Island Rock Community
Island Rock is dedicated to serving Long Island's Climbing Community. We believe in creating an open and inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome. Climbers are the heart and soul of the gym and we would not be able to what we love without you. We are tremendously proud to be able to lead Long Island's Climbing Community for over 26 years!
We have truly evolved in multiple ways since we first opened in 1996. Most notably after completing an expansion in 2017 that almost doubled our climbing area and added state-of-the-art training boards and a Ninja+Fitness area built by World Ninja Sport.
Island Rock is Long Island's longest serving indoor climbing facility. With over 26 years of experience, we like to say that we are on our 'Second Generation" of Long Island birthdays; it's amazing to have parents who had their 6th birthday party here back in the late 90's and now they are hosting their 6 year old child's birthday party here in the 2020's.
Check out our Team:
Ross – General Manager
Things to Know About Ross
- My favorite food is: Any Asian Cuisine!
- I started rock climbing because: I started climbing in High School on a trip to visit an older sister in Boulder Colorado. One morning we woke up at the crack of dawn to go climb the Third Flatiron- which I remember seemed to tower over the city hauntingly as we hiked to the base of the cliff. Next thing I knew I was standing at the top in utter awe of what we had just accomplished. Needless to say, I've been hooked ever since.
- I like working at Island Rock because: The climbing community is extremely open, welcoming, and supportive. I strongly believe that exposing more people to the world of climbing is important to continue to grow and expand the industry. Climbing offers a much needed outlet for so many people to channel their energy, focus, and growth. It is incredible to see the tremendous positive impacts and unique opportunities that climbing can have on a person.
- I have worked at Island Rock since: 2019
- My favorite climbing destination: The GUNKS!
- My favorite type of climbing: Trad is rad!
- My favorite outdoor activities include: Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking, and Snowboarding.
Eric – Director of Routesetting
Things to Know About Eric
- My favorite type of climbing: Bouldering is my favorite overall climbing discipline. I think the best climb is a climb that has a little bit of everything on it so you have to be well-rounded to send it.
- My proudest outdoor send: High Plains Drifter, V7, Buttermilks, Bishop. It's a 35-40 foot tall boulder. The crux is about 15 feet off the ground- this is a big drifting move off of a sloper from one right hand sidepull to another, once you do this move you're forced to do big long moves off crimps with high feet to reach the lip at about 20 feet, at which point you pull the lip and have about 15-18 feet of magnificent 'victory lap' slab climbing (Note- bring your chalkbag, the downclimb is a 35ft 5.9 handcrack).
- I like working at Island Rock because: I essentially get to live "The Dream" of being a professional climber without being as strong as one. Given the opportunity, I don't think I could ever leave routesetting. I enjoy the creative process of routesetting so much that I literally could not imagine myself waking up and doing anything else everyday.
- My favorite places that I've climbed outdoors: I hate this question because it is so hard to say which is my favorite, but I want to say that Joshua Tree would be my number 1, but I've spent way more time in Bishop so I feel like it has to go to Bishop. There is just so much variety of rock in Bishop. Red Rocks is also just amazing and Joe's valley has some of the most spectacular sandstone. I can narrow it down to those 4. The Gunks would have to be number 5.
- My hidden talents: Most people don't know that I was previously a professional chef at a 3.5 star restaurant.
- Hardest sends: Outdoor V10/5.13a & Indoor V11/5.13b
- My favorite food: There are too many good foods out there to choose just one. TRY NEW FOODS, PLEASE!
Xavier – Youth Program Director
Things to Know About Xavier
- What is your fav. Movie? Hard to narrow it down to just one, but if I had to pick - Scott Pilgrim vs the world.
- Why do you like rock climbing? The community! I've been climbing for a little over 2 years now and have met so many great people, the community is so welcoming to newcomers and it's a great way to exercise while also having fun!
- Why do you like working at Island Rock? Between coaching our youth programs and coaching some adults newer to climbing it's great to share my knowledge of climbing and seeing others succeed utilizing what I teach them.
- What is your favorite place to climb outdoors? Haven't been to many places yet, but East Marion has been enjoyable!
- What grades of rope and bouldering to you climb at? Comfortably 5.11C/V5 (but I've gotten Two V6s and flashed one 5.12a!)
- How long have you worked at Island Rock? Almost 2 years, and in that time I've coached every level of our youth programs and our competitive team, bringing some of our kids to Regionals, Divisionals and even Nationals!
- Favorite outdoor activities? Climbing, Hiking, Running.
Kimberly – Manager
Things to Know About Kimberly
- My favorite food: Figs
- Why I like climbing: I believe rock climbing can be a meditative sport. When I’m on the wall, everything and everyone seemingly disappears from my thoughts. Each move becomes a precisely calculated endeavor to ultimately get the send!
- My favorite outdoor climbing location: I loved sport climbing at Malibu Creek State Park in California. In order to get to the bulk of the climbs, you first have to traverse over the creek with all of your gear and avoid falling into the murky water below. After testing your footwork, you are treated with amazing volcanic huecos.
- My highest sends: 5.11a/b and V4-V5
- My pets: I have a cat named Tater Tot!
- My most controversial opinion: Salsa is better than guacamole.
- My favorite quote: With every action today, have the intention of feeding your highest timeline rooted in love.
James - Manager
Things to Know about James
- What drives you: Currently my main goal is to have as many interesting and varied life experiences as possible. I live for spontaneity and randomness
- I like working at Island Rock because: I like working at Island Rock because no two days are ever the same. Over the past 4 years I have done everything from midnight climbs to bouldering competitions to changing out the foam in the crash pads. I love the laid-back atmosphere of the Island Rock community and I have met so many interesting people along the way. Plus, rock climbing is an amazing sport and has challenged me to grow and push myself past my comfort zone.
- If I were in a talent show, I would: Perform an interpretative dance to “On a Roll” by Ashley O
- My best quality is: When I am passionate about something I put 100% of my effort into it
- Pets and their names: I have two dogs, a miniature labradoodle named Nellie and a miniature goldendoodle named Lulu
- My favorite outdoor activities include: I love hiking up in the Hudson Valley, swimming in my pool during the summer, and exploring new places and cities.
Mike - Manager
Things to Know about Mike
- What drives me: The biggest thing that drives me is just how much fascinating stuff there is in the world. I enjoy pushing myself to try and improve at anything I am passionate about, and I’m constantly looking to try new things to expand my viewpoints and to have experience in a multitude of different areas of life.
- How I started rock climbing: I started rock climbing on the youth programs we have here. I began with grippers and teens, and after a couple years of that I spent the next few years competing for our youth climbing team.
- Why do you like rock climbing? I love the personal expression that comes with every aspect of rock climbing. Both the setting of the climbs as well as the way each individual climbs them can display so much about someone’s personality.
- What grades of rope and bouldering to you climb at? I climb around 5.13C on toprope as well as lead, and on boulders I average V9. I’m looking to push both of these grades up in the coming months, mostly hoping for consistent V10 with my boulders.
- If you were able to choose one superhero power, what would you choose? Definitely would have to pick flight. The ability to travel anywhere and having full control over your movement is such a cool concept, and I would love to be able to see the view from high up anywhere I wanted.
- 2 future goals? I would really like to improve my climbing abilities and become stronger overall, I feel like I have been at a plateau for a while. I would also like to get into game development and start designing my own games.
- Favorite word? My favorite word is coagulate, I feel like it has a similar level of discomfort to say that words like moist have, but is much more niche and fun to say.
- Pets and their names? I have 6 pets overall, two dogs and four cats! The dogs are sisters named Kit and Kaboodle, and look like potatoes. The cats are Pebbles, Moogle, Frumpkin, and Nugget, and all of them are some of the friendliest cats I’ve ever met.
- Hobbies? Outside of climbing, my main hobbies include board games and video games, hiking, and other one or two person sports like tennis or martial arts.
Ethan- Lead Routesetter
Things to know about Ethan!
- What drives me: There is a wheel in my skull with two hamsters running on it and sometimes they trip over each other but the most important thing is that they get back up. Their names are Ezra and Enzo, they're twins. I love them.
- Top three movies: There are so many movies to choose from I would probably have to choose Whiplash, Birdman and maybe Spirited Away. Frozen is definitely up there, but not the second one. As a film major it is hard to choose one but the first thing that comes to my mind is Whiplash
- I studied: I have a degree in Media Studies with a Minor in Film from SUNY Oneonta
- How I started rock climbing: I had my 8th Birthday Party at Island Rock and then rediscovered climbing with my father during a family trip to The Cliffs at LIC. I had an absolute blast and then researched local climbing gyms, one session turned into another and then I start coming every day.
- My favorite places to climb outdoors: Stone Fort, Chattanooga, Tennessee BAYB!
- If I could have any superpower I would choose: Teleportation because flying would be like a muscle and I’m not that strong. Or to look at anything and be able to instantly copy it. Like watching someone do a backflip and then I can immediately do a backflip.
- My favorite animal: Weasel. I think they get a bad rep., but honestly they are pretty pogchamp
- Worst habit? Not resting properly and allow my body to heal
Things to know about Sam!
- My favorite food: Rice and beans are the only reason why I’m as strong as I am. There’s no other explanation.
- I am studying: I go to Farmingdale State College. I am working on a dual degree in Aviation Administration: Airport Management (BS) and Aeronautical Sciences: Professional Pilot (BS).
- I've climbed since: I started climbing consistently in 2016. I’ve been setting since January 2019.
- I started Rock Climbing because: My grandpa brought me to Island Rock for the first time when I was about 6. He taught me everything I know and has always been my best coach!
- My favorite place to climb outdoors is: Joshua Tree in California and The Red in Kentucky!
- If I could choose one super power: The ability to fly!
- My favorite type of climbing: I love sport climbing! Overhangs and jug hauls are the best, no doubt about it.
- My favorite climb: Flesh for Lulu in Rumney, New Hampshire is the best climb I’ve ever done, mostly because it was an extremely rewarding experience. I was one of my first sends of the grade and it was always something I looked forward to trying “one day”.
Things to know about Summer!
- My favorite food: Anything with cheese and potatoes.
- My favorite Movie: The Breakfast Club
- My Scholastic Goals? I am currently studying business at the University of Pheonix
- How I got into Rock Climbing: I took a merit badge in Boy Scouts and thought it was something fun to do on my own.
- Why I Like Rock Climbing: It allows me to use my body in different ways than other sports do.
- Why I like working at Island Rock: I appreciate the comradery everyone on staff has no matter what you climb or where you came from.
- My Hardest Sends: The highest grades I’ve flashed are 5.12b and V8.
- My Favorite Color: Purple!
- If I could be any animal: I would be the one corgi that doesn’t understand why everyone is going up to them.
- My favorite climbing holds: I enjoy the not fonts because of the variety in their styles and size.
Emily - Head Coach
- What drives me: My motivation comes from helping others overcome their obstacles and witnessing the realization of when their goal changes from seeming impossible to achievable.
- My favorite food: I love Vietnamese and Japanese food!
- I am studying: I am currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science at Adelphi University.
- Why I like rock climbing: It allows me to challenge myself physically and mentally in a unique way. It has taken me to amazing places and introduced me to a welcoming and supportive community.
- What brought me to Island Rock: My friend (and routesetter) Sam brought me to Island Rock on New Year’s Eve of 2019. After the COVID shutdown, I came back to climb almost every day and I was hooked.
- My pets: I have a dog named Hachi and a cat named Boxie.
- Fun fact about me: There was a point where I was a team kid and coach at the same time! I have also competed at USA Climbing Youth Regional and Divisional competitions.
Some of our favorite Local Businesses include:
595 Old Country Road, Plainview, NY 11803
Flux Coffee This is the best coffee around!
211 Main St Farmingdale, NY 11735
Public Lands- Melville
870 Walt Whitman Rd, Melville, NY 11747
P: (631) 350-1819