The Philadelphia chapter of the American Alpine club was officially formed in the fall of 2014, but the idea has been around for years. Local climbers would return from climbing trips around the world and share stories of great places and amazing people. Listening to those stories, and telling some ourselves, we kept finding a common thread. The great climbing, and 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 crags.
Which got us wondering; with hundreds of committed climbers in and around Philadelphia, why aren't there a bunch of large community-wide events, open to climbers of all stripes, that don't revolve around competition? Events that are designed to inspire and educate climbers on a large scale. Events that can bring us all together so that when a local crag, business, or individual needs a little support, we can all help them out. And while we're getting to know each other, lets have some fun!
After years of networking with local climbing organizations and businesses, and building events both large and small, we jumped on board with our long-time sponsor, the American Alpine Club. Formed in 1902, the AAC has a long history of keeping climbers connected. They are uniquely positioned as a nationwide organization to support local climbing communities around the US. We became one of their official chapters with the vision of crafting exciting new events, built by and for Philadelphia climbers, that are open to everyone. So please come out, grab a drink, and get to know your community!
See below for more information on who we are and how you can help.
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.
Chapter Co-Chair, Partnership Coordinator, Education Coordinator
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.
Board Member, Treasurer, Secretary
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.
Board Member, Volunteer Coordinator
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 spending time with friends chasing the next big adventure is spending time with his loving partner Jillian and two sons Owen and Calvin.