Question: Who are you, where are you from, and how long have you worked at Petra Cliffs?
Name is Tim Farr. I grew up in Northern Michigan. Before relocating to Vermont I was living in Alaska. I've also lived in Washington and New Hampshire. This past May marked working at Petra Cliffs for 8 years! In addition to climbing I have a background in Sea and Whitewater Kayaking and used to spend 80%+ of the year in a boat on the water and way more time in a sleeping bag and in a tent than under a roof with walls. I enjoy anything outside. From climbing in all of its disciplines to paddle sports, as well as hiking, biking to skiing and anything else to keep me busy outside.
Question: What is your role at Petra Cliffs, what does the job entail, and what do you enjoy about it?
My current role/s: General Manager, Programs Coordinator, Membership and Staff Manager, Smuggs Ice Bash Coordinator, Interim Head Route Setter, Indoor and Outdoor Instructor and Guide and Teambuilding Facilitator. I am a USAC Level 1 Route Setter and an American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) Certified Ice Instructor (1 of only 2 in the US!), an Apprentice Rock and Alpine Guide and Certified Single Pitch Instructor. My job entails making sure the day to day, week to week, month to month operations of Petra is on par with where the owners, staff and community see fit; or at least working towards that balance. It's constantly in motion and rarely is there a dull moment with managing the staff, memberships, route setting, and Petra programs (both indoors and out). Keeping busy and working towards continued growth of the business and its community is what I enjoy about it.
Question: What is a fun fact about you that many of our members don't know?
Having been on many trips in several mountain ranges; I've been just shy of 21,000' in the Indian Himalaya and I've crossed from West to East over a large portion of the glaciers in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. On that trip we were forced to go without our scheduled re-ration of food for many many days as the pilot couldn't land on the Icefield due to whiteout conditions. So we navigated off glacier to a small hunting camp over the course of several days to receive our re-ration. Over those days of navigation, we were rationing out a brownie-slurry mix, and approximately 10-12 ounces per person, as our caloric intake for the day!
Question: What do you like most about being part of the Vermont climbing community and how does your role at Petra Cliffs help you engage with other climbers in Vermont?
I enjoy the ever-growing and energetic enthusiasm that is the VT climbing community. My role at Petra allows me to engage with new and seasoned climbers and share that enthusiasm with them.
Question: Do you have a preferred climbing discipline (boulder/sport/trad)? If so, do you have a favorite route/problem that you'd recommend to other climbers here in the Northeast?
Definitely Ice/Mixed/Alpine climbing. Second to that would be multi-pitch trad and covering 3rd/4th and 5th class terrain efficiently. Any of the moderates in Smuggs (Smugglers' Notch) or on Cannon Cliff (Franconia, NH) are right up my alley as far as where to climb in the Northeast.
Question: What's one thing you'd like to see the gym start offering members as we upgrade to Petra 2.0?
More indoor to outdoor focused skill building and risk assessment clinics or guided days! As I spend a lot of time around our local cliffs, I see a lot of new climbers commonly learning from friends or books/videos. This doesn't always lend itself to the safest practices, or highlight why there are better alternatives. I would like to see climbers take more advantage of the knowledge those instructors and guides have gained from further education in the chosen discipline. We have several qualified staff at Petra who are eager to do training with those working towards their goals; it would be great if there were more folks taking advantage of this resource.
You can learn more about Tim from the Petra Cliffs website HERE.