climate Scientist
  • John Long: What I've Learned
  • Topropers Unite!
  • Steep Learning Curve: Alex Honnold On His Early Free-Soloing Days
  • Andy Kirkpatrick - Words Like Morphine
  • Margo Hayes and the Power of the Mind
  • Snapshot: Michaela Kiersch - The Chicago Hustle
  • Out of Nowhere - Nathaniel Coleman Jumps Onto the Podium
  • Jeff Lowe: What I've Learned
  • The Cheater - Learning to Climb for Myself, the Hard Way
  • John Bachar: What I've Learned
  • Art of the First Ascent: The Bold Climbs of Marcus Garcia
  • The Professional: Hilaree O'Neill
  • The Inventor: Alan Douglas
  • The Advocate: Nicholas Rothenbush
  • The Guide: Kris Erickson
  • The Craftsman: Jimmy Chin
  • Curious Case: Brette Harrington Breaks New Ground
  • Stefano Ghisolfi - One of The World's Best Makes Time For Fun
  • Kai Lightner Reflects on Competitions, Bouldering and the Future
  • The Locomotive: Roy McMurtrey – 87 and Still Climbing
  • No Expectations: Joe Kinder Sends 6 5.14c's in Spain
  • Spotlight: Megan Mascarenas - The Logician
  • Alpine Warriors - History of Alpinists in Yugoslavia
  • Q&A: The Willpower of Mar Álvarez
  • Q&A: Ethan Pringle on Thor's Hammer (5.15a)
  • A Youth Wasted Climbing
  • Bouldering Bub - Isaac Caldiero
  • Spotlight: Alexander Ruchkin - Russian Locomotive
  • Alex Johnson - The Pro Life and Growing Up as a Climber
  • Rock Climbing Saved My Life: A Veteran’s Struggle with PTSD
  • The Beatnik of the Alps: A tale of FA's, Rescues, Love, and Suicide
  • Kev Shields – High Solace: Demons, Depression and Solo Climbing
  • Dean Potter On Laws, Modern America and Soloing Delicate Arch
  • Climbers We Lost in 2014
  • Spotlight: The Double Life of Chris Webb Parsons
  • What I've Learned: Sonnie Trotter
  • What I've Learned: Mark Udall
  • Heinz Mariacher: What I've Learned
  • The Sasha DiGiulian Profile
  • Chris Sharma: What I've Learned
  • The Seeker: Said Belhaj
  • Tommy Caldwell: What I've Learned
  • Reinhold Messner: What I've Learned
  • Sonnie Trotter's Favorite 5.10: Exasperator (5.10c)
  • Unbroken: The Alex Johnson Profile
  • Listening for the Echo: The Klem Loskot Profile
  • Climbers We Lost in 2013
  • Kilian Jornet Breaks Speed Record on Mont Blanc
  • Layton Kor Dies
  • Climbers We Lost in 2012
  • Life on Hold: The Ian Powell Story
  • Rope Jumping with Dan Osman
  • The Centurian: Ricardo Cassin
  • Mike Foley: Never Enough
  • Naomi Guy: What I've Learned
  • Hayden Kennedy: Superballistic
  • Dave Macleod: What I've Learned
  • Q&A: V15 Maestro Nacho Sanchez Unleashed
  • Francesca Metcalf: Meant to Compete
  • Maurice Herzog Dies
  • Mason Earle: Crack Ropegun
  • Kurt Albert: Free Wheel
  • Mayan Smith-Gobat: Climber for all Seasons
  • Nik Berry: Obsessive Crusher
  • TNB: Tony Scott, Climber, Movie Maker, Lived and Died Large
  • Charlie Fowler - American Alpinist
  • Jimmie Dunn
  • The Upstart - Colin Haley
  • Who's Next?
  • Tom Patey: The Tiger of Yesterday
  • Todd Skinner: The Renegade
  • The Stonemasters Climb at Pirates Cove
  • Patxi Usobiaga: The Bionic Man
  • Michael Reardon
  • Max Turgeon and Louis-Philippe Ménard: Alpinists and Ice Climbers
  • Kurt Albert: The Climber Who Invented Redpointing
  • Josh Wharton: The Alpinist
  • John Rosholt: Climber and Gambler Disappears in Las Vegas
  • John Bachar's Last Interview
  • John Bachar Remembers Michael Reardon
  • John Bachar Remembered by Duane Raleigh
  • John Bachar by Henry Barber
  • John Bachar by Doug Robinson
  • John Bachar and the Bachar-Yerian First Ascent
  • Colin Kirkus: Climbing's Greatest Unknown
  • Alex Puccio
  • The Prophet
  • The Guy Whose Nuts Revolutionized Climbing: R.P.
  • Randy Leavitt
  • Galen Rowell: The Vertical World
  • Brian Kim Spotlight
  • Rob Raker
  • Ueli Steck - The Swiss Machine
  • Kemple and Lindner Almost Free El Nino
  • Crack Attack
  • Climbing World Mourns Todd Skinner
  • Ammon McKneely
  • A Tour of Magic and Mystery
  • Tanja Grmovsek
  • Rob Miller
  • Climber Hugh Herr Honored by Esquire Magazine
  • Climber Eric Brand Dies
  • Chuck Fryberger, Climber and Filmmaker
  • Chris Schulte Profile
  • Beth Rodden: What I've Learned
  • Joe Kinder
  • Hazel Findlay
  • To the BASE Layer
  • Pete Ward
  • Mad Max
  • Chris Boskoff
  • Bradford Washburn
  • Revenge of the Nerd
  • Chris Lindner
  • Tim Clifford: Escaping the Quantum Hole
  • Renan Ozturk
  • One-Track Mind
  • Traveling Light
  • Colette McInerney
  • The Banner Years
  • Pakistan: The Big and Free
  • Kris Hampton
  • Jules Cho
  • Extreme Eleven and Beyond
  • Bob Bates, 96, Takes His Final Journey
  • Jody Hansen
  • Home Girl
  • An Encounter with Fred
  • The Average Hero Sir Edmund Hillary, 88
  • More Than One Trick
  • Dave Graham
  • Red River Sugar Mama
  • Phillip Schaal
  • An Advanced Beginner
  • The Last Samurai:
  • Sonnie in Scotland
  • Offwidth Hombre
  • Moonlight Solo-Nata
  • Jasmin Caton
  • Crag Clown
  • Unlikely Candidate
  • Lone Star
  • The Calculator: Alex Kordick
  • Rise of the Machines
  • Dave Waggoner 1955-2009
  • Blood Spider
  • The Audacious Legacy of Tomaz Humar
  • The Original Desert Rat: Kyle Copeland | 51
  • J-Star
  • Italian Legend: Lino Lacedelli | 83
  • Committed: Matt McCormick
  • Cold Justice Paul Cormier
  • The Suffer King
  • The Need for Speed
  • Nick Martino Gives All
  • G-Money
  • Climbing Out of Academic Trouble
  • Charles Houston, 96
  • Bobby Model, 36
  • "Open Bivy" Willy
  • The Genius - Jeff Lowe
  • The Gamer
  • Shock Rock
  • Ryan Triplett | 31
  • John Bachar and the Cosmic Surfboard
  • Hand Crafted
  • Return of the Verm
  • Amped
  • Regime Change
  • Man vs. Snake
  • Living Legend
  • Layton Kor honored by AAC
  • Cold Justice
  • Cowboy Anguish
  • The Rock Jester
  • Mixed Rehab
  • Laura Fletcher
  • Bill Stall
  • Benjamin Strohmeier
  • Joe Six-Pack
  • Freedom Path
  • Manboy
  • Up and Down
  • The Duelist
  • A for Achiever
  • Paul A. Duval
  • Kelly S. Bell
  • Close But No Cigar
  • Video Spotlight
    Where The Wild Things Play
    Where The Wild Things Play
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Chris Sharma's 100-foot Pont d’Arc Deep Water Solo
    Weekend Whipper: Chris Sharma's 100-foot Pont d’Arc Deep Water Solo

    Margo Hayes and the Power of the Mind


    Arriving at Smith Rock, Oregon, in February, Margo Hayes, 18, wanted to try Scarface (5.14a), the first 5.14 put up by an American. She knew its history and author, Scott Franklin; she had grown up on the same gymnastics team with his son, Jesse.

    Yet the start felt very hard on her first go … and second … and third. Hayes, who was visiting from Boulder, thought, Maybe I should just step away from this climb. I don’t have much time here. She could instead hop on a route she knew she could send.

    Then, as she recalls, “I decided to put my all into it. You have to be willing to walk away from a comp or an outside trip empty handed … without the result you wanted or the send you were dreaming about.”

    Her ascent, after “four or five days,” showed how much she could do with tenacity and belief. Later, in August, she broke through yet again, on Rifle, Colorado’s, Bad Girls Club (her first 5.14d), just before leaving for a semester to study French and climb in Aix-en-Provence, Southern France, during a gap year before college.


    Q&A with Margo Hayes:

    Margo Hayes on <em>The Crew (5.14c)</em>, in Rifle, Colorado. Photo: Jon Glassberg / <a target="_blank" href="https://lt11.com/">Louder Than Eleven</a>.How did you feel trying a big route right before leaving the country?

    All you can do is try your hardest and get yourself in the right mindset, and hopefully the magic happens. But rock doesn’t go anywhere. When you’re in a competition you have that moment, to get it done, focus, try your hardest.

    When you’re out on the rock, it’s important to have the same mental state, to make the most of each time you step on. But it’s not over when you fall. The rock will always be there. You can come back even if it’s somewhere across the world.

    What do you plan to study?

    I’ve always really loved science, couldn’t get enough. I probably will major in that. There are a lot of options. Marine biology, medicine, options all over the place. I may double major in art.

    You won a prize in a scholastic art show. What was the art piece?

    I combined art and science. I used 16 test tubes, old test tubes. Each represented a year of my life. One of them was old pencil shavings, lots and lots of pencil shavings, representing when I began drawing. My mom is an artist, and I grew up doing a lot of projects, always having colored pencils or paint.

    Art brings me something I don’t get anywhere else in my life. Almost like a meditation.

    Are your parents athletes?

    My dad is a climber. He grew up in California and played a lot of different sports. In college he was introduced to climbing, started buildering around different campuses and going to Yosemite every weekend. My mom used to climb, before and after they got married. She doesn’t climb anymore. She’s a big gardener.

    Our garden has everything. During the summer probably 50 percent of my diet comes from the garden.


    Yes, I have an older sister, Nola, who just graduated from the University of Venice, Italy. She speaks six languages. She sets the bar. In many ways! I’d like to speak French. I think bilingual is the minimum requirement I have for myself [laughs].

    She just graduated with a degree in Mandarin and auditioned for grad programs in New York. Her passion is theater: dancing, singing, acting. She surprised herself and ended up getting into AMDA [American Musical and Dramatic Academy].

    Strengths and weaknesses?

    I think mentally I’m strong. I put my mind to something and do everything in my power to succeed in it. A lot of that comes from being a gymnast. I think my fingers are pretty strong. My weaknesses [laughs]—those are for me to keep to myself and work on.

    Goals, dreams?

    I don’t normally share super special [goals]. But ... I am hoping to climb much harder than I climb now.


    Latest News: Margo Hayes Sends La Rambla (5.15a)!



    • Bad Girls Club(5.14d), Rifle, CO, ninth overall/first female ascent. 
    • Pure Imagination, Red River Gorge, KY, and The Crew, Rifle (both 5.14c). 
    • Scarface (5.14a), Smith Rock, OR.
    • Two 5.14a’s in a day, also Waka Flocka (5.14b) in five tries. All Rifle, 2015. 
    • USAC Sport Open National Champion, 2016. 
    • Sunshine (V11), Hueco Tanks, TX, 2012. 


    This article was originally published in Rock and Ice issue 238 (November 2016).

    Reader's Commentary:

    Don't want to use Facebook, but still want to comment? We have you covered:

    Add Your Comments to this article: