Angie Scarth-Johnson lifestyle globetrotter since age 9

17 January 2022

Angie Scarth-Johnson made the first 8a headline at age 9 by doing an 8b in Red River Gorge (KY). Amazingly, her parents did not climb but supported her big interest by doing nine 1 - 3 months trips to Europe and the USA until she was 16. At age eleven, she did her first 8c and we made an interview. "I don’t have a trainer, I tried for a couple of months having an online trainer but it didn’t work out, so I just went back to training myself. I write my own programs and have done this since I was 8. I find that this really works for me."

Last September, the Australian did her first 9a, Victimes del Future in Margalef where she has spent the last year. We asked Angie if she describe how it was being a lifestyle globetrotter since age 9. (c) Jan Novak

"I started climbing when I was 7 years old, not long after I began climbing outside in the local crags after school with my dad. When I started climbing, competitions weren’t really a massive thing and I wasn't really interested in it anyways. I enjoy the challenges that came with climbing rocks and the process of projecting. When I was 9 years old my parents planned our first overseas family trip to the United States. By this point, I was totally in love with climbing and it was mostly all I thought about. My parents suggested we could maybe stop by and visit some outdoor crags in the states to try out the climbing in another country. This was extremely exciting for me, with Australia being pretty far from the rest of the world, climbing in another country was a big deal.

We visited Red River Gorge. A very picturesque climbing area, especially in the autumn. I'd say after this trip I was more hooked on climbing than ever before. I sent my first 8b and a bunch of other amazing lines, my eyes were suddenly open to the possibilities within climbing. After this successful trip, I began to seek out other climbing opportunities around the world. We started to do two trips overseas per year. Eventually, the trips got longer and more frequent. With all the travelling, training and climbing going on I needed an alternative to my schooling. This is when I started a homeschooling program and I began to study at the crag, on the planes and at the gyms. My mum would teach me and we’d often visit a lot of historical sites around the world as history was my favourite subject.

A lot of people often ask if I missed out on having friends because I didn’t go to a normal school. Because of the level I climbed at, I was always surrounded by older climbers growing up, so I ended up having a lot of older friends, funnily enough, almost all of those people are still my friends today. I learned a lot through watching these people climb.

I returned back to school in the first year of high school, my parents wanted to allow me to see if I wanted to finish my schooling years back at school and spend time with kids my own age. I actually hated it, I felt lost amongst a bunch of kids, even though I was a kid. I guess I had matured a lot faster, and I was really just interested in finding myself in climbing. So, Back to the outdoors, I went with my books and my pens and I finished high school at the crag.

My schooling years were very unique, to say the least. But it allowed me to continue with my climbing and fully focus on what I loved to do. Now looking back on it I wouldn’t change a thing. At the moment I’m now spending a lot of time living between Spain and Australia. I finished school and I continue to chase my climbing goals wherever it may take me."

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