PEOPLE WITH A PURPOSE - MIRANDA SCOLARO
SEED People’s Market is a curation of like-minded humans from all walks of life - Makers, planters, hikers, climbers, and wanderers to name a few. Together, we’re committed to educate sustainability, elevate community, and encourage diversity. People with a Purpose is a celebration of this - Highlighting members of our community, and sharing each story and purpose.
Today, we are celebrating Miranda Scolaro; A rare gem who dedicates her absolute best to climbs, conservation, community, and everything in between. We were introduced to Miranda at our marketplace as she and co. checked off bouldering necessities and soon embarked on their ventures up north. Right away, we acknowledged and admired her electric energy and graceful gesture. And through an engaging chat, we learned Miranda’s story and soon understood her purpose.
"was like learning a new science."
Miranda, we’re excited to be introduced here at SEED People's Market. We can tell that climbing is seemingly in your DNA. When did you pick up climbing and who were your earliest inspirations?
I started climbing in early January of 2021, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I met my boyfriend, Finn, an incredibly strong and talented boulderer, about a week after I began climbing casually, and I remember my jaw dropped the first time he took me bouldering outside with his friends. Observing their process; Watching as they discussed intricate movement and analyzed tiny features on rocks, was like learning a new science, and the excitement that ensued as they successfully topped a boulder was contagious. I’ve been trying to catch up to them ever since, and even today, watching my closest friends try their hardest fuels my fire.
"incomparable to anything I’ve experienced..."
We have a strong presence of climbers in our community. Many of which can be found bouldering outdoors, as well as climbing indoors. Do you do a bit of both? What are the pros and cons of an indoor and outdoor setting?
I love bouldering in the gym, and I climb indoors about 2-3 times a week, but I mostly consider it as an opportunity to train for my outdoor projects. Indoor bouldering is obviously much more beginner-friendly, more convenient, and easier on the skin. Outdoor bouldering, on the other hand, requires a greater time commitment (Most climbing areas in SoCal are at least a two house drive from Orange County), crashpads, and can be difficult to navigate without an experienced guide. Outdoor climbing also has a steeper learning curve and grades will feel much harder initially, but the reward is worth it; The adrenaline rush I get from topping a real boulder is incomparable to anything I’ve experienced in the gym.
"learning to love the process."
Our passions in life can often shape who we are as people. Have there been any life lessons through the first few years of climbing?
The mental aspect of climbing has proven to be one of the most challenging facets of the sport for me. I have long struggled with perfectionism and have spent a lot of my life equating my performance with my worth, and so, in the past, failure to top a boulder felt like a devastating blow. But that’s not how climbing works; For every triumphant send, there are dozens, sometimes hundreds of falls. I’m learning to love the process, celebrate tiny victories, and to recognize how silly it is to get upset over a rock when I’m surrounded by amazing people in some of the most beautiful places!
"after a stubborn 20 attempts or so, it stuck!"
“Trimphant send”. We love that. What is the highest bouldering grade you’ve triumphed?
The highest grade boulder I’ve completed is a V9 in Red Rocks Canyon State Park called, “Poison Control”. A short, yet powerful boulder. The grade is attributed to its small, sharp starting holds and a powerful move that involves both feet coming off. Initially, I had reservations that I was even capable of performing such a move, but after a stubborn 20 attempts or so, it stuck!
"stubbornly throwing myself at projects nonstop and neglecting to listen to my body."
We often coin the phrase, “high risk, high reward.” Sometimes those risks get the better end of the stick. Have there been any close-calls or significant injuries?
I’ve nursed several minor injuries since I started climbing, including 2 finger pulley sprains and a shoulder impingement injury. Oddly enough, each of these injuries was sustained when training indoors, a consequence of stubbornly throwing myself at projects nonstop and neglecting to listen to my body. I’ve since then placed more emphasis on warming up and cooling down properly, hydrating sufficiently, resting, and being patient!
"a hat, sun hoodie, and sunscreen are always in my arsenal."
Let’s talk climbing apparel! What are the most ideal things to wear?
Ultimately, the “ideal” climbing apparel boils down to individual preference. I’ve seen experienced climbers top boulders in everything from skinny jeans to spandex, but most athletes opt for materials that are stretchy, breathable, and durable. In the winter months, I stick to thicker pants to protect my skin from scrapes and cuts, and during harsh SoCal summers, I keep it minimal with shorts. Regardless of the season, a hat, sun hoodie, and sunscreen are always in my arsenal.
"and I’m so grateful for it."
Community is everything. Can you highlight the community that surrounds climbing?
It’s awesome. To this day, I’m amazed how welcoming and supportive this community is. Coming from a standard weight-lifting gym where I barely interacted with anyone, it feels so surreal to walk into my local climbing gym, Hangar 18 in Orange, and see dozens of familiar faces. Even if it’s your first time there, chances are some stranger is cheering you on as you struggle up their warmup. This community has connected me with some of my closest friends and so many amazing people I’d otherwise have never met, and I’m so grateful for it.
"grit my teeth and push through..."
Having a support system behind every step and scratch must be uplifting. Do you agree?
I wouldn’t be half the climber I am today if I climbed alone. Climbing often requires a lot of creativity, and I’m constantly learning from my peers. There’s so much trial and error involved, and it’s such a fun shared experience to battle a climb alongside a friend. I used to struggle with performance anxiety, but that’s changed completely. Countless times now, I’ve considered dropping from a climb, only to grit my teeth and push through because my friends are cheering me on below.
"I plan to explore much more."
Has climbing led you and your friends to any great deal of traveling?
Because I am still relatively new to climbing, I have yet to travel too far from home in pursuit of boulders. Southern California is so dense with such amazing and diverse climbs, so I have plenty to keep me busy here. Outside of So Cal, I’ve ventured to South Lake Tahoe, Red Rocks Canyon in Nevada, and Castle Rock State Park in Northern California, but I plan to explore much more in the coming years.
"just a few of the top contenders..."
11:11, make a wish! What is your bucket list destination?
There are so many amazing places I hope climbing will take me one day; the breathtaking sandstone boulders in Rocklands, South Africa and alpine bouldering in Magic Wood, Switzerland are just a few of the top contenders.
"climb healthily for as long as I can."
We’re very impressed with your climbing achievements thus far! What are some of your future goals?
When I first started climbing outside, I set what I thought was a wildly ambitious goal of climbing a V10 one day. Now, I’m working on my first V10 project a little over two and a half years later, and I anticipate that it will go down by the end of the year! Ultimately, my goal is to climb healthily for as long as I can, but sending a V12 one day, in the very distant future, would be pretty insane.
"a purpose that resonates strongly with me."
We would like to conclude our amazing discussion with a question we’d like to ask everyone; What do you believe is your purpose in life?
I was fortunate enough to grow up immersed in nature within a family that fostered a rich appreciation for the outdoors, and so sharing this passion with others is a purpose that resonates strongly with me. My dream is to pursue a career in conservation and wildlife biology, so I can play my part in preserving the natural world that has sparked my most special memories. Aside from that, I’d argue that my purpose is simply making the people I love as happy as they make me!
WRITER & EDITOR