I’ve been climbing since I was a child. My folks have super 8 moveis of me on a slabe at what appears to be 18 months. I was in trees for most of my childhood. My folks place in New Hampshire had a copse of hundred plus foot pine trees (sadly, gone now) that I waould scale up the ladder like branches that radiated out from the shadow center of the copse.
An early attempt at rock climbing took place while an early teenager in the woods behind Larson Road (Now an Ikea) in Stoughton. My cousin Christopher witnessed my meteoric return to earth from the top of a 15 foot cliff, knocking my wind out, and losing my glasses.
Jaimie Hoskins took me climbing at Deans Wall at West Point (now closed to Cadet Climbing…I think I’m seeing a trend here) at the end of our Sophmore years. I climb to the top (12 Feet) in running shoes, and once again returned to earth via the most direct route.
My climbing began in earnest the following fall, when I joined the USMA Mountaineering club. I can’t say enough good things about Ned Crosley’s teaching skills or caustic wit that inspired us to climb safely and climb hard. Many Sunday trips to the Gunks got us used to trad leading, usually with racks composed primarily of stoppers. A couple trips to New Hampshire punctuated the progress I made as a trad leader.
The years following graduation had sparse climbing. A trip to Chatanooga was the highpoint of late 1993. I took my longest fall ever (nearly career ending) in the Ozarks. I discovered the amazing views and well maintained toprops setups of Oahu, high above Dillingham Airfield.
After leaving the Army and moving to San Francisco, I really got into climbing by joining Mission Cliffs. I climbed three days a week, quickly getting strong enough to lead moderate routes in the Sierras and making the occasional trips to Joshua Tree and Owens River Gorge.
Now I live in Massachusetts. I regularly climb at Metro Rock, in Everett, usually during lunch breaks from work. I’v been back to Rumney and Cannon in New Hampshire, and plan on getting back to the Gunks this spring.