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28 January, 2019 Back to News/Events


Name: Sage Viselli Donnelly

Age: 13

Primary Residence: In a van, down by the river, or Carson City, NV

Yrs climbing: 11

Yrs kayaking: 11

Height: 5’3

Weight: 125

How did you start climbing? My parents always took me-the Baby Bjorn worked well on the belayer!

How did you start kayaking? My parents traded rivers until I was 2, then we did family runs in a 2 person kayak until I was in my own boat at age 5

What kind of climbing do you prefer? Trad, because you can protect yourself as much as you want when leading, but both are fun!

What kind of kayaking do you prefer? Every kind! Freestyle because I love throwing myself around and doing different tricks. Slalom because I love to nail a hard move while going super fast. Creeking because when I nail a line, it feels really good and If I don’t get the move, I get trashed!

Describe your perfect day: Any day I can fit more than one sport in.

What have you learned from climbing and kayaking? Even when it gets difficult, if you breathe and focus, you can make things happen.

How does climbing and kayaking affect your life? As a type 1 diabetic with celiac and thyroid disease, I am very in touch with my body and health, and am stronger, more aware and focused because of it.

What did your mom say when you started climbing? Trust your feet.

What did your mom say when you started kayaking? Believe in your skills

What is your favorite food? I have been a vegetarian since birth, diabetic since age 3, gluten free since age 8….sweet and sour bean curd is my current favorite!

What are you driving? I’m too young, but my mom drives me around the country in a Ford 4×4 Sportsmobile van conversion.

Do you watch TV? Yes, I love Big Bang Theory and Avatar, the Last Airbender, Legend of Korra

Do you climb competitively? No

Do you kayak competitively? Yes, in all disciplines

Do you climb indoors? No

What other activities do you participate in? SUP down river racing and boardercross, trail running, mountain biking, long boarding

What is the hardest sport you’ve tried? Anything with hand-eye coordination!

How much do you travel? About 9 months out of the year.

What is your favorite climbing area? Yosemite.

What is your favorite river? North Fork of the Payette, Idaho, and The Feather River in CA.

Do you train your weaknesses or strengths? I train so I don’t have weaknesses, only strengths.

What advice do you give someone who wants to be a pro climber or kayaker? Work hard, and if it gets frustrating, work through it.

What is your favorite Bluewater product? Dynamic rope and Sure Grip throw bag

Why? Rope for climbing, throw bag and rope for water rescue


Climbing: Snakedike on Halfdome in Yosemite when I was 8, it took 23 hrs because of the line of people!

Kayaking: 2013 Jr. Women’s Freestyle National Champion, 2013 Jr. Women’s Age Group National Champion in Kayak and Canoe (k1 and c1)2013 Women’s Pro Champion at the Reno River Festival and the GoPro Mountain Games, 2011 Top 10 Sports Illustrated Kid’s Sportskid of the year

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