I learned to climb as an impressionable teenager in a very traditional way: unlike many of today’s young climbers I never climbed in a gym, and spent most of my early years toproping and wobbling my way up very easy trad climbs in New England. When I moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1997 I fell in love with climbing in earnest and have been hooked ever since. I now make my home in Rifle, Colorado with my wife Erinn, and I feel very fortunate to squeak out a living as a full-time climber. I love all aspects of the sport, but I’m especially interested in big technical alpine routes and hard rock climbing.
Birthday? February 2, 1979.
Year you first started climbing? 1995
Three climbing achievements you are most proud of? The first ascent of The Flame in Pakistan with Brian McMahon; a very committing climb given our collective experience and skill level at the time. We completed the climb in alpine style, after 40 stormy days alone on the Trango Glacier during the post-9/11 summer of 2002. Second is the first ascent of the Azeem Ridge on Great Trango Tower with Kelly Cordes. Forty-eight hours without water, and some difficult climbing at 20,000 feet, opened my mind to how far things could be pushed. Lastyly, winning the Ouray Ice Festival Mixed Climbing Competition in 2009, 2010, and 2011: especially in 2011, as I had broken my back and arms just six months prior to the event. Participating in Ouray has pushed me to learn a new aspect of the sport, and taught me how to train hard.
Memory/story of the first time you ever went climbing? Lots of tears! My father took me toproping at age seven at Pawtuckaway, in southern New Hampshire, and then again at age 12 in Wales. I found it terrifying! It wasn't until my teens that I started to enjoy it.
Favorite climbing area and why? So many great ones, so it's hard to choose! The Black Canyon has been special to me for many years. I love the climbing, adventure, and simplicity of life on the rim.
Best climbing experience? First Ascent of the Azeem Ridge, we found some new levels of commitment that have been hard to find since.
Worst climbing experience? Same as the best!
What's your dream trip? Where? With who? Great friends of course, and a big, gorgeous peak with a huge unclimbed line. I actually have one coming up in the summer of 2012. The north side of Latok 1 with good friends Mike Pennings and Nate Opp!
Guilty pleasure? Ice cream.
BD gear you use every time you go climbing? Camalots-best cams out there for years!
Something that annoys you while climbing? Big approaches.
What/who inspires you in climbing? People that chase their climbing dreams down with reckless abandon! I really appreciate people that give climbing everything they have regardless of the grade.
Favorite après-climb meal? Burrito.
Favorite climbing flick? King Lines.
What's in your iPod? Mostly what my friends have given me as I'm not much of a music guy, but I like the quirky band Mike Snow a lot.
What's your dream job? Livin' it!
How are you training when you are not climbing? I spend a lot of time training in my garage for rock climbing, and do a fair number of Scottish style winter climbs in RMNP to train for alpine climbing.
If you could steal one thing and not get caught, what would it be? Mad money-but only to fuel my climbing, not to buy a fancy car.
If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive) who would they be?
My parents and my wife. My parents are both gone, and I miss them often, and it would be great for my wife to meet my mother.
Do you have any tattoos or piercings? NO.