When did you start climbing and what got you interested?
I started climbing in 2004. My dad would occasionally take me top roping at Stoney Point in Southern California before climbing gyms were commonplace. I couldn’t get enough, so when a gym opened in my hometown I started going at every opportunity. The community welcomed me In a way I’d never experienced. Being an outdoorsy kid in the material world of Southern California had always seemed to baffle everyone around me, so when I found a lifestyle that suited my own nature and a community that understood why I would rather spend all my money on gas and climbing shoes than anything else, I never looked back.
How long have you been setting and what level setter are you?
I’ve been setting for about 10 years, and am a USAC Level 3 route setter.
What is your favorite place that you have ever climbed and why?
I always find this question nearly impossible to answer. Hueco Tanks for the fact that the strict regulations have kept it from getting trashed like so many other great places. I have been climbing in Hueco since I was like 17 and its still exactly the same 15 years later. Black Mountain for the personal journeys and growth. Fontainebleau for its overwhelming quantity and quality. Flagstaff for its unparalleled and unique roofs and its surrounding deserts.
I don’t have a favorite. Every single place where I’ve spent a great deal of time is equally important to me.
What advice would you give to a new climber that is just starting out?
Just have fun and be curious. If you’re an adult, chances are you’ve forgotten how to play like a kid. Climbing is playful and climbing is using your own creativity to solve something.
What is your favorite Area/Feature at your gym to set?
West: The 30 degree on the lead wall.
East: The 50 and The Cave.
Where do you find your inspiration to set new problems/routes?
I usually follow my own intuition and let the holds and wall angles tell me what to do. I also like to pick a specific move I want to put on the wall, like a heel hook. I’ll set that once section and then set around it.
What is your favorite crag snack?
A big thermos of herbal tea and gas station snacks.
What is your current project?
I got agonizingly close to Tilted World just before the pandemic. As soon as it cools down I’ll be back at The Lilly Boulders.
If you could eliminate one bad habit that you see climbers do in the gym what would it be?
Taking climbing too seriously. With everything going on in the world right now I think having something to do that’s just plain old fun is really important.
Oh, and wearing their masks wrong…. Please, have some respect.