Sabra Purdy

I’m Sabra Purdy, the other half of Cliffhanger Guides. I grew up scrambling on the crazy limestone boulders in Columbia State Park. Early on, I realized that the eastern Sierra was where I wanted to be. I liked big landscapes, big views, and big old pieces of stone. I learned to climb on the rocks of Tuolumne Meadows and its environs and realized that this messing about on rocks made me happier than anything else in the world. I love rocks, rivers, and road trips, and have a special fondness for ill-conceived journeys into foreign countries (a formative travel book in my youth was titled I Should Have Stayed Home).

Around 2005 I met one Mr. Seth Heydon Zaharias – mad Greek, inspired adventurer, climber of off-widths, and hands down, the funniest person I’ve ever known. I’ve never had a better partner and we recognized in each other kindred spirits. So much so that I hauled off and married him. Now that was an adventure! We’ve spent many wonderful days together on the rock, adventuring, and causing scenes. Somewhere along the line in my checkered academic career (it took me 8 years to get my undergrad because I kept running off to the mountains), I got hired to take kids climbing. That was so much fun, I hired on with a local organization that got kids outside fooling around in dirt and climbing. Eventually, I ended up at UC Davis where I spent the next 6 years working for their highly developed outdoor program, Outdoor Adventures, while pursuing a Masters’s in Restoration Ecology. At OA, I managed the climbing program, taught classes, and trained guides. In more recent years I’ve taken courses through the Professional Climbing Guides Institute and started Cliffhanger Guides with Seth.

People have a deep-seated need for adventure in the outdoors. It allows us to refresh our minds and spirits and gets us away from the grind of our stressful lives. I have seen firsthand how transformative a fun and exciting day in the outdoors can be. We feel like it is our personal duty to get people out into nature. It feels so good to see someone’s face light up when they reach the top of a climb, the happy camaraderie of a day well-spent in the mountains, the amazing transformation that occurs as stress and the everyday concerns fall away.  We’ll make you laugh with our off-color stories and our hare-brained schemes. I’ll tell you more than you ever wanted to know about bugs and snakes and weeds and things. We will eat and be merry. I invite you to come adventuring with us.

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