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.
Adam is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch guide, a teacher of ten years, a climber of seventeen years and the head coach of the ABC Advanced Climbing Team and the Horizons Climbing Club at Horizons K-8 Charter School. He has climbed extensively throughout the United States and in Canada, Mexico, France and England. While he enjoys all types of climbing, his favorite discipline is pushing his limits on multi-pitch traditional climbs. On the rare day when Adam is not guiding, coaching or teaching, you will find him playing on the mental test pieces of Eldorado Canyon or (if he’s really lucky!) on the big walls of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
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.
Cat discovered climbing at CU back in 2012 through the CU Alpine Club where she was introduced a new way to appreciate the outdoors and exposed to a community of like-minded individuals. Since graduating she has taken time off to explore climbing in North America as well as in Europe. While climbing is a fun, motivating, and challenging activity, she is drawn to the environment it creates, through the people, the places, and the perspectives that one can gain.
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.
Caleb grew up in Kansas City; there he excelled at baseball and other ball sports. It wasn’t until high school when Caleb got his first taste of mountain air through his backpacking and snowboarding trips. After high school, Caleb accepted scholarships to pursue his baseball career into college. A season ending injury prompted him to move towards other passions. The mountains were calling. The following year Caleb and an old teammate move up to the Deschutes Forest near Bend, Oregon to live primitively off the grid. Oregon is where Caleb grew his love for climbing and primitive living. Caleb is most excited to work with kids to develop a healthy source of happiness through climbing and team cohesion.
Ashley is a Boulder, Colorado native and has enjoyed recreational climbing with her little brother and family throughout her life. As a student at Northern Arizona University, Ashley explored the beauty of northern Arizona, and even got the opportunity to study abroad in Spain. She enjoys hiking, long walks on the beach, and climbing with friends and family. Ashley has a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Sciences – Public Health and minors in Spanish and Psychological Sciences. She is particularly fascinated with the positive physical and mental health impacts the sport of climbing has on climbers.
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.
In 2005, Gregory was introduced to rock climbing and it has been at the core of his life ever since. Gregory has traveled extensively throughout North America and as far afield as Australia and Asia in order to seek out rich experiences in the vertical world. In hopes of extending the value of climbing beyond his own life, Gregory began leading climbing trips for young people throughout the mountains of North Carolina and New England. Now Gregory has brought his many years of experience to Boulder. He teaches at ABC with the utmost commitment to helping children experience the beauty of climbing, learning, and life in general.
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.
Ben Murphy is from Rhode Island. To balance out the heavy dose of ocean life and aquatic sports, he moved to Colorado in 2014. After living in Keystone, Colorado for two years working at an environmental education school, he moved to Boulder. Climbing has been a way of getting involved in mountain culture. He hopes to explore much of the Western States and places he has never visited, through the eyes of a climber.
Elad grew up in a small village in northern Israel. He was first introduced to climbing when he was thirteen. His dad took him on a week-long climbing course for his Bar Mitzvah present, in what was then the only climbing school in the country. He was immediately hooked. After completing his military service, he traveled to Europe to take his climbing career further. He has since climbed rock and mountains in many countries throughout the world. His resume includes Grade VI routes in sub-12-hours, sport routes up to 5.14a, committing trad routes (up to 5.13R/X), and various FA’s of single and multi-pitch climbs.
Having the opportunity to lead children along, as they encounter challenges and then overcome them, is perhaps the greatest reward of Elad’s career. For him, climbing, is the perfect combination of physical, mental, and spiritual challenge, at its utmost and fullest form, and incorporates his great love for the outdoors. Elad feels there’s always a place to learn, grow, and improve.
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!
Julianna Watson started climbing when she was ten on various youth teams around Boulder. It wasn’t until later she realized her love for climbing outdoors, especially in college when she had the chance to take advantage of the nearby climbing such as Joshua Tree. She began teaching at ABC at the age of fifteen and has loved to be able to work with children and show the amazing effect it can have mentally and physically.