Age: 29, Years climbing: 18, Hometown: Seattle/Squamish/El Chalten/Chamonix, Favorite product: MIURA VS WMN'S
Do you clip bolts, plug cams, stack pads, or crush ice?
My main focus is technical alpine climbing. I also spend lots of time skiing, trad climbing, sport climbing, bouldering and even just slogging up easy mountains.
How long have you been an athlete with La Sportiva?
Seven years now! Sportiva forever!
What are some of your lifetime climbing goals?
I have oh so many climbing goals... Most of my goals that I am most obsessed with at the moment are on the Torres in the Chalten Massif (Patagonia). I also have many aspirations in Alaska and the Himalaya. I would also like to redpoint 5.14 someday, and will try for V10 next summer!
Do you have a claim to fame?
I'd say my biggest "claim to fame," is having made the first ascent of the Torres Traverse in 2008, with Rolando Garibotti.
Do you have any vices?
I live a pretty damn healthy lifestyle these days... Most of my "vices" are ways that I spend money that I could be saving: I like going out to eat, I like good sushi, I like Roquefort and Gruyere, I like cashews, I buy organic produce, etc...
What makes you tick as a climber and in the real world?
I'm so stoked, dude! No, seriously, I'm pretty much perpetually excited about climbing and skiing. I get particularly motivated by difficult objectives and personal improvement. I like to learn other languages, and I can waste hours reading wikipedia.
What drives you to climb? The money? The groupies? The fame? What?
One of the greatest beauties of climbing is that it is so frickin' pointless. Pretty much all of the energy and motivation of my adult life has been poured into a pursuit that accomplishes absolutely nothing... and I'm fine with that! Climbing mountains puts me in amazing places, and pushes my body and mind to extremes that make me feel very alive - in touch with the human animal.
What is your favorite movie?
I'm not sure, really. I've never been a big movie buff, and probably have seen 10% the number of movies of the average US citizen. However, the past few evenings I've been watching a BBC documentary series called "The Human Planet," and it is rad!
Do you have any nicknames? Explain:
Cometa / Extreme Colleen / Skeletor / Child of the Abyss
What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep? Why?
When Bjørn-Eiving Årtun and I made the first ascent of "Dracula" on Alaska's Sultana (aka Mt. Foraker), we didn't sleep a minute for a period of 72 hours (seriously!). Why? Well, because we were climbing in single-push style, and got pinned on the descent by a really nasty storm. We spent a day inside of a crevasse, but without any bivy gear whatsoever, we were only able to sit and shiver. I also frostbit by toes on that climb - whoops!
If you had to be named after one of the 50 states, which would it be?
My favorite state (Washington State - duh!) has a totally, completely, absolutely lame name... so how 'bout I choose the name of a country instead? In which case, I think I'd name myself Suomi (the real name for Finland).
What did you have for lunch yesterday?
Yesterday I had some lunch snacks while out bouldering, so nothing fancy. Let's see, it was some cheese (boring mozzarella, unfortunately), a couple apples, some dried figs, and a few cookies.
If you could hook up a thought monitor to your head, would you see pictures, hear words or would music be playing?
If you could hook up such a monitor while I was dreaming then you'd perhaps catch a glimpse of my most frequently recurring dream: That I am arc-ing big turns in deep powder, and effortlessly hucking backflips off of big cliffs. Basically, it would looke like Candide Thovex's helmet-cam footage...
What really scares you about climbing?
Avalanches, avalanches, fucking goddamn avalanches! Also, hidden crevasses. Oh, and loose blocks. Oh, and the belay ripping. Oh, and the rope getting cut over a sharp edge.
If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
"An Evil Genius and his Alpine Obsessions." Viewer discretion advised.
Where would you live if it could be anywhere in the world?
Chamonix, France! Squamish is pretty damn good too though!
Have no food or have no gasoline?
I have a ravenous appetite, and I absolutely hate driving, so that one is dead easy, even before any philosophical discussions about environmental ethics.
Do you wish you had sexier feet?
Feet can be sexy? Really? Well, to each their own!