Josh Wharton

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“I grew up in southern New Hampshire, biking, fishing, and exploring the woods. In my teens I fell in love with climbing, and life has never been the same. Although I’m best known for my alpine climbs, I truly love all genres of climbing; and gain motivation from the unique challenges and opportunities that each discipline provides. I’ve done a bit of everything; from onsight free soloing the Eiger North Face, to first free ascents of some of Colorado’s hardest multi-pitch rock routes, to 5.14s and V11s, to scary Canadian alpine routes, to winning the Ouray Ice Festival mixed climbing competition three consecutive years, to big routes in the Himalaya. This high level of understanding, experience, and accomplishment in every climbing discipline makes me somewhat unique, especially in North America, where our geography and climbing culture tends to lead climbers down a path of specialization.

“In addition to coaching, I currently work as an Alpine Climbing Ambassador for Patagonia. A job which gives me ample time to climb, train, and help test some of the best climbing clothing available. My wife, daughter, and I live in Estes Park, Colorado; a beautiful mountain town that’s among the best places in North America to access quality climbing of every variety.

“My love of training and coaching has grown organically over more than two decades of climbing. In my youth I was an avid bike and ski racer, which fostered a respect, and basic understanding of training. Of course in many ways my early climbing experiences were an escape from formal training, yet as my skill and ambition grew, I realized I would need a more thoughtful approach in order to progress. The Ouray Ice Festival Mixed climbing competition provided a surprising catalyst into the world of organized, progressive training for climbing; fear of embarrassment, and the chance of paying for another alpine trip were strong motivators! Training for Ouray taught me not only how to truly work hard, but to do so in a mindful way. It also helped me embrace a fundamental principle of climbing training that’s often over looked: the need to sacrifice short term climbing performance in order to achieve success in a long term goal. As I began to apply what I’d learned while training for Ouray, to all aspects of my climbing, my ability in every disciple grew dramatically.

“Obviously as my climbing improved, friends approached me for advice on improving their own climbing, and I happily obliged, quickly realizing how much I enjoyed helping people improve their climbing and achieve their goals. I even earned the nickname “Coach,” perhaps because I was occasionally a bit too eager to offer advice. Since that time I’ve helped lots of people, from a simple redpointing tip, to more elaborate long term training plans. My work with Uphill Athlete is a natural extension of that work, and I look forward to being able to share my knowledge and skill with more people, and hopefully help them get more out of their climbing.”

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