Lyra started her career as a mountain guide in California’s Sierra Nevada, guiding numerous peaks and rock climbs from Yosemite Valley to the High Sierra, before venturing into the complex and beautiful North Cascades. Various adventures, both for work and play, have taken her climbing in the French Alps, South America, Mexico, Baja, and all over the western states, as well as trekking in the Dolomites. Originally planning to be a research scientist, Lyra left academia for the school of rocks. Now, she also works part time as a freelance journalist focusing on science writing, balancing her passion for athleticism in the mountains with her lifelong fascination with the natural world.
Take 5 with the Guide
If you could only take one album on an expedition?
The Melody At Night, With You – Keith Jarrett
Most beloved book?
Braiding Sweetgrass – Robin Wall Kimmerer
If you could be stuck with anyone (past or present) at base camp for a week?
What was your first mountain?
Some peak near Lake Tahoe from atop the shoulders of the Summer Music Festival’s tuba player…when I was still lighter than a tuba!
One piece of advice for aspiring mountaineers?
Find your community. Carefully cultivate your partnerships. At the end of a hard day, it is all about the team you’re with.
Denali: West Buttress (2 expeditions)
Mount Elbrus, Russia (7 expeditions)
Aconcagua: Polish Traverse, Argentina
Pico de Orizaba, Mexico
Mount Rainier: Kautz Glacier climb, Fuhrer Finger ski descent, numerous DC and Emmons climbs
Mount Baker: North Ridge, Coleman-Deming, Easton
Mount Shuksan: North Face, Fisher Chimneys
Forbidden Peak: West Ridge
Cascade volcanoes: Adams, Glacier, Shasta
Clean Break on Juno Tower, Washington Pass
Moonlight Buttress, Zion National Park
Mount Whitney: Mountaineer’s Route and East Face
Mount Conness: SW Face/Harding Route
Levitation 29 in Red Rock, Nevada
Middle Teton, Grand Teton National Park
US Antarctic Program: SAR & field science support (collecting gas samples by rappelling into the ice caves on Mt. Erebus, the southernmost active volcano)
Wilderness First Responder/CPR
AIARE Pro 2 Certified
AIARE Course Leader
Leave No Trace Trainer
AMGA Rock Guide
AMGA Advanced Alpine Guide Course
AMGA Ski Guide Course
NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
Awards & Recognition
Julie Cheney Culberson Educational Fund Scholarship recipient
Review Editor for OutdoorGearLab