|Homeland:||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Place of residence:||Sandy, Utah|
|With EDELRID since:||2015|
The southern Utah desert is probably my all around favorite. But really anywhere new to me, I just love exploring new places and cultures.
I'm a rock shoe cobbler and I brew my own beer.
Trad climbing, Alpine rock climbing, Expeditions
My first time climbing was a guided toprope on a family trip to Yosemite when I was 8, but my brother really got me hooked in my teens. I love the challenge of climbing and I'm consistently impressed with the quality of the people I meet and the beautiful places it has taken me.
A few of my first climbing heroes were Dean Potter, TC, Sharma, Lynn Hill and Fred Becky. Also, my parents as well for always supporting me and my pursuits. I don't really consider myself a role model, but I do try to live my life in a way that I am personally proud of. That's more important to me than whether people look up to me or not.
In climbing, I'd have to say the first route I opened was a major milestone, which quickly shifted my focus to route development. Another major milestone was joining Team Edelrid, a company with values and products I can really get behind. Also my first proper expedition to open big wall free routes was another big milestone. Those were all immediately recognized as important steps in my climbing career.
In life, I look back and realize that the shifts in my mindset and psyche level that occured from overcoming major injuries and surgeries were actually very important in guiding my direction in both my personal life and my climbing.
I think my biggest setback in climbing was probably when I broke my back and both legs while skiing in 2009. Being in a wheelchair with both legs straight out for 6 months really changed my perspective. I had a humbling amount of support from friends, family, and the community during recovery. It gave me a huge boost in appreciation and motivation to really work harder to achieve my goals.
One experience that comes to mind was on the FA of a route that Greg Troutman and I opened on a tower in the Utah desert called "Whoa Dude!" The first pitch climbs through a band of very soft Navajo sandstone via a horizontal traverse, before climbing splitter cracks for 2 more pitches up to the summit. I vividly remember blindly shoving cams into the dirty crack at my ankles, shuffling sideways on insecure sandy feet, death gripping crumbly crimps. Down mantles, blind corners, sandy slopers and sketchy gear somehow led me to a small ledge where I drilled an anchor. Safe again! The name of the route comes from Greg watching me climb the pitch, then realizing that he now had to do the same thing... Whoa Dude!
I trained a lot in my younger years, but don't really have an ongoing training routine. Sometimes I'll do some focused training for a particular objective. Mostly, I've just been doing regular anterior muscle PT for injury prevention.
Talk to a professional. Find out what your strengths and weaknesses are and create a plan to safely work on what you want to improve.
I liken it to apples and oranges. Both are delicious fruit but they are different. Some people might like one more than the other.
I'm not really sure, I guess that depends on the climber. Personally, I think it's less important what you do and more so how you do it.
I believe that pretty much anything is possible if you put the work into it. Some things come easy, others not so much. But with enough attention and intention, I really believe that the possibilities are almost endless.
I think it is absolutely imperative to set goals in any aspect of life, not just professional sports. Even if that goal is as simple as just enjoying what you're doing. Direction and purpose are integral to any type of success.
My short term climbing goals right now are to finish up and free a couple routes in an area that my partners and I have been developing in the alpine mountains of Wyoming. Another goal is to continue my exploration and development of routes and towers in the less traveled areas of the Utah desert. And of course, my never ending goal in climbing and also the rest of life, is to consciously enjoy and appreciate everything I do and the people in my life that make it possible.
I absolutely get frustrated from time to time, but never unmotivated. Failure is absolutely motivating, It's how I know I'm at my personal limit and that is a huge motivation for me. I try to use that frustration as an indicator to step back and reanalyse things. Whether that's taking a breath and figuring out a different sequence, or more commonly a different point of view. Mindset is massively important in my climbing. Every time I fail, I know I'm just getting closer to success.
I feel like more and more climbers seem to care so much about the grade they can climb or how many likes their posts get. I would like to see more people connecting with each other and the environment and enjoying the true spirit of climbing, rather than on external validations or pressures.
I think that climbing is going to continue getting more and more popular and I absolutely think that's great! As long as with that growth, we also see an increase in advocacy, education, and community involvement. I'd like to help mentor more people and help them to lead by example and encourage others to adopt a more sustainable, educated and involved role in climbing. I believe that being a good steward means creating more good stewards.