|Homeland:||Rocky Mountains of Colorado|
|Place of residence:||Scottsdale, AZ|
|With EDELRID since:||2006|
|Sponsors:||EDELRID, RED CHILI, PHOENIX ROCK GYM, ZEN LIZARD (X-CHALK)|
Introducing climbing to 100's of people through outdoor clubs at Arizona State University, as a professional guide, and youth climbing coach.
Scottsdale for the ease of climbing all over the state, fast flight to Utah and Colorado
Horse Tooth Reservoir (bouldering), Ft. Collins, CO
Priest Draw (bouldering) & Peaks (sport), Flagstaff, AZ
Cochise Stronghold (trad/multi-pitch) near Dragoon, AZ
All over Sedona, AZ (multi-pitch trad)
East Clear Creek Reservoir (deep water solo), Winslow, AZ
Oak Flats/Queen Creek (Bouldering and Sport), Superior, AZ
Joes Valley (Bouldering) Utah
San Juan mountains (ice climbing), Ouray, CO
Boulder Canyon/Flatirons (sport/trad/multi-pitch), Boulder, CO
Any city with climbing nearby as well as microbreweries and locally owned distilleries.
Mountaineering in the San Juan's of Southwest Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park
Hawaii to snorkel with the sea turtles
I was in the US ARMY, 2009-2011
Bouldering to push grades, Multi-pitch for long days out with friends.
I have been scaling low angle rock formations since I was a kid with my dad. Often we would rappel down the vertical sides of the formation and this is where I likely developed my love of being on the sharp end and enjoying the views one is able to take in while out in nature. Technical rock climbing didn't begin for me until I was 19 years old when I took an "into to climbing" class in college. The instructor was also the owner of the bouldering gym and ignited my passion for the sport. I was always more of in introvert growing up but for some reason climbing helped me to find my place in our commnity plus the culture was so supportive I became more extorverted as I continued to push my limits. Climbing has allowed me to feel a deeper connection to the world in which we live as well as a part of the history of the sport when I am able to send a test piece in a crag or establish a new line that will be enjoyed by the generations to follow. For me climbing is the purest way in which we are able to test and push limits where evey route or grade is equally as rewarding as those who share in the experience and adventure.
I always looked up to Jason Kehl as someone who brought a lot of energy and expression into his climbing style, his passion for crafting a unique persona lead to my adoption of crazy face painting/colorful wigs and bright leggings which I wear in climbing competitions. As for myself, I feel like I have been able to represent a positive role model for my fellow outdoor entheusiests by embracing Leave-No-Trace practices and fostering an inclusive climbing community where we positiely support each other and clebrate one anothers diversity/background and the resposibility all climbers have to protect the areas we love for sustainable access into the future. When I hear that someone looks up to me for a particular stance I took on the efficacy of an issue impacitng the commnity or sport I feel honored and hope that influence is shared to bring others to support important initiatives as well.
Mile stones are a tough one as I see evey year that I am able to continue to climb as a gift. The friends I have made through climbing were at the time perhaps of an un-recognized importance, for the role they would later play when I was faced with some adversity and the support they provided which helped to see me it through. After 7 years of coming in second place for the costume contest at Psychadelia, (a black light fun comp at the Spot Gym in Boulder), I was thrilled to finally take home first place! Every time I am able to stand on the podium for a climbing competition and am joined by those who I train with at my home gym it brings an even bigger smile to my face.
What set my climbing back the most was when joined the ARMY, crazy as it sounds, a climbers physice is not the same as the muscles you build while serving. I left the ARMY because of an injury sustained when jumping out of an airplane during a night mission while a thunder/lightning stom was over the drop zone. This resulted in two slipped discs in my lower back, and one of the reasons I am not an avid runner anymore as well. It took a few years to regain the straingth I had pre army as I had to redevelop the climbing specific muscles and a fair amount of physical therepy to abait the daily pain in my lower back.
Climbing related story:
For a few years I worked in a climbing gear shop helping to outfit those just getting into climbing as well as those who were looking for gear to take their climbing to the next level. In addition to gear we also sold guide books for many local and nearby crags. I worked in the shop prior to serving and after coming back from the ARMY I got into guiding rock climbing trips for some added weekend income. One day I picked up a climber for a full day of climbing who was visiting from Canada for a work trip to Phoneix, AZ. In our conversation as we drove out to the crag I learned how this fellow had only been to Arizona once before and had at that time purchased his first pair of shoes from a gym gear shop next to his hotel. He was so excited to come back to Arizona and finally climb outdoors, especially at an area he had read about in the climbing book he bought back when he purchased those first climbing shoes. As he opened the guide book to start listing off the routes he was interested in getting on, a receipt fell out of the pages, he remarked how he couldn't believe it was still stuck in between the pages after so long. Then he read the name of the shop aloud and I laughed as it was where I uesd to work all those years ago. I asked what the name was on the receipt of the person who sold him the book, low and behold it was me! Couldn't believe the coincidence, what were the chances that after 8 or so years we would cross paths again. This reminds me that everyone we meet in this life is in some way a part of the bigger picture and the challenge is taking the time to find the connections we all share.
My favorite climbing experience:
When I was in highschool, my friend and I went exploring in the Superstition Mountains east of the Phoneix valley. We started out on the trail and took it to the summit of the mountain, then decided to come down another way by followoing a wash that we could see from the summit. As we made our way down we came across a 100 foot tall totem pole formation rising out of the wall of the wash, because it was not along any established trail and because of how winding the wash was as it followed the canyon, chances were high it had only ever been seen by a handful of people. During my birthday this year I was talking to my climbing partner about how I might be getting to old to ever climb the rock totem I had discovered 18 years prior. A week later he surprised me with plans to again find the totem and possibily bag the first accent, he thought he might have found the canyon it was located in from my story by researching a map of the area later that evening. It took us a few hours to hike out the long way around the formation of the Superstitions and up the canyon but we did indeed find the totem rock! In climbing up the formation I knew that it had never been climbed before as I was able to clean a lot of loose rock from the face so that it would be safe for future ascents. It is an experience that I will always remember as one of my favorite adentures and first ascents.
When it comes to training I am anything by consistent, I have benifited from having some natural abilities for some styles (slopers/compression/dynamic) and lucky to have friends who are stronger than me in areas I am not (small crimps eek!). Climbing with others is my perfered way to train, helping them in areas where I am stronger and working out on problems I normally wouldn't try because it is an area I am not at strong in but a style they are.
Traverse. Traverse. Traverse.
Making at least 100 moves before any training session to warm up and after every session to cool down, the size of the holds are not as important unless you specifically want to taine on a perticular style, it is more about building the body awareness and endurance as well as injury prevention. Moving slow and controled during these pre/post climbing sessions will go a long way to help your climbing longevity.
Climbing is what you make it. If you have a passion for one type over the other and are able to enjoy what brings you happiness, I feel that is what climbing is all about. Climbing inside brings me more social interactions and connections with those in the community. While climbing outdoors energizes my soul through the exposure to our world and overcoming challenges only mother nature can throw at you.
Not yet ;)
I think my success stems from my passion for the sprot, my ability to positively engage others who may not know much about climbing or have been climbing longer than I have been alive. If asked, often I will reply, I am a climbing professional and that my abilities in the arena are second to the amount of fun I have while climbing. After all, it has been said that the best climbers are those having the most fun.
If you are willing (and able) to put in the effort there is little a person is unale to achieve. Granted it is hard to come back from a life of eating the wrong foods and not exersizing regularily, but the sooner you begin the journey the faster you will close in on the goal. Some bodies are built with an advantage for a particular sport and maybe those are the few we see who reach Olympic levels, but that should not stop anyone from persuing their dreams. As much as the destination drives the direction it is the journey where we find out who we truly are and what we are capable of.
The ability for to reach a higher echelon of climbing is in part what you were born with physically and partly how you train your mind and shape your mentality. Perception is ultimately how we view our reality. Now actaully fulfilling those feats necessary to reach your goals takes dertimination and laser guided focus until you reach them. Too often we make excuses or find reasons why we "can't" today or likely soon be able to complete the dream. We are limited in the time we have in this world and the more energy one can put into finding fulfilment through meaningful purpose the greater the rewards we will find in the end. I personally set short term and long term goals so that I am able to measure progress in stages or incriments. Like buying a house, or climbing the Diamond on Longs Peak, there is a lot of ground work to be made prior to the big day. I bought a house two years ago and am not setting my sights on more first ascents in the mountains around me and ultimetly I will summit the Diamond as well as test my muster on the Nose when the time is right.
"Never give up, never surrender!" Has to be my favorite quote from Galexy Quest, but then Nacho Libre said it best as well, "stretchy pants are for fun." I try to keep a lightharted view on what I can not send in the moment and use it as leverage to push me harder as I work on building the necessary strength or skills.
I would love to see more climbers educated on the impact we have and the importance of our voice when it comes to protecting the environment and continuing to access to the places we love. Fighting against coperations who look to restrict access when extracting minerals and resources from the land are only able to do so if we are un-organized and sit on the sidelines, we have the ability to vote for those who write policies (in and out of office) and it is important to hold those representitives accoutable.
Hopefully the sport ascends into the Olympics past this trial year. I see the explosion of the sport into a more mainstreme light post Olympics much how gymnastics sees an increase in participation rates in the year after the Olympics. But unlike the sure gymnastics has that is shorter lived, I see climbing continuing to grow in popularity as it is fun for all levels of ability and thus I am willing to bet more climbing gyms will be opened across the country. As for my role, I see this as an opertunity to mentor the next generation of climbers and instil within them a common sense of purpose and connection for the future sustainability of the sport. Remaining as involved as possible in my local community and acorss the forum will be important as our actions will be how we lead by example and our words will be how we can impart the greater responsibility we all share.