Partner/Youth & Group Coordinator
Carrie grew up the 5th of 6 children in Massachusetts. She loved spending time on the RI coast, jumping rocks on jetties in Maine and hiking the woods of NH but the only time she ever climbed anything was to keep up with her younger sister and under great duress. After high school Carrie studied business at RPI in Troy, NY. where a sorority sister set her up on a blind date that she wasn’t really interested in being successful.
Alexis grew up the youngest of four just north of NYC. As a youth he attended then began working at a boy scout camp in upstate New York. Through people he met in scouting Alexis began climbing at the Gunks in upstate NY. In college Alexis’ love of climbing as well as cycling grew on frequent trips with fraternity brothers. He was in his junior year at RPI when he agreed to go to a sorority semi-formal with a friend of a friend at the college club where he worked. Alexis hedged his bets by not taking the night off.
The Roccos’ and Vertical Adventures
The blind date was successful and Carrie and Alexis began dating in January of 1989. The two moved to New Jersey and began their family in 1991 with the birth of Nik. Carrie quickly realized if she was ever going to see Alexis on the weekends, she should figure out what this rock-climbing thing was all about. On Labor Day weekend of 1991, with 5 week-old Nik in tow, the couple took the first of many climbing trips to the Gunks, New River and the Red. When Alexis was moved to Ohio by his company in 1992 they realized this flat state had quite a climbing community and began considering opening a climbing gym. In February 1993 the decision was made to take on Howard Bernstein as a partner and open Columbus’ first full-service, commercial climbing gym. Over the last 21 years Carrie and Alexis have raised Nik and Tina as well as countless climbers who are now scattered throughout the country and world. Many of whom keep in touch and consider Vertical Adventures to be their climbing home.
Mardi Roberts’ life has been one big adventure. Her father was an officer in the US Army; she travelled and lived in more states and countries by the age of 10 than most do in a lifetime. She was an avid equestrian until college, training and competing in the US and Europe. Mardi has climbed since 2008, when she first tried rock climbing on family vacation in Estes Park. As Administrative Ninja, Mardi keeps the balls in the air at Vertical Adventures, from writing the business plan to purchasing to keeping the books. But if you ask Mardi what her greatest adventure has been, she’ll tell you that its her career as Chief Cat Herder and Domestic Engineer for her husband and four children.
Matt is the Evil Overlord of Team Vertical, as well as a partner at VA. Matt is an Associate Professor in the Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics Department at OSU, where he specializes in grain and biofuels economics. As of 2014, Matt is also the Treasurer of USAClimbing, that national governing body for competitive climbing. He has been climbing since 2008, and has been head coach of Team Vertical since 2011. His goal is to climb hard enough that the model of shoes he’s wearing matters. Matt lives in Worthington, OH with Mardi and four kids.