An intrepid mountaineer with a love of the summit, Maggie Crawford is spending her summer chasing down some big goals. We recently caught up with this daring darling, and are excited to introduce her to you.
You’re a climber, mountain biker, trail runner, skier, surfer, and kayaker. Which of your sports are you focusing on this summer?
This summer, I am focusing on mountaineering. I love it--- it requires a mixture of my climbing skills and my knack for endurance sports. My ultimate goal this summer is to set the California 14ers Speed Ascent Record, which consists of climbing California’s fifteen 14,000’ peaks, most of which are technical, in about 5 days. The best part is that training for the record consists of climbing amazing Sierra peaks!
As both a Type I diabetic and a vegan, how do you stay fueled for all of these adventures?
By eating tons of food! My go-to climbing food is tempeh because it’s high in protein and packs well. My second favorite adventure food is dried mangoes covered in lime and chili powder, because they taste great and are easy to grab if I need sugar. And the whole time, I eat LÄRABAR! I love that these bars are made from whole foods, so that I don’t have to worry about hidden ingredients.
You are doing things that many people would be afraid to attempt. When you’re in the mountains, do you ever experience fear?
Absolutely. I think healthy fear is an important aspect of climbing because it helps maintain respect for the mountain. I try to avoid having unhealthy fear, because it results in stress and hasty decision-making. Usually when I start feeling afraid, I sing to myself and try to be fully present in order to keep the energy positive and the fear productive.
The summit is obviously a place you love to be. What is it about being on top of a mountain that brings you so much joy?
I can’t think of a better place to be than a mountain top. Mountain tops are serene, they perch above the world and let the clouds engulf them and people scramble around on them. It makes me so happy to sit on top of a mountain and look at the world from way up high; I appreciate the perspective it gives me on life--- nothing from the civilized world matters when you are on a mountain top. I also love how raw conditions are on the summit. The wind stings your face, and the snow feels extra cold. But on a bluebird day, there are few things brighter and more soul-warming than the mountain sun shining down.
When you accomplish a goal (since we know you do this a lot!), what’s your favorite way to celebrate?
If you ask my climbing partners, they would probably say that I celebrate the whole time! I tend to fill my climbs with singing and giggling. Once I get off a route, I usually cook a feast and then soak in the hot springs for a day or two. Then I return to the coast, where I drink cappuccinos and surf with my boyfriend--- and snuggle with my puppy dog, Muir.
*Photo by R. Tyler Gross