Member Spotlight: JAN 2016

Written By

spotlight_blog header_feltus
Jim Feltus

Member since 2005

How did you start climbing?
Jim: As it was with most of us, it was a progression, starting first with inspiration. My first inspiration was a Disney movie, Third Man on the Mountain. My dad took me to see it when I was 6 or 7; I was hooked. We lived in Salt Lake at the time and I remember spending most of 2nd and 3rd grade looking out the classroom window at Mt. Olympus figuring out routes and vowing to climb it one day. We moved back to Colorado when I was in the 4th grade and from then on all I wanted to do was be in the mountains and climb. Looking back, I suppose I started with scrambling, but we didn’t call it that back then, it was just what we did, crawling around on the rocks. Where I grew up, Grand Junction, Colorado, there was a lot of sandstone, my friends and I were lizards moving around the rock. Then in high school and college, I started to learn climbing technique and expanded that with my college climbing partner Joe. He grew up in Colorado Springs and had received quality instruction, he was a great teacher. We pounded pins and clipped into existing pins (peons) for a couple of years. And then it really started. ​

Why do you climb at Edgeworks?
Jim: I climb at Edgeworks for several reasons: it keeps me in shape for climbing outside, it is a great community of people and staff​ and I like just hanging out there, I’ve made friendships there, I like seeing the kids who are part of the Edgeworks Climbing Team progress and just seeing how they are doing.

Where is your favorite place to climb outside?
Jim: I have lots of favorite places: the Bugaboos, the Tetons, the Dolomites, Chominoux.​

What do you do when you’re not climbing?
Jim: ​I suppose the first thing I do is think about climbing: where, when, how. I practice law some of the time, I ski, I work out at the YMCA, I read, I write, I’m very involved in The Mountaineers, I’m on the Board of Downtown on the Go, I go to the Mountains with my wife, I don’t watch TV, I try to be involved with
my community, Tacoma.​

What are some interesting facts you’d like to share with the Edgeworks community?
Jim: My mother is 91, lives by herself, and drives; watch out if you go to Colorado Springs. ​I’ve never done a first ascent except for a trip to the Winds when we were grossly off route but muscled-through to the top thanks to the efforts of Chuck Buzzard who lead a very dicy pitch. I’ve climbed Mt. Mckinley, all the volcanos in the Northwest, the Grand a few times (but never Irene’s arete, still on the list), and never in Asia, a great personal disappointment. I’ve been skiing since I was 5 or so, I’ve skied with Stien Ericsson, Billy Kid, and Spider Sabich and Bobby Turner (in his day, the best skier on the planet, put the rest to shame). I still keep in touch with my childhood friends, and there are a bunch. I played college football.