The two things I loathe writing about most are of me and of my climbing. Let's just say, that I'm a lifer, a prodigal dirt-bag who barely manages even to stand on the shoulders of those giants who'd preceded him…much less, summit anything of any major significance… I am, however, completely obsessed with exploring the high places of the world; if traditional climbing is my ascent-craft, then I am a journeyman-alpine rock climber…and, a hack ski-mountaineer…who's still paying his dues, trying to open new routes in ranges near and far, from the Wasatch to the Karakoram. No place is too far, for the world's still a big place and I've got no time to lose!
Nick Name: Gringo Amarillo
Date of Birth: Jan 19, 1978
Where were you born: New York, USA
Current Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Motto: "Don't BLOW it!"
Discipline: Alpine Rockclimbing, Ski Mountaineering
Favorite SCARPA product:I've come to rely on my M's Vapor V: precision footwork's a must for techy, granite first ascents.
What other SCARPA product do you use: I spend two-thirds of my year fighting gravity as a climber, but when the snow begins to fly I become obsessed with spending all day, everyday, in the M's F1 Evo.
Your biggest influence growing up: I was pretty lucky growing up, getting to visit with my grandparents in Japan for the long American summer vacations. I'd say all of them, especially my paternal grandfather, were big in my life.
Biggest idol in your sport growing up: It'd be Eric Shipton and H.W. Tilman, without a doubt. But before I was ever a climber, I really looked up to Brazilian F1 World Champion Ayrton Senna da Silva.
What age did you start: I started early, but I never really committed completely to climbing until my early twenties.
How would you describe your style: If my routes are any kind of indicator, I'd have to say that my climbing style is adventurous, old-school--at times, maybe sandbagged--and most importantly, fun.
What can't you live without: I'm no good without my wife, Coby, and my dog, Hazel, and all of my good friends, all over the world.
What keeps you motivated: Besides the obvious--all of the mystery left to explore and to understand in the world--I'm motivated by lots of things, but to share adventures on aesthetic lines of clean, backcountry rock with old--and new--partners is it--that's what motivates me.
If you could be a super hero who: I've never even thought about it; maybe I'd be the Tick, so that I could live in Little Cottonwood canyon, my adopted home crag, full-time?
Guilty pleasure song: At some point in any expedition, I seem to fixate on a particular track. Most recently, on our trip to the Charakusa, it was "Let Down," a Radiohead song.
Strangest medical issue: I once took a nasty, upside-down slab fall that resulted--although, at the time, unknown to me--in a couple of fractured vertebrae, after the flip pinned my belay plate between my back and the wall. Oh, and I am also completely deaf, and have lost the vestibular sense in my right ear.
Favorite junk food: I'm not much for junk food, but if we're in the mountains and you've got Peanut M & M's, our day just got way better!
Favorite post activity drink: Beer.
Best excuse to skip training: Training--what's that? Climbing is the best excuse to skip anything and everything.
Go-to dance move: N/A
Favorite ice cream: I'd take anything from Helado Jauja, Bariloche, Argentina.
Coffee or tea: It depends on where I am; in Asia and in Argentina, it's tea or mate, of course, but at home and in the States, I prefer coffee.
What do you do on off days: I peddle climbing gear with the best crew, at the best local, independent climbing shop in the solar system, IME.
Favorite classic movie: I love a lot of older films, but Lawrence of Arabia, (1962) has got to be the one.
What's on your ipod: I don't have an iPod, right now--the half-deaf thing is kind of bummer with stereo headphones, splitting the sound. Before my previous one bit the dust, however, it was filled with eclectic mix…everything from old-school Hip-Hop to Bossa Nova, punk, metal, classical.
What kind of car do you drive: Currently, I don't. I'm a proud rider and supporter of the Utah Transit Authority!