Date of Birth:
February 7, 1985
San Jose, CA
What is your primary means of adventure, AKA what gets you most psyched?
Big routes and big walls but I never say no to climbing of any sort on rock or ice.
Invent your dream adventure by combining five places, disciplines, pitches, peaks, environments, etc. and stacking them together into a combination. Why did you pick each part?
My dream adventure changes with my climbing mood. In one dream I flash back to a first ascent in Baffin Island, unclimbed big walls in a land of twenty-four hour daylight. I envision perfect difficult nailing and aid climbing straight out of an ocean fjord, a cold arctic breeze, and a never ending big wall that dishes out perfect rock and thin nailing. A golden sunset like you find high on El Capitan with an exposed headwall like the top of the Reticent Wall. With temperatures too cold to allow free climbing, aid climbing just seems logical as you climb your way through a massive sea of granite towards a perfect spire-like summit far overhead. The views, the portaledge bivies and the camaraderie always make for dreamy memories.
On the other hand I imagine chalking up below a massive wall, outcome unknown as you launch into a maze of splitter cracks in perfect granite. Pitch after pitch falling below as you climb fast and efficient, simul-climbing here or there, approaching the exposed face above. I imagine taking the rack below a long and daunting crack and jamming towards a hanging corner, establishing the stem then palming, stemming and lie-backing for miles. Light and fast the pitches can all below as you race the sun towards the top. The two dreams routes are different, free climbing challenge versus vertical exploration in an unknown land, but both leave me smiling and wanting more.
Describe 5 climbs, trips, or moments that have defined you as a mountain athlete:
- The first time I stood below El Capitan was early in my climbing on a trio to Yosemite with my family. My dad, who had taught me to climb as a kid, although it had been some years since we climbed together, offered to walk to the base. I’ll never forget putting my hand on the wall and looking up, I knew right then that I wanted to climb big walls, it wasn’t for a few more years that it came true.
- My friend Luke Holloway and I hiked into the Incredible Hulk to climb Positive Vibes and Sunspot Dihedral in a day. As we raced up the Positive Vibes in the afternoon we both felt good, although tired. I remember the feeling of exhaustion, this was my first ‘link-up’ of sorts. As we walked out we made plans to try the classic El Cap-Half Dome link up the following month, this started an obsession with massive days and big link-ups.
- I was simul climbing through the Chimneys on Half Dome, Cheyne Lempe in the lead as we raced towards Big Sandy Ledge. It was hour 22 of enchaining Mt. Watkins, El Capitan and Half Dome in less than 24 hours. Cheyne was flying despite extreme exhaustion. I took the rack on Big Sandy and will never forget taking a deep breath and thinking “empty the tank” and I took off like a rocket towards the summit, I have never tried as hard as I did for that final block on Half Dome. We summited with a total time of 22h59m, the third party to complete the ‘Triple Link-Up’, we were wasted and shed a tear of joy.
- Sometimes the little things stand out, like a day at the sport climbing area The Cathedral. It was my third burn of the day, perfect, beautiful sunset, I was tired but had one more try in me. I battled it out and sent my first 13a limestone sport route. It wasn’t groundbreaking, but it was a big moment for me, personally.
- After so many aid routes on El Capitan I will never forget standing below the Enduro Corner on the Free Rider, the morning of the 4th day on the route during my onsight ground-up effort. With hands torn, tired and nearly destroyed and no warm-up I needed to send the 5.12 pitch, followed by the 5.12 traverse, then 5 11+ pitches to the top, without warning I let out a guttural, deep, loud-as-I-could scream to get fired up. I sent the pitch, fell but then sent the traverse, and onsighted the rest to the summit with a good buddy belaying and cheering me on as I battled.
Describe your most memorable night in the mountains:
Laying below the first crux pitch of the Reticent Wall on El Capitan after a long day to arrive there. Bonked and exhausted I didn’t want to look up at the pitch having read so many stories about this difficult and dangerous pitch. I picked out all the best food to eat for dinner, afraid of what the next day might bring.
What has scared or intimidated you as a mountain athlete?
Rockfall and the uncontrollable hazards.
What would your adventure partners be most surprised to learn about you from before the time when they met you?
I use to have an awesome bowl cut as a kid. It was the early 90’s, it wasn’t my fault.
What are your top 5 all-time favorite pieces of CAMP equipment?
- Nano 22 Carabiner
- Photon Wire Carabiner (They are huge and only 29 grams!)
- X-Dream ice tools
- Energy Harness
- Blade Runner Crampons
Why are you a CAMP athlete?
Lightweight, high quality gear that is ideal for the things I like to do: big days in the mountains and on big walls, whether they are aid routes, ice and mixed routes, or big free rock routes. This gear helps cut weight and makes it easier to go big.
It meant a lot to me when I climbed:
- The Nose of El Cap – My first El Cap route
- The Royal Flush – East Face of Fitz Roy – the first time I really tried to take the yosemite style climbing onto a big wall in another part of the world
- Desert Solitare – Red Rocks, NV – my first 5.13 (12pitches, 13b)
- Deconstructing Jenga – Baffin Island – my first trip to Baffin, I dream of going back daily.
- The Zodiac – one of my favorite routes on El Capitan that I first did with Carmen (my better half)
The adventure, route or race I had to train the hardest for was:
The Freerider – I had invested a lot of time and effort into training leading up to it.
The adventure, route or race that wrecked me the most was:
7 El Cap routes in 7 days.
I most want an all-expenses-paid trip to:
My short list of climbing or adventure goals this year:
- Boat and Climb in the Northwest Territories
- Italy in the Fall
- My 30th different route on El Capitan, which will also be my 50th ascent.