Owner and Head Coach
Robyn has an impressive history as a former competitive climber, winning four World Cup Titles and the US Championship five times. She began coaching in 1993 and has since focused her efforts on specialized training for junior elite athletes. She has served as the head coach for the USA Climbing Youth Team, though now her focus is Team ABC. Her extensive involvement in the climbing arena and her passion for working with children in an athletic capacity is what first inspired her to create ABC Kids Climbing. As a mother and influential coach Robyn sees the significant value of providing children with the space and the tools to make decisions, learn, and develop confidence in their abilities through movement. Read Robyn’s Team ABC profile here- Team ABC Coaches.
Owner and Climbing Gym Designer
Didier Raboutou dedicated many years to his climbing career, competing in the very first International Climbing Competition — Sportroccia ’85 — and going on to compete for the French National Team through the late 80′s and early 90′s where he podiumed in several Masters and World Cups and won an Arco Rock Master. Also around that time was climbing up to the impressive grade of 14b outdoors and made major contributions himself, putting up first ascents up to 14a in French climbing areas like Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val (where Team ABC has camp every summer), Russan, Buoux, Cimai, Fontgarnide, Saint-Pé-d’Ardet, Volx, and more. Didier retired from competition in 1992 and in more recent years enjoys cycling and spending time with his family. He is a French Certified Climbing Guide and also an accomplished carpenter who has built a couple of climbing gyms, including a small training center in Saint-Antonin that the French National Team still uses for training camps and the new ABC facility in Boulder.
Owner and Head of Rec Program
Karla Lankford is a Colorado native who grew up in Estes Park. She spent twelve years in the resort and travel industry and nineteen years in education. Karla is a very old school recreational climber, with her last climb being Stöhrhaus von Ettenberg über den Mittagslochsteig. She is the mother of two children- Ashley, who is a Junior at NAU and an instructor at ABC, and Austin, who is a member of the ABC Elite Team and an avid skydiver. Her husband, Kurt, was an aerospace engineer and climber who wrote Skiing Colorado’s Back Country, along with Brian Litz.
A jack of all ABC trades, Ryan Arment played a key role in the construction of our walls. He is also a team coach, route setter, and outdoor guide. This Texan has been climbing for five years. Prior to climbing Ryan was a wrangler in Alaska and now enjoys everything about climbing from hard boulders to long alpine routes. His playful approach to life flows well with everyone, especially kids.
Graham Blanco began climbing when he was eight and participated on many teams around Boulder, but later gave it up for other sports and activities. He has developed a passion for many sports including tennis, soccer, basketball and more recently track. He loves coaching kids and experiencing their change and development over time. Prior to becoming an instructor at ABC, Graham coached tennis to kids of all ages. He spends a lot of his time outdoors but also enjoys a good movie night.
Forged deep in the wind and stone of the rocky mountains, climbing found Alexander at a young age. Under the tutelage of his father, he honed his skills on the many moderate traditional climbs around Boulder, Colorado. In the latter years of his adolescence, Alexander became more serious about his climbing pursuits and has since been on a quest to explore as many avenues of climbing as possible. Alexander took a brief hiatus from the mountains of Colorado in 2012 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and computer science at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Upon completing his degree he worked as a computer science instructor in Oregon for a year before returning to Colorado to focus on climbing and prepare for graduate school. He has been working as an indoor and outdoor instructor at ABC since 2013 and derives tremendous pleasure from watching his students catch “the bug” and dive wholeheartedly into the marvelous world of rock climbing.
Despite being a Colorado native, Collin Byrnes didn’t find climbing until 2013. He now makes up for those all those years of missed climbing opportunities with his enthusiasm and endless psych for the sport. Collin also enjoys basketball, hiking, and crazy socks. Words by which Collin lives? “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”
Kara Caputo began climbing at the age of eleven, in the most unlikely of places – South Florida. She quickly became obsessed with the sport and for the next six years climbed and competed as much as possible. Climbing also gave Kara the opportunity to travel and explore unique places around the world. Kara moved to Boulder, Colorado to pursue climbing while attending the University of Colorado. She began working at ABC Kids Climbing in it’s infancy at the BRC, and has now been with the program full time since 2013. She still enjoys climbing, though it fulfills a different role in her life now.
Laura Duffy-Fallon hails from Ireland, and began climbing around 2006 in Illinois and the Red River Gorge. Her obsession with the sport brought her out to Colorado, where she quickly fell in love with her new surroundings. She gets most excited about routes with intricate footwork, and loves to find the dance within the climb. Laura has been teaching for over four years, and is psyched to help kids of all ages find and develop their own climbing style.
Kyle is originally from NYC and is currently attending CU in Boulder. Kyle learned to climb back on the East Coast six years ago. He got his first climbing gym membership at Brooklyn Boulders and climbed there for nearly two years. When Kyle was 23 years old, he joined the nonprofit Bike and Build. The organization raises money for affordable housing in America. During the summer, the organization rides across America to help build homes for other nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity. When the organization stopped in Moab, UT, Kyle completed his first outdoor climb on slab. Kyle now enjoys rope climbing all around Colorado, bouldering in gyms, and teaching people how to climb. Before moving to CO, he worked at a YMCA summer camp on the East Coast and has worked with kids from ages 8-17 to develop there skills for climbing and wilderness survival.
Jack Fontaine was born in Newport News, Virginia and moved to Colorado when he was two years old. He is currently a 3rd year student at CU Boulder, pursuing a B.S. and hoping to become a surgeon. Jack found a passion for climbing when he was 15, after one summer spent earning climbing merit badge through the Boy Scouts of America. His intense passion for the sport led him to climb through high school and college, continuously learning and applying his skills to taking on new climbing challenges. Jack focuses on the strength, stability, and psychological benefits climbing offers, taking every climb as an opportunity to better himself. His other interests include medicine, photography, backpacking, hiking, writing and camping. He is passionate about teaching and strives to be effective in passing on the lessons he learns to children.
Garrett began climbing in Southern California at the age of fourteen. Over the next four years he began routesetting at his local gym and competing in youth and adult comp circuits. Garrett has since competed in several national competitions and the 2009 and 2011 Bouldering World Cup in Vail, Colorado. Garrett began working at ABC in 2010, when it was still a program based out of the BRC. He has been coaching the team since and invested in their development.
Chris Hampson grew up in Western North Carolina. He studied history and environmental science at the University of North Carolina Asheville. He has been climbing since 2001 after his dad introduced him to the sport as a kid in Linville Gorge, North Carolina. In high school he joined The American Adventure Service Corp, which was a climbing based youth service organization, and traveled throughout the Southeast, as well as Yosemite and Joshua Tree. Chris loves to spend his time sharing his passion and love for the outdoors with kids.
Ben Jablon is originally from Ellicott City, Maryland. He moved to Boulder in 2014 in order to attend University of Colorado, majoring in Integrative Physiology. Ben discovered the world of climbing during his freshman year and has been a member of the CU Climbing Team since 2015. When he isn’t climbing you can find him cycling, mountain biking, running trails or skiing. Ben enjoys sharing his passion of climbing with the next generation of climbers and values the personal growth that comes from pushing oneself in the sport.
Chandler grew up on a farm in Bozeman, Montana. Chandler graduated from Naropa University with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in yoga, tai chi and meditation. Chandler has been rock climbing for 17 years, starting with kids camps, climbing competitions. while in college Chandler found the beauty that is within outdoor adventure climbing and has been trying to get outside ever since. teaching and watching progress in others is where Chandler gets inspired.
Andrew Lenec was raised at the foot of the Shawangunk Ridge, but didn’t start climbing until many years later, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. With an initial love of bouldering that soon blossomed into an appreciation for other disciplines, too, he considers himself an eternal student of the sport and spends his time in pursuit of every climbing experience he is able to find, in any environment. His other interests include music theory, literature, and film. Andrew’s climbing focus is on efficiency and grace in movement, as well as the psychological and meditative aspects of being on the wall, and helping children discover and unlock these intuitions is his greatest joy in teaching.
Emily Matherly grew up in Tennessee. In 2013 she found climbing and has since become well versed in all disciplines of the sport. So much time spent on big walls has given Emily a unique perspective on climbing. For Emily, climbing is not only a way to push herself physically and mentally, but also a method for counteracting the stressors of everyday life. Emily finds much more fulfillment in climbing than just a good workout, and is motivated by the opportunity to expose children to the sport. Emily’s other passion is science, and also makes time for tutoring and teaching science to children.
Meagan Martin is from Lake Mary, Florida. Following in her parent’s footsteps, she was a competitive gymnast from an early age, but at eleven found rock climbing. She climbed frequently and competed in youth and adult competitions. She took a four year hiatus to attend Vanderbilt University and pole vault on their track and field team. After graduating, she returned to climbing and moved to Boulder. She has spent the last few years climbing and competing around the Front Range and abroad, competing on American Ninja Warrior, and coaching the kids of Team ABC.
Tyler Preston grew up in Kalamazoo, MI and got the climbing bug in 2001. His home crag was his surrounding buildings and he finally progressed to the great indoors. Since moving to Colorado, Tyler has been making Boulder Canyon his new climbing home and is working his way through all the slab climbs he can find. Tyler loves teaching all ages and is excited to introduce kids to the inside edge of their climbing shoes!
Hilary first climbed in the Tetons in 1998 on a family vacation to Wyoming. Returning home to Michigan, she trained fervently at the local climbing gym. Her background in ballet lent heavily to her climbing style. She quickly joined the junior climbing team and climbed competitively for two years. Since then, she climbed and lived all over the US and earned her BFA in traditional animation from the College for Creative Studies. Hilary currently splits her time between Boulder and Estes park, working for Boulder valley schools and volunteering through Rocky Mountain National Park. In her spare time, she enjoys climbing, hiking, reading, teaching, and visiting film festivals.