Adventurer Follows Barefoot Steps of Aging Hero

A spry 90-year-old teaches her protégé that the toughest expeditions are those of our own making.
Carter braves a cold water dip.
By Steve Root

Whether you’re an experienced climber or have never touched a carabiner or a crampon in your life, you owe it to yourself to watch the “Reel Rock” series. At turns hilarious, touching and scary as hell, it’s an examination not only of climbing and adventuring but of the human condition itself — our fears, follies, triumphs and tragedies.

The latest episode, "Operation Moffat," is no exception. Claire Carter is a young Brit at a crossroads, wanting to devote herself to climbing and writing but fearful of committing to her goal, questioning her skills and doubting her determination to truly go for it at the expense of other, more traditional life goals.

Carter weighs her options, seeks inspiration.

Searching for guidance and advice, she seeks out Gwen Moffat, an enigmatic nonagenarian who, in her youth, gave herself fully to her pursuit of climbing and writing, even forgoing — no, deserting — the Army during WWII to pursue that passion and never letting up until her '70s. 

Moffat makes a trademark barefoot ascent.

It’s an inspirational May–December story that might just have you rethinking your own life goals. 

Check out this gallery, then be sure to watch the full episode of "Reel Rock: Operation Moffat."




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