A Profile of Julia Geisler “Rock Climber & World Traveler”

Maggie Moran

Julia Geisler, seasoned rock climber and world traveler, has been living in the mountains of Utah for the last few years. Shortly after she moved there, she found herself involved in a variety of adventure projects. She became the executive director of a non-profit called, Salt Lake Climbers Alliance, a rock climbing guide for White Pine Touring, a small business owner of Park City Yoga Adventures, and explored some new climbing territories across the pond.

Julia yearns to learn. Her adventurous spirit occurs most when she is ready to experience something new. “I (like to) experience something new outside my comfort zone to throw off the mundane,” Julia explains, “it makes me appreciate the mundane when I return. I need to learn something.”

Her travels have taken her on many trips with friends, as well as many trips alone where she has made life-long friendships in the wake of her spontaneity. She encourages both types of travel for women, suggesting, “I like both and both are needed. One to deepen your relationship with another, and hopefully they turn out to be fun,” she pokes, “and one to deepen your relationship with yourself.” Although, for females traveling alone, Julia suggests that a woman must keep her head about her.

Since grade school, she has come to understand these discoveries by taking chances with other countries in more ways than one. She took a university semester in Costa Rica, taught English in Japan, rock-climbed in Thailand, Greece, Turkey, Peru, and Mexico, took a solo tour through South America, and has adventured through the greater United States.

Her favorite places were Peru and Greece. In Peru she climbed her highest elevation of 19,000 feet. On her solo trip to Greece, she took her own climbing gear and without a plan or any contacts, flew there with the hopes that she would unite with fellow adventurers to find a climbing partner for her journey. By doing this, she “found a whole new group of friends and raised the bar for myself and what I believed I could do on the rock.”

Traveling, though exciting, isn’t always safe. Julia shared an experience with us about a remote beach in northern Costa Rica called, Witches Rock, where she and her boyfriend were camping, and were stalked by howler monkeys. Julia said, “(we were) in a tent about 2 hours from the nearest road. We were out of food and water and about 25 howler monkeys were stalking our tent. They sounded like lions.”

Julia’s next adventure will be to Africa. When she was a little girl, she saw pictures of her aunt and uncle working in the Peace Corps in Africa and has had a desire to explore the terrain ever since. Although her aunt and uncle initiated her sticky feet, her mother is her biggest inspiration. She says of her mother, “she never stops. She is just now at 56 learning yoga and how to rock climb. She recently quit her corporate job in Maryland and moved to Park City for the winter with her daughters to be a ski bum. She wants to love the life she leads with those she loves. Go mom!”

Julia’s travel advice:

“If I could only pack 3 things in my backpack, I’d pack ear plugs, a toothbrush, and my puffy Patagonia jacket. If you expect things to be a certain way when you travel, then it will always be disappointing. That’s the point though; to try something new.”—Julia Geisler