Category: Staff News


11/1/2015 | New Stuff, Staff News
Austin Schuler

Hometown: Arcata, California
Hobbies: I draw and ride my bike when i am not climbing. I super into building structures and taking driftwood and rocks from beaches, also i am kind of a gleaner.
Music: Lately I have been listening to Louis Armstong, Louis Prima, Al Green, Shakey Graves, and Them Crooked Vultures.
Vacation: I don’t really know if i vacation… I mostly go on climbing trips.
Movie: Drunken Master with Jackie Chan
Book: My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell is a pretty rad book and there is a dog named Puke!
Quote: “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go on an overnight drunk, and in 10 days I’m going to set out to find the shark that ate my friend and destroy it. Anyone who wants to tag along is more than welcome.” – Bill Murray
Climbing since: 2011

Austin Schuler is The Spot’s newest setter. Austin has been climbing for five years and cut his teeth at local areas around his home town of Arcata, California, and in the Sierras around Tahoe and Bishop. Austin’s been setting almost as long as he’s been climbing, and just after he moved to Boulder he volunteered for 12 hours to help paint the Front Hueco, so we decided to hire him. He’s a great routesetter who enjoys both technical and powerful setting. Look for his initials – AS – and let us know how you like his boulders!

Why did you join the team at The Spot?
Setting is something I really enjoy and so I when I moved out here it was something I wanted to pursue. The Spot’s setting team is awesome!

What do you love about working at The Spot?
I love the community of people who work and climb at The Spot. This aspect helps Boulder feel like home.

Why do you climb?
Because it is the center of my life.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
Hopefully in five years I will still be climbing and be happily living in some awesome place with awesome people. I would also like to receive further education in a field that I am passionate about but for me that doesn’t necessarily mean the traditional college route. I also hope to still have lush locks.


9/23/2015 | New Stuff, Staff News
Anders Rasker

Hometown: Boulder, Colorado
Hobbies: Climbing, Photography, Skiing
Music: Electronic, Classic Rock, Rap
Vacation: Backpacking through Europe
Movie: The Prestige
Book: Life of Pie
Quote: “All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be.” Pink Floyd
Climbing since: 2005

Anders Rasker has been a part of The Spot’s family for over 10 years. He started out on our youth team and has been quietly crushing the Spot’s hard problems ever since. Now he’s also taking care of a different type of problem – our t-nuts – and he can often be found taking the lead on t-nut repairs and reconstruction. A few weeks ago Ders began setting routes and his first problems, all labeled AR, have been quite popular. He’s also a photographer and an artist – perhaps you’ve seen the cool The Spot sign he made from old bolts welded together? If you see him in the gym please say hi!

Why did you join the team at The Spot?
Beginning of 2015

What do you love about working at The Spot?
The community is always inviting and friendly.

Why do you climb?
It’s always different, and always changing.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
Still climbing, but hopefully I will have won the lottery by then.


Troy Singh-Derewa

Hometown: Darien, Connecticut
Hobbies: I love spending time with my dog, Attila. When I’m not climbing I enjoy snowboarding, longboarding, slacklining, and Esports.
Music: I like most types of music, except country! From Rhymesayers hip hop to partying at Bassnectar or chilling to Bonobo- if there’s a good beat I’ll probably like it!
Vacation: My dream vacation is to go to Mallorca for some DWS! Followed by a quick island hop to Ibiza for house music on the beach.
Movie: Funny buddy-flicks like Shanghai Noon or Wedding Crashers are my favorite. Also anything nerdy- like lord of the rings or sci-fi space thrillers.
Book: The Elegant Universe, Siddhartha, Touch for Health
Quote: “When you are in doubt, be still, and wait; when doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage.”
Climbing since: ’05 in the Gunks!

Why did you join the team at The Spot?
I am a part of The Spot family because I believe in making the sport of climbing accessible to everyone. Not only are Spot climbers some of the strongest climbers around, they are also usually the ones having the most fun! Working with this team allows me to do what makes me happy, as well as progress with my goals for climbing.

What do you love about working at The Spot?
The best part about working at The Spot is being involved with the climbing community. I am inspired by people every day who are working to get stronger and experience more out of life.

Why do you climb?
I climb because because it helps me to be a better person! Through climbing I have learned patience, dedication, humility, and a way to push what my body is capable of. Climbing has also brought me to some of my closest friends.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
In five years I hope to be using climbing as a way to see more of the world. There are so many amazing places to see and types rock to experience. To be happy and healthy is all I can ask for!

Anything else you’d like to tell folks?
Thank you for showing interest in my life! I am grateful to be at The Spot in beautiful Colorado.


8/11/2015 | New Stuff, Staff News
Michelle Watson

Hometown: Arvada CO
Hobbies: Painting, Reading, and far too much time on Pinterest
Music: Wu Tang, Odesza, Gogol Bordello, Lily Fangz
Vacation: NYC, hopefully Japan one day
Movie: Princess Mononoke, SLC Punk, Amelie
Book: Harry Potter
Quote: “Those eggs were a lie! They gave me no eagle powers! They gave me no nutrients!” – Nacho Libre
Climbing Since: 2011

We’re psyched to introduce Michelle Watson, one of our newest staff members. A Colorado native, Michelle has been a member and part of The Spot community for years, so it only felt natural to give her a job! She is one of the nicest, kindest people you’ll meet, and between her cool blue hair and her outdoor crushing, Michelle fits right in here at The Spot. Next time you’re through the gym and she’s working the front desk say “hi”!

More from Michelle…

Why did you join the team at the Spot?
I wanted to have a job that was meaningful and that I could get excited about, climbing is something I want to share with everyone in the community. I’ve wanted to work here since I started climbing because this is the one place in Boulder that really feels like home.

What do you love about working at the Spot?
I absolutely love the people I work with, I never knew work could be so much fun and I’m so thankful to be having this experience right now. I also love being able to introduce new people to climbing because I think it can change lives, it definitely changed mine.

Why do you climb?
I hated climbing when I started, I was a soccer player for 12 years and didn’t have room for much else, my sister introduced me and I slowly grew to love it and actually quit playing soccer for a while. It’s a very individual sport in that it’s all about pushing yourself and trying hard but the relationships that climbers develop are the coolest and tightest I’ve ever seen so it’s really the best of both worlds.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
Terrifying question. I have two years of college left and really am not sure of how I want to apply my degree right now, all I really know is that I love doing anything artistic, I love climbing, and I hope that I can find some way to make money AND be happy.

Anything else?
I just want to thank everyone in the gym for making the Spot my favorite hangout and now my wonderful workplace, it’s been great and I’m psyched for the good times to come!


6/16/2015 | New Stuff, Staff News
Jason Powell

Hometown: Memphis, TN
Hobbies: All sports and anything active. I also enjoy partying
Music: all the good stuff
Vacation: Boulder, CO
Movie: Documentaries
Book: The ones with pictures
Quote: Everything I’m not made me everything I am – Kanye West
Climbing since: 2006

Born and raised in the South, Jason Powell is one of the more entertaining individuals you will meet in The Spot. Don’t let his size and burliness confuse you though, he’s a real softie inside. Jason is among our most knowledgeable staff ambassadors and he’s always down to talk beta. He gets pumped up about new boulders, and knows his way around the community and local crags. Say “hi” next time you see him, and ask where he’s been bouldering!

Between member check-ins we got a few words from Jason…

Why did you join the team at The Spot?
I joined The Spot family in late 2013. There was a unique opportunity for someone to join the front desk and I just so happened to be that person. Forever grateful!

What do you love about working at The Spot so far?
I love the family environment!

Why do you climb?
Because it is one of the most unique, if not the most unique sports out there. In basketball, a field goal in the U.S.,is the same as a field goal in Brazil, which is the same as one in China…But rock climbing is totally different and always changing. Not only are there different types of rock, but not even the same styles are consistent. The sandstone in Joe’s Valley is different from the sandstone in the Ozarks, which is a little different than the sandstone in the Chattanooga area. And the crazy thing is that every area has its own style and feel. Definitely something you don’t get with other sports.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
You know that’s a funny question. Most people would want to hear that I’m crushing, climbing, and being adventurous…but in reality, I want to have a family, be working a job that I’m just as excited as I was on the first day working there, in good health, and climbing in some form or fashion. Sounds pretty good to me!

Anything else you’d like to tell folks?
Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Strive for greatness and love what you do!


6/1/2015 | New Stuff, Staff News
Ryan Kempf

Hometown: Redlands, CA
Hobbies: Climbing, cooking, fly fishing, glass blowing, many more random things.
Music: I love all types music, but I grew up on hip-hop.
Vacation: I’ve traveled a lot in the states, I would like to see Squamish, Patagonia, Cirque of the Unclimbables, other far off places.
Movie: Top Gun
Book: Desert Solitaire
Quote: “Find the things that you love and that love you, and run to them”
Climbing since: 2009

We’re pretty psyched that Ryan recently joined our team as new Bookkeeping Manager. Not just because he’s excellent at bookkeeping (which he is) but mostly because he feels like kin. Ryan is an avid trad climber, and you’ll find him on the walls of Eldo as often as his desk at The Spot. But he also has years of gym management experience, as well as years of financial consulting and restructuring work with distressed companies. We’re not distressed, just excited to have a great new like-minded professional on the team here.

Between check writing and payroll processing, we got a few words from Ryan…

Why did you join the team at The Spot?
I am excited to have found an opportunity with a company where the business’s mission and vision are aligned with my personal and core values. Climbing has given me so much, it feels great to be able to give something back to the community.

What do you love about working at The Spot so far?
I love being surrounded by passionate, enthusiastic people that truly believe in what they are doing. It’s contagious.

Why do you climb?
I climb because it brings balance into my life, makes me happy and gives me something to strive for. Climbing has taken me to some beautiful places and introduced me to some amazing people. I have learned more about myself through climbing then pretty much anything else.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
In 5 years I hope to have done some more international traveling. I look forward to accomplishing some personal and climbing related goals, growing as a a person and enjoying the experience along the way.

Anything else you’d like to tell folks?
“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.”  ― Edward Abbey



4/10/2015 | Staff News
Diane Nickerson

Hometown: Minneapolis, Colorado Springs
Hobbies: Bouldering, eating, reading, drinking chai
Music: Too many to list
Vacation: As in favorite? Well, my family’s from Jamaica, so going back there is always best. Any warm ocean is second best!
Movie: Period piece or Sci-fi. Or Jackie Chan.
Book: How about author? Jane Austen, Neal Stephenson, Anne Perry…
Quote: I don’t ever remember quotes.
Climbing since: 1996 (except for a year of nonstop whitewater kayaking)

Extremely stoked is the only way to describe having Diane back as a Coach at the Spot Gym! It is impossible for Diane’s passion for climbing and positivity not to impact every person she encounters. With years of coaching experience she knows how to keep things fun while staying super focused and progressive. She coaches by example and is always ready to put her climbing shoes on and figure out a problem with her students or jump into a hard workout to bring up the motivation. If you have seen Diane having a session or coaching at the Spot, we are sure you will agree 100%!

Here’s some more from Diane directly…


Why did you join the team at The Spot?
Because it is The Spot– I love this gym!

What do you love about working at The Spot so far?
I love the camaraderie of the Spot staff, as well as the community of experienced climbers. There is such a wealth of climbing and climbing-related knowledge to be mined here. And of course, coaching Spot teams is super fun!

Why do you climb?
Because I cannot not climb. I’ve tried. More than a few times! heheh..

Anything else you’d like to tell folks?
Stop reading and get back to bouldering!


4/1/2015 | New Stuff, Staff News
Amy Ostrowski

Hometown: Woodland Park, CO
Hobbies: Slacklining, Climbing, Drawing, Digital Painting
Music: Of Monsters and Men, Alt-J, Bonobo, Tycho… anything I can get lost in!
Vacation: Australia or New Zealand
Movie: The Back to the Future trilogy
Book: His Dark Materials Trilogy, the Harry Potter Series
Quote: “The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.”
Climbing since: 2013

As the newest addition to our staff team, Amy has really jumped in with both feet. She began helping as a volunteer last year, promoting The Spot at the Boulder Farmer’s Market and on the CU Campus. She did such a great job that we hired her to run the program this year! So you’ll see Amy and her team of volunteers all over Boulder County this summer and fall. Make sure you stop and say “hi”!

Amy grew up in the mountains outside Woodland Park and while she’s new to climbing the outdoors has been a big part of her life. Lately she’s enjoyed scouting for fresh boulders near her home, with eyes on developing her own secret mini zone. So obviously she fits right into our community at The Spot!

Slacklining is Amy’s other great passion, and you’ll often find her walking that thin line in local parks. She’s also psyched on highlining, and hopes to push her limits on the line this summer.

We got her to answer a few questions for us…

Why did you join the team at The Spot?
Let me answer this question with a question: Who doesn’t want to mesh their greatest passions with what they do for a living?

What do you love about working at The Spot so far?
Hands down, the people. Every staff member is warm, friendly, and inviting and I’m so excited to get to know all of them better!

Why do you climb?
I feel that the philosophy behind climbing can be applied to everything in life: You’ll often fail but if you have the tenacity to keep trying you’ll eventually achieve things you never thought you could.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
I have yet to travel out of the country, so I hope to have visited many new places by five years from now and be back in my homeland of Colorado. I feel incredibly fortunate to have lived my whole life here and I think that will always bring me back!

Anything else you’d like to tell folks?
Encourage your friends to come climbing with you any chance you get. I remember being apprehensive about trying it for the first time but I don’t know what I’d do without it now. Climbing has really changed my life in a positive way and I think that everyone deserves a chance to experience it!


1/15/2015 | New Stuff, Staff News
Helen Sinclair

Hometown: Auckland or Christchurch NZ
Hobbies: Baking and decorating cakes (see
Music: Supports NZ music; Kora, Lord, Fat Freddys Drop
Vacation: Opito Bay in Coromandel NZ, family, sun, sand and surfing.
Movie: Valley Uprising
Book: Currently Alex and I are crazy about the Gimme Kraft book …..
Quote: “There’s no such thing as I can’t reach” or/and “Its not about having the ‘balls’ to do it, it’s about not having them!”
Climbing since: briefly in 1996-break-2004

Helen has been an invaluable member of our coaching team since she joined us at the beginning of our bouldering season. Not only is she passionate about helping people improve their own climbing, the is a pretty awe-inspiring climber who leads by example.

She’s an experienced comp climber who won a National Championship in her native New Zealand.

She’s climbed The Nose of El Cap in under 24 hours.

And she’s projecting the The Great Red Roof outside of Vegas (watch this video of her).

Helen brings amazing energy to her coaching work, with great balance between technique and fitness. She’s very driven to train, and you’ll often find her at The Spot working out upstairs or projecting problems on the floor. She also is an EMT and works Ski Patrol at Eldora. Check out her blog

We caught up with her and got her feelings on a few things:

Why did you join the team at The Spot?

I was introduced to the Spot (and Alex Stiger) about 5 years ago when I visited my then future husband in Boulder. It didn’t take long before I realized Boulder and Josh and The Spot were the perfect combination for me. I trained at The Spot and became part of the furniture, so it wasn’t long before I became integrated (or should I say infiltrated?) The Spot team as a Coach.

What do you love about working at The Spot so far?

When I was growing up my coach was one of my most important mentors. I feel that now after climbing for so many years it’s time to give something back to the sport. More than anything, our coaching team at The Spot is interested in the development of our athletes, we are all on the same page with that goal. When they win we win with them, when they fall we are there to help them up, we all have that same mentality – it’s about seeing our athletes be the absolute best they can be.

Why do you climb?

Because I love it and I can’t stop – even if I wanted to.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

Hmmmm… 5 years seems to go pretty fast as I get older, so I would imagine still in Boulder, and still training at The Spot, but there will have been a few trips along the way…

Anything else you’d like to tell folks?

Try your best at everything, even if its just warming up, or even resting, practice well, train hard, and performance will follow. If you are in need of a motivation injection come see me at The Spot – I have plenty to share.



Alex Stiger

Alex began climbing at 16 in Texas, moved to Boulder at 20, and was an integral part of our staff here at The Spot for several years. After leaving to pursue a professional career outside of climbing, she realized that climbing and training are her main passion in life and recommitted herself to climbing not only as an activity but also as her career.

Alex brings years of training, fitness, and competitive experience to her new position. In addition to climbing competitively, she’s been a competitive chess player since the age of 14 and also practices and competes in dancing. She is an avid consumer of all the latest climbing and training literature and has designed our curriculum based on the knowledge she has gleaned from her studies and from fellow coaches and trainers. Alex is extremely excited to bring her knowledge to The Spot team to help climbers of all ages and abilities achieve their potential and have fun doing it.

Hometown: Killeen, Texas
Hobbies: Chess, Breakdancing
Music: Almost everything
Vacation: Anywhere I travel to for climbing, chess, or dancing. My favorite climbing destinations so far are The Red River Gorge, KY and Bishop, CA.
Movie: Spirited Away
Book: Chess Books
Quote: “To give the maximum effort at the precise moment it is needed. This is power.” – Fred Nicole
Climbing since: I first went climbing when I was 15 years old while on a chess cruise to Alaska, one of the “not chess day” options was the climbing wall.

Why did you join the team at The Spot?
When I decided to move to Boulder from Texas in 2009, my goal was to work at the Spot. The Spot has become my family away from home for the 3+ years I have been part of the team.

What do you love about working at The Spot so far?
Being immersed in climbing culture. The Spot represents Bouldering from the inside out.

Why do you climb?
Why I started to climb was because I thought it was a fun way to get super fit, achieve goals and make friends. I am still climbing because somewhere along the way I became a climber and can’t imagine ever doing anything else.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
5 years from now, I hope to still be Head Coach at the Spot, have climbed V10, 5.13+, and be a chess master.