My life as a climbing addict began May 2001 at Berkeley Ironworks. In the ensuing years, my love of climbing has taken me to some of the most magical (Fontainbleau forest) and the most mundane (Indian Rock, Berkeley) climbing areas in the world. Although I enjoy climbing in all its forms, bouldering is my passion and most weekends will find me in Yosemite wandering the valley floor, climbing one of the proud blocs or searching for that next amazing line.
JeffreyClimbing Instructor/ Desk Staff
Jeffrey has been climbing for over 20 years across the world. Jeffrey’s formal education is in painting and drawing, but you’re more likely to find him on the Valley floor floating up boulder problems, or on a bike running laps in the Oakland hills. Jeffery is one of our most experienced instructors and his clinics and private lessons slots fill up quickly! He answers to ‘Ye-feery’ and ‘Chuck’.
Michelle likes cats. She is a vegan. She doesn’t own a car. If you can’t find her behind the desk at BIW or at REI… good luck. She is probably backpacking the JMT or scuba diving off the coast of Bali or climbing in Rocklands or raving in London or ____________.
Your guess is as good as ours.
Clari has been working for the Touchstone family since early 2001. Even though she has been climbing off and on since the late ‘90s, Clari still considers herself an infant in the world of climbing. With more injuries and health challenges than she cares to count, she is eager to get back on the rocks, and is committed to building back her strength and stamina. While she has yet to collect any climbing tall tales like a Kilamanjaro expedition or Yosemite ascent, being surrounded by such a group of young(er) coworkers makes sure Clari feels the youthful spirit, and inches away from her climbing juvenescence. She dreams of her 49ers taking home a 6th Superbowl ring, and of someday working for her favorite team (maybe as a “water-person”). Her lifelong projects include building more sustainable organic vegetable gardens at home, lead climbing in Yosemite, bringing her sisters to visit here from the Philippines, and one day dancing at her grandkids’ weddings!
Matt’s love for climbing started in 2010 right here at Berkeley Ironworks and shows no signs of slowing down. When Matt isn’t behind the front desk, you will likely find him volunteering with the Bay Area Climbers Coalition (local chapter of the Access Fund) and planning clean-up events to support our local crags. If not climbing, Matt is probably at home playing with his pterodactyl cat and working on his next screen printing project.
Hailing from the booming metropolis of Sacramento, then swinging through SLO and then San Jose, Ryan has called the East Bay home since 2008 and shows no signs of leaving. Primarily a boulderer, Ryan enjoys all types of climbing as well as the traveling that comes with it. He has crushed in 4 continents, but don’t worry about waiting hear about his travels, hang around him for long enough and egomaniacal bragging is sure to follow.
Did you know he sent Thriller?
Jerome is a Nor Cal native from the East Bay. His love and loyalty for the Bay Area runs deep. Learning to rock climb is the realization of a childhood dream, having not been exposed to the sport until his late 20’s. Berkeley Ironworks was the first and last gym he would call home. He remains constantly in awe of and inspired by his amazing co-workers who have become like family. “I feel so lucky to be a part of this special community full of incredible, dynamic people who supply an endless source of inspiration.” Jerome would like to shout out: Coffee, Chuk Mook, the Shabbywan, Mikhael Herschbanger, the Flash Lords and Call It What You Want.
Ben’s been climbing for 3 years now and he’s got no intention of stopping ever. When he’s not coaching the BIW Teen Team or working the desk he’s probably slammed with school work getting his degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCB. All the free time he can get, Ben spends climbing. It doesn’t matter what it is, just point and say “Go climb that” and he’ll give it a whirl. His favorite type of climbing is when he’s scared silly on gear.
There are only two things in this world that Jessica needs in her life—climbing and ice cream. With both, she is perfectly content so it is no surprise that her idea of the perfect day is climbing anywhere outside followed by a refreshing bowl of strawberry ice cream.