I was born in Germany, raised in Rhode Island, schooled in Colorado, and inspired in alpine realm.
As in climbing, so in art, so in life. In all three the full spectrum of emotions come into play. At times there will be uncertainty, insecurity and fear. At other times there will be inspiration and things will flow effortlessly.
Ultimately it is amazing that we are here at all. The more time we spend expressing ourselves through actions and thoughts the more richly we have lived. Climbing and art are two of the greatest vehicles I have found to carry me this direction.
Year you first started climbing? 1998
Three climbing achievements you are most proud of?
• SW Cat Ear Spire first ascent, Karakorum, Himalaya
• Eye of the Beholder first ascent on the Eye Tooth, Ruth Gorge, Alaska
• Free ascent of El Cap via the Free Rider, leading whole route
Memory/story of the first time you ever went climbing? Being above treeline as a kid in the White Mountains of New Hampshire had a big impact on my excite for climbing and being in the mountains.
Favorite climbing area and why? The “Himalaya” because: —of the remote mountain cultures you inherently get to interact with as part of the approach —of the ultra-remote sense of adventure the climbing entails
Best climbing experience? 40 days on the glacier. New route to a spiky virgin summit in the Trango group.
Worst climbing experience? 40 days in a war zone. Climbed one day and did one boulder problem.
What's your dream trip? Where? With who? Any place that combines an inspiring unclimbed alpine rock climbing objective, adventure travel, culture and perfect basecamp bouldering.
Guilty pleasure? Electronic products of all shapes and sizes…
BD gear you use every time you go climbing? Oz biners
Something that annoys you while climbing? Rope clusters, receding glaciers, giant tick marks.
What/who inspires you in climbing? Those who retain optimism during epic situations and a good attitude during flailing and failure. If I were to name a name it would be Tommy Caldwell because of his amazing El Cap accomplishments.
Favorite après-climb meal? Some kind of variation on the classic dirt-bag burrito of various treats from the heath food market. For example: eggs, garlic, ginger, beans, broccoli, red peppers in a whole wheat big tortilla… At altitude on the wall usually a Clif Bar, some melted ice, and dehydrated beans from the coop.
What's in your iPod? A massive amount of shuffle including a lot of “Savage British Techo”, “Bonobo”, the ENTIRE James Bond & Planet Earth video collections, my art, and a whole lot of random music I have not explored yet.
Three things you'd never road trip without? Black big pen, sketchbook, iPhone
Superstitions? Don’t really have any major ones, but do get spooked by animistic witch doctor juju in Himalayan areas.
What's your dream job? Pretty psyched on climbing and art at the moment… I can’t see greener grass in many places. If I where to pick some other path, it would have been cool to be involved in the cutting edge of nanotechnology and how it relates to human brain.
How are you training when you are not climbing? Mainly cardio activities like mountain biking but lately a bit of hang-boarding.
If you could steal one thing and not get caught, what would it be? Nuclear weapons away from the superpowers.
If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive) who would they be? The Dalai Lama, M.C. Escher, Genghis Khan.
Do you have any tattoos or piercings? Nope