José Molina is a Western Massachusetts native. He grew up in Northampton, but was not introduced to the wealth of local cragging in Western Mass until his early twenties – too old to ever get really strong, but still young enough to become disproportionately interested in rocks with names. He is sort of useful on a rope, but his core belief that mantling is not an important climbing skill – combined with his breathtaking lack of explosive power – makes him a bit of an underachieving boulderer.
Since cutting his teeth at local Western Mass crags, he has since left the Connecticut River valley to seek his fortune elsewhere1. In the process, he has climbed rocks that people have given ridiculous names to in at least these countries: Australia, Canada, China, Laos, Mexico, Oman, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Zimbabwe.
Having climbed on the Taipan Wall, he can at least tell you this about rock climbing: there are crags in the world that offer much, much better climbing than anything in southern New England. However, he can also tell you another thing: he has had as much fun flailing on squat gneiss boulders nestled in the New England forest as he has had sending big on world class sandstone and limestone. Seriously.
He is now too old to climb even sort of hard, so mostly he just amuses himself by playing squash and cataloging small rocks. But he encourages you to round up some friends, go to the woods, and send big (or flail hard). Go now.
1Elusive fortune still being sought.