Picture of MAXIM athlete Kris Hampton


Rock climber and coach with a soft spot for rap and art

A climber for now over half of his life, Kris has explored all of the disciplines of rock climbing. After reaching his goals of 5.13 trad, 5.14 sport, and V10 boulders, Kris has turned most of his energy toward building a coaching business and hosting a podcast through Power Company Climbing. Of course, there are still harder rock climbs to do as well, and he feels like his best years are yet to come.

Birthday: October 5, 1974
Home town: Cincinnati, Ohio 
Current home: Lander, Wyoming
Favorite MAXIM rope: Airliner

“Climbing is the best metaphor for life that I’ve seen. Every emotion is present. Failure is imminent, and even encouraged for improving. Your partners are just as important as your psyche and physical strength. It’s special.”

Kris Hampton

Get to know Kris ...

What do you think was the highlight of your climbing career (so far)?
The highlight of my climbing career thus far has to be falling off the final move of what later became my first 14a. The top 30 feet were soaking wet, but I went for it anyway, and nearly did it. The crag was filled with friends and everyone was cheering. That’s the first time I knew I could climb that mythical grade. 

What is the soundtrack of your life (favorite song)?
Favorite song is Check The Rhime by Tribe Called Quest. 

Do you have any peculiar eating habits? 
Only if donuts and cupcakes are peculiar. 

What stokes you the most? 
I get most stoked when seeing other people really explore their limits and push beyond what they thought possible. 

If you could choose a super power, what would it be? 
Is eating unlimited donuts a super power? 

What was your favorite climbing adventure?
Going on a 9 month road trip with my fiance at 42 years old is one of my favorite adventures. Living my 20’s in my 40’s. 

Career Highlights

Transworld Depravity

Country/City: Red River Gorge, Kentucky
Grade: 5.14a
Length: 120 ft.

I chose this to be my first of the grade based on the movement and reputation, rather than choosing a better intro to 5.14. It was a roller coaster, but I’m proud to have seen it through. 

Ghost Dance

Country/City: Sweatlodge, Lander, Wyoming.
Grade: 5.13c
Length: 50 ft.

This was the hardest route I had done while traveling, and I nearly gave up. My fiance convinced me to give it one more try. After fighting for the send, I ended the day by having dinner with the legendary Paul Piana at Todd Skinner’s cabin near Wild Iris.

Smoke Signals

Country/City: Red River Gorge, Kentucky
Grade: V10
Lenght: 15ft

My 3rd V10, 6 months after being cleared to climb following shoulder surgery, and definitely my hardest boulder at the time. I spent many days alone in the little cave figuring out how to make the reachy beta work for me, and sent by accident on a beta run.

© Edwin Teran Photography, Josh King, John Wesley

Follow Me

Up to the top!