Originally from Brazil, Roger Ramires first honed his climbing skills here in the States in preparation to climb Mt. Everest. Ramires took to the mountains of California with carabiners, quickdraws and slings, and taught himself to rappel and belay, sparking a love affair with climbing that’s since become a life obsession.
Now, 13 years after his first climb, Ramires is still roping up the California mountains (though he’s now graduated to towering peaks that dwarf his early excursions). He’s also developed a passion for sharing his enthusiasm for climbing with others, which prompted Ramires to begin Rock n Rope Adventures – where beginners and experts alike go to hone their skills and learn how to climb under his guidance. Since 2008, Roger has guided climbers of all skill levels through some of the most inspiring and picturesque sights in California.
We chatted with Roger to learn more about his passion for rock climbing and the advice he gives to first-time climbers.
Adventure IO: How did you catch the climbing bug?
Roger Ramires: I always enjoyed extreme sports and the outdoors. I started rock climbing as part of my training to climb Mt. Everest, which actually never happened. But I was immediately hooked and haven’t stopped! Rock climbing fulfills me so much physically and mentally that I want to encourage others to feel what I feel.
AIO: Does climbing still excite you? Why?
RR: Yes! I like that there’s always a new challenge ahead in rock climbing – a more advanced route, a type of rock you haven’t climbed yet, a higher mountain or some location you haven’t visited. The excitement never ends!
AIO: Tell us about the first time you went climbing. What emotions did you feel?
RR: The first emotion that comes to mind is usually self-doubt or fear. When you’re staring at your challenge and see how tall the wall is from the ground, it’s easy to focus on how difficult the obstacles first appear. But, with the proper guidance and teaching, you find out you’re more than capable of overcoming those obstacles one step at a time, and that’s always a good feeling. You also start to trust yourself, your guide and your equipment a lot more during the process.
There are really no words to describe the accomplishment and sense of fulfillment you get when you reach the top of a rock that you climbed by yourself. The view is certainly always better when you have to work for it too.
AIO: What advice do you have for someone who wants to try rock climbing for the first time?
RR: Definitely seek certified professionals. Go with someone who can ensure your safety so you can focus on the climb. And, of course, be careful, it’s so fun it’s addicting! But it’s also dangerous.
AIO: How about someone worried they’ll freak out in the middle of a climb? What advice do you have for them?
RR: I’d tell them to relax and focus on one step at a time. If you are top-roping, which is what I provide, you can quickly stop, rest or lower yourself at any time. Also, don’t go all the way up if you’re not ready or don’t want to.
AIO: Is rock climbing for everyone?
RR: Yes. If you can climb a ladder, you can climb a rock. But you’ll need proper guidance, gear and training to stay safe. A very famous climber was once asked by a reporter when he started climbing and he responded with, “When did you stop?” I tell you this because I believe human bodies are made to climb. We just need to find our balance and develop technique.
AIO: Alright, last question. Why become a guide for Adventure IO? What excites you about the opportunity?
RR: I became a guide because I wanted to be part of the cool trend Adventure IO started. I think it’s about time someone made an app that lets you enjoy outdoor experiences with the best guides in different areas of the action sports world.