Sure, all that expensive rock climbing gear you have is great, but the next time you pull out your fancy climbing clothes, think of Jeanette LeBeau climbing Independence Monument in her socks. In her interview with the Mesa County Oral History Project, LeBeau talks about she and other children from Fruita, Colorado free-climbing Independence Monument at a tender age. She and her friends would climb together to the top, sign the book that was there (which, at that time in the early Twentieth century, included less than 100 names) and then descend again. By the time they got down, their socks were worn through. In all, Jeanette estimates that she climbed the Monument four times. The last time, at sixteen, she experienced fear for the first time, and decided not to repeat the feet.
For more of Jeanette LeBeau’s story, including being treed by a mountain lion on Piñon Mesa after she and her friends practiced mountain lion sounds, listen to her interview in its entirety. Visit the Mesa County Oral History Project page for more about the project, and visit our 970West Digital Collection to explore our other great digital content.