About Our Coaching

Our coaching is the heart of all we do at Climb Strong.
We are dedicated to helping athletes stay healthy, avoid injury, and improve performance.

Our programs are highly individualized, yet principle-based and flexible. We build our coaching plans based on a one-year overview, with the training broken down into four-week focus blocks.

As an athlete, you’ll have access to your program via the Climb Strong mobile app and can communicate with your coach via the app or email. Once a month, you’ll meet with your coach to determine how well the previous plan worked, what’s coming next, and which adjustments need to be made. They can also help you with:

  • Planning
  • Exercise Technique
  • Climbing Tactics
  • General Fitness
  • Weight Management
  • Long-Term Goals

In addition to your workouts, your coach will regularly take measurements and schedule evaluations to keep you on track. Our coaching team consults with a wide network of doctors, therapists, and dietitians to ensure you are getting the most out of your time with us.

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Our Team

Kathryn Perkinson

Kathryn Perkinson

Kathryn moved to Lander, Wyoming for the Winds and stayed for Sinks Canyon. She started climbing in New England while getting her…

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About Kathryn

Climbing Coach

Kathryn moved to Lander, Wyoming for the Winds and stayed for Sinks Canyon. She started climbing in New England while getting her bachelor’s degree from Harvard. Her climbing has since taken her all over the world— from Spain to France to Yosemite. She is a NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and has taught climbing for six years. She began as an athlete training with Climb Strong, and she has learned that we are all far more capable and powerful than we can imagine. She is thrilled to be a Climb Strong coach and is available for consultations and monthly programming.

Chrissy Vadovszki

Chrissy Vadovszki

Chrissy is a high-level and dedicated rock climber originally from New Jersey who now resides in Colorado, and has been sport and…

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About Chrissy

Climbing Coach

Chrissy is a high-level and dedicated rock climber originally from New Jersey who now resides in Colorado, and has been sport and trad climbing for over 10 years. She holds a Masters of Science in Physics, an M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is a Certified Performance Climbing Coach as well as a Level II USA Climbing Coach. Chrissy’s passion for climbing has led her to travel as far and wide as trad climbing in Arapiles, to sport climbing in Kalymnos and alpine in the Bugaboos.

Chrissy has coached all ages of climbers from the competitive youth circuit through accomplished adult athletes, and takes her athlete’s training and success as seriously as she takes her own. Her nerdy past causes her to spend great amounts of time researching strength metrics for climbing, training methodology and movement analysis. Chrissy is available for training consultations and for long-term climbing coaching.

Ken Klein

Ken Klein

Ken is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Performance Climbing Coach. His climbing travels have taken…

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About Ken

Climbing Coach

Ken is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Performance Climbing Coach. His climbing travels have taken him all over the world from the amazing limestone walls of Spain and Mexico to the expansive boulder fields of the Rocklands of South Africa.

He has coached and instructed rock climbing in every capacity: from youth teams to accredited college courses. His passion for coaching is matched by his ability to connect with climbers of all levels. Ken is constantly evolving as a climber; whether he is repeating a climb in Rocky Mountain National Park or working on a project 9,000 miles away, he is always learning to look more closely at himself and his own climbing, while consistently trying hard and having fun.

Charlie Manganiello

Charlie Manganiello

Charlie has been with Climb Strong since 2013. A high-level boulderer and rock climber, he focuses on in-person and remote coaching, and…

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About Charlie

Climbing Coach

Charlie has been with Climb Strong since 2013. A high-level boulderer and rock climber, he focuses on in-person and remote coaching, and works with climbers from around the world. Charlie started his path to become a coach by accepting a front desk job at Elemental Performance+Fitness in Lander, Wyoming with Steve Bechtel in 2011. Those first two years were spent learning how to train himself and it slowly grew into certifications and a whole lot of athlete time teaching classes and building an athlete roster. He is a frequent contributor to the Climb Strong site and is the co-author of the Climb Strong Deadlifting Manual and Unstoppable Force: Strength Training for Climbers. He is also one of the lead instructors at the Performance Climbing Coach events. He offers single-session consultations and monthly coaching programs.

Alex Bridgewater

Alex Bridgewater

Alex is a high-level rock climber that originally moved to Lander to train at Elemental as part of the Climb Strong Program….

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About Alex

Climbing Coach

Alex is a high-level rock climber that originally moved to Lander to train at Elemental as part of the Climb Strong Program. He has been climbing for ten years and is well versed in anything from big wall free climbs to hard boulder problems and competition climbing. He has lived in Lander since 2016 and has worked and trained with Climb Strong since day one. In seeing the success of his own climbing Alex has since taken a role in passing on this valuable knowledge to others eager to push their own limits. Alex is available for training consultations and for long-term climbing coaching.

Steve Bechtel

Steve Bechtel

Steve is the founder of Climb Strong. A climber for more than 30 years, Steve has established over 300 new routes across…

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About Steve

Climbing Coach

Steve is the founder of Climb Strong. A climber for more than 30 years, Steve has established over 300 new routes across the globe, from grade VI big wall free climbs to 25-foot sport routes on his home crags near Lander, Wyoming. An exercise science graduate of the University of Wyoming, Steve has been studying and experimenting with climbing training methods since his teens. After spending a few years as a full-time climber, Steve opened Elemental Performance + Fitness in 2002. Elemental is a full-service gym in Lander, but was built around the training needs of high-level climbers.

Andrew Caraballo

Andrew Caraballo

Andrew is an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer who currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a background in athletic strength training,…

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About Andrew

Climbing Coach

Andrew is an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer who currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a background in athletic strength training, and has been teaching and coaching climbers professionally for over 6 years. Originally from Colorado Springs, he cut his teeth on the sandstone towers of Garden of the Gods and limestone cliffs of Shelf Road. He has since traveled the country to climb, and is particularly fond of Smith Rock, Bishop, and Chattanooga. Training has tremendously improved Andrew’s performance on the rock for sport, bouldering, and trad. Now as a Climb Strong coach, Andrew is excited to use his knowledge and experience to help others reach their climbing goals.

Elliot Gaunt

Elliot Gaunt

Climbing is my passion, but I grew up as an athlete. I started cycling at age 12, and raced internationally for years…

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About Elliot

Climbing Coach

Climbing is my passion, but I grew up as an athlete. I started cycling at age 12, and raced internationally for years in both Belgium and Australia. As a member of the US National Team, I had the opportunity to compete at Worlds. After leaving the world of cycling, I developed my love for climbing. I graduated from Liberty University with a Masters in interdisciplinary studies with focuses in Exercise Science and Outdoor Leadership. Through my years at university, I also designed and managed the climbing facility, as well as coached the University Team. After graduating, I started taking on more clients to help them effectively reach their goals. All of this experience has helped me become the coach I am today. I have worked with people at every level of climbing and strength, and have seen great success in helping them achieve their goals.

AJ Sobrilsky

AJ Sobrilsky

AJ is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist who currently lives and works in Bozeman, MT. With a comprehensive…

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About AJ

Climbing Coach

AJ is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist who currently lives and works in Bozeman, MT. With a comprehensive background in biomechanics, sports performance, and exercise physiology, he is able to provide a unique perspective and comprehensive coaching and training packages for climbing athletes.

As a Wisconsin native who made his way to Flagstaff, AZ to pursue altitude training as a competitive runner, he soon shifted away from running to pursue the never-ending climbing opportunities in the southwest and around the country.

Living and climbing in the desert southwest allowed AJ to understand and experience what it means to have a year-round climbing season and learn the kinds of programming required to perform at a high level consistently. In contrast, Montana has provided a seasonal climbing trend and the distinct training months/seasons that can be programmed for planned road trips or extended periods of desired peak climbing performance during an athlete’s local “climbing season”.

AJ fully believes in the Climb Strong philosophy – supporting and guiding climbing athletes by providing simple, effective, and individualized programming.

Micah Elconin

Micah Elconin

Micah has cultivated his climbing practice for more than twenty years. Based in Eugene, Oregon he coaches local athletes through his business…

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About Micah

Climbing Coach

Micah has cultivated his climbing practice for more than twenty years. Based in Eugene, Oregon he coaches local athletes through his business Good Stone, and offers remote coaching as a part of the team at Climb Strong. Micah has climbed all over the world including dozens of first ascents on the Central Coast of California and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Despite entering his fourth decade in 2021, he continues to slowly, yet steadily, improve.

As a coach, Micah draws on a variety of experiences to support his athletes. He is well versed in climbing specific training modalities and holds multiple Performance Climbing Coach Certificates. He spent the first half of his twenties deeply committed to Ashtanga yoga practicing under the guidance of Steve Dwelley and Michele Nichols. He also spent 3 months at Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India. As a former professional chef, Micah has extensive culinary experience and holds Nutrition Educator and Natural Chef’s certificates from Bauman College. He’s also earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship from University of Oregon and a BA in Philosophy from University of California at Santa Barbara.

Rachel Speer

Rachel Speer

Rachel discovered rock climbing 14 years ago. She immediately fell in love with the sport and the way it pushed her both…

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About Rachel

Climbing Coach

Rachel discovered rock climbing 14 years ago. She immediately fell in love with the sport and the way it pushed her both physically and mentally. Since that time, Rachel’s climbing career has taken her all over the country with experience in everything from multi-pitch trad climbing in Arizona – to the wondrous sport climbing at Shelf Road in Colorado – to endurance climbing in the annual 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell in Arkansas (24HHH). She is currently pursuing the NASM personal trainer and AMGA Single Pitch Instructor certifications.

After struggling early on with plateaus and overuse injuries early in her own climbing career, Rachel began researching solutions and discovered the many benefits of climbing specific training. An intensive regimen of self-study, research, and coursework on the subject allowed Rachel to begin rehabilitating her injuries and pushing past her plateaus. Seeing other climbers also struggling with similar issues, Rachel realized that she could help them too and this developed into a passion for assisting others with maintaining balance in the body while pushing ever higher for gains in strength and technique. Rachel put her passion into practice, opening a business in her local area to build training plans and offer coaching services to local athletes. In this position, she helped multiple clients of various ability levels to safely build strength and reach new heights in their climbing.

As Rachel’s coaching career developed, she realized that her passion for climbing training aligns directly with Climb Strong’s mission, energy, and approach for helping climbers improve performance while avoiding injury. Working now with Climb Strong as a coach Rachel is excited to continue pursuing her passion to help climbers progress through individualized training. Her favorite thing in the world is seeing people get stronger and crush their projects!

Chelsea Rude

Chelsea Rude

Chelsea started rock climbing alongside her dad 24 years ago and it was love at first experience. Within the same month she…

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About Chelsea

Climbing Coach

Chelsea started rock climbing alongside her dad 24 years ago and it was love at first experience. Within the same month she started climbing, she joined a youth team and began competing. She’s a former National Champion, was a member of the US Team for 13 years, and had the opportunity to travel abroad for World Cup competitions. Outside of competition, her proudest achievements include numerous 5.13c onsights, 5.14 first female ascents, and having the opportunity to climb The Nose of El Cap, Half Dome, and helping to re-establish the Central Pillar of Frenzy Direct in Yosemite.

Eighteen years ago, Chelsea made her coaching debut by becoming the head coach of a youth team in Atlanta, GA. Since then Chelsea worked as the first Female Youth US Team Coach for four years before eventually deciding to focus her coaching career on working primarily with gender minorities within the community. In January of 2020, Chelsea created She Sends Collective where she hosts outdoor educational clinics, coaches individuals in-person at a local gym and outdoors, and hosts online group coaching programs for women and gender queer folks. Her favorite part of her work is empowering women through education, helping her clients feel strong within their bodies, and helping them realize their capability of achieving anything they put their minds to.

Chelsea received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and majored in Integrative Physiology, is a Certified Performance Climbing Coach, AMGA certified Single Pitch Instructor and Wilderness First Responder. She began working with Steve Bechtel as her coach about one year ago and quickly realized that her coaching mission aligned perfectly with his and Climb Strongs and felt working alongside a dedicated and passionate group of coaches would not only help her grow as a coach, but also allow her to work with a variety of athletes across the country.

Jacob Carr

Jacob Carr

Jacob started climbing on the beautiful boulders in Chimney Rock, North Carolina and the surrounding area. He believes that simplicity and consistency…

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About Jacob

Climbing Coach

Jacob started climbing on the beautiful boulders in Chimney Rock, North Carolina and the surrounding area. He believes that simplicity and consistency go a long way in reaching goals in life, especially when it involves training. Along with this, his experience with hard training and high performance in multiple sports gives him the experience to coach athletes across many disciplines and abilities. He has a dual Masters in Strength and Conditioning and Sports Nutrition and is a certified personal trainer through the NSCA. He is grateful to live in Lander, WY where he can climb, mountain bike, and ski with his wife, Taylor.

Ty Mack

Ty Mack

Ty was fortunate to grow up as a climber in Lander, WY during one of its many “golden eras” and now has…

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About Ty

Climbing Coach

Ty was fortunate to grow up as a climber in Lander, WY during one of its many “golden eras” and now has more than 30 years of climbing under his belt.  Though a sport climber at heart, Ty is a generalist with a myriad of diverse ascents: big wall free climbs in Yosemite and Zion, ice and mixed routes, headpoints, and highball boulder problems.

Ty spent 12 years building a successful artisan bakery (460 Bread) while raising two energetic boys and sending the occasional Teton rock climbing project, so he fully understands the challenges of balancing a busy schedule with climbing performance.  Since selling his business in 2021, he has been able to focus on his true passion for climbing performance and helping other climbers achieve their potential. Ty is psyched to be a part of the Climb Strong team and is available for monthly coaching programs.
Joel Unema

Joel Unema

Joel is an all-around climber who splits his time between Lander, WY and Flagstaff, AZ.  Exploring and establishing new routes and boulders…

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About Joel

Climbing Coach

Joel is an all-around climber who splits his time between Lander, WY and Flagstaff, AZ.  Exploring and establishing new routes and boulders is his passion, and training has become an essential part of this pursuit.  With projects ranging from roof boulders to thin trad lines and multi-pitch routes, he has learned to train for a diverse set of climbing challenges over the past decade. Joel has been training as an athlete with Climb Strong for two years and holds a Performance Climbing Coach certification.

Training has become one of his passions, and he is driven to fulfill his highest potential as a climbing athlete. Joel is self-admittedly un-athletic, and all sports have been difficult for him.  He has leaned into training as a means to progress in climbing.  From physical preparation to high-level tactics to mental techniques, Joel has utilized many aspects of training for climbing.  The energy of climbers and their desire to improve is contagious, and Joel is excited to work with others who seek to improve and pursue their potential.

Sara McFadden

Sara McFadden

Sara is a queer climber, a coach, and a NSCA Certified Personal Trainer based in Western Massachusetts. She has been climbing for…

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About Sara

Climbing Coach

Sara is a queer climber, a coach, and a NSCA Certified Personal Trainer based in Western Massachusetts. She has been climbing for over a decade, much of which was spent on the road climbing full time. Sara started mostly as a trad climber who would sport climb to get fit, but soon embraced being a dedicated sport climber. Now she is mostly a boulderer who claims she’s just trying to get strong for an eventual return to routes again. Through all of these shifts in focus she has learned to adapt her own training to meet the demands required to perform at a high level and to see continuous improvement into her 40’s.

Sara is very active in her local community, serving the Western Mass Climbers’ Coalition as a Board member and a member of their Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She is passionate about making both climbing and strength training more approachable and accessible to a greater diversity of bodies and identities. Sara’s own training journey was initially undertaken to get strong for climbing and to repair/build resilience from injury. Those first steps unexpectedly expanded outward and led to greater personal bodily acceptance and an eventual career as a coach and trainer that gives her purpose.