Picture of MAXIM athlete Chris Archer


Climbing attorney supporting the Access Fund

Chris has been climbing since before cams were invented and has been climbing 5.12 or harder for over 30 years. In addition to developing and opening new routes, for over 20 years, as an attorney, he has provided hundreds of hours of free legal work for the Access Fund, the Action Committee for Eldorado (ACE), and numerous other climbing non-profits.  Some of his proudest accomplishments on behalf of the Access Fund are negotiating the opening of the Ouray Ice Park and Bridleveil Falls, the acquisition of North Table Mountain, founding ACE, creating the first community based fixed hardware process in the U.S., and serving as the Access Fund's General Counsel.  

Birthday: 7 September
Home town: Brooklyn, NY
Current home: Boulder, CO
Favorite MAXIM rope: 9.5 Pinnacle Yellow Jacket - a workhorse that handles like a dream and wears incredibly well 

"Aim high and finish what you start NOW. You never know when you’ve climbed something for the last time until it’s too late." 

Chris Archer

Get to know Chris ...

Tell us how and when you got into climbing? 
While stuck in a Long Island high school that more closely resembled a penitentiary than a school, I read a book titled “The Climb Up to Hell” by Jack Olsen about the 1957 Claudio Corti Stefano Longhi tragedy on the Eiger. I was less than half way through it when I knew I had to start climbing. Two years later I started climbing in the Gunks. 

What are you doing when you are not climbing?
Reading, running with the bulls, diving, skiing, cycling, practicing niwaki, and trying to speak Spanish.

What is the soundtrack of your life (favorite song)?
I Fought the Law (and the Law Won)

Do you have any peculiar eating habits? 
Tootsie Rolls are responsible for most of my success as a climber.

What stokes you the most?
Coming back from injuries that doctors predict are career enders.  Hopefully that trend continues…

What would you be doing if you weren’t a pro climber?
I’d probably practice law.  


Career Highlights

Lourdes, El Chorro

Country/City: El Chorro, Spain
Grade: 8a
Length: 35m

The hardest route I’ve ever climbed. By some miracle I sent it on my 6th try on vacation. 

Aegealis, Kalymnos

Country/City: Kalymnos, Greece
Grade: 7c
Length: 35m

One of the most spectacular pitches anywhere.

The Naked Edge

Country/City: Eldorado, Colorado, US
Grade: 5.11c
Lenght: 750 feet

My favorite route on the planet. Climbed it 85 times since I turned 40. I didn’t start counting until then. 

© Chris Archer, Mark Kroese

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