Rob was born in Ohio and didn't even learn about rock climbing until after graduating high school. Having his first climbing experiences at the New River Gorge, West Virginia gave him the climbing bug and he has been at for over 20 years. He continues to travel the world for climbing and adventuring, always seeking the ever elusive perfect route. His passion is establishing new climbs big and small. His favorite places to climb are in the Italian Dolomites and in Zion National Park. He has been teaching high school science for 15 years at an alternative high school for high risk youth where he leads an outdoor program and a real life hands on science curriculum. Rob now resides in Grand Junction, Colorado where he is a proud husband and a father of two boys
To stay motivated and focused on a long climb, make sure you have been mentally prepared and taken the necessary rest and training before going. When you are there, focus on executing and having fun with it, as all your motivation has been built up before that point. Transcript: "How do I stay motivated and focused during a long climb? Well, I don't get on a long climb unless I want to do it badly. Like, I know that I'll have trained for it, I'll have gotten as much information about it as possible. I'll be mentally prepared for the big day before I go. I'll make sure that I've, you know, taken the rest that I needed and the training that I've needed. So when I get on that big climb, all the motivation's kind of been for the time before it. And when I'm there, now it's just time to go ahead and execute and do my best and try to have as much fun as I can while getting on that big long climb. So the focus is there because I'm finally doing it. The motivation is there because, man, I don't want to fall short. Not that it affects me or my life in any way, but the motivation is all that preparation work, and then when you get to do it, it's just pure joy."
Wrap a towel, foam sleeping pad, or backpack around the tree to protect it when using it as an anchor. Transcript: "How can you avoid damaging the bark on a tree when you use it as an anchor? One of the things you can do is just wrap a quick towel around it and then put your rope or slings around that and then you can avoid damaging it significantly. Also, if you're at a place where people just repetitively use a tree as an anchor, that's where you're going to go ahead and get damaged. The one-time use is not really going to damage it significantly at all. Another thing you might want to use to wrap it around is one of those foam sleeping pads. That will go ahead and pad it and those will stay in place while you're building your anchor. So I would just say if you can protect it with something like a thicker towel or a foam sleeping pad or even a backpack you can go ahead and put around the tree, or where the main force will be pulled upon, those are all great ways to go ahead and avoid harming the tree more than you have to. ."
A regular breathing pattern of inhaling through the nose and exhaling out of the mouth can help athletes handle stressful or hard breathing situations, especially in colder temperatures. This helps the body recover quickly and maintain the breath pattern that has been trained. Transcript: "What breathing exercises allow you to handle the colder temperatures with ease? So ultimately my go-to move is kind of I think most athletes go to move is a regular breathing pattern to go ahead and handle stressful or hard breathing situations which you can see my breath is coming out it's cold in my gym right now. I go in through the nose out through the mouth so as I'm training climbing whether it's roots when I'm running I'm in through the nose out through the mouth. When I'm on a boulder problem I'm in through the nose out through the mouth. When I'm doing my strength conditioning circuits I'm doing in through the nose out to the mouth. When I'm climbing outside in through the nose out to the mouth. Now how does this help me in colder temperatures? It gives me a regular pattern to go ahead and fall back on. It allows me to go ahead and continue doing what I've trained and it allows my body to be used to the way that I'm getting my breath. All of those things allow me to go ahead and recover more quickly in whatever situation that I'm in."
Quickdraws should typically be facing away from the climber for easier clipping. Transcript: "What direction should quickdraws face? I don't think there's a hard and fast rule with this question, but I do think that there's some things that you should just understand. Ultimately, I typically have the gate facing away from me. So if I'm on the right side, I'm going to have the gate facing left if it's on my left. And if I'm on the left side, I'm going to have the gate facing right. That way I don't fall and potentially create a situation where the gate could open if the rope kind of passes over it. So I would say you can always have the gates face whatever way you want, but my personal preference is to have the gates face away from me. That way when I clip the draw, I'm actually clipping towards myself. For me, that's an easier position to clip rather than clipping the rope away from me. I hope that helps."
My legacy is to help others attain their hopes and dreams or goals, particularly related to rock climbing. I mentor them, helping them with technique and fitness, and I'm a high school teacher in an alternative program. Transcript: "Legacies? I'm a rock climber and if my legacy is rock climbing I feel I've done something wrong. I just want people to know that I enjoy helping others. I'm a high school teacher. I work in an alternative program. My goal is to just help others become successful in attaining their hopes and dreams or their goals, giving them the skills that they need and if that happens to be related to climbing. I've been very assisting in many folks getting on their journey in climbing by mentoring them and helping them with technique and fitness. So my legacy I just want it to be that I help those who ask for help and that's where I want to be."
The biggest myth about climbing is that it is dangerous and that the ropes, harnesses, and other safety equipment are not reliable. However, climbers can usually mitigate the risk of danger by taking appropriate precautions. Transcript: "What's the biggest myth about climbing? I would say most people that do not climb or have not climbed think that it is extremely dangerous and that the rope is not going to save you and that your harness isn't strong enough. So, ultimately, I would say that it's the danger factor. And the way I like to go ahead and respond to that is say, I get to choose to put myself into a dangerous situation. And if I choose not to, then I've mitigated the risk. So, anytime where there is great risk, typically, I would say most of the time, there's always, you know, random chance, but most of the time you can mitigate the risk and avoid it if you'd like. Or you can step into it and see what's going to happen. But I think the danger is the biggest myth about climbing."