Andy has been climbing all over North America for a number of years, and over the last 7, has been the driving force in the massive development of the Okanagan bouldering scene. Andy is a father, high school teacher, devoted boulderer, head route-setter at Beyond the Crux Climbing Gym in Kelowna, BC, guidebook and magazine article author, and is genuinely entrenched in the sport of climbing, whether it's indoor or outdoor. He has been one of the main people driving the bouldering development in the Kelowna region and over the years he has put up hundreds of problems from V0-V12, has written one guidebook and is currently on a much larger second guide. Andy has consistently been promoting and developing the region and the sport, and is the founder and organizer of the Rock the Blocs Boulderfest at the Boulderfields in Kelowna which has just finished it's second very successful and popular year.
"It's funny how life comes at you. I didn't start climbing until the relatively geriatric (compared to some of the young crushers these days) age of 19. Growing up surrounded by coastal granite, it didn't take long for my climbing life to revolve around trad and alpine adventure. But, I guess the climbing gods had other plans for me."
Soon after moving to the Okanagan to pursue his "real job" of teaching, a near-fatal trad fall and the subsequent long recovery seemed to do a number on Andy's psyche and he just didn't have the gusto for the "bold" stuff anymore. The thought of not climbing was unbearable, so I figured I'd give pebbles a try. Nearly a decade later, he is fairly certain that he has made the right choice.
"In bouldering, I've really found my true, climbing self and a sense of freedom, satisfaction, accomplishment, and enjoyment that had somewhat eluded me before. For the better part of the past decade, I've had the chance to travel to some awe-inspiring destinations, share time on the rock with my amazing wife and son and incredible friends, and have been lucky enough to truly experience and contribute to the bouldering boom."
Over the last few years, Andy's obsession with bouldering and the massive potential of the Okanagan bouldering has driven him to explore seemingly endless amounts of stone, put up hundreds of first ascents, write a guidebook, start a bouldering festival, be part of a bouldering film, become a head routesetter, and do a ton of other stuff that "Staci somehow doesn't divorce him over," all in and effort to promote bouldering in his region and the sport as a whole.
"In the end, I find it funny how life gently - or sometimes not so gently - steers our course. If you ever need a spot, some beta, a tour, or a good high-five or hug, I'm your man!"
Andy feels pretty luck to have been able to "really live" climbing and to have the chance to be an integral part of such a special time in our climbing history in the Okanagan. His only hopes are to be able to continue travelling, exploring, developing, and contributing to the climbing community while enjoying some of the best experiences of his life, and sharing these moments with some terrific people on the rock.