Christopher Gibson, AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor – Owner
Chris has been an adventurer and dreamer since childhood, running through the woods and streams in his hometown of Maryland where those memories have forged a lifelong desire to bring those same experiences to the masses. Now as a professional adventurer, Chris is living his dreams as the Owner of the North Texas Outdoor Pursuit Center. One of his famous quotes is “There is a fine line between fantasy and reality, and that is where I live.” Chris is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso where he earned his BS in Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics and went on to earn a Masters in Management from the University of Texas at Dallas, Chris is also a National Outdoor Leadership School graduate of the Wilderness First Responder Program and is currently an American Mountain Guide Association Certified Single Pitch Instructor and is working on the AMGA Certified Rock Instructor Certification in 2014. When he is not out adventuring you can find him at the OPC introducing people to the sport of the outdoors, teaching belay classes, playing seventies rock music, and advocating stewardship for the wild places that we all love.
Jeff Lee, AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor – Wilderness and Climbing Program Director
Jeff has been teaching climbing for many years and works with the Boy Scouts as climbing director in North Texas. At the “OPC” Jeff oversees the day to day operations as well as runs the climbing program. We are excited to have his expertise and teaching skill on board at the OPC.
Nicholas Golden, AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor, USA Climbing Certified Route Setter
Since 2006 Nicholas began setting routes at commercial gyms through out Texas and shortly after got the opportunity to set for a SCS Region Championship. He is well known and sought after for his highly technical and well thought out routes. Nicholas’ experience ranges from being an AMGA certified Single Pitch Instructor to a USA level 1 certified route setter.
Competition Route Setting Experience:
Texas Regional Championship (2007)
SCS Texas/Louisiana Regional Championship (2008)
SCS Division 2 Championship (2009)
ABS 12 Local (2010)
Bear Climb at the University of Baylor (2011)
SCS 2011 Local (2011)
ABS 14 Local (2012)
Dusty Pilgrim- Environmental Programs Director
Dusty is a certified North Texas Chapter Master Naturalist, and an Eagle Scout. He has worked at the Caldwell Zoo and doing paleontology at the Dallas Museum of Natural History. He is currently the official instructor for the City of Carrollton in charge of the Elm Fork Nature Preserve. When he’s not in the field or at the gym he is a gallery artist.
Grant Messina – Climbing Instructor / Outdoor Guide
Grant currently serves as a climbing instructor and outdoor climbing guide for the North Texas Outdoor Pursuit Center. At the OPC you will find him teaching our guests the Basic Orientation course as well as keeping our guests safe while at our facility. As an Outdoor Climbing Guide Grant also conducts Beginner Outdoor Courses at Mineral Wells State Park.
Paxton Droke – Climbing Instructor
Paxton has been climbing for just over two years. His love of athleticism, the outdoors, and adventure drove him into rock climbing. He is glad of the opportunity at NTOPC to combine his teaching skills with his passion for climbing while continuing to learn technical skills he can take outside.
Diane Hermes – Climbing Instructor / Outdoor Guide
Diane Hermes has been drawn to the outdoors ever since she was 5 years old and got teased for playing outside in the dirt with her brother instead of playing with Barbies. Today, she enjoys sailing, camping, and climbing. She has her Silver award in Venturing, Wilderness First Aid Certification and is a BSA certified Climbing Instructor-in-Training. When she’s not at the OPC, you can find her playing piano at her church, driving around town with her friends, or out on an expedition with her Venture Crew.
Avery “Buddy” Gibson – The Guru
Avery is one of those rare kids that still play’s outdoor’s, he would rather be outside in the rain than sitting in front of a TV. He has hiked Eagle Rock Loop in Ouachita National Forest, The Buffalo National River Trail, and all throughout the Ozarks and has been outdoor rock climbing since three years of age. At the North Texas Outdoor Pursuit Center you can usually find him bouldering in the training room, climbing to the top of all the 5.10+ routes and fixing spinners. He is an inspiration to all the kids that come to climb at the OPC.