Our Dictators

These be the people in charge!

Homo Climbtastic is composed of real people. People with feelings. Black and White

Tribal Council

The council of dictators votes on all club related shit.  They choose trip leaders, ambassadors, and vote in subsequent councillors.

Alex climbing DC Memorial

Alex Rowland: despotic ruler from the dirty dirty

Milton, Georgia


Alex learned how to belay from a woman named Carolina in a nearby YMCA, and climbed indoors for an embarassingly long time before learning how to climb outside from a Swiss man named Dinu.  He is a total toprope whore because he is a wussy sissy baby, but when in a good mood will take several whippers without flinching, a characteristic that neither he nor anyone else understands.  Rowland is the founder of HC.

Chris P. climbingChris: peanut butter and jelly factory

Athens, Georgia


I’m a menswear stylist and fashion show producer who designs bow ties and men’s fashion accessories for a living. If you like bow ties, check out Atlanta Beaus and be social here and here. Wanna stereotype some more?  I also kayak, teach yoga and aerobics, style brides in wedding gowns, and play the oboe.  How ’bout them apples. I live in Atlanta and I love it.

Kelly: texas monkey

Austin, Texas


Kelly is our ambassador from GLAM, the LGBT climbing group in Austin, Texas.  I think the fact that Kelly is the voice of reason in the HomoClimbtastic organization is proof that we’re fucked.  Nevertheless, Kelly’s providence to avoid criminal trespass, slipping roofies to straight boys, and forgetting to put on a condom before blacking out has kept HomoClimbtastic members jail, death, and STI free; assuming you don’t count probation, scabies, or visiting the ghost of Brittany Murphy while high on Ativan. Thanks for being a friend Kelly.


Laura: bossy pants

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Laura lives in Philadelphia and is one of the founding members of Phlash (Philly’s LGBTQA climbing group). Laura caught the climbing bug as a teenager and has been hooked ever since. When she’s not bossing people around from the bottom of a cliff or at the gym, Laura enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time with her wife and their son Harvey.


Hilary: resident dad

State College, PA


Hilary is our chief dispenser of bourbon and bad advice. A mild-mannered professor by day and a full-value Central Pennsylvania-based wilderness queer the rest of the time, they can usually be found wandering the woods and ‘hoods of the Ridges-and-Valleys region with a couple of poorly behaved mutts, hang-dogging reachy steep things in the New, roping their exceedingly good-looking partner into too-long backpacking trips and bike rides, or writing about medical history, trans politics, and queer embodiment.


Retired Dictators

Dictators never die, but they do get involved in stable long term relationships. So they might as well be dead.

Rio P: gong show

Toronto, Ontario

Rio is our resident yoga instructor, sex bomb, cheerleader, and ambassador of T.O. ‘Mo Climbers, the Toronto climbing club with ‘mo tendencies.  He continues to call us southerners “yankees” even though we share nothing in common with them carpet baggers from up north, aside from our disproportionately large members.

Alex C. climbing

Alex Chavez: rope gun

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Paramour of adventure, Alex Chavez has many a time found himself tinkering with a tricam in the middle of the night. This first happened when he chanced upon the crack between the fridge and counter during a drunken cereal raid, a discovery which prompted him to begin placing pro in as many constrictions as he could reasonably access at 3am while wearing nothing but a harness full of gear. He is the only Homo Climbtastic Dictator with a Facebook fan club.

Russ and pie

Russ Baruffi: ghetto booty

Ann Arbor, Michigan

We lost Russ to the great climber killer in the sky, the office cubicle. Every year, like naive children waiting for Santa Claus, we hope Russ will return to climb with us.  Russ works for green companies saving the environment and preventing global warming, even though God clearly designed Russ with the intent that russ become a porn star.  And if Russ is able to rebuff God, I’m not sure how we’ll ever convince him to come back to HC, at least without trading carbon credits. Come back Russ! Come back!


Rob Upton: marmalade

Albany, New York

Rob at the Gunks

Rob is in Crux, New York’s LGBT climbing club. Thanks to British parents and a degree in mechanical engineering, Rob was able to fix the RRG hostel’s broken box fan using only a nut tool and a jar of marmite.  Not only is Rob a yankee, he’s a British sympathizer yankee. So, when the South attempts to secede again, he will be the first to go.  Until then, we love him for leading all the trad routes we’re afraid of.

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