Climbing Staff

 

adam

Adam Pessl General Manager

1. I’ve been working in the climbing gym industry for over 18 years
2. Took my first climbing class @ Vertical Club on Eliot Ave. in 1987. I was 12 years old. Began spending most weekends @ Index shortly there after. Graduated from Index to Yosemite. Climbed El Cap in 1995. Discovered bouldering shortly there after and realized it was much less work than climbing big walls. Spent many days bouldering in Leavenworth, and then discovered my desk in the office at Vertical World. The rest is history.
3. My favorite climbing area is Seneca Rocks West Virginia

 

BRET.JOHNSTON

Bret Johnston Manager

1. I have two wiener dogs.
2. More than one VW member probably babysat me as a kid.
3. I am the youngest USAC National Chief Routesetter in the country.
4. I am a fantasy football nerd.
5. Vertical World is family.
Contact Bret
 
Evan

Evan Stickles Assistant Manager

1. I have two middle names. James and Lally.
2. If I were to be in a band, I would be in a ska band which would be called ’ups and downs, but mostly ups’.
3. When daydreaming at work, I usually travel off to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to do some sunny day cliff jumping with good friends.
4. To woo my friendship, a simple grilled cheese and a smile is usually a solid beginning.
5. Have a positive mental attitude to live a story worth telling for the greater good.
Contact Evan
 

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Mattie

Mattie J. Wheeler Regional Director of Programs and Instruction

1. I first drove a car when I was 10 on the Bonneville salt flats speedway. My dad had me sit on a phonebook to be able to see over the wheel.
2. Foraging is the best! Berries, Morels, Chantrelles, and Asparagus are mostly what I seek but I’m always trying to learn more.
3. I enjoy simple pleasures like watching it rain when the sun shines through it and you can see every drop.
4. I dream of living on a lot of land and owning a cow.
5. I like trucks, Toyota Trucks.
Contact Mattie.
 
Alex

Alex Aizenman Seattle Head Setter/Facilities Coordinator

1. I choose to believe that I am descendant from the Maqabim, an ancient Jewish warrior tribe (this is very unlikely)
2. Rare is the occasion that I am in possession of the big three - phone, keys, wallet - at the same time
3. If you invite me over I will leave my phone, keys, or wallet at your house (this extends to my sunglasses and backpack)
4. If you climb with me there is a decent chance of epicing and I will probably play my flute while I belay you.
5. No one knows this but I am actually a fairly decent banjo player. But I don’t like bluegrass so I haven’t heard that song.

 

JEFF NARVA

Jeff Narva Instructor

1. I prefer modes of transportation that involve 2 wheels and a motor.
2. I actively seek out Type II Fun.
3. I have a disappointing negative 2″ ape index.
4. Bob Gaines once told me I build excellent anchors.
5. I want ALL the ProDeals.

Lauren-Rojas

Lauren Rojas Youth Program Instructor/Front Desk

1. I was born and raised on the coast of southern California.
2. I dabble in furniture making and am hoping to make a career of it in the near future.
3. I have over 30 dinosaurs in my room and am currently wondering at what age this obsession is inappropriate.
4. I have decided that the age of 24 is okay.
5. I make a mean zucchini walnut chocolate chip muffin, and my favorite animals are sharks.

 

 TimStaff

Tim McCool Front Desk

1. Born in Kansas, bred in North Carolina
2. I’ve memorized 800 digits of Pi
3. I maintain several Pinball High Scores around Seattle
4. I speak a small amount of Japanese and Mandarin
5. Avid cuddler of pets
 

snell

Stephen Snell Route Setter/Front Desk

1. I can do a kickflip.
2. I have a black belt in aikido, just like Steven Segall.  My mom and brother also have black belts in aikido.
3. I can name every bone in your body.  Well, most bones.  All but a few.
4. I lived in France for a year, but I was only 1 year old, so I don’t remember any of it.
5. My favorite cereal is a toss-up between Raisin Bran and Wheat Chex.

 

brian

Brian Luft Front Desk

1. Aspires to have a flock of sheep.
2. Favorite former professional wrestler is John “Bradshaw” Layfield.
3. Moonlights as a pastry chef.
4. Favorite explorer is Ernest Shackleton.
5. One of the above is not true.
 

sam

Samantha Heim Events and Outreach Coordinator

1. I’ve traveled to 42 states and 10 countries.
2. I’m half Japanese
3. I’m lactose intolerant but still eat Cheetos.
4. My spine is curved.
5. I hope to own goats someday.
Contact Sam
 

William

Billy Gierach Climbing Instructor/Front Desk

1. I almost walked on to the University of Colorado Boulder’s basketball team until I discovered climbing.
2. My first ever climb outside was a free solo of the direct route on the first flatiron in Boulder, Colorado.
3. I have many pending publications with my findings in my honors thesis titled, ”Synaptogyrin 3 Binds Amyloid Beta and May Alter Dopamine Transport in Alzheimer’s Disease.”
4. Cereal is my motivation to get up in the morning, not coffee…  Yes, I still like coffee.
5. I am named after the philosopher William James.
 

Tristan

Tristan O’Mara Retail Coordinator

1. I know more names of wildflowers than I do people.
2. My favorite inanimate object is a train.
3. When I’m adventuring outside, I follow a strict pop tart only diet.
4. I can’t whistle to save my life.
5. My most embarrassing climbing moment is when I tore my leggings at the top of Mt Shuksan and had to descend with my butt showing. Yes, there were other people around.
Contact Tristan
 

kathryn-spisso-2

Kathryn Spisso Youth Program Coordinator

1. I was born in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which technically makes me a “Yooper”. Though, I claim my home state to be East Tennessee.
2. I’m a proud mom to the coolest tuxedo cat in the world, Lynus.
3. I can quote “Friends” like nobody’s business.
4. I once walked from Tennessee up to Pennsylvania on the Appalachian Trail.
5. I once won a Hunger Games Charity Competition, in which I lasted 3 days and 3 nights slowly defeating all my competitors using my wit, intelligence, skill, and a ton of nerf weapons.
 

PJ

PJ Daley  Groups Coordinator

1. I’m a hobbyist photographer.
2. I meow sometimes when surprised.
3. I’ve climbed in Argentina.
4. I wrote a book before college.
5. I love red wine.

Contact PJ
 

Corey_

Corey Kessler Front Desk

1. I’m originally from San Diego.
2. I’m currently working towards a degree in Exercise Science from Seattle Pacific University.
3. Bouldering is my one true passion.
4. A fatty beach rot is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
5. One day I hope to own a performance sports clinic.

 
Nick3

Nick Franko Head Instructor

1. I have a bifid uvula.
2. Each of my grandparents is from a different continent.
3. I’ve summited each of the 5 Washington Volcanoes.
4. I dressed up as Pajama Sam for Halloween 3 years in a row (as an adult).
5. My diet while climbing consists solely of Shot Bloks (Clif Bar Please sponsor me).

Contact Nick
 
David2

David Wilson Front Desk

1. I have lived in 4 countries.
2. I salsa and break dance.
3. I used to be a real estate broker.
4. I am currently getting my masters in social work.
5. My favorite foods are shawarma and tacos.

 

Renata2

Renata Kalnin Youth Program Coordinator

1. I have all the jumping ability of the average corgi. This doesn’t stop me from trying to dyno, and I’ll stick one someday.
2. In college, I studied public health and worked the night shift as an EMT.
3. I’ve climbed 4 of the hundred highest peaks in Washington in one 24 hour period, from two trailheads.
4. Nearly all of my outdoor gear is lime green. It’s not my favorite color, but it is a color that goes on sale a lot.
5. My preferred climbing/backpacking/ski touring fuel is Swedish fish.
Contact Renata
 
Andrew2

Andrew Featherston Events & Outreach Coordinator

1. I am an identical twin.
2. I once summited Mt Fuji in shorts.
3. If I had to eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be chips and salsa
4. In high school, my youth club ultimate team won a national championship.
5. Wayne Brady once asked me if I had a dog biscuit, I didn’t :(

Contact Andrew

 

Hannah2

Hannah Schurman Front Desk

1. I fell off a chairlift when I was 4 years old.
2. I went to a boarding school for high school.
3. I’ve gone surfing in 5 different countries.
4. I’m from New Mexico but speak much less Spanish than I like to admit.
5. I don’t like chocolate

 

Anna Sulc Front Desk