Diane Russell - Owner
Co-Owner of Pacific Edge. She got her start in rock climbing at the age of 14, in Boulder, Colorado. Beginning with instruction from the Colorado Mountain Club, climbing quickly became a major focus. From here she was introduced to mountaineering and ice climbing. Her first love is the wild places, and she prefers and excels at rock climbing. Her love for the sport and encouraging teaching style made her an excellent guide for the Colorado Mountain School. With more than 45 years of experience in the sport; guiding and climbing has taken her around the world from New Zealand to the Himalayas, to Europe and throughout the United States. Her extraordinary climbing ability made her a recognized and successful competitor in countless Nationals, World Cups, and climbing at the Extreme Games…and she is still getting out there on real rock. Her most recent adventure brought her back to her love of the backcountry when she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2014 (from Mexico to Canada). You may also find yourself on her thoughtful routes set here at PE signed: Di. Good Luck!
Tom Davis - Owner
The Founder and Co-Owner of Pacific Edge. He has been climbing for over 40 years venturing from the continental United States to Canada, Alaska, South America, Europe, & New Zealand. He is a strong all-around climber with accomplishments on big walls, long free climbs, sport routes, & in high altitude mountaineering. Tom’s climbing home is Yosemite. He has climbed dozens of Walls in the Valley including El Capitan, Half Dome, Washington’s Column, Mt. Watkins, and numerous solo walls. Long Free Climbs are his favorite, and he has done many of the classics including the West Face of El Cap, Astroman, the Rostrum, Blind Faith, Free Stone, The Crucifix, and the Chouinard-Herbert. Further from home, Tom has climbed Denali (20,320'), Huascaran, in Peru (22,200'), Lotus Flower Tower (Northwest Territories), and the North Face of Mt. Robson in Canada. He has completed numerous first ascents at Pinnacles National Monument and in Yosemite. He worked four seasons for the Colorado Outward Bound School and served on the Yosemite Search and Rescue Team in Tuolumne Meadows. Tom is methodical, and determined in his approach to climbing and training. He brings the sum of this extensive experience when teaching his many classes at Pacific Edge.
Scott Lappin: General Manager & Senior Route Setter
Scott first started climbing in the most unlikely of places: Indiana. Convinced there was more to the sport than climbing on 20ft walls of bad limestone, he dropped by the local climbing gym and just never left. Over the years Scott has managed to travel and climb throughout the East and West coasts, venturing as far away as South America and New Zealand. But his heart is never far from the noise of streaming beta, chalk dust, and smelly rental shoes. So look for the devilish grin of that route setter (RSL) in the corner who’s hoping the foot chip you are on doesn’t spin. Scott is co-manager of Pacific Edge, manages our extensive pro-shop, and can also be found teaching a variety of specialty classes such as Big Wall, Multi Pitch, Lead and Outdoor. Ask him your gear questions and prepare to understand the world of climbing a little bit more thanks to him.
Mike Kittredge - General Manager & Climbing Instructor
Mike joined the Pacific Edge team in January 2013. He is part of our management team and a climbing instructor. Some of his favorite climbing destinations include the Bishop Area, Pinnacles, The Leap, The Valley, Shuteye Ridge, and Joshua Tree National Park. Mike is a solid all around climber who enjoys sport climbing, easy-moderate multi-pitch trad, and has been known to play on the occasional boulder. He has a strong commitment to social justice and our environment. As such, Mike recently spearheaded a collaboration between PE and Coastanoa High School to revive the Project Climb Program designed to introduce youth at risk to climbing while also using climbing as a vehicle to address other life skills such as leadership development, responsibility, commitment, safety and more. He also played a significant role in updating the lighting in the gym to be more energy efficient. When not climbing he enjoys surfing, photography and just hanging out in nature. Whenever possible he lives to enjoy the moment and finds beauty in observing our natural world.
Larry Leo: Facilities Manager
Larry was our first employee. He is an indispensable asset to the workings of the gym! He is the first person we call when we can’t find something or we need help problem solving. He is always ready with a smile or helping hand, from belaying kids to fixing t-nuts and ropes or hanging a door. He can be seen at all hours of the day and night, the man behind the scenes. Fishing is his favorite pastime, which he does wherever there is water. Fish beware his skill is great! Motorcycle riding and restoring is another hobby. Larry is generous with his time. He may be found helping a friend move or driving an elderly person on a shopping excursion or taking someone out on the bay on his fishing boat. Pacific Edge is fortunate to have him on the staff!
Ona Jones: Membership Coordinator
Ona was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. She grew up spending most of her time outdoors, backpacking, camping and exploring the Tetons and Yosemite. Ona has always felt most at home and alive in nature and was so excited when she discovered climbing as an addition to her adventures. Climbing has also inspired growth in her yoga practice and her life as a whole. The combination of yoga and climbing has strengthened her physical, mental and emotional well-being. Ona loves being part of the climbing community where she feels encouraged to grow and challenge herself without judgment or criticism. When Ona isn’t climbing or practicing yoga at the gym, you might find her in her art studio sewing and painting, in the mountains exploring and climbing or trekking around in a foreign country.
Rachel Finn: Youth Programs Coordinator
Contrary to popular belief, Rachel was not raised by the glow of the full moon, canopied by the shade of old growth redwoods and serenaded by the crooning songbirds of the wild. No, in fact, throughout her early years, the Berkeley native was far from the outdoors type. This was true until recent years, when a sudden turn of events involving a flock of centaurs, a single falcon feather and a forgotten ancient prophecy gave her a new outlook on nature and changed her life forever. With this newfound appreciation for the wonderful world of the wild, life became like one grand episode of Planet Earth (sans Attenborough narration). Finding beauty and wonder in her natural environment, Rachel began hiking, climbing, swimming and generally associating with the wilderness of Northern California. When she is not honing her passion for the outdoors or crafting visual and expressive stimulus, she is here at Pacific Edge managing our Youth Programs and affirming her position as “that one girl with the hair.”
Sage Weseman: Team Edge Head Coach & Route Setter
Sage is a beast. Not much is known about his history other than that he was basically in full on beast mode from the moment he walked in the door. Some say he is from Santa Cruz, others say he was a boulder that transformed into a man and charged over here from the Sierras. Remember that guy that on-sight flashed your project last night in front of your face? That was this guy. He’ll give you uber- beta on your project and cheer you on while you crush… sstrroonng!!! Sage can also be found at the desk, teaching and coaching the Youth Program or setting some fine routes.
Toni Sanchez: Team Edge Head Coach & Route Setter
My name is Antonio Sanchez more commonly known as "Toni". I have been climbing for 5 years. I grew up in Santa Cruz and enjoyed playing and competing in several different sports and only began climbing at age 19. I enjoy climbing both in the gym and outside, but I enjoy bouldering over anything else. So far, I have been bouldering in Red Rocks Las Vegas, Bishop California, Tahoe, Yosemite Valley, and of course Castle Rock State Park here locally. I also enjoy climbing competitively and mainly focus on the training and athletic side of climbing. I am a route setter and one of the head coaches for PE’s competitive youth climbing team. I love climbing and enjoy working/teaching/helping train others who are motivated to reach their goals and share a love for climbing.
Brendan has been climbing since his senior year in highschool and has climbed in two seasons of the collegiate climbing series. Despite attending UCSC, he somehow ended up climbing with the University of San Diego climbing team. In his free time he can be found climbing, playing board games, or jamming on guitar. He has also recently begun to mountain bike whenever he gets the chance but mostly just enjoys being outside as long as the suns out. At P.E., Brendan works at the front desk and as a climbing instructor.
Climbing is integral to Carl’s life, and he has been passionate about climbing outdoors, in all its forms, since he was eighteen – a long time ago. He feels his professional life as an educator, and his love of climbing, blend well to support his role as a climbing instructor for Pacific Edge. Some of his favorite climbing venues include Pinnacles, Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, Lover’s Leap, the Sierra Nevada, and the Cascades. Included on his most favorite things-to-do list, is to introduce people to climbing outdoors in one of our stunningly gorgeous national parks. When not climbing, Carl enjoys photography, hiking, backpacking, skiing, and river rafting, especially with his wife and children. He has been privileged to do so in some of the most beautiful places on Earth, including the western United States, Alaska, Canada, and Nepal. He feels most fortunate to be part of the Pacific Edge community.
Conor was born in 1990, he made his climbing debut at age 5 crushing the local gym walls to the envy of his fellow birthday party compatriots. Eight years later he made his much anticipated return to the sport of climbing. Before long he began wielding a drill and in doing so earned enough to support his international exploits. He currently sets some outrageous boulder and Top rope problems at Pacific Edge, often implementing his love of powerful dynamic movements into his routes. He had the privilege of climbing in South Africa, Switzerland, France, Spain, and in much of the U.S.
I am a teacher of many things, and I love sharing my passions with others. I caught the climbing bug immediately after exposure and have never looked back. I've been climbing about 20 years and teaching almost as long.
Teaching climbing is pure joy for me for many reasons but primarily because I love watching the enthusiasm of my students as they improve after just a short time. Students report that learning to climb is fun and exciting. Did I say it was fun?
When I'm not climbing or working at UC Santa Cruz, I enjoy spending my time pretending to be an abstract artist (debrcollins.com) and practicing Yoga.
I grew up in a small town near Santa Cruz that allowed me the freedom to roam; From playing at the beach to exploring the redwood forests, there was always an adventure to be had!
My name is Freddy, or as some know me, the “the big scary guy.” I was born in Watsonville but at the age of nine I moved to Santa Cruz. I played and instructed tennis most of my life and thought I would continue with tennis until Toni brought me in to Pacific Edge to climb. I was instantly addicted to this wonderful sport and have dedicated myself to climbing. My skills are improving with my new focus and I am striving to train harder in order to catch up with my mentors. I started working at Pacific Edge in February in 2014, as a Kids Climb and Birthday Party belayer and now work as a desk jockey and coach for our competitive climbing team, Team Edge. This is by far the best job I have ever had, and it has given me the opportunity to meet the most amazing people ever, train harder, and explore the world of climbing! I have climbed at Castle Rock, Lake Tahoe, and Red Rocks and so far, Red Rocks is my favorite. I have decided to make it a yearly trip. I am trying to be there after Christmas every year, slowly ticking off projects in my guidebook. If anyone has projects here and needs a spotter or motivation, let me know! I know there is still an entire WORLD of climbing that I want to explore and I am excited to see where I will go.
Kevin has been climbing for 7 years and loving every moment of it. His passion for climbing and the outdoors developed at an early age when he began backpacking throughout the western states in attempt to find solace in a rapidly changing world, and comfort in the nature that thrives amidst these golden California hills. You can find him in an assortment of strange places climbing odd things. Here at the gym, you may find him singing behind the desk or out on the floor herding cats…uh kids, around the boulder and helping them develop as people and climbers. Kevin works mainly with youth and beginner programs and can be found behind the desk as well. Other interests of his include making music, riding bikes and talking to people, so stop by and say hi!
Ray spent most of his youth trying every type of athletic activity he could get into. In his teens, he settled primarily on the sport of ski jumping. Flying through the air on a pair of skis quickly became a passion which took him across the country and around the world as a sponsored competitor. Ray left the sport to pursue academics where he ultimately earned degrees in Environmental Policy and Spanish. His desire to continue pushing his own physical and mental boundaries ultimately lead him to the sports of rock climbing and highline slacklining. Once more, his passion for these two activities took him on travels all around the country. He eventually became a sponsored athlete, again, and found exciting work as a camera man for a film production company focused on climbing, and other adventure sports. In spite of great times, another wind of change was in the air. Ray eventually found his way to Santa Cruz where he is now able to share his passion for climbing with others and introduce many more to the vertical world here at Pacific Edge. Additionally, he works as a consultant for environmental organizations to create and develop citizen science protocols. Being in and around the ocean has sparked a new passion in Ray for sailing. He has been racing with a crew here for a few seasons now, and recently, purchased his own blue-water capable cruiser which he plans to outfit and sail into the wild blue yonder.
I was born in New Mexico and always loved climbing things and finding ways to get up high. I moved to Santa Cruz six years ago and stumbled upon this amazing gym and fell in love! I have always wanted to learn more about rock climbing. I have always wanted to work with kids in finding self confidence and new, safe and productive ways to grow mentally, physically and spiritually! I find all of this at Pacific Edge.