Member Spotlight August 2019

Written By

Luis Salazar

Member since November 2018

Where did you grow up and how did you end up in the Pacific Northwest?

Luis: I’m originally from NYC. My wife is from Tacoma. We were living in Brooklyn before we moved out west for work. As much I miss Brooklyn and the climbing community there, I do love having the mountains so close. My backyard is the Pacific Northwest.

What’s the story behind your becoming a climber? How did you end up at Edgeworks?

Luis: It got a bit harrowing at times working in a NYC emergency room and taking the subway home every day was mentally exhausting so I wanted to find a place to clear my mind. I found peace in the outdoors and hiking up mountains eventually led to climbing. I started climbing at a gym in Brooklyn and it just expanded from there. Now, my wife and I plan our trips specifically for climbing and we’ve met so many people in the climbing community with amazing stories. We focus on rope climbing so when we knew we were moving here, Edgeworks was close by and loved the route setting here.

If you had to choose between bouldering, top rope or lead climbing as the only form of climbing you could do from here on out, what would you choose and why?

Luis: Definitely lead climbing. It is a huge mental game going up a route and keeping your mental game in check. It can totally take away from the climb if you’re not managing your fear of falling even though you might be physically capable of doing a route. This is probably the bigger challenge for me than learning the skills, even though those are also pretty tough to execute at times.

Tell us your favorite music as of late. Who should we be listening to?

Luis: I’m kind of old school. Stevie Wonder on a good day and Miles Davis on a bad day. Talib Kweli when I’m climbing.

What is one lesson you’ve learned as a climber that you would teach to your younger self who’s just starting out climbing?

Luis: Don’t worry about how you look climbing. I learned a lot from trying different things on routes and just thoroughly enjoyed the process of messing up.

Best part about Edgeworks?

Luis: The community here is tight. I’ve met a lot of people through this gym and our relationships go beyond climbing. I am also a big fan of the route setting.

Could you tell us something about you that our community members might not know? What’s your jam outside of Edgeworks?

Luis: I work as a nurse and like to volunteer either through medical efforts or through photography. I currently volunteer with a non-profit organization called Climbers of Color based here in Washington . We have an event coming up August 9th here at Edgeworks. Check out our website to learn more about us! (https://www.climbersofcolor.org/)

What’s your goal for the months ahead as far as climbing and fitness go?

Luis: I hope to climb some more 5.11s outside and start projecting a 5.12. I also want to learn trad and expand my technical climbing knowledge. I need to start ticking off some of the bigger mountains like Mt. Rainier, as well. 

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