Owner and Staff Bios

I started climbing in 1990 out in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I fell in love with climbing on my very first climb.  Since then I’ve climbed all over the country.  Before having two beautiful boys with my wife, I used to take several climbing trips a year.  Some up to a month and a half long.  My favorite places are Yosemite and Joshua Tree.  Mostly because of the history.  I love being able to literally follow in the footsteps (and hand holds) of my heroes in the history of climbing.

My love of climbing lead to opening a climbing gym in 1998 with a couple of other climbers.  During that venture, I got the opportunity design and build climbing walls.  I have designed and built many climbing facilities in the Midwest.  I developed and invented unique building techniques to create some of the coolest climbing structures.

But my absolute favorite thing about owning and running a climbing gym is teaching, especially kids!  This allows me to see in others (and relive for me) that initial “spark” of what makes people fall in love with sport, over and over!  It makes me smile when I see in someone’s face that this sport is for them.  The most uplifting experiences I had were with my youth climbing team.  I’m sure this is true with other sports, but when a kid is really into climbing and works hard at bettering themselves and you get to help guide that energy, it’s just a great feeling.  I was able to coach kids up to the national level and one made it to a world competition.  I also have American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) training and have lead several climbing trips outdoors.  My favorite ones were, of course, to the Black Hills.

Now with my wife and family, it is time to take this 25 years of climbing life and build a World Class climbing facility that Rochester has never seen before.  And make it a part of our wonderful community!

I started climbing in 1998 on the opposite side of the world, in New Zealand. I was in college at the time.  I immediately knew climbing was for me.  I eventually moved to Northern Arizona and continued climbing.

My career pursuits then brought me to Rochester MN, where I met my husband Jeremy.  We met through climbing.  Our first unofficial date, was a climbing trip out to the Black Hills with a mutual friend.  We spent three days in the Needles, then climbed Devils Tower on the last day.  Quite a date!  Five years later, to the day, Jeremy and I got married in the Black Hills, with a simple outdoor wedding.

Climbing is very special to us and our goal is to share climbing with everyone.  My background is in public health, fitness and wellness; having held a certification from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 5+ years as a personal trainer and a degree in health and physical education from Gustavus Adolphus College.

We wanted to build a facility and community that takes the exhilaration and joy that is climbing and merge it with the importance and science of fitness!  We hope that you come out and join us in a climb or yoga class today!

Meet Bob, he’s our Manager and Head Route Setter at Roca!  We sat down with Bob and asked him to share a little bit about his past and his experience in rock climbing.

How did you get started in rock climbing?

I started climbing when I was 10 years old and was coached by Jeremy in the early 2000’s.  Since then, I have traveled many of this country’s back roads in search of climbing.  To Vermont’s quarries and New Hampshire’s White Mountains, to Utah’s Cottonwood Canyons and Nevada’s sandstone, and the most memorable, Wyoming’s Wind River Range.  But the places I’ve enjoyed the most are located in the Midwest: The Black Hills of South Dakota and the North Coast of Minnesota.

What is your experience with indoor climbing?

Without a doubt, I grew up in a climbing gym.  I learned to problem solve and focus my energy into something plastic, yet tangible on those cemented walls.  Then I began to teach and guide lessons outdoors.  I’ve also been a youth climbing team coach for a gym in Duluth, and some would say a coach for them through my style of route setting.

And lastly, what do you enjoy most about climbing?

What I enjoy most about climbing is the sense of community we share: even though we all have our own struggle, we all climb together.

Any questions for Bob? email him at: bob@climbroca.com

Meet Sierra, she is our Yoga and Gym Manager at Roca!  We sat down with her to hear how yoga has shaped who she is and how she has incorporated the practice into her life.

So, why yoga?

Yoga is a way of life.  It calms and centers the mind, body, and soul to things that matter, and relieves you of those that do not.

How did you find the practice of yoga?

I started my yogic journey in 2011 in the beautiful town of Duluth, MN.  I was in a stressful part of my life when yoga found its way to me.  I discovered how amazing it felt to drain away my worries and enlighten myself both physically and mentally.  Yoga gives you the tools to address your situations, and choose the lighter path.

I am ever thankful for the yogi teachers in my life that showed me that yoga isn’t just a workout.  Jessie Erickson and Emily Ostos guided me to experience my true self and discover how to be flexible in both mind and body.

Sounds like you were inspired by your practice and your teachers…where did you take your professional training?

Yes!  I took my 200 hour yoga teacher training in beautiful Whistler, Canada and my prenatal in Hawaii, through Yogacara.  Being in such a serene environment while immersing yourself in the practice of yoga has taught me so much about being a yogi and a teacher.  I am thrilled with this opportunity to teach at Roca and lead people into the climbing/yoga world! 

Any questions for Sierra? email her at: yoga@climbroca.com