The open sky and beautiful views of northern Nevada have a special place in Rue Beyer’s heart. They’re her office.
“A mine, depending on several factors, can go from five years to 30 or 50,” Beyer said. “One of the productions I’m working on started in the 1980s and is still being worked on today—and it still has another 10 years left.”
When she’s not mining, Beyer uses rocks as her playground as a mountain climber. Over the past four years, Beyer has climbed Mount Rainier in Washington; Cayambe, one of the highest peaks in Ecuador; the Illiniza volcanoes; and Denali in Alaska—the highest peak in the United States. She also ice climbs in Ouray in Colorado annually.
“My love of climbing really stems from the fact that being out in nature shuts the inner critic up and allows me to be my best self,” Beyer said. “One of my great friends and guides once told me I was the only person he’d ever met who smiled and cried while suffering moderate hypothermia in Alaska.”
Each expedition comes with its own challenges. While on one climb, she may face steep 45-degree terrain. On another, she faces extreme cold reaching under 25 degrees Fahrenheit. And on another she may see a storm or snowfall that stalls their journey for days at a time.
“Mountaineering is not a speed thing,” Beyer said. “It’s really just a slow, slog-through-the-snow and rough-it-out kind of thing.”
Throughout her time as a climber, Beyer has experienced being stuck on a mountain for several weeks due to weather and having to save a team member from a crevasse fall. Despite the challenges, however, Beyer wants to conquer more mountains and expand her technical skills as a climber. In the future, she would love to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, and Mount Elbrus.
Since December of 2019, Beyer has been working as a project geologist at Nevada Gold Mines. A joint venture between the Barrick Gold Corporation and Newmont Corportation, Nevada Gold Mines has created the single largest gold-producing complex in the world, producing 2.2 million ounces of gold in 2019.