It’s not every day that you meet a climber who can effortlessly breathe authenticity into rock climbing. A climber of eye-popping ability who doesn’t care about Instagram followers, doesn’t care about grades, who really doesn’t give a simple shit what anyone thinks. Hunter Damiani is one of those guys.
Here in Colorado, Hunter is a known quantity. He’s the artist behind the Spot gym‘s crazy Psychedelia Competition, random logo and commissioned work, and even Access Fund clothing. He is also one of the most passionate first ascent boulderers in the state. He’s put up scores of problems up to V13, both hidden in the backcountry and right out in the open.
Hunter’s journey through climbing, however, is the real trip. After discovering the sport in Florida around 2000 he mentored under rowdy southern climber, Chris Sierzant. Along the way he won comps, blew up his face with homemade explosives, and honed a passion for the sport well outside the bounds of grades and corporate dogma.
And then he left the sport. Moved into a cabin in the woods with no money, no internet, no car. Six years he spent away from the sport. When he came back he was a new man, centered after years of partying and letting it rip and graduating from college. Years in a cabin with books and wilderness and a library card had allowed him to find himself, hone his beliefs, and set the stage for a new era in his climbing career.
Climbing harder than ever and with a gaggle of sponsors, today Hunter splits his time between routesetting, climbing, writing a new Front Range bouldering guidebook, and refining his artwork. And, might I add, telling some wild stories on this very podcast.
Have a story or essay you’d like to share on Thundercling? Wanna chat? Come on, we’re lonely. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us @thethundercling on the Gram. We’ll get back to you…like I said…we’re so lonely.
Cheers as always to the effervescent Ryne Doughty for the rad tunes.