Petra Cliffs Indoor Instructors & Staff

Jacob Iarussi

Youth Program Staff - Competitive Team & Mini Monkeys Coach

Jacob was born and raised in New York City, but after living there for 18 years he had had enough of the city life, and decided to attend the University of Vermont. Jacob has been absolutely loving Burlington so far, and when not coaching our Competitive Youth Team, he coaches for the UVM climbing team, and is a UVM Outing Club leader. Jacob spends his free time rock climbing, skiing, swimming in Lake Champlain, trying to understand ice climbing, and generally pursuing adventure. He can't wait to share his passion for climbing with the Comp Team this fall!

Brennan Lynch

Front Desk Staff, Youth Program Staff 

Brennan started working at Petra Cliffs as a SumMAT Camp Counselor in summer 2016 and worked with our Mini Monkeys and Youth Climbing Teams for a while, but she is also a member of the front desk staff. She grew up here in Burlington, VT learning to ski, hike, and ultimately rock climb in the surrounding areas. She loves showing people that it's fun to get outside and try new things! If you see her in the gym, don't be shy, go say hi!

Cate Beebe

Front Desk Staff, Youth Programs Staff

Evan Kirk

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Front Desk Staff, Youth Program Staff 

Climbing since 2010, Evan joined the Petra staff after moving to Burlington to finish his undergrad at UVM. While he believes any climbing is great climbing, you’ll have to twist his arm to get him to clip bolts or pebble wrestle because he’d much prefer to be two pitches up plugging gear all day long. If he’s not rock climbing he’s running, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, skiing, ice climbing, or generally, doing anything that doesn’t involve water (unless that water is frozen of course). Evan usually works the front desk, but also works summer camps and birthday parties and enjoys helping new climbers gain the confidence and skills they need to have a great time on the walls. He looks forward to seeing you at Petra Cliffs and hopes to see you at the crags too!

Chloe Boutelle

Front Desk Staff, Youth Program Staff

Chloe joined Petra Cliffs this summer as a SumMAT Camp leader, but this fall has joined our Front Desk Staff! Chloe loves to be active; climbing, mountain and road biking, hiking, running, rollerblading, and Nordic and alpine skiing, she enjoys it all. She graduated Michael’s College with a B.S in Biology and is currently a pursuing her master’s degree in Food Systems at UVM.  At St. Mike’s Chloe was a member of the Cross Country running and Nordic Ski teams.  She also loves to travel, she spent a semester abroad in New Zealand and after graduation backpacked around Europe for six weeks before moving to Park City, Utah for eight months to take advantage of the opportunity to climb, ski and mountain bike there.  She could not be more excited to get to know the Petra Cliffs community!

Kristofer Fiore

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Climbing Coach, Route Setter

After years of wall-crawling at Petra, Kris finally joined the staff in 2016 to coach the Youth Climbing Team and help with route setting. His favorite type of climbing often involves spending entire days weeding out cracks and hammering in bolts to discover first ascents in Vermont. If you can't find a partner for some far away rock that hasn't ever been climbed, give him a call. When not climbing, Kris is a summer camp director in New York, copy editor, and Colchester High School's ultimate frisbee coach. Kris also serves as President of CRAG-VT and is a loving father of one beautiful canine daughter named Knuckles.

Devon Achilles

Front Desk Staff, Youth Program Staff  - Competitive Team Coach

Elijah Santos

Youth Program Staff - Mini Monkeys Coach

Elijah is a junior Environmental Policystudent at Champlain College. After his first summer working as a SumMAT counselor he just couldn't leave! This fall he will be joining in on the fun with our Mini Monkeys program and he couldn't be more excited. He was raised in Morrisville, Vermont, and has always had a love for the outdoors. Eli is a passionate climber, and loves all disciplines of the sport. When not climbing (which is a rarity) he can be found mountain biking, hiking, or just generally wallowing in the woods. Though already Wilderness First Responder certified, he hopes to eventually become obtain a Single Pitch Instructor certification through the AMGA. Being from Vermont, he was raised with an appreciation for the outdoors, and he can’t wait to pass this on to others!

Sienna Devoe-Talluto

Youth Program Staff - Mini Monkeys Coach

Sienna is thrilled to continue her work on our youth staff team this fall leading Mini Monkeys classes twice a week! She is always inspired by good conversations, friends, family, music and its power to communicate with the soul, the beauty of nature, the genuine curiosity of young people, the random kindness of others, yoga and its ability to transform, the gratitude of all living beings, and the lifelong journey of learning. Later this fall Sienna will be traveling in Nepal during her gap year to immerse herself in a new culture while studying Buddhism and then go to Guatemala to volunteer with a school called Niños de Guatemala for a few weeks.  Sienna can’t wait to spend the season adventuring, teaching, and learning with the Monkeys!

Sam Edson

Youth Climbing Team Coach - Pro Team, Route Setter

Sam joined the Petra Cliffs staff as a route setter and in the Fall of 2015 became one of the Youth Climbing Team coaches! As an avid climber, Sam has traveled to many of New England's most famous rocky areas in his many years as an experienced boulderer. When not climbing, Sam can be found wakeboarding, skateboarding, and hitting the slopes on his snowboard.

Andie Gemme

AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor, Front Desk Staff, Youth Program Staff

Andie started at Petra as a summer camp counselor, and after doing that for two years has started working desk shifts regularly.  Born in Massachusetts and a graduate of Saint Michael's College, she has found her home in Vermont and enjoys spending as much time as possible exploring the mountains, cliffs and trails that Vermont and New England have to offer. Outside of Petra Cliffs, Andie spends most of her time working at Champlain College in their Office of Diversity and Inclusion. 

Matt Karkut

AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor, Front Desk Staff

Matt  began climbing in 2014 with the interest of expanding his skill set for ski mountaineering. He quickly found a new passion and has since been hooked on all aspects of the sport. Matt loves to explore climbing’s blend of mental and physical demand. He’s happiest while adventuring, reading or keeping busy with a long list of handiwork projects. If you catch Matt around the gym, don’t hesitate to chat him up.

Morgan LaPointe

Youth Program Staff - Recreational Team Coach

Morgan joined the Petra Cliffs' front desk staff on Halloween 2016. She worked her first shift in a dinosaur costume and has been bringing joy to the front desk and Recreational Youth Climbing Team ever since. Growing up in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine, Morgan learned to love New England's forests, mountains, rivers and coastline. She's excited to get to know New England's rock!

Patrick Strobel

CWA Climbing Wall Instructor, Front Desk Staff, & Youth Program Staff

Patrick starting working at Petra Cliffs as a SumMAT camp counselor and has transitioned into a regular at the front desk. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Patrick moved to the Burlington area to attend school at the University of Vermont. He found a desire to climb big rocks on a NOLS mountaineering course and has fostered that desire throughout college. When not climbing Patrick enjoys running, cycling, and just being outdoors.    

Brittany Kirvan

CWA Climbing Wall Instructor, Front Desk Staff 

Craig Morrill

AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor, Youth Program Staff - Recreational Team Coach, Front Desk Staff, Route Setter

Born right here in Burlington, Vermont, Craig is one of Petra Cliffs' AMGA Certified Climbing Wall Instructors and has been working for the climbing gym since the fall of 2014. He loves to get on hard sport climbs around New England and focuses on routes that require delicate, intricate technique. Therefore, Craig is a good instructor for those looking to learn more about technique and route reading. Aside from being a certified climbing wall instructor, Craig is also a swimming instructor, sailing and watersports instructor, and is a Wilderness First Responder. When he isn’t instructing, Craig helps coordinate some of the events at Petra Cliffs.  

Book a private lesson with him now! 

Sarah Fox

AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor, Youth Programs Coordinator, Front Desk Manager, SumMAT Camp Director

Sarah has been a friendly face at the gym since 2014 and is a 'Jill of All Trades'. A graduate of St. Michael's College, Sarah is our Youth Programs Coordinator, SumMAT Camp Director, and Front Desk Manager. In addition to all of those roles she also is an excellent instructor and loves to share her skills as a climber with others. With a decade of experience in youth programming she also co-leads some of our overnight expeditions and holds a Wilderness First Responder certification. Sarah is AMGA certified as a Climbing Wall Instructor and loves to work with all levels. You can book a private lesson at any time or sign up for one of her clinics in the Fall/Winter/Spring seasons!

Gavin Cote

Front Desk Staff, Youth Program Staff - Recreational Team Coach

Gavin joined the Petra Cliffs crew this past June as our youngest staff member. He started climbing in 2014 after participating in the Petra Cliffs SumMAT Camp for a summer expedition; he participated in two consecutive Ultimate New England Expeditions with the program in back-to-back summers. Around three years ago, Gavin joined the Youth Climbing Team, and now trains and competes as a member on the Pro Team. You will catch him running birthday pand helping out at the front desk

Claire Cappella

Front Desk Staff

Claire joined the Petra Cliffs staff this May and can be found working at the front desk and helping with birthday parties! She grew up in Connecticut and moved to Burlington to study at the University of Vermont, majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Economics. She has always loved the outdoors, but discovered climbing when making some friends on the UVM climbing team her first year. She is still somewhat new to climbing, but is excited to work on her skills at Petra, learning from the other staff and the awesome community. When not a Petra, she can be found horseback riding, taking photos, hiking, biking, in a hammock with a good book, paddleboarding, and playing with dogs.

Gene O. Desideraggio

Gene O. began climbing on a crag in his hometown in Connecticut and then moved to Vermont to pursue a degree in Forestry with a minor in Geology at the University of Vermont. He began working for Petra Cliffs in June and is eager to improve his technical skills and knowledge of the sport. When he isn't climbing or working at the Petra Cliffs front desk Gene O spends his time outdoors in hammocks, swimming holes anywhere with a mountain view or in the pottery studio. 

Additional Front Desk Staff

Kerry Wilson, Olivia Hunt, Alex Gemme, Kyle Cahn

Youth Program Staff

SumMAT Camp: Meet our SumMAT Leader team HERE