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Urban Climber, SCARPA announce ‘Unearthed Climber of the Year'

Jill Church receives 'Unearthed Climber of the Year Award and earns spot on SCARPA climbing team.

BOULDER, Colo. – In its current issue, Urban Climber Magazine and SCARPA name boulderer Jill Church the recipient of the magazine’s 2010 Unearthed Climber of the Year Award.

Urbran Climber’s feature ‘Unearthed’ is a peer-nominated format that puts the spotlight on North America’s most talented but little-known boulderers and climbers, Urban Climber calls out an ‘Unearthed Climber’ in each issue of the magazine over the span of a year. Each summer, Urban Climber editors work with SCARPA to choose one athlete from the preceding year’s roster who stands out as the Unearthed Climber of the Year. That climber earns a spot as an athlete on Team SCARPA.

Urban Climber Editor Andrew Tower said Church can send hard problems, but she’s also got a great attitude and is a great ambassador for the sport – a criteria that’s just as important for the award as how hard a nominee climbs.

“Aside from her numerous climbing accomplishments, first female ascents, and plenty of hard sends, Church is the kind of climber any company would be proud to have on their team,” Tower said. “She’s funny, smart, articulate, and represents the kind of level-headed, good natured people that are simply good to be around.”

As an aside, she’s also bringing a potential (even likely?) new climber in the world this year, which might put a crimp in training but has its own set of rewards.

Now 30, Church climbed for many years in the Southeast around the area where she grew up in Boone, N.C. She now calls Flagstaff, Ariz., home, and has drawn attention for hard sends at Hueco Tanks.

Unearthed Climber nominees are people pushing the boundaries at their local crags, but other factors contribute to winning. For instance, criteria include looking for people who are role models in the sport, who have positive energy, and who are active in causes they believe in.

Unearthed Climber works like this: Urban Climber accepts nominations for Unearthed Climber on an ongoing basis. Nominations should be submitted by a nominee’s friends or peers and include information about a person’s tick list and qualities that make her or him stand out. Each issue, from the nominations received, the magazine profiles the person who most exemplifies the characteristics sought out in the contest. From the people profiled in Unearthed Climber each year, Urban Climber and SCARPA choose one person who earns the Climber of the Year Award. Submissions should be e-mailed to

For more information about SCARPA, visit For more information about Urban Climber, visit

About SCARPA and SCARPA North America

Founded in 1938, SCARPA builds performance footwear for climbing, hiking, skiing, mountaineering, trail running and other outdoor pursuits from its headquarters in Asolo, Italy. SCARPA has been owned and operated by the Parisotto family since 1956. In 2005, SCARPA opened its North American headquarters in Boulder, Colo., staffed and directed by veterans of the North American outdoor industry, to oversee sales, marketing and distribution in the U.S. and Canada. For more information about SCARPA footwear, visit -X X X-