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.
Austin was born in Denver and now lives in Boulder. He studied anthropology and political science at CU Boulder, and prefers to spend as much of his free time as possible in the outdoors climbing, hiking, and fishing. Austin began climbing in late 2013 as a sport climber and boulderer, however in 2017 he began to practice traditional rock climbing which struck him as the most interesting form of climbing due to the overall adventure involved. Since then his favorite climbs to think back on have been traditional routes in areas like Red Rock, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and The Diamond. Austin enjoys teaching kids to climb because he hopes that they can find the same enjoyment in the adventure of climbing that he has. Because of this, his favorite part of teaching kids is getting them used to taking small steps outside of their comfort zones so that they can discover that their potential is only limited by their minds.
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.
Ben is originally from Seattle, Washington and spend as many weekends possible in the mountains skiing. He found parkour when he started high school and started coaching thinking that was his ideal sport. But, as soon as he moved to Boulder to attend CU he fell in love with climbing. He has surrounded himself with as much as the climbing community as possible and is super excited to be able to pass that excitement of the outdoors and climbing to a younger generation.
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.”
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.
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.
Ellie started climbing in high school and has loved the sport since. She started a climbing club at her arts high school, which didn’t have any sports teams or clubs, and is now a committed member of Alpine Club at CU Boulder, where she is studying Photography and Business. In her spare time, Ellie enjoys playing guitar and taking road trips with friends to climbing spots.
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.
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.
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.
Holly has been teaching rock climbing in New England since 2010. She always knew that climbing would be an integral part of her life, turning her focus to the strength of gradual progression and technique. Holly is psyched to be teaching at a kid-centric climbing gym. Holly is also a certified yoga instructor and an office manager for an apothecary.
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.
I began climbing in Texas in 2014. I competed for several years on a team and now try to get outdoors or in the gym as much as possible. Finally returning to my home state of Colorado, I’m studying Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. The climbing community is the greatest group of people I have ever been around and there’s not a day I regret falling down the rabbit hole of climbing.
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.
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.
A lifetime climber native to Boulder, Lucy’s most recent outdoor instructing position was with a chapter of Outward Bound based in Florida. While working with at-risk youth on wilderness expeditions gave her invaluable experience and insight, she is happy to be back in Colorado teaching and coaching her favorite activity!
Born and raised in North Carolina, his move to Colorado changed my life after he was introduced to climbing. He has been a passionate climber ever since the first time he climbed. His specialties are dynamic movement and overall strength training.
He has a lot of experience when it comes to competitions, so is well adept when it comes to the mental and physical aspects of competition climbing. He loves sharing his knowledge and experience with others in preparation for their competitive career.
Rees is originally from Birmingham, Alabama and has since moved out to Colorado and is attending CU Boulder, majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She is a member of the CU Climbing Team and has loved getting to live in a state where climbing is so popular. Having a mom who rock climbs, she was introduced to the sport at an early age and absolutely fell in love it. She has enjoyed living a lifestyle that allows for time spent outdoors whether that be climbing, hiking or camping. Rees loves sharing her passion with the kids of this next generation and hopes to encourage and motivate them to keep crushing and seek joy and experience through rock climbing.
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.
Climbing and adventuring are what brings Zack the most joy, so the mountains is where you will find him. He has been climbing all over everything climbable since before he can remember, and still finds it to be the best of feelings. Raised in Michigan, and most recently from Florida, he is stoked to now call Colorado is his home and loves being a part of the ABC family!