Hometown: Woodinville, WA (or where ever our van, Magic, is parked)
Q: What’s your climbing style?
A: Alpine Rock First Ascents, Trad, Sport, Indoor Bouldering, Ice, Mixed, Aid
Q: What is your proudest accomplishment in climbing, and outside of climbing?
A: In 2015 my wife Szu-ting Yi and I climbed a new alpine rock route, Secret Moon Cake, on Eagle Peak East (5.10 R, 17,388ft) in Western China. The route took all of our combined skills to access and climb the peak in very challenging weather conditions. http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13201213642/Eagle-Peak-East-Secret-Moon-Cake,
Q: What advice would you give to your first year climbing self?
A: Bouldering in the cornerstone for improvement in all types of climbing
Q: Who do you take advice from and why?
A: My wife Szu-ting Yi, no explanation needed 🙂
Q: How has your training for climbing changed in the last year?
A: More finger-board and indoor bouldering sessions
Q: How has climbing affected the people you choose to surround yourself with?
A: Climbing has been my lifelong vocation, personal pursuit and connected me with my life partner. Climbing, with it’s mental and physical challenges, quickly reveals who we are as people. You can’t fake climbing , it cuts through the “BS” that people sometimes surround themselves with in life. As a result, climbing has made me appreciate people, who are thoughtful, honest, direct and kind under any circumstance.
Q: What have you done to give back to the climbing community?
A: I have been an outdoor educator and climbing instructor for the last 30 years. I have been fortunate to be able to impart my knowledge in both climbing movement and technical systems to thousands of new climbers. However, teaching people about protecting the climbing resource/environment and seeing how people gain confidence and pride in themselves through climbing has been the biggest reward.
Q: What have you learned from failure?
A: Failure is a temporary experience in the process of achieving my goals.
Q: Who are the climbers that inspire you the most, and why?
A: Having climbed for over 35 years, there have been many, many climbers that have and continue to inspire me today. In 1999, I was fortunate to hang out with the German climbing legend Kurt Albert in Patagonia. Kurt was the first person to develop red-point climbing style. He went on to establish hard alpine rock routes in remote ranges around the world. He was a visionary in terms of what the human body could accomplish and also had the mental determination to achieve any goal he set.
Q: What is your favorite climbing location, and why?
A: Wind River Range of Wyoming. I lived in Wyoming for 12 years and really enjoy the high quality granite, solitude and unlimited new route potential found there.
Q: Why Butora Climbing?
A: Innovative product design, environmental friendly materials, wide width options for my hobbit-like feet and a company run by great people.
Q: What are your favorite before and after climbing meals?
A: Coffee (it’s a meal, right? 🙂 and dark chocolate. I am currently eating a low carb high protein/fat diet and participating in intermittent fasting. I have been fortunate to be born with a high metabolism, but at 53 years young maintaining a healthy climbing weight is an important element in my climbing training program.
Q: What is your spirit animal?
Questions from the Internet
These are questions our visitors have asked.
Q: What are some tips you would give to new outdoor climbers about crag etiquette?
A: Climbing/Bouldering gyms can be crowded and noisy and user rarely have to think about the indoor “environment” as the gym has rules for safety and behavior. Outside climbing can have a much more diverse group of users in terms of skill level, experience, behaviors and values. While there are few mean spirited people in the world, I believe most folks (especially climbers) are good hearted. That being said, I think most problems at the crag stem from people not even realizing their behavior is bothering other users. If you are a dog person, or love to listen to music while you climb it might not cross your might that some people are very fearful of dogs or are distracted by music of any kind. The key is anticipating the impact of your actions and having open communications with the climbers you are sharing the rock with. In addition, mentoring new climbers in the reasons behind LNT is a responsibility that all climbers have in protecting our climbing resources
Q: Tips you would give to someone who is stuck on their project? How do you stay motivated when you are stuck?
A: I think there is value in taking a break from you project and trying something else. Early in my climbing career, I spent a lot of time projecting Killer 12.c, a long power endurance climb in Sinks Canyon, WY. I could easily do all the moves, but couldn’t link it all together. I was convinced I needed more endurance, so I did many unsuccessful burns on the route. Eventually, I took a break and spent some time working another route at the cliff, Addiction. Addiction was also 12.c, but a much shorter more bouldery route. After spending some red-pointing Addiction, I got back on Killer and sent it first go. Turns out I actually needed more power/endurance.
Q: How have you overcome fear in climbing (fear of falling, fear of failure, etc.)?
A: First, I determine if the fear is because something is actually physically dangerous. Once I know a fall is safe, then it is just a matter letting go of my personal or other peoples expectations and focus completely on the individual moves of the climb, really put weight on the foothold, tension my core, committing to the lunge etc…