Wilderness First Responder
Masters in Psychology
Outgoing Natural Leader
Leading Meetup Climbing Events in SF & SD
Voting Poll Manager (including Obama's Election)
Led dozens of Tutorials and Webinars on WordPress
Being a very social person, I get a lot of satisfaction from educating people on just about any topic. However, in my current profession as a freelance web developer, I have little opportunity to build community around work. With climbing being my primary passion, I could imagine nothing more satisfying than to give back to the community by helping run educative climbing events for my favorite gym: Mesa Rim!
Most recently, I achieved my first 5.11c flash at the Crazy Horse Buttress near Chiang Mai.
Epinephrine had been on my tick-list for a while and it was a joy to simul-climb all but the chimney pitches with a great partner! Despite a slow party ahead, we did car-to-car in under 13 hours.
Not long ago, I was humbled once again by the dangers of Rock Climbing. Running out the crux without wearing a helmet on Etude (5.11a) at Suicide Rock was a mistake that caused me to suffer from a concussion. The month-long recovery was awakening and I wish to share the lesson of my failure.
On a more positive note, a couple weeks earlier I ticked my first 5.12a red-point on my second attempt of The Incinerator at Holcomb Valley.
Still tired from Burning Man, part of my decompression was to hop on the Rostrum with a young Yosemite employee. On the second pitch, I led 5.11a Trad for the first time. It was definitely an example of Type II fun!
Far more relaxing and scenic, Cathedral Peak is a climb I would recommend to any level climber interested in combining hiking and climbing in easy alpine conditions.
I discovered more delightful climbing community in the far-away lands of Iran. It's truly an international language.
The culmination of a month of Big Wall training in Yosemite Valley, the achievement of years of ambition: leading nearly every pitch up the Nose with my good friend Bud was one of the most memorable experiences of my climbing career to date. It took us 4 days total.
The West Face of El Capitan was the first route where I slept on a porta-ledge. Perhaps more challenging that leading half of the pitches, was figuring out complex rope management with 2 ropes, a party of 3 and a large haul bag.
My time free-climbing a route on El Capitan was going up FreeBlast with a partner I met on the Dinner Ledge a week prior. Simply top-roping the 5.11 slabs that shut Honnold down on his first attempt to solo FreeRider was a daunting mental challenge.
My first big wall and the kickoff to last year's Yosemite month-long trip was the South Face of the Washington Column. A delightful classic and great intro to sleeping on ledges.
To kick off the year of 2017, I followed some SD friends up to participate in the Ouray Ice Climbing Festival. It was my first time trying this style.
To celebrate the holidays, I joined a group of local SD friends on a trip to stay in Vegas and climb the Red Rocks. There I bagged my first 5.11b onsight and also projected a trad route for a day and claimed my first 5.10d trad red point.
I was part of a group of four, including two local AAC leaders on Nov 2016 to free-solo up the Mt Emerson Waterfall route. Car-to-car in 8 hours, we made quick work of this 4500ft elevation gain and descent on terrain up to class 5. This was not the safest thing I ever did, but will certainly remain in my mind as a victory, a feat and a learning experience.
When I moved to San Diego in the fall of 2015, I was quite active in the Meetup community: attending and leading groups first at Mission Gorge only. I quickly made some friends and started exploring the various crags in the vicinity: Corte Madera, El Cajon, Joshua Tree, Tahquitz & Suicide Rock. Of course, between all these outdoor adventures, Mesa Rim has become my main staple.
Upon deciding to leave the urban, money-driven culture of San Francisco where I had lived for the past 8 years, I gave myself a vacation by taking a trip back to my sources in Europe (I lived in France for 10 years). There I spent a full month visiting my Hungarian climbing friends who had introduced me to long outdoor routes in Yosemite and Zion. I learnt to push myself harder on slick limestone. This came in handy when I later drove around the South of France and eventually spent a solid 10 days climbing at the internationally renewed crag: Ceuse. There I witnessed Adam Ondra on "3 degrees of Seperation" and worked on a project of my own that remains elusive. This trip was very important in my learning to trust the gear and get past my fear of falling.
Before leaving for Europe, I got to discover for the first time the joys of climbing near Bishop. What has now become one of my favorite places in the world, Inyo County features amazing some amazing sport climbing at the Owens River Gorge.
My Hungarian friends invited me to join them for the Zion portion of their trip. Together we climbed the Iron Messiah (8 pitches, 5.10c) and in the Kolob Canyon I led my first 5.12a. Since then, Namaste has been down-graded to 5.11d. Regardless, on that route I took one my first big, safe whip. Unfortunately, I also took a more painful whip a couple days later trying to onsight a trad route. That injury in my ankle gave me plenty of time to ponder the risks of letting pride take over safety.
Having spent a day going up the North Face Wonder on Tahquitz as my only trad multi-pitch experience, I was aching to get on something "big" in 2014. A hungarian friend and business partner of mine had mentioned the upcoming visit of some strong climber acquaintances of his. I was awaiting their arrival patiently and when they finally showed up in my local SF gym, I hopped on the opportunity and invited myself to join them in Yosemite. There I got on my first chimney and off-width ever in an epic adventure up Bridalveil Falls East (8 pitches, 5.10c rated in the early 60's). A couple days later they took me up Voyager (7 pitches, 5.11c) which I found to be much easier! That experience in Yosemite was the start of a long new friendship and a new pace in my climbing career.
I had read about the famous "Smith Rock" and in the summer of 2014 I finally had an opportunity to go there, on my own. After 3 days of warming up with random partners, a couple friends showed up and on my last day there, using a make-shift rack I had pieced together from purchases on Mtn Project (including the original thick-aluminium stem friends), I led my first Trad Route ever: Spiderman: 3 pitches of 5.7. On that same day, I also hopped on my first ever 5.11c Lead: taking a couple hangs to get to the top of Heresy.
The most active Meetup group in the Bay Area was the locomotive that got me climbing outdoors more regularly whilst living in San Francisco. I hosted a couple events and attended many. Along with climbing itself, I took a taste for helping educate others on climbing safely, a topic I take to heart since my first accident in Ton Sai, Thailand.
Having seen the Petzl Rock trip video in Patagonia, when my ex expressed interest in heading to the far south, I bundled in cragging with the trip. Having finally healed from a near-deadly accident in Thailand, I was more than ever intent on learning how to climb safely. I bought a couple books from Craig Lueben and studied diligently on the flight down. That trip is when I really began to lead sport and by the end of it I had on-sighted a 5.11a!
Visiting Thailand for a family reunion, I was so excited to climb in this vertical paradise. People there encouraged me to start leading, and strong of gym practice, my first lead was completing a 5.11b that someone had failed to finish. Strong-headed of this initial success, I failed to take the task seriously and a few days later, on my second lead ever I forgot to clib the second bolt. When I slipped trying to clip the third, I fell 20+ ft and nearly decked, head first onto solid rock without a helmet. Luckily my belayer was a rope-access professional, and though he failed to call out my missing clip, he succeeded at pulling enough line through his grigri during my descent to save my life. Only my ankle was injured but somehow took 7 months to heal. I will never forget this near-death experience.
Having exclusively climbed indoors, I was curious about the "outdoors" scene I heard of in the gym. Luckily, a friend of mine was keen on taking newbies outside and one day he brought me along to Castle Rock. I was astonished by the lack of holds for feet or hands. We later went to the Phantom Spires in Tahoe and he taught me to set up and take down simple sport anchors. Having tasted the forbidden fruit, I was taken! My life changed forever...
Having lived for years without a significant sport practice, I was aching to find a passion to take me away from my screen-consumed life. When a friend suggested we go climbing at the gym, I discovered what slowly became the center of my life.