Questions by John Streit. Answers by Ethan Micele & Evan Micele. Photos courtesy of the Micele family. Regular viewers of this website already know that Evan Micele is one of Virginia Beach’s most talented surfers. What they may not know is that his 14-year-old brother Ethan is also quickly ascending the ranks in the world of rock climbing. Evan and Ethan have a healthy, brotherly competition brewing in the scaling of vertical landscapes. We caught up with the bros for more insight into their recent climbs at the legendary New River Gorge in West Virginia and their rock climbing hustle. Evan Micele. Evan Micele. Ethan Micele. Ethan Micele. Evan Micele. Ethan Micele. Evan Micele. Ethan Micele. Ethan Micele. Ethan Micele. Ethan Micele. Ethan Micele. Evan Micele. S&A: Who got into rock climbing first? Evan: Actually, we both started climbing before we could remember. My parents started climbing right after Ethan was born, and we spent a lot of time as mini groms running around the Virginia Beach Rock Gym, where my dad worked at the time. That made climbing a natural passion; although we took a long break from climbing, when we started again it just stuck. S&A: Ethan, what is it about rock climbing that made you become so passionate about it? Ethan: I was addicted from the moment I started climbing. I love figuring out new problems and routes, and the feeling when I finally finish a problem I’ve been working on in the gym. As for outdoor climbing, it’s a similar feeling to the surf stoke my brother is always talking about. When you’re in the middle of a climb and you’re completely focused on making the next move or clipping the next bolt, it’s a state of mind that is euphoric and brings me to a level of focus that’s exciting. S&A: Evan: How good climbing is for surf cross training? Evan: Climbing is amazing cross training for my surfing — it has helped out my balance, and some of the leg and core stregnth I was missing before has added power to my turns. Of course, it also has built my shoulders, lats and back muscles, improving paddle power. S&A: Ethan: When did you begin to take big leaps forward in your skill? What was it that began to “click” for you? Ethan: As soon as I got back on the wall, I climbed almost every day. The time I spent as a little kid climbing seemed to reach through to my modern competitive edge, because I always seam to naturally have good beta (technique) thanks to help from many mentors and experienced climbers. It just kind of happened with a lot of strength training — it came very naturally. S&A: How much does sibling rivalry play into your climbing? I bet you guys really push each other out there! Evan: My brother is an amazing climber and it definitely pushes me to try harder, like when he does something in five minutes I’ve been trying to do for an hour. There have been a few times where I’ll climb a route, then Chief climbs it without feet, then I’ll climb it without feet and try to skip a hold or something. At the crag this weekend at New River Gorge, Chief was projecting on Psycho Wrangler — he made it to the fifth bolt. When I attempted it, I had to make the sixth bolt, which I did and may or may not have looked down at him, pointed and laughed! All kidding aside, he usually does climb better than me. Ethan: I like beating Evan S&A: Tell us about your most recent experiences at the famed New River Gorge. Evan: Both of us attempted a project 5.12a route, although the day before that Ethan pushed himself to climb seven 5.11 climbs in one day! S&A: Ethan, tell us about your future ambitions in the sport. Ethan: After competing in the competitive circuit this year and doing really well, I would like to push myself to make Nationals this year, as well as eventually pushing grades in the 5.13-5.14 level and possibly pursue a pro career one day. S&A: Evan, do you think you’ll continue to pursue climbing even as your surfing career advances? Ethan: Many places where there is good surf, there are also good climbs. It’s a fun way to pass the time while it’s flat, although I don’t ever plan on climbing 5.14 — that’s extremely tough! I enjoy getting stronger and pushing Chief. ive been enjoying trad climbing (climbing on protection placed in cracks ) although im just beginning its a different state of mind and i find it a good balance, so yes i plan on continuing my climbing for as long as i can S&A: Where have you climbed and where was been your favorite place yet? Evan: I’ve climbed in Noosa, Australia, Malibu Creek, Joshua Tree, Mission Gorge, and New River Gorge. My favorite place is either Malibu Creek or overhanging parts of the New River Gorge because I enjoy powerful, dynamic climbs. Ethan: Mission Gorge, Joshua Tree, Malibu Creek and New River Gorge. New River Gorge is my favorite place I’ve climbed. I enjoy long inverts that take endurance and power and well as technique. S&A: Whats the scariest and the most memorable climb you’ve ever been on? Ethan: The scariest climb I’ve ever been on was Dark Times — 5.11b — it was big moves on bad holds and the run out between bolts made the falls bigger and scarier. The most memorable climb I’ve ever done was the first time I went to Joshua Tree. The second time, Evan came and we got to be part of the first ascent party of a freshly bolted 5.7 slab named Sand Donkey. Evan: My scariest climb was probably a climb a did at Joshua Tree where half the bolts where chopped. forcing me to climb a 40-foot run out with no bolts — a mistake meant a guarenteed ground fall. The most memorable would probably be Psycho Wrangler this past weekend at the New River Gorge. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.