Patrick Betts began climbing in 2008 while visiting Colorado and he has never looked back. Since then, he has climbed throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. He is now the Chief Operating Officer and Head Guide and Front Range Climbing Company. Patrick has a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Leadership from Colorado State University – Pueblo, and has been working in the outdoor industry since 2009. His passion is to help people get the opportunity to experience nature in a way they never thought possible. He is an experienced adventure photographer who loves to travel and photograph the climbers, climbs and landscapes that are close to his heart.
“Rock climbing is a powerful tool for an individual to explore their true potential, both physically and emotionally. The places that rock climbing can take you, on the grand scale of things, are places that very few people have ever stood – this is why I climb.”
Where are you based?
I am based in Colorado Springs for my guiding season and in my off season I travel to whichever places strikes my fancy!
What is your career right now?
I am a Rock Climbing Guide at Front Range Climbing Company.
What are your favorite outdoor sports?
Climbing is by far my most favorite but I also love downhill mountain biking and canyoneering.
How did you first fall in love with your sport?
The very first time I rock climbed was at a gym in college at Oregon State University in 2007 and I hated it! It wasn’t until I visited Colorado a few month later when my sister had to force me to climb outside did I fall in love. Since then, it has been the driving force in my life.
What influenced your passion for the outdoors?
I always played outside as a kid and started backpacking at a young age. Once I went to college and found it was harder to play traditional team sports I started spending more time with outdoor activities.
With nature as your teacher, what has been your toughest lesson?
You won’t always get to do exactly what you want; there is no compromising with the elements or the terrain. You will always have to earn your turns.
Out of all your adventures and pursuits, which has been the most memorable, influential or life changing?
That’s a very tough question to answer: The fact that I get to spend 6-8 months a year traveling and climbing has been a huge influence in my climbing ability and has allowed me opportunities that I never would have dreamed of before.
What do you love most about being a guide?
I love getting to help people experience something they previously thought was impossible; to help people realize that they are more capable than their brain lets them believe.
What is next on your project list right now?
Right now, I am planning an Eastern Europe climbing and touring trip that will be centered out of Serbia for October 2017. I am excited to explore a more out-of-the-lime-light international climbing location
What new gear are you loving right now that you’d recommend to others?
I absolutely love my roof top tent. With 230 pounds of dogs in tow, my girlfriend and I needed a second story. There is nothing better than being able to lay down in a real bed at the end of a long and hard climbing day. Also, my Evolv Cruzers: hands down the best hiking/scrambling/climbing shoe out there.
Do you have any advice for guides who are just starting out?
Get whatever real world climbing (or whatever sport our trying to get into) experience. Don’t focus all your time and money of classes and certifications – Spend that time traveling and climbing as many new and different things as you possibly can; even if they are rated 1-star!