Hometown: Allentown, PA
Q: What’s your climbing style?
A: Technical squeezing
Q: What is your proudest accomplishment in climbing, and outside of climbing?
A: I feel like I’ve got a new proudest achievement every time I go climbing, it’s all so good. But more to the point I guess my FA of Flippin Gravity 5.13d would be my biggest accomplishment so far. As far as outside of climbing I’m not sure, maybe getting on the Dean’s list my first semester of college after dropping out 6 years earlier. That felt pretty good.
Q: What advice would you give to your first year climbing self?
A: No one gives a shit that you’re the strongest one in the gym, stop showing off and put some time into getting better.
Q: Who do you take advice from and why?
A: Man, I take advice from everybody. We’ve all got our own stories to tell and all the little nuggets of wisdom that come with it. Everyone knows at least one thing you don’t.
Q: How has your training for climbing changed in the last year?
A: I’ve made an effort to rest more. I get stuck in the fallacy that there has to be an action for progress, and I tend to overtrain and run myself into the ground.
Q: How has climbing affected the people you choose to surround yourself with?
A: Like all climbers, I’ve surrounded myself with other climbers, which is probably for the worse. I don’t get to see my non-climbing friends nearly as much as I’d like to, and even though I don’t always talk about climbing with my climbing friends, it has become noticeably harder to talk to non-climbers about anything. The conversation always comes back to being a climber and the whole thing is really hard to explain without sounding like a bit of a conceded ass, so the conversation usually stops there. On the flip side of that coin though, I’ve met some really amazing people climbing and I wouldn’t trade these friendships for anything.
Q: What have you done to give back to the climbing community?
A: I like to spend a few weekends in the summer re-bolting routes. Do to the spread out nature of crags in PA, a lot of climbs get neglected for way too long. It’s a good feeling to give an old route a little bit more life with some shiny hardware.
Q: What have you learned from failure?
A: Just like pooping, everybody does it.
Q: Who are the climbers that inspire you the most, and why?
A: The ones out there getting after it day after day. It’s so nice to just stay on my couch and not do anything but those types of climbers get me hyped to get up, get moving, and smash rigs. And Eddie Russell, young buck killing it nonstop.
Q: What is your favorite climbing location, and why?
A: The New River Gorge, cause if you know, you know.
Q: Why Butora Climbing?
A: They’re just so damn comfortable, even when I have to battle to get them on the first time. They also handle resoles really well. I haven’t had any shoe I could resole 3 or 4 times and still hold up.
Q: What are your favorite before and after climbing meals?
A: Coffee & Cheese; Beer & Cheese
Q: What is your spirit animal?
A: I want to say something that climbs, like a gibbon or an Ibex, but more realistically probably like an otter or something. Active and athletic when I want to be but really just kinda laying around floating and eating most of the time.
Q: What differences have you found in climbing Narsha versus climbing in Acro?
A: The Acro has substantially more flex and sensitivity, which I feel suits my style more. I like to know and feel exactly what I’m standing on.
Q: What are some tips you would give to new outdoor climbers about crag etiquette?
A: Be mindful of everything your doing. It’s really easy to not realize you’re being “those people.” Look to other people at the crag and follow the good examples set by them. Don’t set your stuff up in the trail. Don’t blast music. Leave the hammock at home. If the route you want to get on is busy, check and see if there’s a line before you assume you can just jump in after the current party is done.
Q: Tips you would give to someone who is stuck on their project? How do you stay motivated when you are stuck?
A: Get a mini-proj to work in conjunction with the regular proj, or warm up on something different each session. It’s a great morale booster to clip new chains while your getting shut down.
Q: How have you overcome fear in climbing (fear of falling, fear of failure, etc.)?
A: I see it as you’re never going to do anything if you don’t try. So if you’re going to take the first steps to try something, you’ve already agreed with yourself that success is worth the perceived consequences.