Member Spotlight: Joe


Joe Hammerbacher

How long have you been climbing?

It’ll be 5 years on 2016-04-16

How did you get into climbing?

A co-worker introduced me to it. My first experience was top-roping at Great Falls. I climbed exactly 1.5 5.8’s before I couldn’t even make a fist any more. I was instantly hooked.

What do you love about climbing?

I love the constant positive feedback. Every bit of progress made is proof of improvement and growth. I think that the raw gratification of seeing rapid growth is intoxicating.

How has climbing helped you in other areas of your life?

It’s kinda become my life. It’s also provided the people, places, and environments where I can just be myself.

What you love about the Vertical Rock Community?

That it is a community. It’s generally a warm and welcoming place. My family and I have always felt like we could just come in and hang out, even if we weren’t climbing that day. On days that we are, everyone is always interested in what project we’re working on, or how training is going.

Any helpful advice for new climbers?

Take it slow. You want to enjoy climbing for a lifetime, not just right now. Everyone’s body is different – keep that in mind. Some people just have the genetics that allow them to push harder for longer. Never try to keep up with anyone, if your body says stop – for the love of climbing, stop! It’s unbelievably easy to get injured in a way that’ll end your climbing career.