Career Highlights

  • Vicious Fish (5.13d) 2/10/2016
  • FA of System of a Down (5.13c) 5/16/16 (First 5.13 first ascent)
  • More that 40 5.13 first ascents at Smith Rocks and counting
  • Over 150 first ascents of routes developed at smith.
  • Scarface (5.14a) 2/22/19


  • Climbing

    Favorite type of climbing (bouldering, sports climbing, trad, etc.):

    Rope climbing mainly, although I usually gravitate towards sport. I wouldn't consider myself a bold climber, especially on gear.

    When and how did you get into climbing and what kept you interested / fascinated in the

    My dad has always been a climber and inspired me by his stories of climbing in Yosemite before I was born. After breaking my wrist snowboarding in 2011, I decided to start climbing avidly after my recovery. Snowboarding and skateboarding a lot as a kid made my knees feel old and my body sore. I didn't feel like I was getting physically or mentally stronger, that's when I decided to start getting into climbing with a rope. I knew climbing would push me both physically and mentally and would be relatively safe. I always imagined I could someday be good at climbing with enough effort, so that also motivated me. Since then, it's been nothing but a snowball effect.

    Having Smith Rocks as a training ground quickly taught me to climb with good technique and a steady head. After a year of climbing at Smith, I was starting to project the classic 5.12's. Less than a year later, I was working my first 5.13-, Churning in the Wake, and eventually sent after a lot of effort. The 5.12's, 5.13's, and now the 5.14's at Smith have always kept me inspired locally. Once I got to climbing 5.12 well, I began to appreciate my dad's routes he developed in the 90's at Smith Rocks, such as Lords of Karma (5.12c) or Time to Power (5.12c), as projects. His past development has always inspired me to develop at Smith Rocks as well. Since about 2014, I have been developing new routes at Smith. This is what has kept me at Smith Rocks for my decade long climbing career.

    Who was your childhood hero and do you consider yourself a role model now? Does it
    influence you at all that other people look up to you?

    My dad has always been my biggest inspiration and hero. I try to be like him in a lot of ways, it's what got me into climbing in the first place. I do consider myself to be a role model now. People see all the hard work I put into Smith Rocks, both as a project climber and developer. I do feel a lot of influence from my local community looking up to me being a strong climber and thoughtful developer, especially after doing it for years . They expect me to do a good job on the routes I develop and to climb stronger than I probably can. Keeps me on my toes!!

    What were the most important milestones in your life so far, both in climbing and in
    everyday life? Did you immediately recognize them as such or only later on?

    Starting climbing in college was probably the biggest milestone in my life. Before then, I never had a true passion for anything like climbing. Ever since I started, I have always done everything I could to be the climber I wanted to be. Sending Chain Reaction was what I would consider my first hard route and a milestone into harder climbing. Years later, I started trying Vicious Fish (5.13d) in the middle of winter. I probably tried the route 70 times in 3 months before doing it. Sending it surprised me just as much as the local community. This inspired enough confidence to start trying Scarface (5.14a) and other hard routes. With Vicious Fish under my belt, I felt a little more qualified to push my developing a bit further. At the top of the Wombat, a streaked wall with marble like stone always caught my eye to develop but seemed to gnarly. At the time, I probably developed around 30 routes but no 5.13's. That was the mythical grade I wanted to develop but never did. When I first rapped down what is now known as the Babylon Wall, I started with the most eye catching line. An overhanging bulbous arete on the left side of the wall. It ended up taking a year of effort before I sent System of a Down (5.13c/d).

    What were your greatest failures / setbacks / injuries? How did you cope with them and
    how did you come back from them?

    I feel like I have not had too many failures or setbacks in my climbing since I started. A couple injuries here and there that took less than 2 months to heal, but nothing serious.My biggest setback would have to be when my dog passed away from a porcupine encounter in the park. I can't remember exactly, but I don't think I returned to Smith Rocks or to any climbing for at least a month.

     What is your favorite climbing related story / experience?

    A few years ago, I lost a good friend, Alex Reed, at Smith Rocks from a fall while trying to reach an anchor. Before Alex passed, he bolted a bunch of projects that were way over his head out in the Marsupials at Smith Rocks. He pulled off all the red tags on what he could see himself doing in a reasonable amount of time and opened them to the public.
    After his passing, I started to try what is now known as Bold as Love (5.13b) and was quickly discouraged. So much to the point of not wanting to try it because I couldn't even do the moves after hours of effort. I came back a few months later and gave it another try with some friends beta and a handful more 5.13's under my belt. After some serious effort, I figured out some beta and started giving it redpoint burns soon later. After about 15 tries, I managed to clip the chains. I still remember the day I sent as the most emotional redpoint of my life! I have never wanted a first ascent so bad, I knew it would be my most prized tangible connection to Alex. I know how much it meant to him and all the experiences he had developing the route. Getting that redpoint and first ascent is my most memorable climbing experience. Never have I almost cried tears of joy at the chains of a redpoint.

  • Training

    Do you have a strict training schedule for when and how you train throughout the year?

    No. I just try to stay active on my rest days by developing routes, trails, and belay stations at Smith Rocks. Rock climbing guiding is a good trick to stay active even at work. During the work season, I regularly get 25 days in a row at the park

    What advice can you give to somebody looking to improve their training routine?

    Active rest days are very important! I try to get out and do something on 95% of my rest days. Rarely do I sit at home and have a chill day. I try to work my body day after day till exhaustion for as many days in a row as I can handle. I give my hands rest days 3 or 4 times a week, but never the rest of my body. The best athletes train hard almost everyday, even before game day. Eventually, that tired feeling is the new norm.

    What do you think of indoor climbing gyms in relation to climbing on actual rock?

    I think it helps a ton! But living by Smith Rocks gives me an advantage to almost never need to go to the gym. I'd prefer a day out at the cliff with my dog before wasting my energy at the rock gym. I also have all the time to climb, so that is another advantage.

    Are you able to do a one-arm pull-up? How about a single finger?


    How much of the success as a pro climber is due to show and how much due to actual
    climbing skill?

    I'd say actual climbing skills. I'm not very active on any social media platforms.

  • Psychology

    Is it possible for anybody to eventually perform a one-armed pull-up or get to the top of the
    Eiger/Matterhorn, or do you really have to be born for it?

    I believe most people can obtain these goals. Some people are born with a different set of skills though, so I would say I believe it is genetic to some degree. The biggest factor is motivation in my opinion

    How important is it to set goals in professional sports? What are your goals / targets you
    are working towards in climbing and in life?

    I think setting long term goals and short term goals are important. It is good to not constantly fail, so short term projects are good to mix into long term projects. My next big goals are to develop and send a 5.14- at Smith Rocks and also start ticking off more of the developed 5.14's as well. Eventually, I would like to be able to send 5.14 in a week effort in different areas.

    How to you deal with extremely hard climbing problems? Do you ever get frustrated and
    give up on them or do they motivate you even more?

    I get frustrated like most people. I try to focus on any progress made on individual moves and sections of a climb, even if I regressed on a different section. Somehow, I always try to find some sort of a positive take away from a route. I also look at things closely and try to figure out where I need to focus, whether it is an oddly weighted foothold or body positioning. I try to look at all my limbs and find out which ones are the most important, then I can focus my power and concentration there. I don't give up easy on a route, but I do take breaks from those hard routes that take 40 or 50+ tries. Easier projects are important for mega project sanity.

  • Future of climbing

    Where do you think sport will go in the next few years? What will change? And what role will you play in it?

    I hope to see myself finish my route developing at Smith Rocks until the rock runs out. I kind of hunker down in the Marsupials away from people to develop all my chossy routes and manage to convince my dad to come out with me. I would like to start to focus on my personal climbing more and find out how hard I can climb without developing 10 days a month, every month. I would also like to start traveling to different climbing destinations. Hopefully, someday I will be able to climb 5.14 in a week's time on the road. I feel like I will be more socially involved with the climbing community as a whole, both locally and around the states. I would like to travel more and climb even harder!

    Is there anything you would like to change about the current developments in climbing?

    I can't think of any.