Every since I moved to Rexburg, Idaho in 1994, I have been intrigued with the sport of rock climbing. It all started when my good friend, Ken Klingler, invited me over to his house to climb on his small rock wall that was fastened to his dad's shed. The wall seemed tall for an 11 year old. The wall was probably 15-20 feet tall, but we used ropes. I though Ken was Spiderman when we would climb to the top of the wall without a rope. The funniest memory I have of climbing on the shed was when Ken taught me to rappel off that wall. I looked like an idiot rolling my body over the edge in order to hang on the rope.
After I got hooked to the sport, I had to wait for friends or scout groups to take me. I had no equipment and no knowledge on how to even start. Sadly to say, I don't think I even earned the rockclimbing merit badge. What was I thinking?
I would hound Ken and Jedd Mumm into taking me to the local crags (Heise Rock and Paramount). I was lucky that they took me and put up with my wimpy efforts to top-out. Heise and Paramount is were I started to get into the sport and learned how to climb.
In 2001, Ken, Jedd, and I drove to Pocatello to try our hands at the Pocatello Pump climbing competition; I ended up placing second to last. Here I was, a novice climbing and an avid snowboarder that decided to compete in a rockclimbing competition before ever competing in one for snowboarding. Even though I placed really low, I fell in love with the competition and the free swag that they give to all the participants.
After my two years of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people in Brazil, I bought my own harness, shoes, and quickdraws. In 2004, I joined my my friends and some others in participating in the Pocatello Pump, which is now an annual favorite. In 2005, I was given a phone number of a girl that claimed to be an avid climber. When I called her, I found out that she indeed had an extensive climbing background. Our first date was watching a climbing video, with our second date being a session on the Paramount wall.
I have since married that girl, Jennilyn Fisher from Upland, CA, and have learned a lot about climbing from her. One of the best lessons I have learned from Jennilyn is how to have a strong passion for the sports I participate in. There is more to a sport than just doing it, you have to also love it, think it, breath it, sleep it, and know everything about it. Jennilyn and I now share rock climbing as our favorite thing to do together, even with our children.
I can now say that climbing is more than a sport to me. It is a social opportunity as much as it is a form of recreation or exercise. I have created some great friendships through rock climbing that I know will never end. Rock climbing has made us more than just friends, we are a support group. We don't compete against eachother, instead we encourage and work with one another to accomplish our goals.
Somebody asked my wife if she climbs in all the national parks. This caused me to reflect back on my climbing history and the places I have been and climbed. This list is not to brag, but to remind me of the great memories with friends and family.
- Heise Rock - Rexburg, ID
- Paramount - Rexburg, ID
- Ross Park - Pocatello, ID
- Box Canyon - Arco, ID
- Blackfoot Canyon, ID
- Hot Potato - Idaho Falls, ID
- Logan Canyon - Logan, UT
- Mapel Canyon - Nephi, UT
- Joshua Tree National Park, CA (we were only able to boulder for a couple of hours)
- Teton Canyon - East of Driggs, ID
- City of Rocks State Park, ID
- Massacre Rocks State Park, ID
- Black Wall - Boise, ID (I could be wrong on the name)
- Derkies Lake - Twin Falls, ID
- 26th Street Boulders - Ogden, UT
- South Park - Rexburg, ID
- Midget Widget Wall - Ririe, ID
- Baxter's Pinnacle - Grand Teton National Park, WY
- Grand Teton, Owen Spalding Route - Grand Teton National Park, WY
- Darby Canyon - Victor, ID
- Moab, UT
I have also started to compete more in local competitions:
- Pocatello Pump - 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008
- Sticks and Stones Boulder Competition - 2008, 2009
- USA-Climbing SCS in Pocatello, ID at ISU Reed Gym - 2009