Together We're Stronger


Together We're Stronger

Philadelphia is an interesting place to be a climber. Its a big city, and there's a surprising number of climbers around, but the community has traditionally been pretty scattered. Local climbers would return from trips around the world and share stories of awesome places and amazing climbing communities, often lamenting that a similar community didn't exist in Philly. Listening to these stories, and telling some ourselves, we kept finding a common thread. The exciting atmosphere was almost always made possible by a passionate community of local climbers who found innovative ways to stay in touch with each other and responsibly interact with their local crags. 

So in 2012 we began building events to try and create that sense of community in Philly that we had experienced elsewhere. The ball really got rolling in the summer of 2014 when we joined the AAC as one of their official chapters. 

The AAC Philadelphia Chapter's mission is to create events and programs that give local climbers the opportunity to meet, learn from, and be inspired by each other.  We work to accomplish this mission at a variety of scales, from small group mentorship and instruction, to huge film festivals. 

We're always looking for passionate climbers who want to give back to their community. If you would like to help out, or have an idea for an event, please read on, and reach out to us at to get started.

Check our events page for more info on what we have coming up, and the contact page to sign up for our email list.

We hope to meet you soon! 

-AAC PHL Leadership Team


Get Involved

Get Involved

Our chapter offers three levels of involvement to volunteers:

The Volunteer List, The Programming and Development Team, and the Executive Board.

 Click below for details on joining each group, and expectations of these groups.

Leadership Group

Leadership Group


Shawn Ryan

Chapter Co-Chair, Development Director

Shawn Ryan grew up climbing with his dad, who always reminisced about the old days when he would sew his own harnesses from seat belts. Despite the old school upbringing, Shawn is a forward thinking strategist. An architect by trade, he has immersed himself in the design and business development worlds. He works constantly to improve the chapter and the opportunities for Philadelphia’s outdoor community. Shawn's current focus is ski mountaineering, and completing fast and light ascents of large alpine walls.


Alex Wildman

Chapter Co-Chair, Sponorship Coordinator, Education Director

Alex Wildman is truly a wild man! His quest to see what lies beyond the next corner has lead him on some amazing journeys. Alex lived in the backcountry of Alaska for three months, rode his bicycle across the country, and has completed pretty much every difficult trek in the Northeast, both in the summer and winter. He has proven himself as a man who can persevere through thick and thin with a smile on his face. His background in outreach and event promotion, as well as his endless stoke and great beard, have made him the face of the chapter.


Mike Wadsley


Mike Wadsley started climbing in 2010 during his studies at Temple University and was immediately hooked. He has since traveled to some of the best climbing destinations in the US, and won an AAC Live Your Dream Grant in 2017 to attempt an ascent of the Rainbow Wall in Red Rock Canyon. Mike's background is in construction and project management. He works to ensure that the chapter is financially and logistically stable.


Andrew Deming

Volunteer Coordintor

Andrew (Drew) Deming has been an active member of the Philadelphia climbing community since 2001 when he was first exposed to rock climbing at the University of Pennsylvania. Since then Andrew has worked at a number of local climbing gyms, and directed Drexel University’s climbing program for five years. Andrew is a certified guide with the American Mountain Guides' Association. The only thing more important for Andrew than chasing the next big adventure with good friends is spending time with his loving partner Jillian and two sons Owen and Calvin.


Kate Otte

Special Events Coordinator

Kate grew up in the inspiring landscape of Columbus Ohio, where the tallest point in the county is the landfill. Fortunately her dad is “outdoorsy,” so weekends were spent canoeing the swift waters of the Scioto River, hiking dunes and sandy caves, or enjoying fine car camping cuisine (baked bean sandwiches and pop tarts). When she graduated college and moved to Philly, she started climbing on plastic and fell in with a group of very enthusiastic climbers. Before she knew it, she was spending weekends at the Gunks and climbing her way through the East Coast. Kate is now focusing on becoming a bona fide tradster, looking for tall, epic and intimidating routes.


Emily Dinan

Communications Director

Emily grew up as a mover and a shaker, spending many years building grit as a modern dancer in NYC.  Since then, she has discovered her passion for all things outdoors and resolved to spend as much time as possible sleeping under the stars.  An epic road trip to 24 national parks in 2017 was Emily's first time learning the ropes on rock outside. Still a self-designated "newbie", she is in it to learn and experience as much of the climbing world as possible with a zest for life and love of laughing at herself.