I was born on August 25, 1982 in southeastern Michigan,
where my family still resides. I currently live in the state of
Colorado. Climbing is a driving passion for my life. I have been
fortunate to feel an innate connection to its practice from the
beginning, and I have structured my life so that I can be dedicated
Before climbing, my life was consumed with alpine skiing and ski
racing. I have skied for nearly 25 years now, since I was 2 ½ years
old. I began racing at the age of 12, and when I was 16 I moved
from Michigan to Salt Lake City, UT to attend a ski racing academy.
After that, I was recruited to ski race for a small liberal arts
college in Idaho. I still ski frequently, both on and off
piste. It is such a pleasure to be outside and in the
mountains, and I experience a great sense of freedom and peace
I was introduced to climbing through sport climbing, and it is my
main pursuit. However, I enjoy many styles; traditional climbing,
bouldering, deep water soloing, and most recently ice and winter
mixed (M) climbing/dry tooling. The quest to understand myself
through climbing has deeply enriched my life, and for this I am
eternally grateful. As a result, I feel a responsibility to
continue to explore within the pursuit for as long as I am
motivated and capable.
In addition to practicing as an athlete, I have had many fortunate
employment positions within the climbing and greater outdoor
industry. I have worked as an instructor and manager for a climbing
gym, a retail sales floor employee, a ski shop manager, an
inventory buyer for a specialty outdoors store, and now as a tech
rep for Black Diamond. I have found that these opportunities bring
a balance to my climbing life. They have allowed me a way to
contribute back to the sport and the industry. I am a very strong
advocate for not only climbing, but the outdoor industry as a
whole. I believe firmly in the necessity of its function, and I am
very proud to be a part of it.
Birthday? August 25, 1982
Year you first started climbing? Well, it's a long winded
answer…The first time that I ever climbed was in 1995, from then
until 2000, I went climbing only a handful of times. In the Spring
of 2000, I began climbing slightly more consistently with
increasing frequency until the Spring of 2005, when I moved to the
Red River Gorge to work at Miguel's Pizza and climbing became my
Three climbing achievements you are most proud of? I am
proud to be a pretty good rock climber, a pretty good ice climber,
and a pretty good drytool/winter mixed climber.
Memory/story of the first time you ever went climbing? I
was 12. It was at a summer camp somewhere in Colorado. My parents
had sent me there from our home in Michigan with a couple of my
friends. I remember having to wear a helmet, and thinking that was
so uncool. They set up topropes and tied each of us in when it was
our turn. I remember being on the wall. I didn't understand what I
was experiencing, but now, looking back through my memories, I can
describe it. I wasn't scared, I wanted each climb to go on forever,
I did not want to come down. It just felt so natural.
Favorite climbing area and why? The Red River Gorge,
Kentucky. I moved there in the Spring of 2005 to climb and work at
Miguel's Pizza. Climbing was not necessarily a priority for me at
that point. I was a decent climber, but I was inexperienced. I
moved there primarily to slow my life down, and to reconsider
things, to find something. I learned so much about myself and I
changed my life in that place. Climbing was an integral part of
that transformation, and from then, I have tried to continue along
that same path.
Best climbing experience? There is no one "best" for me. I
try to understand that all of the experiences I have ever had exist
within me, at this moment in this day, thus I try to focus on the
positive and try to make each day out the best.
Worst climbing experience? Ha ha. Though I try to make
each day the best…sometimes I fail. In 2001, I took a small fall
off of the bouldering wall at my college. My left foot caught the
edge of a pad enough to roll it, but not catch any weight. I landed
with all of my weight on the rolled left foot, and broke my ankle,
as well as tore cartilage and ligaments. I have had 2 surgeries,
but there is little cartilage left in my ankle. It affects me
everyday, and it seems that not much can be done.
What's your dream trip? Where? With who? Simple and slow
paced climbing trip anywhere with rock and beaches with expansive
water. Only with the closest friends, who know some of the faults
and subtleties of my personality, but still keep me around despite
Guilty pleasure? Red wine, dark chocolate, Avery
BD gear you use every time you go climbing? Spring,
Summer, and Fall: Ozone harness, Livewire quickdraws, Survivor
Chalkbag, Gorilla Chalk pot, BD Brush set. Winter: Xenos harness,
Fusion and Cobra axes, Cyborg and Raptor crampons, Express Ice
Screws, Firewire Quickdraws, Tracer helmet.
Something that annoys you while climbing? Rock and/or
Icefall. Barking dogs, Crying babies, or the sound of my belayer's
voice carrying on a conversation with some one on the ground.
What/who inspires you in climbing? I am most inspired
by those that are of middle to old age that have had longevity
within the sport. Those that have transcended the need to feel
improvement or progression, or rather they have reverted back to a
child-like appreciation for simply moving over rock or ice. It
demonstrates true passion and devotion, and sacrifice as well. I
hope to be among them in the years to come.
Favorite aprés-climb meal? Beer, then pasta with meat
sauce, a salad, and red wine, then dark chocolate with almonds in
Favorite climbing flick? Hard Grit
What's in your iPod? Ambient, Down tempo, Electronica,
Techno, Trance, Hip Hop, and Rap.
Strangest place you've ever woken up? The 'White House'
in the Red River Gorge. It is part of the land that Miguel owns,
just up the road from the pizza shop. It is really old, and there
is no running water and marginal electricity. I lived there for the
climbing season in 2005. Some say it is haunted, some say that they
have seen ghosts in there. I love that house, but it is strange for
Strangest person you've ever woken up with? Chamo in
Mira Flores, Venezuela. He is an old, very short Venezuelan farmer
that would wake up every single morning when the rooster started
crowing, usually around 4. He'd grab his machete, and head off to
the farm. He allowed us to sleep on his porch, so that we could
climb in La Puerta, an amazing canyon of paper white limestone with
tufas and stalactites. (See "Low Hanging Fruit" in Rock & Ice
Three things you'd never roadtrip without? Wallet,
contact lenses, and clothes (enough so that I'm not naked)
What's your dream job? I always wonder what it would be
like to be an artist, or a chef, or a surgeon.
How are you training when you are not climbing? I
campus and hangboard. Indoor bouldering as well. Some
yoga/stretching. Some weight lifting/oppositional muscle
training…and of course rest.
If you could steal one thing and not get caught, what would
it be? The Hope Diamond
If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive)
who would they be? Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, The Buddah,
and Osama bin Laden. Sorry, that's 4.
Which would you prefer: power of flight or
Do you have any tattoos or piercings? Yes. 3
WATCH SAM ELIAS:
Photo by Dylan Taylor
I was born and raised in Brunswick, Ohio. I started college at Kent
State University in Ohio. My first few semesters, I was introduced
to climbing and Outdoor Education. It was at this time of my life
that I realized Ohio was not the place for me to be. This city girl
wanted to explore the mountains and learn more about the outdoors.
In 1996, I moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota to pursue a
degree in Outdoor Education. The Black Hills served as perfect
terrain for me to develop my climbing skills and to learn how to
live and play in the outdoors. It was in the Black Hills
where my passion for climbing truly grew. In 1998 I graduated with
a Bachelors Degree in Outdoor Education.
Shortly after graduation, I began rock guiding for some small guide
services in the Black Hills. As time passed, my ambitions grew, and
I began to feel as though I was outgrowing the small oasis of the
Black Hills. In 2004, I moved to Bellingham, Washington, and became
a mountain guide with the American Alpine Institute. Since moving
to Washington, I have worked full time as a mountain guide. I have
guided in the northern Cascades, eastern Sierras, Red Rock Canyon
Nevada, Joshua Tree National Park, Ouray Colorado, Alaska and
Canada. I have guided three Denali expeditions. To further my
career as a guide, I am currently pursuing my full IFMGA
certification through the American Mountain Guide Association. This
international certification will allow me to work as a guide
throughout the world.
Name: Dawn Glanc
Birth Date:May 6, 1975
Place of Birth: Ohio
Current Home town: Ouray Colorado
Primary Sport: Climbing
Specialties within your sport: Ice and Mixed
Other hobbies or sports:Yoga, Pilates and hiking with my
My favorite Mountain Hardwear products? I am dressed
entirely in Mountain Hardwear, right down to my underwear. The
Solidus and the Zonal Jackets are my standard top layers. I also
keep a Nilas Jacket in my pack for belays and cold nights around
How were you introduced to your sport? I was introduced to
both rock and ice climbing in 1996 when I moved to the Black Hills
of South Dakota. Mike Niebuhr was the person who introduced me to
the world of sport climbing. Later that same year, he called to ask
if I wanted to go ice climbing. Curiosity lead me to say yes, and I
was hooked on the first day.
What inspires you? I do not read magazines or books about
climbing. Instead, I meet other climbers and they inspire me. I
listen to other people tell their stories of adventure and it makes
me want to get after it.
Which athletes or other individuals have been your biggest
source of inspiration? I am mostly inspired by my climbing
partners. They push me and make me strive to do my best. Their
belief in me gives me the confidence I need to go for it. No matter
the outcome or how bad we may be suffering, we can still laugh and
have fun. This relationship and the experiences we share are what
makes me want to go out day after day.
What advice would you give to newcomers to (your sport)
today? Climbing is a life threatening activity. Hire an AMGA
certified guide to teach you the most current and efficient
technical systems for climbing. These professional climbers have a
lot of knowledge to share; knowledge that can help keep you safe.
Don't fall into the trap of learning from someone who has been
climbing forever. The climbing gear and systems change over time,
and the veteran recreational climber may not be current in their
information. A day out with a guide will be well worth your
What's your favorite expedition meal? I like to eat foods
that I won't be able to get while on the trip. Fresh fruits and
veggies are what I stock up on.
What the first thing you look forward to doing after a long
expedition? I first look for a long hot shower. Then I head
straight for food. French fries are what I am typically
How do you balance your training schedule with your "real"
job? My real job is Mountain Guiding. This can really disrupt
my training schedule. Traveling and days in the field keep me off
my routine. I keep myself on a fairly regimented training schedule
whenever I am home and around the gym. My approach is to keep this
training schedule realistic so that I can stick to it week after
Do you have any pre-expedition rituals? I just try to do
the same thing as I always do, listen to some "booty quake music",
relax and have fun. If I can stay calm and focused then I can climb
as if it is any old day. It also helps that the other competitors
are out to have fun, so the overall mood of the day is light and
positive. No one is out for blood, and every one jokes around. It's
a great community of competitors.
In 10 years I hope to be… Happy, healthy and climbing
harder than I am now.
Six-word bio: Climber, mountain guide, motivator and
When singing karaoke, what song do you sing to bring down the
house? "Carwash", I rock that song!
What music gets you fired up? I call it Booty Quake. This
is any music that makes your ass move.
If you were a super hero, who would you be? When I was a
kid, I thought anyone could grow up to be a super hero. I thought
it was an occupation you could choose to do. I am currently looking
Ouray Mixed Climbing Competition, women division, Ouray Colorado -
First Place 2011, 2009; Second Place 2012, 2007; Third pace
Teva Winter Games, women's Division, February 2012, Vail Colorado -
6 first Ascents in Iceland, on waterfall ice lines WI5-WI5+
3 first Ascents in Cody Wyoming, waterfall ice lines WI3-WI4+
Red point Gold Line M10, Posers Lounge, Ouray Colorado
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Expedition to the
Fairweather Range, June 2008
Catch up with Dawn on: Dawnglanc.com
Bryan Gilmore has been climbing for over 20 years and
still loves it. While not out scrambling in the hills with friends,
he spends his days exposing his 4 year old daughter to the wonders
of playing outside.
I learned to climb as an impressionable teenager in a very
traditional way. Unlike many of today's young climbers I never
climbed in a gym, and spent most of my early years toproping and
wobbling my way up easy trad climbs in New England. When I moved to
Boulder, Colorado in 1997 I fell in love with climbing in earnest
and have been hooked ever since.
Although I love all aspects of the sport, alpine climbing has
been my primary passion. I'm most proud of the climbs that required
a special effort from me and my partners; be it a willingness to
take big risks, train hard, or make some major sacrifice in our
lives. There are many climbs that have forged strong memories over
the years, particularly those with friends that are now gone, but
some of the climbs that stand out for me are:
The first ascent of The Flame in Pakistan with Brian
McMahon; a very committing climb given our collective experience
and skill level at the time. We completed the climb in alpine
style, after 40 stormy days alone on the Trango Glacier during the
post-9/11 summer of 2002.
The first ascent of the Azeem Ridge on Great Trango
Tower with Kelly Cordes. 48 hours without water, and some difficult
climbing at 20,000 feet, opened my mind to how far things could be
Winning the Ouray Ice Festival Mixed Climbing Competition in
2009, 2010, and 2011. Especially in 2011, as I had broken my back
and arms just six months prior to the event. Participating in Ouray
has pushed me to learn a new aspect of the sport, and taught me how
to train hard.
In the future I hope to chase the climbing dreams that inspire
me, be them a 10 foot boulder problem or a 10,000 foot alpine face,
and to continue to live a rewarding and happy life.
Other Competitors to Watch Include: