Derick is a medical laboratory scientist at CHOP living in the Graduate Hospital area. He has been a climber for over 10 years and is always on the look out for more climbing partners! If you see Derick around the gym or at the crag, ask him about sport and trad climbing, self-rescue, snowboarding, soccer, or statistical computing!
How did you get into climbing/mountaineering/the outdoors?
I actually didn't know much about climbing growing up! But I've always seen climbing walls and have always wanted to try them. My first gym experience was at Go Vertical and a good friend of mine was there the very night I was taking the beginner's course. Naturally, she became a mentor and a lot of me as an outdoor person is largely because of her. I've been climbing for a little over 10 years now and I'd say that my progression may be similar to a lot of climbers today: I was initially hooked on gym climbing but as the exposure to outdoor climbing grew, I definitely developed a passion for gear, anchors, and climbing as an excuse to take trips!
What are your goals for this year?
I would love to climb in a new area that I've never been before. It's been a bit of a personal tradition to go to a new place each year and I've done this for 3 years in a row now. As challenging and rewarding as it can be to climb harder grades, it can be as fulfilling to see and experience a new crag and to embrace its uniqueness.
What do you get out of climbing?
Climbing resonates with me because I love figuring things out and on a simplistic level, climbing comes down to mentally figuring out the moves on a route and making your body do it. Over the years, I've developed a much deeper appreciation for each and every one of my climbing partners. Motivating each other regardless of the grade you climb and building the trust from catching each other's falls is something that you don't easily get elsewhere.
What keeps you motivated and inspired?
Getting that next grade, figuring out a challenging route, and adding more routes to my tick list!