Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Meet... The Team

By Kayla Baker

Today is the day we reveal the mystery behind the writers of the Aiguille Newsletter. No more pondering over who these magnificent creatures really are. It’s time to shine the light on the faces behind the articles…that’s right, it’s your very own Aiguille Newsletter Team!

We all know Aubrey Wingo as the Aiguille Photographer, but the Monthly Newsletter would not be the same without our famous Member Bios, and to make these possible, Aubrey puts her heart and amazing writing into each and every one of them. Every month, she develops a new member biography featuring different climbers of the Aiguille community. “We have so many fascinating people at Aiguille, in climbing and in life. Sometimes the people are aspiring to do something, or do charitable events that need promotion, or maybe they have had an incredible adventure: It brings to light the people that deserve to be read about and celebrated.”

Aubrey has been climbing for 5 years and in her outdoor climbing experiences, her favorite place to climb is the Red River Gorge in Kentucky for sport climbing. “Even though I haven’t been enough to really experience it, it was one of the most gorgeous and jaw dropping places I have ever seen.” One of her best memories, though, was sending Tristar at LRC. “I’ve never worked a problem as much as I worked that. I tried in like 50 times and sent it right as the sun was about to go down!”

Aubrey graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from Florida State University. She plans to attempt Graduate School some day, but is content for now. “I would love to work in any photography field, but one that keeps me active and moving, whether it be climbing photography or not. I want to dabble in product photography [too].” Outside of work, she spends time developing her photography and art career through freelance and creativity, and hopes to create her own Etsy shop one day. In her spare time she likes to play disc golf, hang out at the beach, and spend time with friends.

Aubrey’s love for writing connects with her love for photography. Not only does she take eye-catching photos of the climbing community and all of its events, but she also writes about the climbing culture that surrounds it. “You write about what you are passionate about and I am extremely passionate about climbing.” Aubrey will also be starting a new line of articles on Climbing Ethics and related topics to “keep everyone in line!” So keep your eye out for those articles!

Now where would we be without Aiguille’s monthly gear review? Pretty much nowhere, that’s where. Lauren Day’s Gear Geek is exactly what it sounds like: A nerd’s love for all things mechanical and technical, how they work, and why. She gathers up as much information as she can about every month’s selected piece of gear in order to help fellow climbers and outdoor enthusiasts learn about great, new gear to fit their needs. “Being newer to the sport, I was lucky to have co-workers to steer me in the direction of great gear. Some new climbers aren't as lucky, and that's what the column is all about. It is also a good look at new gear for those experienced climbers as well.”

When Lauren is not working, she loves being outside as much as she can! “Anything and everything outside makes me smile.” She plans to move out of Florida one day, either somewhere out west or to North Carolina. Her favorite food of all time is bacon and you can often find her jamming out to some good ol’ country music.

She just finished attending Valencia College for Architecture and plans to transfer next semester to obtain her Bachelor’s and then MIT for her Master’s. After that, she plans to return to school to earn a degree in Outdoor Education. “I would like to eventually start my own outdoor apparel brand and wilderness guiding company after I retire from architecture.”

Lauren believes that writing is a way to continue good communication that may be lost in some areas. Gear Geek is a way for her to bring back the passion for reading and knowledge that people used to have a long time ago. “If writing is lost, then so is reading. Plus it's really fun getting to learn all the ins and outs of the gear I research for my articles.” Make sure to let Lauren know if there is a piece of gear you would like to see in the next Gear Geek!!

Guillermo Carlos Martinez Casanova…Guillermo Carlos Martinez Casanova… Try saying that 10 times fast! Guillermo (also known as “G-Mo”) is Aiguille’s Graphic Designer as well as writer of the column: Volumes. Every month, Guillermo presents a new music playlist to the audience in order to “give local talent much deserved light by bringing it to fellow Floridians, with the goal of strengthening connections in the community and making you aware Florida is booming with activity.”

Guillermo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and his main climbing passion is with bouldering. His favorite place to climb, second place to Rocktown, is Aiguille! He described his last trip to Rocktown as “one crazy and beautiful adventure,” but his heart still lies within the climbing walls of his home gym. When he is not climbing, Guillermo has a very extensive list of hobbies he takes part in. Not only is he utterly devoted to finding and listening to new music and art, but he reads books of all kinds, including design, art, fashion, society and culture. “I have a passion for creating digital art collages with Photoshop and paper collages on canvas and wood.” With a recently earned A.A. Degree with a focus in Graphic Design and Digital Media, Guillermo is planning on running his own design studio one day, as well as continuing his work now, creating posters for shows in the Orlando area and working on live visuals for bands and electronic acts. He also has big goals and dreams for SETTER (a route setting and logging application for climbers) and hopes to see the completion of this project soon!

Guillermo is one of those people that you meet and never forget what they stand for. He believes in his community so much and never misses an opportunity to spread the word about the creativity that surrounds us. “When I was in high school, I thought this place had no hope and my eyes were set on California or New York…but as soon as I got out and met certain people, my hopes were lifted as I realized the potential for greatness that this place has. I plan on staying here and helping make this place a haven for art, culture, and fun times. The people at Tiny Waves, The Dropp, and Relief in Abstract have been doing some really cool things in the area. I truly believe Orlando/Winter Park can be the next L.A.”

Make sure to check out Guillermo’s work at www.guillermo-casanova.com.

Ryann Lugo is an interesting human being… and interesting human beings usually go to interesting places… so what better for Ryann to write about than these places she goes to!? “The articles that I’ve written in the past have been about major events in the gym. Because I want to focus on community and encouraging people to get involved, I try to make them somewhat interactive by incorporating interviews.”

Now, Ryann has started her new column in which she reports on unique places that people may not know that much about yet. “With the influence of this same communal mindset, the new column, "Hang Outs,” is about finding really cool things to do in Orlando, and the surrounding areas, that may be overlooked or most people are too afraid to try. So my job is to try it first, write about my experience, and hopefully encourage readers to explore these places and meet new people.”

As far as climbing goes, Ryann has not had the chance to go on many outdoor trips, but there was one in particular that she remembers very well. McConnells Mills State Park in Pennsylvania was the site of Ryann’s first outdoor bouldering adventure. “I didn’t have a crash pad and there were big rocks sticking up from the ground below. Looking back, I realize that it may not have been the smartest thing to do.” At least no one can say this girl isn’t daring!

Ryann will be graduating in December of 2012 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English. She plans to write short stories and scripts, which are some of her favorite types of writing, along with poetry. “I’m excited to have more time to get involved in film-making!” She plans to move to Pennsylvania sometime after she graduates. Her favorite food is sushi and she loves Pulp Fiction. Besides watching Manga and cat videos, Ryann is very involved in Kung Fu! Don’t be fooled by her charm and friendly personality, this girl can KUNG FU FIGHT!

Kayla Baker was born in Clearwater, FL and moved to Orlando about three years ago. As Newsletter Coordinator, Kayla tries to write about more broad subjects instead of a column of her own. She writes about topics ranging from outdoor climbing trips to climbing and Aiguille news. She believes it is important to share climbing experiences with fellow climbers because it gives newer climbers an insight to what these trips are about, and it gives experienced climbers a story they can relate to.

Kayla tries to climb at least three times a week, preferring bouldering. Her favorite spot to climb is Rumbling Bald, North Carolina. “It is so beautiful and peaceful there, and the people you meet from Asheville are so sweet.” Horse Pens and Little Rock City are also a couple favorites. She also has a lot of fun visiting other gyms!

Outside of climbing, Kayla is an avid runner and it is a huge passion of hers. Mountain biking comes in close behind running, as well as working out and climbing of course. Anything outdoors will capture Kayla’s interest, even if it is just opening up a good book at the park. Kayla has also been playing piano for years and continues to play regularly. As far as school is concerned, Kayla plans to finish her Bachelor’s degree in Fall 2013 and continue her education to obtain her PhD in Nutrition outside of Florida. She has yet to decide where she will move to after her Bachelor’s, but wherever it is, it will be “somewhere breathtaking.”

Kreg Dobzinksi, born in East Hamden, Connecticut, is a man with profound knowledge of the human body and an inability to feel pain. He is also the columnist of Misplaced Muscle, informing climbers and athletes everywhere of injury prevention and training through different workouts. “Compared to other mainstream athletic activities, climbing is lacking in specific sports science. I attempt to sift through the various training and injury information out there in order to unearth a potentially vital piece of advice to the average or ailing climber.”

Kreg’s motto is to “climb until it hurts.” His favorite spot to climb lies in Rumbling Bald, North Carolina. In fact, North Carolina would be his ideal place to move to one day. Though Rumbling Bald is where Kreg’s heart resides, his most memorable climb took place in Boone at a Hounds Ears competition…

“A high problem named Heretic that climbs like a gym route – perfect 55 degree overhang with a flake dyno and huge moves ending in a committing heel rock over the top to finish it off. One of the most vivid memories is when I was hanging from the lip - thinking myself totally spent - and debating whether to bail. I looked down and saw there was more than a body length of free air between the finger-tips of a sea of spotters and the bottom of my feet. I remember the actual moment of making the decision to top out. Swung my heel up and flopped on top. Felt like I was going to pee my pants and really wouldn't have cared much if I did. I was pysched.”

Besides climbing, Kreg loves to read and draw, mountain bike, cook, and (of course) eat! His favorite foods, in fact, are Vietnamese and Tex-Mex. Along with Kreg’s charismatic personality, he is also a friendly face to recognize at the gym. Along with writing his Misplaced Muscle column, you can also find him teaching monthly Technique Classes, where he makes climbers of all levels feel very comfortable learning new climbing skills. Never hesitate to bombard this guy with questions about your training.

Climbers, make sure you subscribe to Aiguille’s Newsletter so that you can read these awesome articles by none other than your Newsletter Team! You can subscribe on our Facebook or here on the blog with the form on the right.

Also, be sure to let Kayla know if you would like to suggest a topic for an article at kayla_baker@knights.ucf.edu.
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