choosing to fly

cultivating resilience through embracing risk, failure and change
more about my talks

Steph’s resume of climbing achievements spans 25 years. She was the first woman to free climb the Salathe Wall on El Capitan, and the second woman to free climb El Cap in under 24 hours. She has established first ascents around the world, of difficult rock climbs and high altitude mountains from Yosemite to the Karakorum.

Few climbers practice the high risk style of free solo climbing, using no ropes or protective gear. Steph is the most accomplished female free soloist in the world and is also one of world’s top wingsuit base jumpers. She is one of just a few people in the world, and the only woman, combining free solo climbing with base jumping. From an unusual start as a classically trained pianist with a Master’s degree in literature, Steph chose to leave law school in order to pursue climbing full time. She has become one of the most successful professional climbers in the world. Steph has written two memoirs, High Infatuation and Learning to Fly, and curates her website with a focus on community, health and wellness, simple living and travel. She owns and operates Climb2Fly Productions in Moab, Utah, a climbing and base jumping stunt company.

My Talk

Learning to Fly: Lessons from the Air

Embracing Change, Managing Risk and Fear – In today’s ever changing world, businesses and individuals are faced with a constant stream of information, choices and change. The traditional pathways to success are also changing, as are perceptions of risk, sustainability and achievement. Steph speaks on the lessons she’s learned in the mountains and in the air as a professional climber and wingsuit pilot, and in choosing a highly nontraditional career path.

Managing change, embracing failure, handling risk and fear, cultivating resilience, preparing for opportunity. Steph encourages audiences to view their own challenges through a new lens, recognizing the power of adversity and evolution, and the value of crafting an uncommon life.

Format: Steph’s keynote presentation is 50 minutes and illustrated with breathtaking videos and images.

download my bio
view my media kit
more about my talks


It was such a pleasure to have Steph speak at our company event. She is a very accomplished, humble, and relatable person who has an impactful and unique way of teaching others about managing risk and fear, and preparing for opportunity. Our company experienced exponential growth over the last year which required our team to adjust and adapt to new work loads and a new business model. Steph was able to motivate our team by speaking about her experiences and how to embrace changes in life. We are very appreciative of the time she spent with us and definitely look forward to working with her again.

- Tiffany Sayers, Executive Administrator|Event Specialist, Centerfield


Steph Davis is a world class athlete, writer, speaker, and role model. Her achievements in the mountains and in the sky are jaw dropping amazing, bordering on inconceivable (to us mere mortals). Yet, she is approachable, humble, and honest, drawing audiences into her world, sharing her emotional journey as much as the visual spectacle, and inspiring people to achieve something greater than they thought possible. I highly recommend Steph as a speaker, presenter, and ambassador!

- Benjamin Oberman, CEO Film Festival Flix – Mountain & Adventure Festival Gathering


Steph Davis’ keynote presentation was extremely beneficial to our teachers and staff at our 2017 Opening Institute, and her inspirational message of embracing change is just what we needed to get our school year started! Her message of cultivating adaptivity is exactly what we are encouraging our teachers to do as they work with students to ensure learning. Many of our teachers commented on how much they enjoyed her story, and especially appreciated her illustrations of how her experiences in climbing parallel with teaching and working through struggles and challenges.

- Cade Douglas, Superintendent, Sevier School District


Steph Davis’ keynote presentation at the 2017 UCET Conference was the highlight of our event. When Steph took the stage she commanded the attention of our audience of nearly a thousand educators with her calm demeanor, engaging photos, and purposeful story of how she has become a lifelong learner. Her stories about summiting El Cap and soaring off European mountaintops in a wing suit had everyone on the edge of their seats hungry for more. The most common words I heard from teachers? Amazing. Breathtaking. Thought provoking. Inspirational. At the conclusion of Steph’s presentation dozens of people asked for pictures with her, had copies of her book autographed, and shared how impressed they were with her story and speaking style. One of the founders of UCET declared moments after Steph’s presentation: “This is the best keynote we’ve ever had.” I came to work the next morning to multiple requests on how to get started rock climbing!”

- Michael Hakkarinen, President of Utah Coalition for Educational Technology 2016-17


Steph, thank you so much for the wonderful talk you shared with our attendees at APMP’s Bid & Proposal Con. I have to tell you that our audience never gives standing ovations, but rightfully, they gave you one. I just had a feeling that you would connect with our folks and boy, was I right. People approached me all day telling me what a wonderful choice you were for a Keynote Speaker.

Finally, I would like to share an observation with you. You have had an incredible life with amazing accomplishments. Audiences are drawn to you because you are warm and because of your smile. Steph, you smiled from the moment I saw you, through every interaction with the tech guys, your talk and with our members. I tell my children all the time that a smile is a tremendous currency in life. You are a wonderful example of that.

- Rick Harris, Executive Director, Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP®)


Steph Davis can make an audience laugh, gasp, and cry, all within the space of fifteen minutes. On stage, her personal experience of adventure, heartbreak and recovery becomes an inspiring meditation on risk, resilience and personal freedom. She helps people embrace their lives more fully. Everyone on our staff raved about her presentation: it was one of the most moving of the evening. Our audience loved her!

- Anne Strainchamps, host of Public Radio International’s “To the Best of Our Knowledge”


Steph’s authentic personality and plainspoken style captivates adventurers and desk jockeys alike through seemingly supernatural adventures and incredible achievements–the joys, sorrows and bold rewards of a fulfilling life embracing opportunity and risk. She’ll give you the sense that great things truly are attainable and worth every moment of the pursuit.

- JJ Acker, Utah Certified Public Managers, Utah Department of Human Resource Management


Steph’s ability to relate and connect with the audience was amazing. Her interaction during the meeting as well as at the evening event were more than we could have asked for. Her story and message clearly hit the mark and everyone is still talking about the meeting and her presentation.

- Scott Ottman, Executive Director, Lenovo Inside Sales


Dig Deeper was the theme of the conference for a group of emergency physicians. Steph redefines this concept,understanding that where we are and what we are doing today can be done better; that focus and determination get us where we want to be; understanding that there are times where there is no room for error. These attributes describe Steph’s dynamic life. With calm and grace she delivered the message we can try harder, we can dig deeper to our captive audience. Steph reminded us all that we are all capable of so much more than we ever imagined.

- David Schillinger, President/CMO, Hospital Physician Partners


Steph Davis is quite simply one of the most impressive people I have ever met. Her story is compelling, enthralling, powerful, and relevant. Simply put, Steph delivered excellent results. The theme of our conference was Raising Your Game and Steph knocked it out of the park. I would highly recommend Steph Davis for any organization or company wishing to motivate an audience to raise their game. She ties the practicality of her sport directly to the message of her audience and is so likeable and approachable, you regret when the event is over. She was on time, professional, and courteous and gave freely of her time to the audience.

- Al Emerick, VP of Mktg & Comm., Hospital Physician Partners


Your presentation was amazing. Everyone connected with you and your message and walked away awed and inspired by your confidence, commitment, focus and passion for what you do. It was a pleasure working with you to prepare for the event. I was impressed with how quickly you understood what we were looking for and were able to translate that into your presentation. It was spot-on with the 1st draft! ! I’m back in the office today and people are still commenting on how much they liked it and you. I really enjoyed getting to know you and working with you on our meeting.

- Ellen Palumbo, Lenovo North America Sales Enablement


“I have attended many events and listened to countless speakers over my 40 year career in sales at IBM and Lenovo. Steph Davis is by far the best speaker I have ever experienced. She exemplifies confidence, commitment, preparation and innovation. All key attributes of a successful sales person. She will have your team on the edge of their chairs.”

- Thomas Looney, VP & GM Lenovo North America

Learning to fly

A Memoir of Hanging On and Letting Go

World-class free climber Steph Davis delivers a thrilling and infectiously interesting (San Francisco Book Review) memoir about rediscovering herself through love, loss, and the joy of letting go. The paperback includes a new epilogue in which Davis shares how her husband's tragic accident has affected her relationship to climbing and flying.

“In re-issuing the 2013 book this winter, Davis has added a new chapter, which addresses the loss of her second husband Mario Richard. Learning to Fly is as much a deft exploration of loss, grief and resilience as it is of BASE jumping.”

-The Guardian

“What puts this book out front in the adventure category is that Davis doesn’t bog it down with clunky “climbing as journey” metaphors – but they’re in there, anyway. She just sort of lets her story shake it all loose, slowly revealing bits of herself – sometimes she figures stuff out, sometimes she makes mistakes, but her hope is that only she gets hurt in the process.”

-The Denver Post

“Learning to Fly provokes some powerful questions. How do we use risk? And what does it mean to risk the unique gift of life? How do we choose our lives? Our partners? Or do we choose? Steph Davis thoughtfully follows her instincts, and her book will surely inspire others to do the same, as she helps us think about risk, resilience, and getting a grip in tight places.”

-Story Circle Book Reviews

These are my sponsors. THEY ARE FABULOUS!