Brian Florence – Carderock Rock Climbing

Brian atop Quandary, 2006

Brian atop Quandary, 2006

I love the outdoors – biking, hiking, walking, kayaking, running, and, most recently, climbing. For many years these hobbies were a bit incongruous with my career as a scientist, which essentially means many long hours of research and, occasionally, sleeping in the lab.
Once I left the science, I was free to expand my outdoor horizons. Sure, I had roamed mountains wherever I could find them – the Adirondacks of my native New York, Laguna Mountains of Southern California, Yosemite, and Idyllwild. But now I could explore so much more. I started with planning a trip to Kilimanjaro; which conveniently gave me an excuse to climb some 14ers in Colorado.

The Kili trip was fantastic, but only served to whet my appetite. What next? Denali probably, Aconcagua definitely, Hunter maybe, and Everest when I win the lottery. But these require real climbing skills ¬– the options explode when one really knows how to climb.
To start my “real” climbing career my friend Derek invited me to Carderock and the rest, so to speak, is history. Wow! This is what the outdoors has always held and I couldn’t quite touch; that last barrier is finally giving way – I can go anywhere! Well, assuming that I can learn to climb a 5.15a. Maybe next year.
Fairly quickly, Derek and I became frustrated with the limitations of printed rock climbing guides.
“Am I in the right spot?”
“What if a rock face changes?”
“What if an anchor rots or chips away?”
“Do readers need to wait 10-15 years for the next print edition?”
“What if a crowd of Avogadro’s people slipping on a hold changes it from a jug to a sloper or from a sloper to a smear or from a smear to impossible?”

On Jane's Face

On Jane’s Face

Have I mentioned I’m also a computer programmer and photographer?
So our answer was: NO!!! We could simply program an electronic guide, easily accessible, easily updateable! And it could be template for any area! Turns out, we were a few years behind Todd and Rob and the rakkup crew… but the idea is still excellent and Rakkup up saved us a *lot* of work.

This guide is simply our attempt to bring Carderock to fingertips of any person who would learn to climb in the cradle of climbing on the East Coast. True to our ideal, we will incorporate changes and feedback to keep this guide as up-to-date as our families and employers will allow.

While not climbing I love spending time with my wife and 2 youngest kids (I’d spend time with my oldest, but he’s busy getting a PhD in Computer Science in Chicago). To be fair “not climbing” is not exactly accurate. I do love spending time with my wife, but our youngest 2 scramble over boulders like ants on candy, so even some family time is spent on rock. In my spare time, I try to do a little work as a manager and software developer.