Monday, February 6, 2012
By Aubrey Wingo
If you are a frequent visitor of Aiguille Rock Climbing Center, I’m sure that you’ve seen one of the following: a very tall gentleman rocking the best mustache you have ever seen in his Bob Marley/Lion t-shirt, a woman who was every woman’s role model scaling 5.10s even when she was pregnant, two children scaling the walls with ease, and the third child twirling around or sitting in a rope bag. Who might these people be? The Crimp Chronicles would like you to be meet the Engleharts…
Leigh and Deidre Englehart will be celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this year reflecting on a long life together with their children, Rebecca, Ian and Caera and also representing nearly three decades of climbing history. Leigh began climbing with Outward Bounds in North Carolina, an organization that offers wilderness adventures and training for outdoor skills for young adults. Most of his climbing began at Table Rock, a mountain in the east rim of Linville Gorge in North Carolina, with hip belays and one inch swami belays as his form of protection. Leigh introduced his to-be-wife Deidre to rock climbing in the late 1980’s at Pickens Nose in North Carolina, considered one of the most outstanding peaks in the southern Appalachians. While they have climbed in many locations, the Carolinas are still the Engleharts’ first choice. Always climbing together, Leigh still prefers trad while Deidre prefers top rope. When asked what methods of training they use in their climbing, Deidre said she does “what Leigh tells me to do if I like his advice.”
In 1998, they had their first child, Rebecca, and Ian wasn’t far behind. Together they were both destined to be rock climbers just like their parents. They both started climbing around 2005 and haven’t stopped since. Rebecca climbs frequently at Aiguille but pretty much enjoys anywhere that there is climbing, especially top rope. Ian is currently a member of Team Aiguille’s competitive climbing team, and even placed 6th in the Male Youth C category at Aiguille’s ABS 13 bouldering competition. For Ian, climbing was all about the “adrenaline” and “getting over the fear of heights”. But his favorite type of climbing is still bouldering, especially at Horse Pens 40 in the Mortal Kombat area. Last but not least, I’m sure you’ve seen Caera, who has been climbing the Engleharts’ walls for about 5-7 months. Her favorite place to climb is in the hallway, and into her daddy’s rope bag for a ride from the car to the lead room. There is no doubt that she looks up to her big brother and sister and will be a rock climber in no time!
While not climbing, Leigh makes his living as an electrician with his own company and build fishing rods in his spare time and Deidre works for the University of Central Florida in the College of Education and is constantly doing yoga. She specializes in childhood education, even publishing her own books! While not in school or climbing, Rebecca enjoys dance and Ian enjoys woodworking, surfing, and skateboarding.
The Engleharts are a wonderful part of the Aiguille family, participating and volunteering in many of our local competitions and providing an overall warm presence in their climbing. You can definitely see how the family bond improves an individual’s climbing. Introduce yourself one day and continue reading the Crimp Chronicles to learn about more amazing members here at Aiguille Rock Climbing Center!
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