Pettigrew's beginnings as a rock climber began 5 years ago at Ironworks. "A friend convinced me to try out climbing, and I realized how hard it was. I saw a lot of talented and strong climbers there and I was immediately inspired." said Pettigrew. "It took at least a year before I started using my feet. I was strong but lacked any type of technique. Fortunately I started meeting a lot of awesome people from the climbing community that helped me improved my skills and show me the wonderful world of outdoor climbing. That's when I truly started climbing."
This year, Pettigrew began climbing at the Touchstone Rope Series comps. "The first one at The Studio I had very low expectations do to it being my first comp and all. I was excited to try out the new gym and the new routes. I warmed up pretty slow and was nervous but relaxed and focused." Pettigrew climbed well despite his apprehension, onsighting his first 5.12b/c and climbing well on the two 5.13s at the comp. In addition to a strong performance at the Studio, Pettigrew placed third at Sacramento Pipeworks. Though he claims to have performed less than perfectly at some of the other comps, he still stays psyched. "There is always free beer and pizza, so no matter how I do, that always cheers me up."
To prepare for the comps, Pettigrew trained 1 or 2 days a week, took his normal weekend trips to Tahoe, and try to rest a few days before each comp. "I like being competitive, Its is fun to have something to train for each month," said Pettigrew of how he stays motivated for the comps.
One of the highlights of the comps for Pettigrew is the sports action. "Personally I like when they set hard routes where the crux is a dynamic move right around the second box. They set one at Berkeley Ironworks, and also set one at MetalMark. It usually provides for some very entertaining falls for the spectators." Pettigrew enjoys watching and learning from the experienced climbers as well. "I like watching very strong climbers too, showing impeccable technique, and great fitness. Its very inspiring for me to see."
For people that want to start comp climbing, Pettigrew offered this advice, "Just get out there, they set awesome routes for any skill level."