Five Questions With Ice Climber Margo Talbot

Our athletes and ambassadors shred gnar and send hard lines, but there’s much more behind the scenes: other careers, balancing family life, creating art, giving back. To dig deeper into the adventure lifestyle, we’ve created Five Questions, an ongoing feature asking OR athletes the hard questions. And sometimes more than just five.

How did you get started in your sport?

When I was 28 years old, I was introduced to ice climbing and thrown in jail within the space of a month. It was a rock-bottom decision point, and I chose climbing.

What keeps you climbing?

The pure joy of the activity. The wonderful people I meet when I’m out in the mountains. The effect of open-air exercise on the mood-stabilizing chemicals in my brain.

What is your typical day/week schedule?

I devote part of each day to writing and to working on presentations. I do some sort of training most days, not just to stay fit and strong, but for the mood-enhancing effect I mentioned previously. And I love dinner parties!

Finish this sentence: In high school I … watched as my girl friends became obsessed with fashion, make-up and boys. I just went straight for the boys.

Any advice to young people getting started in your sport?

Do it because you love it. There is no better way to have fun and excel in the activity of your choice. Choose your partners carefully; they will be integral to your learning curve, as well as your safety.

Favorite place on the planet?

Antarctica. It’s the physical representation of the untouched purity at the core of us all, not to mention the ideal sate of the natural world.

If you could leave aspiring athletes with one important piece of life advice or words of wisdom, what would it be?

Impress yourself. In the end, what will matter most is not what you accomplished, but who you became as a result of engaging in the world of sport.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Doing my SCUBA diving certification in the Cayman Islands. Although I climb ice, water in its liquid form has always terrified me. I’ll be running into the fire, so to speak.

What’s your favorite piece of OR gear?

My Incandescent Jacket—it accompanies me on ice climbs, shopping outings and to fine restaurants.

Where do you live now and why?

Canmore, Alberta. The most important growth of my lifetime happened in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

Why don’t you brush your hair?

I’m a quick-witted woman of action. I simply don’t have time.