I started climbing in 1997 at the age of 18 in Great Falls, Virginia. Since that time, most other activities and interests, while not abandoned, took a backseat to climbing as it engaged and called to me in a way nothing else had. I left Virginia in 98 for Colorado to attend CSU and could be found ditching many a freshman party in favor of riding my bike to the Tropics, Piano Boulders, and Rotary, pad-less and generally without spotters. After several harsh lessons in human frailty (bones can break) I bought a crash pad, made an effort to be less of an introvert, and picked up a mish-mash of good and bad habits from anyone who would take me out climbing and share their knowledge. I discovered that people actually climbed inside on plastic holds and starting doing some of that at the gym. And I expanded into trad climbing- making up for what I lacked in clue with a willingness to suffer. Spent a lot of weekends in Eldorado Canyon, Lumpy Ridge, Poudre Canyon, and Boulder Canyon. And I did some alpine multipitch routes on the Diamond, the Petite Gripon and Hallets. Those routes hold a special place in my heart as the most challenging, pure, epic ridden climbing I’ve experienced. Most of my longer breaks and vacations from university (much to the frustration of my family) were planned as road trips out west hitting several bouldering areas on the way to either Yosemite or the Moab area.
During my junior year at CSU, I spent a semester and change in northeastern Australia, where I got involved with finding and developing new areas for bouldering, along with doing some route development. Attitudes towards land use were quite different from here- a stark contrast to the general conservationism and ethics we have in place in the states. Witnessing some of the total disregard some climbers had for the environment while I was there fostered a whole new appreciation for responsible land use and the stewardship of the beautiful places we have to climb at. Protecting and minimizing the impact of climbing on our natural resources is a large part of developing crags and the bouldering areas especially here in NoCO, and I’d like to see that continue and expand as our sport becomes more popular, and more people head out to find that perfect climb or boulder problem, with their friends, their dogs, their pads, their bolts, and their kids.
I am very fortunate to be able to incorporate climbing, the great outdoors and adventure into my family’s everyday life. We have a vibrant community of great people here, and I feel supported as both a parent and a climber, and I’m honored to have a chance to give something back through the NCCC.