Background

Athletic Highlights:

  1. First ascents/new routes on 5 continents
  2. Documentary film – Rooted: Climbing Lebanon (Link below)
  3. Establishing Lebanon’s first 5.14 rock climb
  4. Summiting Mt. Everest in May of 2012
  5. Free climbing ascent of Yosemite’s El Capitan in June 2014
    1. PreMuir route, 35 pitches, 5.13+ over 6 days
  6. First ascents on rock up to 5.14b and winter mixed up to M12
  7. Sport climbing red points up to 5.14d
  8. Sport climbing on-sight up to 5.13c
  9. Trad climbing red points up to 5.14-
  10. Ice climbing up to WI6
  11. Winter mixed climbing up to M13
  12. Winter mixed climbing on-sight up to M11
  13. Ouray Ice competitions podiums in Ouray, CO
    1. 2nd place in 2010 and 2016
    2. 3rd place in 2013 and 2018
  14. Winter Mountain Games mixed climbing competition podiums in Vail, CO
    1. 1st place in 2011 and 2012
  15. Climbing up to 5.13c within a year, and 5.14a in 2 years
  16. Skiing since 1985

Statement:

I was born on August 25, 1982 around Detroit, Michigan, USA and it is where my family still resides. My father is from Syria and my mother’s grandparents were all from Poland. I currently base out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Climbing has in large part directed my life since 2005. I felt immediately at home in the practice and lifestyle and community, and I have structured my life so that I can be dedicated to it ever since.

Before climbing, my life was consumed with alpine skiing and ski racing. I have skied since I was 2 years old. I began racing at the age of 12, and when I was 16, I moved from Michigan to Salt Lake City, UT to attend Rowmark Ski Racing Academy. After that, I was recruited to ski race for the College of Idaho. I still ski frequently and love exploring the mountains this way.

I was introduced to climbing through sport climbing, and it is my main pursuit. However, I have taken to many styles; traditional climbing, bouldering, deep water soloing, ice and winter mixed climbing/dry tooling, and mountaineering and ski mountaineering.

The first time that I ever climbed was in 1995, I was 12. It was at an outdoor summer camp somewhere in Colorado. My parents sent me there from our home in Michigan with a couple of my friends to hike, camp, raft, and climb. I remember touching the stone for the first time, being on the wall, and moving upwards. I didn’t understand what I was experiencing, but now, looking back through my memories, I can describe it. I wasn’t scared, I wanted each climb to go on forever, I did not want to come down. It just felt so natural. From that first day until 2000, I went climbing only a handful of times. In the Spring of 2000, I began climbing slightly more consistently with increasing frequency until the Spring of 2005, when I moved to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky to work at Miguel’s Pizza. From that point onward, climbing became my lifestyle.

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In addition to practicing as an athlete, I have had many fortunate employment positions within the climbing and greater outdoor industry. I have worked as an instructor and manager for a climbing gym, a retail sales floor employee, a ski shop manager, an inventory buyer for a specialty outdoors store, also as a tech rep/associate sale rep, and I’ve working in the media. I have found that these opportunities bring a balance to my climbing life. They have allowed me a way to contribute back to the sport and the industry, as well as to balance my self pursuits as an athlete.

I don’t pretend to know what the hell to do with a life. I was born into one, and I’m just trying to make the most of it. To whom and where and when I was born created a framework, albeit a privileged one. I’ve taken that framework and made it my own through things that have called to me. They are physical and mental activity, expression, creativity, challenge, and progression with like minded others – mostly in nature – and balanced with time for solitude, reflection, introspection, learning, calm, and rest.