Justin began rock climbing in late 2003 when a local gym held a free night for college students. Immediately hooked, he spent 4-5 days each week in the gym and within 3 months was asking for a wrench to start route setting. He moved to Phoenix and landed a permanent job as a route setter [at the Phoenix Rock Gym], while finishing his degree in environmental science and ecology at Arizona State University. Fueled by the passion for route setting, Justin started a small climbing hold company [Planetary Climbing] to create shapes that did not exist anywhere else. The connection between route setting and shaping continues today, with each influencing and inspiring the other. These outlets eventually led to building climbing walls for private and commercial clients and created a platform to express his creativity and passion for climbing.
Two years ago he was selected to head the route setting program for a new gym in Phoenix [called Focus Climbing Center] that is attempting to redefine what people expect from a modern bouldering gym. He continues to work in the climbing industry and draw inspiration for his various projects from the natural world. Whether he’s hiking, climbing, covered in shaping foam or welding, you’ll find a pair of Evolv shoes on his feet.
Favorite pair of Evolvs? Definitely the Nexxo’s – Best fitting/performing shoe to date!
Lifetime climbing goals? Continue to find routes that inspire me and consume my attention. The grade isn’t to important and I’m sure it will change over the years, but I hope to experience the excitement all climbers get from an amazing project. If I can do that for a lifetime, I’ll be pretty happy.
No gas or no food? No gas! Veggies are much better climbing fuel.
What is your first memory of being really psyched? The first really hard boulder problem I did was in a local area near Phoenix. I would hike the pads up by myself and throw myself at this thing over, and over. When I finally sent it, I was alone jumping around on top like a madman but didn’t care – it was such a cool feeling.