2020 Officers and Board members
Kris Fiore – President
Kris is entering his fourth year with CRAG-VT after serving two years as Vice President. A rare breed of climber, Kris hardly feels the need to leave the Green Mountain State to climb and spends most of his time weeding out new cracks and hammering in bolts in search of new first ascents. Kris is also an AMGA-certified Single Pitch Instructor. Aside from climbing, he coaches high school ultimate at Colchester High School and is the Director of a youth summer camp in the Adirondacks. You will most likely find him and his trusty 50-pound climbing partner, Knuckles wandering inthe woods up at Bone Mountain, come say hello some time and he’ll try to convince you it’s, “well worth the hour and a half stroll up to the cliff.”
Mischa Tourin – Vice President
Mischa found his love for climbing 20 years ago when the Burlington Rock Gym opened in Essex and his father took him to climb Thin Air on Cathedral Ledge. Since then, Mischa has pursued a career in outdoor education and continued to climb in Vermont, out West and around the world. Mischa is certified as a AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, a Wilderness First Responder and a NOLS Outdoor Educator. When he’s not climbing, Mischa guides at-risk youth through social and emotional struggles as the Outdoor Program Director at an alternative high school. Mischa’s favorite climbing memories include learning trad in Red Rock Canyon, traversing granite alpine ridges in the Wind River Range, hand jamming in Indian Creek, projecting routes in Catalunya, Spain, and exploring alongside the wonderful community of climbers in Vermont.
Andrea Charest – Treasurer
Andrea is Petra Cliffs’ Co- Owner and Jill of all trades. Andrea began working for Petra Cliffs in 2002 as a birthday party facilitator, and has moved through each and every position along the way to proprietorship. Andrea is committed to providing a high quality climbing center and offering its visitors, members and employees a positive environment and valuable education. She gets outside as much as possible as a rock and ice climbing and backcountry ski guide, and when she’s not working… she is climbing or skiing.
Rob Flemming – Secretary
As talented of a Secretary as Rob is, he is far less adept at sending the webmasters of this site his biography, so we decided to just wing it. We would love to tell you more about Rob but he seems to be an elusive character who spends his time chewing granola at the climbing gym while cursing at the younger generations of climbers who can hangboard longer than he can and stroking his beard intimidatingly. When he gives us his bio, you’ll know more about our Secretary, but if he sends rock like he sends bios, don’t trust him anywhere near you. He probably topropes 5.4 with crampons while pulling on trees and complaining about his nagging back strain. Cheers.
Dana Carpenter – Member at large
A Vermont native, born and raised in the foothills of Smugglers Notch. It was there that I learned to practice sorcery, gaining the ability to craft anything imaginable, using wood, metal, stone, fabric and glass. In the Rock world I enjoy trad, sport or bouldering. My bucket list is large but I have managed to tick off routes all over Vermont as well as New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Virginia, Tennessee, Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Bucket list aside, finding new areas and opening new dirty, wet, corners and cracks are what I SEEM to be most passionate about. Those are my happy places. In the winter I love sending it into the VT backcountry in search of chest deep powder fields with GMR films. exploring the wilderness with a shutter-box in my hand. Or riding with friends and family at Smuggs.
Pete Clark – Member at large
Pete Clark has been a climber in the Northeast for nearly two decades and has been involved with local climbing advocacy for about as long, having served on the board of directors for other organizations such as the Western Mass Climbers Coalition. He is a PhD candidate in natural resources and is one of only a handful of scientists who have studied cliffside ecology. Check out his semi recent paper titled The effects of rock climbing on cliff‐face vegetation. Seemingly in contrast to this, he enjoys doing first ascents and has done a few throughout Vermont and the Northeast. His dog is also named Peaty (like the moss, and the human).
Steve Charest – Member at large
Steve is Petra Cliffs’ co-owner, Program Director and Head Guide. He has been professionally guiding rock, ice, mountaineering, and ski mountaineering programs since 2001. Steve has a degree in Outdoor Education from Johnson State College and completed a NOLS Outdoor Educators Course for Mountaineering & Rock to kickstart his career as a mountain guide and educator. Steve is involved with the following organizations: IFMGA Aspirant (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations), AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association)
Tim Farr – Member at Large
Tim has been passionate about the outdoors his entire life. He is currently certified as an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor and has successfully completed the AMGA Rock Guide and Ice Guide Courses. He is also certified as a Level 3 ACA Coastal Kayak Instructor. Certified as a New York state licensed Rock and Ice Guide, he is a Leave No Trace Master Educator, Wilderness First Responder and Association for Challenge Course Technology Level 1 Practitioner. He has been certified as a Swift Water Rescue Technician and has completed a level 2 American Avalanche Association course. Tim has led trips and expeditions across the country including in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Maine, and Vermont.
Keese Lain – Member at Large
Keese (keys) grew up in Westford, Vermont, and has hazy members of being tied into a Swiss seat at the Colchester wall long, long ago. Over the years he has benefitted greatly from the hard work of many LCOs across the US and Europe and is excited to be able to help give back to the Vermont climbing community that has given him so much. He spends most of his free time enjoying the multi-season joy of Smugglers’ Notch.
Seth Maciejowski – Member at Large
Seth Maciejowski is a Vermont native who has been rock and ice climbing in New England and around the world for over 20 years. He has a penchant for exploring the ugly, dirty and loose on both rock and ice. Over the years he has served CRAG-VT as secretary and president. In his non-climbing life, Seth serves as a electrical design engineer for Allearth Renewables and hikes and bikes with his wife Allaire and two kids, Phoebe and Ephraim.
Travis Peckham – Member at Large
A native of the Green Mountain State, Travis Peckham has been exploring northeast climbing for over 25 years. Climbing trips west and abroad have brought him to 15 states, 8 countries on 4 continents, but one of his favorite places to climb has always been right here at home. He has been on the board of CRAG-VT since its inception, serving as president from 2005 to 2010. During this period, CRAG-VT acquired Upper West and the Carcass Crag, and coordinated with the Vermont Land Trust to conserve the 82 Crag. He has a degree in computer science from Boston University which he puts to use at his day job, working for a medical software company. He has a beautiful wife, Nancy, and two terrific children Phoebe and Flynn. When he’s not climbing, he enjoys trail running, mountain biking and snowboarding.
Roderick Russell – Member at Large
A native of New England, Roderick first roped up on a whim, ice climbing on a glacier in Alaska as part of a guided trip. He knew immediately that he needed to make climbing a priority and it has since overtaken his life (despite several “why do I do this?” moments). While he’s enjoyed climbing all over the United States, Roderick’s true love is the gritty, gnarly nature of New England / Northeast adventure climbing, and Vermont in particular has no shortage of adventure. When not finding his way up rock or bushwhacking through the backcountry, Roderick makes his living touring the country as a professional sword swallower and speaking about fear, focus, flow and how to perform your best while at the edge of your comfort zone.
Andrew Schumer – Member at Large
As a native Vermonter, and first-time Crag VT board member, Andrew became hooked on climbing after a friend tricked him into belaying on a dirt-filled crack route. Since that first climbing experience, Andrew learned to climb in the Gunks, and is now often found exploring routes in Smuggler’s Notch. In past lives, Andrew has been known as a PSIA/AASI-certified ski and snowboard instructor at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl, a math major at RPI, an ameteur downhill mountain biker, cattle collector, town clock winder and math teacher at Killington Mountain School. When he’s not playing outside, Andrew teaches math at Montpelier High School.