Profile: A Great Future in Climbing
Tyler Odell, a seventeen-year-old Mountaineering Club leader, good friend, and HHS student from rural Norwich, Vermont has the greatest passion for climbing I’ve ever seen. Tyler started his climbing career back when he was 11 with his friend’s dad who took him on many climbing expeditions to show him the ropes. Tyler never got fully invested into climbing until early freshman year of high school. “Free Solo” which was a movie that came out in 2019, the year that Tyler was a freshman, is what Tyler says sparked his enthusiasm to get back into the sport which he had forgotten about for quite some time.
I was curious to know if Tyler had any frustrations when getting back into the sport because it can be very grueling when progressing to more of an expert level. Tyler responded with: “It’s just so fun you know? If you fall off you just get stronger.” Tyler started climbing in a gym for the first year and a half of when he began getting back into the sport but over the summer of 2020 he began going to different spots around New England, like Deer’s Leap, and many others and realized how much different and more challenging climbing outside could be. Over the past year Tyler has worked from only climbing with a watermelon colored chalk bag to acquiring the amount of gear that many professional climbers use.
Once Tyler began climbing more outside his mindset began to change and he began more drawn to the cold and the options of ice climbing and mountaineering. He loved the risk and thrill of summiting a mountain in the middle of the night or early morning in the chilling wind and storms that mountains bring. Tyler and his twin brother, Eamon, and myself summited Mount Washington in early autumn. But Tyler’s adventures didn’t stop there. A few weeks later he attempted and finished the presidential traverse in under 18 hours and then went on to do a winter ascent of Mount Washington and Mount Madison in the middle of the night with his girlfriend.
There are many risks involved in climbing these mountains in the winter and Tyler has come very close to perishing in the peaks of the Presidentials. When Eamon and Tyler were doing their winter summit attempt of Mount Washington, the wind picked up and visibility completely disappeared which meant they needed to get off the mount as fast as possible. Tyler slipped and fell about 10 feet from a 40 foot ice fall. His phone slipped out of his pocket and fell down the fall but luckily Tyler came out unharmed.
Tyler’s future is all about climbing. He has started the Mountaineering Club at HHS and hopes to lead fellow students on adventures with him. His next adventures and ascents include: a winter presidential traverse attempt, a winter ascent of Mount Katahdin, and Denali in Alaska. Tyler only sees climbing and mountaineering in his future which is why I believe he is the most passionate climber I have ever met. He wants to be a guide in the White Mountains and hopefully move out west and guide people out there. Although these are only dreams right now, I believe that the passion that Tyler has for climbing will be all he needs to accomplish these goals.