Karly Rager Priest

Homebase – Bozeman, MT

Favorite type of climbing – Outdoor Sport Climbing

Favorite Climb – Mothmonsterman (5.13a, 7c+), Big Bear Canyon, MT

Proudest Send – Between Heaven and Hell (5.13b, 8a), Hellgate Gulch, MT

Favorite Trango/Tenaya Gear – React Quickdraws, Tenaya Iati’s, and Catalyst 9.0 80m rope

Life outside of personal climbing – structural design engineer, youth coach at Spire Climbing Center, co-founder of Project Direct Coaching

Hey there! My name is Karly and I am a climber and coach based out of Bozeman, MT. I started climbing about a decade ago while attending Colorado State University for civil and structural engineering. Climbing quickly became a source of enjoyment and relief from the day-to-day pressures of engineering coursework during my undergrade and graduate studies. However, as a nerdy engineer, it was the unique problem solving inherent to climbing that hooked me for life.

As a lifelong athlete, the transition from recreationally climbing to training and pushing personal limits was comfortable. Training felt like a homecoming – reminiscent of my younger years as a gymnast and soccer player. Combining athleticism with climbing movement in America’s outdoor climbing destinations provides me endless sources of fun and fulfillment.

As my climbing experience grows, I tend to think of a route as a collection of focused moments. I find true joy in these fleeting but powerful seconds. As climbers, we to fold all our mental and physical strength into these moments. Each delineation of pushing and pulling, of weighting and unweighting, of trying hard when we feel like I have already reached our limit, helps us grow in ways that are not exclusive to climbing. The calm confidence I have gained from these experiences is what I strive to bring home from the crag and share with others.

I get the most stoked about single pitch sport climbing, but I enjoy all modes of movement over rock. Bouldering, trad climbing, and alpine climbing all frequently make an appearance in my seasons. I typically like to project longer sport routes that have interesting sequences of movement. I enjoy climbing through a massive pump to snag a send. Then, the after-climb beer with friends typically how I like to end the day.

Currently, I am focusing heavily on coaching others in the sport and further establishing myself in the 5.13 grades by refining my own process and skill set. My largest summer plans were in Canada, but since the border has remained closed due to Covid-19, I have refocused her efforts to more local areas. Routes in the Fins, Ten Sleep, and Gallatin Canyon are on the docket, but so is relaxing with friends and family at camp. I’m excited to see what the rest of the year brings!