Randy has been pushing the envelope of various climbing disciplines for over 4 decades (trad, sport, big wall, mountaineering). He is responsible for considerable new route and new area development. As the first person to climb a big wall (Excalibur, El Capitan) and then BASE jump off as a means of descent, Randy thinks outside the box. With Tony Yaniro, he developed the Leavittation offwidth climbing technique. Randy is the team captain at MAXIM.
Birthday: August 1960
Home town: San Diego, Ca.
Current home: San Diego, Ca.
Favorite MAXIM rope: MAXIM Platinum 70m
“I am more impressed by a good person than a good climber.”
“I’ve used MAXIM ropes for 30 years and I am still psyched about their durability, quality, consistency and hand.”
Tell us how and when you got into climbing?
My parents took me to a family camp in Colorado when I was 14. One of the activities was rock climbing, which captivated me right away. Then my sister’s boyfriend bought a rope, some gear, and Royal Robbins Basic Rockcraft book. He lasted longer as my first climbing partner than he did as my sister’s boyfriend.
What are you doing when you are not climbing?
Obsessing over something else, like flying, surfing, or kitesurfing.
What is the soundtrack of your life (favorite song)?
Currently I am listening to a lot of old Elton John, but my soundtrack would probably come from Pink Floyd or Peter Gabriel.
If you could choose a super power, what would it be?
What was your favorite climbing adventure?
Some early solo aid ascents of El Capitan come to mind, as well as the first person to climb El Cap and BASE jump off. I also remember those years of pushing myself at sport climbing FAs (when 5.14 was still considered hard)
What would you be doing if you weren’t a pro climber?
My advice to young aspiring pro climbers is to always have a Plan B. I always had a Plan A and climbing was my Plan B.
Country/City: Needles, California
Grade: 1V, 5.12b
Length: 9 pitches
This first free ascent in 1983 was a highlight because it was one of the final mega routes Tony Yaniro and I did, capping a great run of firsts there.
Country/City: Arizona Strip
Length: 1 pitch
This was my first 5.14 first ascent. It required me to become a better climber in order to get it done. I remember the process, then how happy I was for… well… at least a week – until I began to think of my next project
Still looking for a 3rd climbing highlight ;)
My third favorite climb would be those classic first ascents that other climbers repeat and become their favorites. I am still finding, and climbing, those future classics to this day.
© Brian Feretic, Dustin Moore, Derek Cheng