Hi, I'm Tom Wells! I'm 75 years young and a retired college professor. I spent 40 years working as teacher and scientist.
How did you start climbing?
Believe it or not, I'm a self-taught climber. I found my inspiration from 'Freedom of the Hills' and Royal Robbins’ Rock Climbing books then took the lessons learned and started going on my own adventures.
Unfortuntately, life took me away from climbing in the mid-eighties. However, I rekindled my passion and came back due to Covid closing the gyms where I coached and Crystal Mountain where I ski. I built a wall on my barn and rebuilt my kit which has only a few remnants left over from 35 years ago.
What impact has climbing had on your life?
Climbing has taken me to many fun places in the US (South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, California, Alaska, and now Washington and Oregon) both for rock and ice climbing with a little mountaineering. I probably would have never discovered many of these hidden gems if it weren't for climbing.
Over the years, I have taught many students to rock climb. And, most importantly, I have become a member of the wonderful climbing community!
What are some other things you do that you find most fulfilling?
I also ski, coach volleyball, CrossFit, am an avid reader, and make videos! I post some of my videos to YouTube which you can check out here and have recently gotten into creating short form content for Instagram.
And of course, I enjoy spending time with my four adult children and 7 grandkids!
If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
"Remember that whether in climbing or life, we are all just dancing with our inadequacies!"
They are not my words, but this quote has always resonated with me.
Favorite thing about Dynamite Starfish?
I love the fun climbing/outdoor designs of Dynamite Starfish’s shirts. I have zillions of tees from running, XFit, volleyball, and climbing. While I don’t really need anymore, Dynamite Starfish will definitely be added to that collection!
Is there something you're working on that you'd like to tell our community about? We love a good story.
I'm currently working on a multimedia project — writing and video — that shows a history of my life for my kids. It’s funny how many things adult children don’t know about their parents, so I intend to share how I got to where I am with them.
Want to get to know more of the climbers in the amazing Dynamite Starfish community? Check out our archive of Climber Stories here.
We hope you have enjoyed these sneak peeks into climbers' lives. We're on a mission to share diverse stories about rock climbing. Let's push the boundaries of who we know as climbers. Let's use our energy and passion for the outdoors to love our environment and inspire one another.