Alex Johnson (climber)

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Alex Johnson
Boulder Worldcup Vienna 28-05-2010 quali-w100 Alex Johnson.jpg
Alex Johnson at the 2010 Bouldering World Cup in Vienna
Personal information
Born (1989-04-03) April 3, 1989 (age 30)
Hudson, Wisconsin, U.S.
ResidenceMinneapolis, MN
OccupationProfessional Rock Climber, Head Coach of Elite Team, Vertical Endeavors
Weight132 lb (60 kg)
Climbing career
Type of climberBouldering
Highest grade
Known fortwo-time Bouldering World Cup gold medalist

Alexandra "Alex" Johnson (born April 3, 1989) is an American rock climber who has made numerous first female ascents, including Clear Blue Skies V12 (8A+) in Colorado, The Mandala V12 (8A+) in Bishop, and Book of Nightmares V12 (8A+) and Lethal Design V12 (8A+) in Red Rocks.[1] She is a five-time United States national champion and two-time Bouldering World Cup gold medalist.[2]


Alex Johnson was born and raised in Hudson, Wisconsin. She began climbing in 1997, won her first American Bouldering Series Youth Climbing National Championship in 2002 at age twelve, and won the Adult National Championships in 2003 at age thirteen.[3] She continued to win professional bouldering competitions throughout her childhood, but in her last two years of high school she turned away from climbing to focus her energy on track, and in 2007 she won the Wisconsin State Championships in pole vaulting. This win helped her earn a track and field scholarship to attend Minnesota State University. However, she quickly grew tired of both school and track, and returned to rock climbing with renewed energy. Her training paid off, and in 2008, she won the gold medal in the first Bouldering World Cup held in America.[4]

After her first World Cup win, Johnson left Minnesota State University and moved to Colorado to focus on bouldering. She took second to Alex Puccio in the 2009 World Cup and won a second gold medal in 2010. She then moved to Europe to train with the Austrian team, but after a string of disappointing finishes in 2011 and a bout of debilitating depression, Johnson returned to the US.[5] Between 2012 and 2015, she placed well in several national and international competitions, including first place at the UBC Pro Tour Championships in 2012[6] and second place, again to Alex Puccio, in the American Bouldering Series National Championships.[7]

Although Johnson is best known as a competition climber, she has increasingly focused on outdoor climbing, and she has claimed the first female ascent of several notable outdoor problems, including Luminance, Whispers of Wisdom, Across the Tracks, Progressive Guy, Vigilante, Stake Your Claim, Diesel Power, Beyond Life, Dark Horse, Seek and Destroy, and Prune Tang at the V10 grade, Stand and Deliver, Drive On, Divergence, Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves, and Double Stack at V11, and Clear Blue Skies, The Mystery, Diaphanous Sea, Lethal Design, and Book of Nightmares at V12.[8] Like many women who have claimed first female ascents of difficult problems, Johnson faced controversy and the threat of a downgrade after many of her V12 first female ascents.[9]


  1. ^ "Alex Johnson - Bio".
  2. ^ "Alex Johnson, Rock Climber".
  3. ^ "Alex Johnson, Rock Climber".
  4. ^ Jackie Hueftle. "Unbroken: The Alex Johnson Profile".
  5. ^ Jackie Hueftle. "Unbroken: The Alex Johnson Profile".
  6. ^ "Alex Johnson - Competition Results".
  7. ^ "2015 Bouldering Open Nationals" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 9, 2015.
  8. ^ "Alex Johnson - Outdoor".
  9. ^ Jackie Hueftle. "Unbroken: The Alex Johnson Profile".