Meet our Ambassador, your gym dog. Cooper has climbed in Joshua Tree and that's about it. But he did have his own climbing boots. He says, "Climbing was okay but I prefer scuba." Actually he just said "woof" but that's what Google translate came up with.
He's a big friendly dude who forgets his size. Prepare to be slobbered and please, don't feed the animals.
Owner, Program Manager
Lee is a Baton Rouge native and graduate of Catholic High. He started climbing as an LSU undergrad where he turned his Kinesiology internship into an experience, hiking and climbing around Northern Wyoming with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Lee is passionate about several aspects of climbing, from the physical strength and flexibility opportunities it presents, to the mental focus it demands. He has worked as a fitness and movement consultant with several Baton Rouge and New Orleans area organizations over the past decade and has kept creative and conscious movement a priority.
Lee expresses this passion for movement through climbing, yoga, acro-yoga, and fitness - and instructing and sharing these disciplines with others adds another level of enjoyment for Lee. He is a dedicated father, husband, son, teacher, and student. “Being drawn to travel to climb helps me appreciate being home even more.”
Owner, Operations Manager
Robb is a serious(ly ridiculous) person. "You can blame a lot of puns on me." A Baton Rouge native and CHS grad, he has a degree in geology - so there was clearly an early attachment to rocks. After getting his MBA from LSU, Robb left Baton Rouge and did the corporate thing for 17 years, living on both coasts.
He has had the pleasure of climbing in fantastic places like The Gunks, Yosemite, and Joshua Tree. To add to the adrenaline resumé, he has done adventure races, 24-hour mountain bike races, Urbanathlons, the Ragnar Relay, a Goruck Challenge, and summited Mt. Whitney twice. "I like pushing people to do more than they thought they could."
But that was then. Now he's old, out of shape, and sleeps with a heating pad.
Karl, a native of Chicago, is a recent transplant to Baton Rouge by way of California. A former investment banker who learned to play as hard as he worked, Karl owned and operated an outdoor adventure company that provided activity packages throughout California and the Las Vegas-region of Nevada.
A former member of the local search & rescue team, Karl has participated in over 200 operations. He is a (California-registered) EMT and trained in mountaineering, high-angle rescue, man-tracking, field navigation, and helitac techniques.
This wizened and aged adventure guru is happy to share his knowledge and experience with other flatlanders, for whom he has a soft spot. His particular passions include climbing (rock and ice), canyoneering, caving, and backpacking wild places, although these days he takes simple pleasure in living vicariously through new climbers.
Director, Membership Development
Ariel fell in love with climbing after taking a Women’s Wilderness outdoor climbing course in in Eldorado Canyon, CO – and has been changed ever since. After receiving her bachelors’ degree in Elementary Education from LSU, she transitioned from traditional teaching to now instructing beginners on the fundamentals of climbing. In addition to climbing, her passions include hiking 14ers, teaching, pretentious coffee drinking, and exploring America with her brand new husband.
She is constantly looking for new ways to make UpTown a welcoming place for new and experienced climbers alike, and wants everyone in Baton Rouge to experience the world of climbing. Ariel conceived, designed, and runs our awesome Ladies Night. She currently coaches kids climbing club for 10-13 year olds, and has eyes on getting a kids competitive team started at UpTown. She is especially driven towards bringing diversity to the gym, and wants the community at UpTown to reflect the diversity of Baton Rouge, regardless of climbing ability.
If you haven’t met her, she’s the approachable one, the friendliest one, and the one always smiling, unless she’s climbing.