All posts by Marcus Garcia


Marcus Garcia


Durango, CO

Motivation to Climb

Climbing really helps me escape from my “daily life challenges” for a moment of relief. It recharges my soul and body. Also, I find tons of satisfaction when one of my climbing students obtains their goals as a climber.

Most Memorable Climb

In 1997, my climbing partner/mentor and I started up the Shield on El Capitan. We were heading up to do the first clean ascent, and it was my third big wall on El Cap. We planned on 5 days, but 3 days into the climbing, my partner took a 70' fall below me and ripped every piece of gear all the way to the belay station. This ended our clean ascent attempt, and then it was just about getting up the remaining pitches. Day 5 we were hit by a huge El Nino storm that left us stranded in our portaledge for 3 days encased in ice and low on food and water. After many other challenges we finally made the summit after 10 days on the wall. But the climb was not over - other challenges on the decent added to our epic ascent. Now still after 17 years and many big walls, first ascents and other climbing adventures, this epic ascent still stands as the most memorable climbing experience I’ve had. It me the true meaning of perseverance and what a climbing partnership is about. During that climb my climbing partner and I made a pact that if anything ever happened to one or the other that we would bring them home. Well, in 2006, I kept my promise and had to bring my long time climbing partner home after a fatal fall in Mexico. I was not on the trip but dropped everything to bring him home.

Favorite Climbing Spot

I love going to the Black Canyon, the desert areas of the southwest, and my true local crags in Durango. I always look forward to getting to the west coast to climb the big granite walls of the sierras.


I Started Climbing at the age of 13 on a small rock outcrop outside of Fort Worth, Texas. I was quickly drawn to the mental and physical demands it had on me. I was also heavily involved in School athletics, and when I heard about climbing competitions, I was immediately drawn to them. To me climbing is about the bonds and friendship, the traveling to face new adventures, and the challenge within yourself. After my second year of playing college soccer, I realized it wasn’t my passion. Then the school I played for pulled its soccer program and I found myself out of school, so I loaded up my truck and started traveling to new climbing areas. Years later, after 20 + years of climbing, I have found myself at home in Durango, CO, where I am youth climbing coach, personal climbing trainer, owner of The Rock Lounge Climbing Gym, husband, father and still a competitive climber. I enjoy teaching others what climbing can really give to a single person or to a whole family. Climbing is a lifelong adventure that can be shared with others for years.

[full bio]


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