Wednesday, February 6, 2013
As the figurative “membership gatekeeper”, I tend to remember the names of a majority of Aiguille’s members, but most of the time only because of the paperwork and not by the person. One day, an email popped in my inbox titled, “Climbing in Puerto Rico” from Sabrina Torres and her brother Alex, (who I had recognized from the occasional check in), describing their recent experiences on a trip and providing links, information, and even a guidebook for the amazing areas they climbed at. Being one that loves to hear about other people’s adventures and be impressed with the illuminating information, I felt that Alex and Sabrina were the perfect members to be featured on this month’s Meet... article.
Central Florida natives and currently living in Winter Springs, Alex and Sabrina’s first days at Aiguille occurred when they were younger after attending a birthday party. At the time, soccer was the main sport in their lives, but after a trip to Puerto Rico in the beginning of 2012, their interests shifted. The adventure tour featured hiking, zip lining, and even climbing a waterfall. “When we got home, the first thing we did was go to Aiguille. We climbed for a day and were immediately hooked.” Since this experience, climbing became an important part of their lives. Over the past year, Alex and Sabrina have joined the Aiguille family as members and have begun to explore climbing all over the globe in locations such as Bayamón, PR, Pointe Dume in Malibu, CA, and even our local beachside crag in Jupiter, FL. The experiences and memories from these travels have surely impacted them and their climbing: “When we were at Point Dume in Malibu, we had only been climbing for about two months. There was a guy free soloing and he motivated us to climb harder. In Puerto Rico, we met a group of locals and they invited us to go climbing with them on the other side of the island the next day. That was really cool because the rock was on the beach and it was very slanted. We like to climb in Bayamón, PR because there are so many routes to climb (130+) in the park. There are little caves and different types of holds everywhere.”
When I think of brothers and sisters, I imagine intense sibling rivalry and constant bickering. Perhaps that’s why I am an only child, because with Alex and Sabrina, there is only motivation and support as climbing partners. “Climbing together helps us push ourselves,” Sabrina explains. “Alex is better at bouldering, and I am better at top-rope, so we challenge each other a lot.” Donning their favorite brand, La Sportiva, and more specifically Solutions, the pair balance their homework and studying by visiting Aiguille at least four times a week. “We both rely on technique to complete problems and routes. We warm up by doing easier problems then trying harder problems. We do the same with top-roping, warming up, then progressing to the harder routes.” While the two differ in their preferred type of climbing, this may soon change as Alex and Sabrina plan to take Aiguille’s lead climbing class next month.
The two of them aren’t the only ones that live for adventure; it runs in the family. “Our family likes to travel a lot. So far, 13 countries and six states.” Included in those travels are some of their dream places to climb. They have been to Crete in Greece and Arco di Trento in Italy, but while the opportunity was there, Alex and Sabrina were unfortunately not climbers at the time. But there is no doubt in my mind that with a family that “loves it, supports it and encourages us”, there is no limit to where they can go. Apart from these future destinations, the duo has begun to set their future goals in climbing. Alex is working on climbing 5.12 and V7/8 by the end of the year and is concentrating on improving his top roping technique while Sabrina looks forward to competing in this year’s SCS competitions for fun and would eventually want to climb a 5.13 and a V5.
Beyond being strong and upcoming climbers, these kids have a great head on their shoulders. Both Alex and Sabrina are enrolled at Seminole High School’s IB program. Alex is currently studying neuroscience and has recently placed 4th in the state neuroscience competition. In the future, Alex wants to become a neuroscientist and research Alzheimer’s disease. Sabrina does community service, helping homeless teens and their families. Recently, through DoSomething.org, Sabrina won a trip to Malibu because of her excellent service. Both are also talented in music, playing the piano, guitar, alto saxophone, and other Latin instruments. When not hitting the books or scaling the walls, Alex and Sabrina also like going to the beach, Winter Park, and grabbing a bite at Señor Tequila Mexican Restaurant.
While juggling school and their climbing, Alex and Sabrina actively visit climbing.ilooove.it, a website dedicated to climbers who want to share their passions, discover new spots, and make new friends all while getting in pired. “We like going on climbing.ilooove.it to see different places around the world where people have cl mbed.” With a future lined with only success and adventure, and in the short term, new experiences while lead climbing, Alex and Sabrina are not only impressive young adults, but valued members of Aiguille, setting great examples of friendliness, helpfulness, great belaying and cooperation. So next time you see them around the gym, or maybe need a little information for your next excursion to Puerto Rico, say hi and share the wall with them!
at 7:47 PM