Staff Spotlight: Pat Strobel

Where are you from, and how long have you worked at Petra Cliffs?

I’m originally from outside Philly. I moved to Vermont to go to school at UVM. I started working as a SumMAT camp counselor in 2015 and now I kind of just cover shifts. 

What is a fun fact about you that many of our members don't know?

I can ride a unicycle for like 15 feet!

Do you have a preferred climbing discipline (boulder/sport/trad)?

I go through phases but I’d say I’m primarily a sport climber.

You just came back from a trip to El Potrero Chico in Mexico, can you tell us about that? Any favorite moments? 

Traveling to Mexico was the first time I’ve been out of the country for climbing. That coupled with my barely passable Spanish made the whole thing rather adventurous. I was able to meet up with a friend and climbing partner from UVM who I hadn’t seen in a while, and we just got to romp around in the Chihuahuan Desert. When living in the Northeast, any time you get to touch rock in February is pretty special, but the limestone of EPC was sweet and way less cryptic than the schist around VT. 

The highlight of the trip was climbing a route called Time Wave Zero. At 20-some pitches the intimidation factor was pretty high. It was our main objective for the trip, and we ended up trying it a bit sooner than we anticipated due to some unexpected good weather. With everything being bolted we got into a groove and motored. It was an awesome feeling to cover so much rock in a short amount of time. The summit offered great views of Hidalgo and the surrounding walls. The climbing was great, the views were great, and the rapps were heinous.


What do you value most about being part of the Petra Cliffs community, especially during this current state of the Coronavirus?

I think the support that the community shows to one another is really special. On and off the wall it is clear that people care for one another. I am grateful to be a part of the community. On the other side of quarantine, I look forward to seeing everyone again, and hearing about their home walls, training programs, bread baking and any other hobbies people have picked up!  

Do you have anything exciting planned for this upcoming summer? 

Nothing in particular. I hope to read more, and maybe expand my culinary horizons.

What's one thing you'd like to see the gym start offering members as we upgrade to Petra 2.0?

I’m stoked for taller walls, and space for training boards. I think training for climbing in general is something that a lot of people are interested in. It would be cool if we could offer personalized training plans for members.