Q&A With Ambassadr Grace Hsieh
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
Grace is an awesome climber and backpacker based in San Francisco!
What are your outdoor activities?
I absolutely love being outside! I enjoy hiking, climbing (bouldering and sport), snowboarding, backpacking, and landscape photography-- if that counts as an outdoor activity.
What’s the piece of gear you’ve owned the longest?
My passion for the outdoors started only 3 years ago, so the oldest piece of gear I own is my climbing harness from Black Diamond. I have taken so many falls indoors and outdoors, so I appreciate its durability so much!
What’s your favorite memory with it?
Back in July 2019, I did my first multi-pitch climb over the roaring Cheakamus River in Squamish, BC. The things that kept me from falling into the river was this reliable harness, my friend’s rope, and my grip.
When did you first fall in love with the outdoors?
When I was child, I didn’t get the opportunity to explore the outdoors, nor did I appreciate it at the time. But 3 years ago when I traveled to Washington state to hike in its lush landscape, alpine lakes, and layered mountain ridges, it really just hit me that I’ve been missing out on this for my whole life.
It was on the ledge of the mountain where I realized that this is where I need to be-- whether it be every weekend, or even once a month. It became a form of therapy whenever I needed to feel humbled in an incredible landscape, or whenever I needed to draw inspiration.
If you could change something about outdoor culture, what would it be?
Outdoor culture should be diversified and made accessible. Many communities of color do not have access to the outdoors due to past experiences, accessibility, and affordability.
Because of individual life experiences, not everyone has the privilege of being able to be out in nature. This is because not everyone is able to access the outdoors, and may lack support from a community that would motivate them to take the initial step to explore it. In addition, it may be challenging to afford expensive gear or pay for transportation to experience the outdoors. These are factors that I wish to help drive change for so that everyone will be able to access the same therapy that helped many others (including myself) find balance, confidence, and joy in.
All photos courtesy of Grace Hsieh.