Sibylle’s bio
Posted by sibylle in Uncategorized (Tuesday November 30, 1999 at 12:00 am)

Alexi's Climb

Sibylle Hechtel

I’m a writer, climber, and mother.

I’ve climbed since I was little. My father first took me to Yosemite when I was ten. Later, I climbed with my dad’s friends – climbers like Galen Rowell and George Lowe. Jim Bridwell lead me up hard cracks in Yosemite where I met my friend, mentor, and climbing partner, Beverly Johnson. Bev and I did the first female ascent of El Capitan via the Triple Direct route.

Dick Dorworth and I first climbed the North Face of Mitchell in Wyoming’s Cirque of the Towers and with Bugs McKeith I did first ascents on the North Face of Andromeda and other ice climbs in Canada. In 1987, I joined the first western climbers to visit Kyrgyzstan’s Ak-Su mountains. Later I joined expeditions to Shishapangma and Everest.

After my son Tristan was born, I traveled less to remote climbing areas. Instead, we climbed in Yosemite, Devil’s Tower, and City of Rocks. When he was seven, we took Tristan to Germany, Italy, France, and Spain. In this site I describe many of our favorite routes and climbing areas.

You can read the story of Bev’s and my El Capitan ascent, Walls Without Balls,  in Steve Roper’s Ordeal by Piton. See my web site for other stories, some about climbing and others about food or science.

25 comments for Sibylle’s bio »

  1. Hey Sibylle,

    Great photo of you! The site is clean (uncluttered) and easy to navigate. Best of luck on the book!


    Comment by Suzanne Venino — February 17, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

  2. Thank you for including me in the news about your site and blog. Nice picture.

    Comment by Paul Strom — February 22, 2006 @ 7:40 am

  3. I LIKE IT! Keep dreaming of Yosemite-via the Salathe Wall this summer!!

    Comment by Tarrie Burnett — February 24, 2006 @ 1:12 am

  4. i look forward to your recent work….
    nice site,,,,,i’ll be reading some..

    Comment by dave lanman — February 25, 2006 @ 6:19 am

  5. Sibylle:
    You continue to amaze me with your age busting prowess and enthusiasm for LONG, FAST ascents.

    My first El Cap route was the Triple direct  as well.

    Keep up the good work and writing. I hope to be roaming around camp 4 this spring.


    Bob Carmichael

    Comment by Bob Carmichael — February 27, 2006 @ 11:37 am

  6. Hey Sibylle,

    Good to hear from you. Your book idea sounds great. Of course, I only climb with family and friends. Guessing you may want to include my route “Family Values” above Telluride. Yeah the bouldering around here is endless, I’ll give you the tour, along with the family-friendly crags.

    cheers, Charlie

    Comment by Charlie Fowler — February 28, 2006 @ 5:01 am

  7. Sibylle
    I like your site. Don’t travel like we did in the old days, but sure is nice to dream about the places and climbs that we did.
    Bob and Carrie

    Comment by Bob Robertson — March 5, 2006 @ 12:28 am

  8. Great if terrifying picture. I’ll be glad to buy coffee next AAAS meeting if you promise not to make me go climbing.
    Jerry Pournelle

    Comment by Jerry Pournelle — March 5, 2006 @ 10:15 pm

  9. Sibylle,

    On behalf of the entire Ethics of Ambition class, thanks for coming in to speak to us! You are truly inspiring and we’re blown away by your passion for all that you do.

    Kelly Brewer

    Comment by Kelly Brewer — March 7, 2006 @ 11:13 pm

  10. Sibylle,

    Great to run across this site. I am happy you are enjoying all these great adventures with your son.

    All the best,


    Comment by Mike Graham — April 4, 2006 @ 10:46 am

  11. Sibylle, I was surprised to find the link to your cool site on Supertopo! Great to see that you are still a highly motivated climber and athlete and that you can share your passions with your son Tristan. There’s nothing in climbing to rival the adventure of climbing skinny sandstone spires. My boy Jacob is only 4 years old and I can’t wait untill we can swing leads as well!

    Comment by David Evans — April 4, 2006 @ 11:20 am

  12. Hello Sibylle,
    It was great getting to know you and Tristan in Indian Creek! My trip to Red Rocks soon after was a blast! Have fun in Spain and lets stay in touch!
    Peace and light.

    Comment by Eric Remza — April 28, 2006 @ 9:51 pm

  13. Hi Sybille, I remember your visit to my husband Walter’s and my house in the eastern Sierra several years ago. Thank you for your comments about Walter. I’m sorry that Lily and I never got to meet Tristan. I hope you and he are well.
    I do want you to know that Walter never would’ve jumped in to rescue the other two patrollers if he had thought there were any gases at toxic levels. He was always the safest and most thoughtful of climbers, mountaineers, workers, etc. and never would have thought of leaving his daughter fatherless in such a cavalier manner. It is difficult enough for me and Lily to deal with his death, without the thought that people might think he was a silly hero. He only thought that James and Scott had suffered head injuries.
    I know you knew him well enough, however long ago, to know that.

    Comment by lori michelon — May 11, 2006 @ 11:38 pm

  14. Hi Sybille!
    Very nice blog!
    I love climbing and of course this blog: I add this to my page.
    See you!

    Comment by ciccolini — August 26, 2006 @ 8:25 am

  15. Hey Sybille! One of my colleagues at BootsnAll posted this and I thought of you. I’m writing a blog for them on Eco-travel, due to make its debut soon.

    Hope you are out travelling and having fun!


    Comment by Mary Grady — October 10, 2006 @ 9:29 am

  16. Dick Dorworth’s name is popping up all over. While leafing through the November issue of ‘Skiing’ magazine just yesterday, I saw a photo of Dorworth — snow-caked beard and bare-headed with long kinky hair) ripping thru the powder at Jackson Hole backcountry. Age: 68. Spirit: free. Today, I finally checked this blog and found Dorworth in your climbing history. Things often come in threes. I wonder where Dorworth’s name will pop up tomorrow.

    Comment by Claire Walter — November 5, 2006 @ 12:11 pm

  17. Sibylle,

    Wonderful website, I have been watching it since you gave it to me on one of our ski trips. It’s amazing to see how much your son has grown! When you have time, send me an email back. Our family is planning on being in Colorado in mid February and I wanted to see if you were planning on being around and might be available. It would be great to hear from you! I had to get a new phone and lost your number as a result. My # is still the same. Take care and congrats on everything going so well. Hope to hear from you!!

    Beth Burns- TN

    Comment by Beth Burns — October 26, 2008 @ 5:55 am

  18. Hi Sibylle,

    I was thinking about you today. There on your blog you posted a picture of you all getting ready to climb El Cap back in the ’70’s. I remember I met you at UCI just after you made that ascent [and before you changed your clothes!]

    Jeez, you look the same! Amazing!

    I’d love to see you. Maybe I should run back to Utah and catch you there?

    Warmest regards,
    Dan Shapiro - SoCal

    Comment by Dan Shapiro — November 9, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

  19. Hi Sibylle,

    I believe you were sitting to my left during the 50th El Cap Anniversary presentation last fall. The Rock Ice and Mountain Club would like to invite you to speak to our club in Santa Rosa if you would be so willing. We’d be honored if you would join us. Our club is located in the wine country north of San Francisco. Thanks

    Comment by Alex Sebastian — June 18, 2009 @ 11:58 am

  20. Hi,

    I am a schoolteacher at the Montessori School of Ojai, California. We are having a fundraiser at the Aloha Beach Festival Ventura, California. The promoter is Chipper Bell, Yvon Chouinard personal assistant. This is not a Patagonia event and is in its eleventh year.

    We are going to have a climbing wall with beginning and advanced routes to introduce the public to rock climbing and it’s history. We will also present a display on the importance of water and its watershed from summit to sea. The fundraiser is to get funds to complete our climbing gym at our school. This would be the only climbing structure in the Ojai valley and would be used for the school and the community.

    Attached are the sponsorship level sheets and letters we are sending to companies.

    Pro Climber Tiffany Campbell will be attending and still waiting for possibly Hans and Jacqueline Florine, Kate Rutherford and Ethan Pringle to help with instruction. I also waiting for responses from Royal Robbins, Tom Frost, and Lynn HIll. Beth Rodden and Steph Davis, and Jasmin Caton were considering coming but has another event that weekend. Tiffany and Beth are both in Paul Dusatko’s video “5 women who climb”. I am trying to get a few pro climbers to come to the event to promote climbing and give instruction. Evlov is bringing staff and climbing shoes. Petzl will be providing the harnesses. I would love to have you come to celebrate this event. It would be just for one day September 18th. You could stay as long as you want that day. We could help in finding a place to stay and possible travel costs.

    We have permission to play the video during the event “Vertical Frontier” and “Way Point Namibia”, and “Five Women Who Climb”.

    Any help I would appreciate it.

    Thank you,

    Stan Schneider, Teacher
    Montessori School

    Statement of Philosophy and Mission- The Montessori School of Ojai philosophy is drawn from the vision of Maria Montessori, who believed that the environment, which encourages the fullest development of student potential, is one that affords the opportunity to explore creative as well as intellectual abilities. We believe in working together in a spirit of cooperation, seeking to cultivate and express that which is excellent in each child. Intellectual curiosity and a spirit of inquiry are the activating factors in the educational practice, while active participation in school community builds caring and responsible individuals, promoting lives of integrity, awareness, and purpose. Our school embraces the belief that life can be lived in its fullest sense through lifelong efforts toward personal development and growth.

    Comment by stan schneider — July 3, 2010 @ 7:33 am

  21. Lovely photo…  Would love to climb with you… if in New England, rock or ice… your choice…

    Comment by Paul — July 4, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

  22. A possible climbing companion… rock, ice, ski.

    I can only imagine the stories you’ll tell when we meet! The places you have been… the places you are looking to go to… lovely times

    Comment by Paul — July 4, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

  23. Hallo Frau Hechtel !
    Können Sie mir mal das complette Datum Ihres Vaters senden gebohren-gestorben. Ich habe noch Copien der Lebenserinnerungen und will diese im ANTIQUARIAT unter Grosse Bergsteiger einstellen
    Hans-Dieter Greul / Frankfurt

    Comment by HANS-DIETER GREUL — September 23, 2012 @ 8:36 am

  24. Herr Greuel:
    Bitte schauen sie in meinem VAter sein neues Buch,
    “100 Jahre Felsklettern”
    erhaltbar beim DAV.


    Comment by sibylle — September 23, 2012 @ 11:13 am

  25. Hello sibylle,
    It was nice to meet you at PG Sunnyvale this week, I felt very lucky and I hope to see you again in the future.
    You are a big inspiration, especially for a new climber like myself.

    Comment by Ilanit Eliaz — October 12, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

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