Date Of Birth: April 19
Hometown: New York
Current Location: SLC, UT
Favorite Zone: Campanile Ensloveno Tower
Proudest Achievement: Evac of an injured partner in Karakorum
Favorite Advocacy Org: SLCA
The world's a BIG place and the steeper parts are still difficult'and require time'to get to, to see, and if you're lucky, to climb and explore. Even Google Earth, to which I am virtually addicted, cannot show us the complex, vertical terrain of this planet without distorting its detail. As we continually zoom-in our view of the world, it becomes evident that there are still plenty of mysteries to solve, albeit representing smaller and smaller blanks on the map. I have been very fortunate to tackle, with all my great partners, some of the riddles of the y-axis: to pursue, in the amateur spirit, some of the experiences portrayed in the classic adventure narratives of my youth, and to discover those same storied, heroic traits in them'and, even in myself, once-in-a-while. I enjoy exploratory, adventure climbing on many different mediums, especially since I've live here in Utah, with its endless variety of rock-types. But granite'specifically, alpine granite'is my jam. Opening new routes both near and far from home keeps my passion for traditional climbing interesting and spontaneous, in a creative way. It's not too dissimilar to elements of my other artistic preferences... In fact, I've often likened it to, say, graffiti-writing; though, ironically enough, graffiti is one of the more pervasive issues in my home climbing area, Little Cottonwood Canyon! You and your crew are clandestinely out to make a statement up there, with style and boldness, nuance and character, not unlike any freestyle'say, even, musical'performance. What's left is there for other adventure climbers, other crews, to witness and to repeat, perhaps, and to'hopefully'take it a step further. There's a lot of Hip-Hop to climbing, as I see it.
- How did you get involved with your respective sport?: Mountaineering books, books about late 19th and early 20th Century exploration and National Geographic magazine articles were the likely culprits, early on. Seeing all that specialty kit being used in wild places by experts and explorers got me psyched to'first'learn more about the climber, then about climbing.
- Who were your influences early in life?: Oji-chan, my paternal grandfather who lived in Tokyo, taught me the joy of travelling on foot'he showed me that everywhere is within walking distance, and that nowhere is too far.
- What draws you to the outdoors?: In a word: EXPLORATION!
- What do you like about SCARPA as a brand?: SCARPA's a family company, and if the US, our culture, were a bit older, perhaps, we'd have things like this heritage brands her, too: when it comes to super-high quality. handmade footwear'not to mention, leather, plastic and composite, specialty mountain footwear'there's nowhere else. The craft is, at its most highly evolved, found here in Italy. I've been lucky to be part of the SCARPA family for some time; on top of years of expedition support, they've also given me a unique opportunity to lend their support to grassroots stewardship efforts close to my own heart.
- Why do you trust SCARPA products?: 1) Most importantly, our shoes and boots fit my feet! 2) We use old-world techniques to produce the finest tools'tools for opening the routes of tomorrow! 3) Getting to work with iconoclast rock-shoe designer, Heinz Mariacher, 'nuff said.
- What gets you out of bed on big days?: Hazel, our 3.5-year-old Mini-Aussie shepherd, wakes me up every morning at 7 a.m.
- What is your best excuse for skipping training?: Going climbing or skiing's the best excuse to skip training, which'I guess'is the reason I'm not known to ever train..
- Favorite recovery/apres beverage?: Dale's Pale Ale, Fresh lemonade, Horchata
- If you had a baseball walkup song, what would it be?: Check the Technique, Gang Starr
- What's the last movie that made you cry?: Lion
- What's your dream trip or expedition?: Whoa-that's a really tough one. I guess it's a toss-up between an expedition to Ren Lan, in the far, far north of Greenland, or another return trip to Pakistan'this time, to explore the seldom-visited Kondus valley. There are less-known zones along the Argentine-Chilean frontier that look promising, too!
- What makes a good adventure partner?: My partners are all serious climbers/skiers, but they don't take themselves too seriously. And my dog, Hazel, who's really my number one adventure companion'she never bails, and is only interested in what I want to do...
- Two truths and a lie: Oddly, in almost everywhere remote range or region I've ever visited, I find balloons'regular balloon, shiny Mylar birthday balloons, weather balloons. 2) If you ever discover a rock hidden in your pack, that was me. The way I grade my routes, 5.11- is easier than .10+.