Archive for the ‘Member Spotlight’ Category

Member Spotlight September 2019

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

Julie and Mike Pinske

Members since June 2019

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

Julie: I grew up in Sebastopol/Santa Rosa, California and Mike grew up in a small town named Oliver in British Columbia, Canada.  We have lived all over (including California, Canada, Hawaii, North Carolina, and in an RV). We moved to the Tacoma area so I could attend PLU’s Master of Science in Nursing program, and Mike was able to transfer and keep his job as a biomedical technician.

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

Mike: We had each done a small amount of climbing over the years.  After moving here, Julie’s friend told her about Edgeworks. She came and sent me a picture of the tall walls, which excited me. We went climbing later that day and signed up the day after that.

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?

Julie: We both prefer top rope climbing.  We both enjoy climbing high because it’s fun and always feels like a big accomplishment, and I appreciate the security of being roped in.  I am a very static climber and Mike has a more dynamic climbing style and we enjoy finding routes that support and challenge our climbing styles.

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

Mike: I enjoy Tool, Rush, Le Castle Vania, and Johannes Sebastian Bach to name a few.  Julie’s taste is all over the place, but a few artists she likes are Cat Stevens, Bon Iver, and Regina Spektor.  She also not-so-secretly loves ‘90s pop and hip hop.

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

Julie: I’d say: have tenacity.  If something is challenging, keep at it and try approaching it differently each time.  Mike would say just go for it- don’t worry about falling.

Best part about Edgeworks?

Mike: We both love the tall walls, the abundance of auto belay routes, the amount of bouldering, and how there is always new stuff to try.  Plus, there is the bonus of the gym equipment as well.

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

Julie: Our story of how we met was pretty cool- it was in 2013 on a dive boat on the Great Barrier Reef.  Mike was working on the boat and I came on for three days as a tourist. When we’re not climbing or SCUBA diving, we enjoy playing games (board games, pc games, escape rooms, etc).  Mike is also the DM for a D&D group that has been going for a year, and I swim and play volleyball whenever possible.

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

Mike:  Be a better climber, attain greater fitness.

Julie:  In the next few months, I would like to complete a 5.11 and maybe even a 5.12.  I’m also trying to overcome my fears and do a handstand.

Member Spotlight August 2019

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

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. 

Member Spotlight July 2019

Monday, July 1st, 2019

Cole Cook

Member since March 2019

How did you start climbing?

Cole: A few months ago I was with my daughter and I heard about Edgeworks online and decided to try it out. We completely fell in love with it and have been going steadily ever since.

Why do you climb at Edgeworks?

Cole: I love to climb at Edgeworks because it’s an amazing facility, all the staff are great and I’ve met a bunch of friends there. Everyone there is awesome and very helpful.

What do you do when you’re not climbing?

Cole: When I’m not climbing I’m usually working and spending time with my family and friends.

Where is your favorite place to climb outside?

Cole: I have not yet climbed outside but plan on making a trip to exit 38 very soon.

What are some interesting facts that you’d like to share with the Edgeworks community?

Cole: I love being outside. Other than rock climbing my favorite hobby would definitely be snowboarding. I like doing anything active; I can’t stand sitting around. 

Which do you prefer: top rope, lead, or bouldering?

Cole: I’ve only been climbing for about three months and I recently started lead climbing which I’m completely addicted to. 

Member Spotlight June 2019

Saturday, June 1st, 2019

Emily Anderson 

Member since January 2018

How did you start climbing?

Emily: My first experience climbing was when I was 17 and living in Colorado. I went with my brother and his friend to North Table Mountain in Golden. I immediately loved it, but didn’t start regularly climbing until I moved to WA several years later and decided to get a membership at Edgeworks.

Why do you climb at Edgeworks?

Emily: Edgeworks has a very special, welcoming community. I always tell people, I have never been to a gym where I have met so many friendly and genuinely awesome individuals. I also love all the unique spaces and different ways you can challenge yourself physically in addition to the walls, like the campus boards, weight rooms, and yoga studio. I also often do homework and work on my computer at the upstairs tables. Really, Edgeworks has become a bit of a second home.

What do you do when you’re not climbing?

Emily: When I am not climbing, you can probably find me at work or at school. I am a server at Stack 571 Whiskey bar and a student at the University of Washington-Tacoma, studying Psychology and Education. I also really enjoy playing acoustic guitar and singing, hanging out with my family and friends, and hiking/backpacking around the PNW!

Where is your favorite place to climb outside?

Emily: So far, I have only been climbing outside in three different places. Once in Golden, Leavenworth, and exit 38, so really I have just started to dip my toes in outdoor climbing. Although I love the scenery and atmosphere of climbing in Leavenworth, I would have to say as of now I really enjoy sport climbing and all the options for sport that exit 38 has for this. That being said I really want to take a trip down to Smith Rock soon!

What are some interesting facts that you’d like to share with the Edgeworks community?

Emily: I am actually currently conducting a research project on Women and Rock Climbing, and using Edgeworks as well as other climbing locations as field sites for observation. I’m nearing the end of my research, and have learned so much and met so many great people through the process.

Which do you prefer: top rope, lead, or bouldering?

Emily: Right now I love top roping, but leading is in the near future for me 🙂 My favorite projects would probably have to be stemming projects and routes with mostly crimps!

Member Spotlight: Dec 2018

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

Scott Thorsteinson 

Member since March 2018

How did you start climbing?

Scott: I had open heart surgery in 2015 and felt I had a new lease on life. I decided I would start hiking and climbing mountains to see the amazing scenery. As I climbed more mountains I realized I was lacking rock climbing skills. March of 2018, I went to Edgeworks and signed up not knowing anyone at the gym. It was tough at first since I was solo and limited to the auto belays.

Why do you climb at Edgeworks?

Scott: Edgeworks community is great! The climbers and staff are always friendly and helpful when I have questions. It’s also the closest gym to my house. The gym was already awesome; but with the remodel makes it even better.

What do you do when you’re not climbing?

Scott: I work as a fire captain in White Center (south of Seattle). When I’m not working I enjoy hiking, mountain climbing, boating on Lake Tapps, going to Mariner’s games, anything outdoors or that involves exercising.

Where is your favorite place to climb outside?

Scott: I’m really new to outdoor climbing. I enjoyed climbing off of Exit 38 in North Bend. The Grand Tetons had great climbing as well.

What are some interesting facts that you’d like to share with the Edgeworks community?

Scott: I no longer drink alcohol since my heart surgery so I found that working out or climbing helps reduce stress. I try to make itto Edgeworks 3-4 times a week and climb for 3 hours each visit. I carpool and climb with my friend Janice and wife Kristy when she’s not working.

What’s your go-to route grade?

Scott: I’m new to climbing as of this year but feel great about my progress. I feel comfortable with 5.10 and some 5.11’s. I’m hoping to complete a 5.12 by the end of this year. I’m motivated to get better and continue to learn from fellow climbers!

Which do you prefer: top rope, lead, or bouldering?

Scott: I really enjoy top rope over bouldering. I signed up for the December lead climbing class. My wife and friends are also signed up so it should be a fun time.

 

Member Spotlight: Nov 2018

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

Lynn Tucker

Member since 2015

How did you start climbing?

Lynn: On vacation a few years ago my niece and nephew wanted to climb so I figured I’d try it. Scared me to death! As soon as I got home I joined Edgeworks to get over that fear.

Why do you climb at Edgeworks?

Lynn: Jimmy was the first person I met and he is the real reason I joined on day 1. He and everyone I’ve met here are kind, funny, fun and I just love that I get to hang out and workout at the same time.

What do you do when you’re not climbing?

Lynn: I teach at PLU, play ultimate frisbee, SUP, kickbox, and hang with my little dogs and my big dog hubby, Chris.

Where is your favorite place to climb outside?

Lynn: I’ve only climbed outside once; exit 38. I climb the stairs at Stadium – does that count?

What are some interesting facts that you’d like to share with the Edgeworks community?

Lynn: I’m from El Paso, Texas, but I don’t have an accent; I’ve kicked cancers butt; and I love Coca Cola as if it were the elixir of the Gods.

Which do you prefer: top rope, lead, or bouldering?

Lynn: Top Rope. I have not tried lead yet but plan to take the course the next chance I get.

What’s your go-to route grade?

Lynn: I prefer to select my routes based on color; bubble gum pink is favorite. If it’s a 5.10 – bonus!

 

Member Spotlight: Oct 2018

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Shannon & Liz Kelley-Fong

Members since 2016

How did you start climbing?

Liz: My last couple of roommates, before I met Shannon, climbed and so I would just tag along with them occasionally. Shannon and I first met when my roommate invited both of us to go climb at exit 38. I’ve been climbing regularly with her ever since. More on that later.

Shannon: I took an intro class in college but didn’t really get into it until grad school. It became a great way to meet awesome people.

Why do you climb at Edgeworks?

Liz: It’s western Washington, 70% of the time it’s too wet to climb outside locally. The staff and members are great! The expansion has definitely been a bonus.

Shannon: The new lead walls are certainly a good reason. Free beer on member nights certainly helps. I look forward to the day that
they open at 6AM so I can start my day off right with a climbing sesh before work. …hint, hint, nudge, nudge.

What do you do when you’re not climbing?

Both: Where did the summer go? Various home-remodeling projects have kept us busy of late. So far we’ve completely redone our kitchen, scraped and repainted the exterior, and just added 40’ of retaining wall to the front. Next up: adding a 2nd bathroom & remodeling the existing one.

Where is your favorite place to climb outside?

Both: Lately Red Rocks, Nevada. Liz travels there once a year in the fall for work and it makes for a great inexpensive escape from the rain in the spring. While it can be a bit chilly or hot, it’s sunny. The area offers great options for all levels of sport climbing and bouldering, win-win!

Which do you prefer: top rope, lead, or bouldering?

Shannon: I started as a boulderer. Logistically it was easier for a new climber. But I was won over, or converted to the dark side (depending on how you see it), by sport climbing. Honestly- I’m content doing both. It really boils down to who I am climbing with. Crack climbing remains an enigma to me… I challenge someone to help with that.

Liz: It’s nice to mix it up, but probably lean toward lead, top rope, bouldering in that order.

What are some interesting facts that you’d like to share with the Edgeworks community?

Shannon: Liz and I initially met on a climbing trip organized by a mutual friend. We didn’t know at the time but we were being intentionally set up by this friend. This trip was Liz’s first outdoor climbing experience. She did awesome. Toward the end of the day, I asked Liz if she’d like to learn how to repel. Without any hesitation she said yes. A year later, on the day, we got married.

What’s your go-to route grade?

Shannon: Grade fun. Outside, I’ve been working on getting more comfortable on pushing through 5.11s. Inside, I’ll try pretty much anything, why not. 
Liz: 99% of the time I stick in the 10 range.  I’ll try the odd 11 if Shannon recommends it

 

Member Spotlight: Sept 2018

Friday, October 19th, 2018

Kyle Sexton

Member since 2015

How did you start climbing?

Kyle: I started climbing for my daughters. It’s great exercise; building upper body strength and self confidence. I believe it will be easier for them to be kind and caring people if they are first confident people, secure in themselves. Climbing gives them self confidence and belief in themselves. It helps with learning about goals and the satisfaction of completing a challenge. Climbing is also something that we could do together, and provides some serious daddy/daughter time. Nothing builds trust between a parent and his/her kid like holding them up on a rope 30 feet off the ground.

Why do you climb at Edgeworks?

Kyle: I climb to stay in shape, clear my mind, and attempt to stay ahead of my kids. It’s also a great community of people to be around.

What do you do when you’re not climbing?

Kyle: Yard work and work work. Sadly, I’m almost always working. I come to Edgeworks to get away from work for a second and clear my mind. I used to run to clear my mind, but my knees aren’t having that anymore.

Where is your favorite place to climb outside?

Kyle: LOL. I’ve never climbed outside. Work keeps me super busy, so I climb recreationally indoors only (so far). You might find me climbing an escalator at the airport a couple times a week, but that’s about it.

Which do you prefer: top rope, lead, or bouldering?

Kyle: Bouldering. I could boulder forever. I like how bouldering can either be short and intense puzzles, or a continuous lap around the gym. I boulder until my hands say, “nope”.

What are some interesting facts that you’d like to share with the Edgeworks community?

Kyle: If you or a child ever get rock dust or chalk dust in your eye; cup your hand, fill it with water, lean forward with your eye closed into your cupped hand into the water and blink rapidly. The surface tension of the water along with the blinking motion will suck the debris right out. It’s the quickest, easiest way to remove a foreign body from your eye.

What’s your go-to route grade?

Kyle: 5.10. It’s difficult enough to provide a challenge and a workout, but generally easily enough that I don’t need assistance.