Ross – General Manager
10 Things to Know About Ross
- My favorite food is: Any Asian Cuisine!
- I have degrees from: BA in Political Science and Marketing Management, Dowling College
- 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 jsut accomplished. Needless to say, I've been hooked ever since.
- I like working at Island Rock because: The climbing community is extremly 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 enegery, 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 word: Winningest
- My favorite professional sports team: The New York Mets
- My favorite outdoor activities include: Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking, and Kayaking.
Eric – Head Routesetter
10 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 rock climbing because: Thats a bottomless question because I could probably think of 1,000 reasons. Besides numerous cliche spiritual reasons, climbing probably saved my life.
- 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 opporunity, I dont thing 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 questions 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 amanzing 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.
- My desired superpower: I would want to be able to talk to animals.
- Hardest sends: Outdoor V10/5.13a & Indoor V11/5.13b
- My favorite video game: Any mid-to-late 90's turn-based RPG.
- My favorite food: There are too many good foods out there to choose just one. TRY NEW FOODS, PLEASE!
James – Manager
11 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
- My favorite movie is: Bring It On
- My favorite book is: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
- 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.
- I can climb: I have done up to a 12a on top rope and up to a V5 bouldering.
- I have worked at Island Rock for: I have worked at Island Rock since November 2017
- 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.
Jen – Manager
12 Things to Know About Jen
- My favorite food: Thanksgiving leftovers
- My favorite book: Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut
- My educational degrees include: B.S., Business Administration, Studio Art Minor, Stony Brook University; M.A., Public Policy, Stony Brook University; J.D., Fordham University School of Law
- I started rock climbing because: It was something I always wanted to try. I was 16 when a youth group trip to Island Rock was offered and I signed up immediately.
- I like working at Island Rock because: The best thing about Island Rock for me is the sense of community. Sharing experiences with customers and staff members has been what has kept me at Island Rock for so long.
- My favorite place to climb outdoors: Otter Cliffs in Maine has been my favorite
- I have worked at Island Rock since: 2000
- Pet peeve? Pickles, they offend all 5 of my senses individually
- Favorite animal? Ferret
- 2 future goals? Travel to all seven continents, continuing training to eat spicier foods
- Favorite word? Ubiquitous
- Some of my hobbies include: Yoga, hiking, rock climbing, wine
Danielle – Youth Program Director and Retail Manager
11 Things to Know About Danielle
- My favorite food: Mashed potatoes
- My favorite movie: Your Name
- My degree: Associates Degree in both Maths and Sciences
- I started rock climbing because: I took a rock climbing course in college and was hooked from there
- I like working at Island Rock because: I like helping people accomplish their goals; the looks on their faces afterwards is priceless
- My favorite place to climb outdoors: The Gunks
- I have climbed: 5.11 and V5
- Pet peeve: When people don’t use their blinkers
- My favorite animal: Elephant
- Pets and their names: Dog - Galileo, Iguana - Yoshi, Gerbils - Rick and Morty, Bearded Dragon - Jeff, Fire-Bellied Toads (4) - The Power Rangers, Ferrets - Robyn and Lil John
- Favorite outdoor activities? Running, Hiking, Climbing, Swimming
Justin – Ninja Fitness Manager
9 Things to Know About Justin
- I’m driven by: Overcoming obstacles in life and helping others do the same!
- My favorite food is: Chocolate Stick from Sugar Bun
- My favorite book is: The Digging-est Dog (yes, a kids book. It's my favorite)
- I started rock climbing because: A Ninja friend of mine invited me to Island Rock to climb one day. I loved it!
- I like rock climbing because: You can constantly solve different problems, strengthen your mind and your body, and it's a great way to hang out with friends.
- I like to work at Island Rock because: I get to make a difference in people's lives by showing them the amazing things that I've been exposed to and teach people skills that allow them to feel stronger!
- If I were in a talent show, I would: Sing and play guitar.
- My favorite animal: Cheetah.
- Some of my hobbies include: Ninja training, parkour, writing and playing music, building obstacles, and climbing.