On August 31, 2014, I went on an adventure with my dad and my climbing coach. Although we were an unlikely gathering of folks — a middle schooler, his father, and his athletic mentor– my father and I lacked the knowledge and gear required to do the hike we were about to do. My coach described it as an “exposed Bear Creek,” downplaying it as a relatively simple affair. The “hike” I found myself on is a foot-wide trail etched into the face of Ajax Peak, 500 feet above Telluride, Colorado, called the Via Ferrata. It is more of a cliffside traverse than a hike. On that day, I fell in love with this two mile cliff face and the surrounding mountains.
Although I have much to learn and many places to go, I have been fortunate enough to climb in the mountains all over the world. I have summited alpine peaks in Chamonix, France; I have climbed big walls in Yosemite and Red Rocks; I have done the Via Ferrata 50+ times; I came 6th place in Colorado’s state high school climbing championships; and I have bouldered a grade of V9 and a rope grade of 5.13b outside. For the duration of high school, I taught children as young as four to climb, which was quite rewarding and enjoyable. Now I am headed to college in the fall of 2021. I will attend Colorado College partly due to its proximity to outdoor recreation and climbing, and I will use my year off to be in the mountains.
Knowing how stoked I am about teaching climbing, the owners of MountainTrip (Bill and Todd) were generous enough to offer this scrawny long-haired climber a spot in a guide-training seminar a while ago, and I haven’t looked back (I hope they haven’t either). But since that “exposed Bear Creek” six years ago, something has been very clear: I love the cliffs and peaks of the world. But greater than that is experiencing the mountains with others.
I look forward to sharing these mountains with you!