David Allfrey is a professional climber who had no idea he was considered a professional. A self-diagnosed “climbing bum,” he lives to get outside and play. We caught him in between construction jobs he holds when not climbing. David told us what kind of climbing he likes, why he loves living in Las Vegas and that he’s working hard to get in “alligator-wrestling shape.”
JULBO: Where are you from and how did you start climbing?
DAVID ALLFREY: I’m originally from the Bay Area. I started rock climbing in the Sierra Nevadas when I was a kid. I would climb short multi-pitch routes with my dad, who was a climber. I didn’t climb much in high school, but I came back to the sport when I was in college in Santa Cruz.
J: Where do you live now?
DA: I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. My girlfriend and I were trying to find a good place to live and we chose here. We’ve been here for almost one year now. I actually love it! There is so much great climbing, easy access to it, and I can rock climb all year.
J: How did you turn professional?
DA: I’m a professional? I didn’t know that! I’ve never thought of myself as a professional climber. I just love to climb and started doing it a lot. I worked search and rescue in Yosemite and spent a lot of time in the Tuolumne Meadows. That area has a shorter season, but it’s a perfect excuse to hang in Yosemite in May and October, when the weather isn’t great. It was really my jump-off point to learn more about the sport.
J: Do you have a favorite type of climbing?
DA: I really try to be a well-rounded climber. I love free climbing, which is the core of rock climbing, but big wall climbing can take you to some amazing spots.
J: Do you have a climbing mentor?
DA: I do. There are three guys that really helped me when I first started climbing in college. Right out of the gate, I met a guy named Dave LaWinter, who took me under his wing and we spent the next couple of years climbing together. I also spent a lot of time with Kelly Rich and Scott Lappin. Scott became my climbing partner in Santa Cruz. We would leave on Thursday night, drive four hours to Yosemite, climb Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and then drive home. Those trips really gave me my base skills.
J: What’s the coolest place you’ve climbed?
DA: Probably Patagonia.
J: Next place you’d like to go?
DA: There are always a billion places that I want to go, but I’m really hoping to go to Alaska this spring.
J: What do you do when you’re not climbing?
DA: Well, I’ve been going to school forever. It’s terrible! But I’m trying to finish up a couple of pre-requisites for nursing school. Once I finish that, I’ll apply to programs. I also always work odd jobs and little things here and there. I’m thinking about started a window washing company, but really I’m just a rock-climbing bum.
J: How do you train?
DA: I like to get better at climbing by climbing. That was always my approach, until now. I’ve started to become more aware of the kind of climbing I’m doing. I’m actually working with a woman who is helping me formulate a training program, complete with weights and a schedule. I’ve never done that until now. I’m excited though. I need to get in alligator-wrestling shape!
J: What Julbo glasses do you wear?
DA: I have a pair of the MonteBiancos and that’s what got me addicted! I took those to Patagonia last year and I really love them. But I recently destroyed them and just got a pair of Kaisers, which I also like.
Good luck, David!