Meet Our Team

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Libby DeBoalt- Instructor

Libby began climbing at the age of 16, when she was first introduced to outdoor rock climbing through the Hurricane Island Outward Bound program in 2003. A month later she started working at the Boston Rock Gym and has been with the company ever since. In addition to climbing instruction, Libby holds a M.S. in Special Education as well as a B.F.A in Art Education and currently teaches children and teens. Libby has climbed all over New England, and plans to return out west for more climbing and backpacking adventures. In addition to climbing and backpacking trips, Libby enjoys kayaking, snowshoeing and water skiing. 

Daniel Chen- Instructor

A BRG employee since 2010, Dan Chen can be found teaching some of our NU School Technique classes here at the gym. 

Dan has been climbing since 2007. When he isn't on the wall, he is enjoying some delicious food and good whiskey while planning his next climbing adventure. 

Favorite Climbs: Peanut Man (Rumney, NH), Predator (Rumney, NH), Recom-Beast (Cathedral Ledge, NH)

Sherry Lyons- Belayer

Sherry has enjoyed climbing both indoors and outdoors, all inspired by trips with Project Adventure. Sherry has climbed at Arcadia National Park and locally at Quincy Quarries and enjoys both locations very much.

When Sherry’s son began climbing in the gym and was looking for a partner, Sherry partnered up with him and began enjoying the variety of routes and challenges within the gym. She has now been climbing indoors since 2012. She favors routes on our slab walls due to the balance it requires, opposed to the brute strength other wall routes may require.

A belayer at the Boston Rock Gym, Sherry enjoys knitting, reading and playing ice hockey when she isn’t handling the ropes for climbers at the gym.

Joyce Merkel- Belayer

Joyce has been a part of the BRG team since 2014 and can be found handling rope management for climbers as a belayer. She began climbing in 2013 and enjoys climbing any route that she can conquer.

When Joyce isn’t assisting climbers here at the gym, she is staying busy by teaching martial arts, practicing karate and spending time with her nephews.

Che Cooper - Director of Marketing

Che was introduced to climbing by Becky (our current Program Director) while she was in college. Her very first time climbing was actually at the BRG and she was instantly hooked, investing in her own gear so she could climb both in- and outside every day. Living just a few miles from Lincoln Woods, Che takes advantage of the ability to  climb outside whenever she can. Che has been climbing for 6+ years now, but became more serious about it in 2010 while working at a climbing gym in Philadelphia.

Outside of climbing, Che enjoys photography, travling, camping and keeping a blog of her adventures.

Favorite Climbs: Panty Prow at Red Rock National Conservation Area in Las Vegas, Nevada and Cafe au Lait, parking lot wall, in Rumney, New Hampshire.

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Mike Hall - Front Desk & Instructor

Mike Hall

Mikey is our all-around guy, who just will not leave.  He first got interested in rock climbing after exploring it with the Boy Scouts and has now been climbing for 20 years.  Outside of climbing, Mikey likes to go backpacking, kayaking, skiing and wake boarding.  With us since 2002, Mikey has worked every position at the gym by now.  These days he helps out on the Front Desk, with belaying and as an instructor.  Mikey is also one of the BRG’s Boy Scout Merit Badge Councilors.

Favorite Climbs: 

  • Sport: Future Shock, Whitehorse Ledge in North Conway
  • Trad: Ethereal Crack, Whitehorse Ledge in North Conway
  • Ice: Dracula, Frankenstein, Crawford Notch 

Travis Anderson - Head Route Setter & Instructor

Travis Anderson

Travis was introduced to rock climbing while in college, when he went on an outing with his dorm floor to the school's own rock wall. After that he was hooked. He has now been climbing for 11+ years and even has the waiver with the date to prove it.  Travis worked for the BRG back in 2004 through 2008 before leaving for Colorado.  Travis came back to the BRG in January 2014 and we are so excited to have him running the walls here.

When not climbing, Travis likes to play music, cooks when he can and dabbles in carpentry.

Favorite Climb: Mosquito Burrito in Boulder Canyon. Mostly because of the name.

Sets under the name: TASPI

Becky Aspell - Program Director

Becky Aspell

Becky Aspell first became interested in climbing when her little sister had her birthday party at Boston Rock Gym in 2001.  The two sisters have been climbing together ever since .  Becky has worked at a few different gyms and ended up at Boston Rock Gym in 2013.  In addition to running most of our programs, Becky has also been known to join the route setters and throw up some routes. Outside of climbing, Becky enjoys freestyle snowboarding, bmx, and metal fabrication.

Favorite Climbs: Waimea at Rumney, NH.

Sets under the name: BA

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Mike O'Brien - Route Setter

Mike O'Brien

Michael O'Brien (MO) started climbing at a very young age at world-renowned destinations in California (Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Tuolumne Meadows, the Buttermilks, Owens River Gorge), Nevada (Red Rocks, Mt Charleston), Oregon (Smith Rock), Washington (Index), Idaho (Hells Canyon, Black Cliffs, Sawtooths), Montana (Koocanusa, Kila Cliffs), and Squamish, BC. He has now ventured to the Boston area where he is currently a grad student.

Favorite Climbs: Really, anything I'm currently climbing. It's hard not to have a fantastic time on the side of a cliff with a great view. But Chain Reaction at Smith Rock, Stitcher Quits and the SW Corner of Headstone Rock in Joshua Tree are especially fun climbs.

Sets under the name: MO

Kim Wall - Front Desk Manager

We are so excited to have Kim back with us at the BRG!

Kim is an AMGA certified lead instructor. She started climbing in 1999 when she took an intro class at Boston Rock Gym. Since then she has traveled across the country climbing in some of the country's best locations. Kim loves the lessons that climbing instills upon you; patience and succeeding through adversity.  

When she isn't climbing Kim enjoys hiking, white water kayaking, spear fishing, and mountain biking.

Favorite Climbs: Beta-vul Pipe line in Red River Gorge Kentucky, Steve's Arete in Mt Lemmon Arizona, and Scatterbrain Boulder in Joshua Tree California.

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Chris O'Connell - Owner

Chris O'Connell

Chris O'Connell started climbing with a copy of Royal Robbins’s “Basic Rock Craft.” Climbing remained a strong interest until blossoming into a full blown passion in the late 80s. Since then he's climbed rock and ice throughout North America. He is looking forward to many more trips and to sharing the climbing experience with his children.

Favorite Climbs: This House of Sky - Ghost River, Alberta, Canada. Liberty Ridge - Mt Rainier, Washington. Intimidation - Cathedral Ledge, NH. The Black Dike – Cannon Cliff, NH. Pretty much any route he happens to be on at the moment - except for the scary ones.

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Jenny Bruno - Head Instructor

Jenny’s first introduction to climbing came when she lived with a former manager of the BRG over four years ago. While she was intrigued by climbing, she didn’t become truly hooked until she moved back to Massachusetts from San Francisco and was offered a job at the BRG. Now, Jenny can't imagine where she’d be without climbing in her life. Jenny has been climbing seriously since 2012 and is AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor Certified in both top rope and lead. Within the next year Jenny hopes to get her Single Pitch Instructor certification as well. When she’s not at the BRG or climbing, Jenny takes to the outdoors for backpacking, riding her bike, and driving around the country.

Favorite Climbs: “I'd have to say my favorite climb outside so far has been 'Easily Aroused' (5.9+) on the Parking Lot Wall at Rumney. It was a huge turning point in my sport climbing - being able to hold onto tiny crimps and apply a lot of technique. I don't think I'll ever forget this one!”

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Keith Murphy - Route Setter

Keith discovered climbing while venturing out west in Colorado. It was in Rifle Canyon where he fell in love with sport climbing. After a few seasons of skiing and climbing, he moved to California where he was working at a gym and climbing in Yosemite Valley full time. His home is Massachusetts and he decided to move back and see what what the East Coast has to offer!

Favorite Climbs: Jail House, California

Sets under the name: Yoda

Sarah O’Donoghue - Front Desk & Belayer

Climbing has been somewhat of a family affair for Sarah O’Donoghue. Her interest in the sport was sparked through her son and now Sarah has 9 years of climbing experience under her belt  and has climbed in locations such as the French and Italian Alps, El Potrero Chico, Mexico, and Colorado. Sarah is AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor Certified in lead and has been at the BRG for 6 ½ years. Prior to working at the BRG, Sarah had 20 years of experience in corporate finance and accounting and 10 years experience at health and fitness clubs.

Favorite Climbs: Ramsey’s Shenanigans/Evil Shenanigans, El Potrero Chico

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Alexander Smith - Front Desk & Belayer

Alex's climbing was kickstarted through a merit badge program at a Boy Scout camp. Now with 3 years of experience under his belt, Alex's full-time hobby is climbing! Alex enjoys trad and ice climbing and aspires to someday tackle climbing the mountains in Alaska and the French Alps. He is Wilderness First Aid and CPR Certified and is hoping to get his AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor certification this year. Alex is currently a student at Umass Lowell and is also an occasional belayer for the Kid's' Climb program offered at the BRG.

Favorite Climbs: "My favorite climbs have been 'Black Lung' and the classic route 'Thin Air' both on Cathedral Ledge in North Conway."

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Mimi Louxay - Front Desk

Mimi started climbing over 7 years ago when a bad heartbreak led a determined friend to sign the two girls up for the Introduction to Indoor Climbing class at the BRG and, as Mimi states, the rest is history. An admitted social climber, she enjoys the socializing aspect of the sport, especially encouraging others with their own climbs. Mimi loves engaging in conversations with customers and co-workers because that's what she says the climbing community is all about - building strong relationships. When not at the gym Mimi enjoys yoga and spending time with her friends.


Favorite Climbs: Climbs that are personally challenging (bonus smile for herself if she flashes a route).

Aleksey Shuruyev - Route Setter

Aleksey started climbing as a teenager in the Caucasian Mountains near his hometown of Krasnodar, Russia. Since then, he has had 30 years of climbing and mountaineering experience in the Alps, Caucasus, Crimea, Yosemite, Rocky Mountains, Canada, Mexico, New England, and Alaska. Aleksey has put up a dozen first ascents in Alaska, Yosemite, British Columbia, New England, and the Caucasus, some of them featured in the American Alpine Journal and Rock and Ice. A teacher by education, he has worked with children of all ages; for the past 11 years, he has developed safety-conscious, well-rounded climbing and other outdoor programs for youngsters and the young at heart. His students compete at the regional, divisional, national, and world levels. A number of his students became U.S. National Champions and U.S. National Team members. Aleksey is a graduate of the Appalachian Mountain Club Leadership School and is also Wilderness First Responder, CPR and First Aid Certified. He graduated from Krasnodar Mechanic Technology College with a bachelor's degree in engineering and from Kiev University with a bachelor's degree in history.

Joe Lentini - Head Outdoor Guide

Joe is quite the seasoned climber and has been scaling walls and mountains as a professional climbing guide since 1976. When a friend first took him climbing in 1969 though, Joe said he was more afraid of heights than any client he's ever taught. Joe obviously got over his fears, becoming deeply invested in the sport and going on to experience climbing on four different continents. Before joining the BRG, Joe was the director and guide of Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School from 1976 to 2006. Joe is Avalanche 2 Certified, served two terms on the AMGA Board of Directors, and acts as the Emergency Medical Technician Vice President and Team Leader of the New Hampshire Mountain Rescue Service.

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Jim Langill - Instructor

Jim has always been an outdoorsman, but after joining the Appalachian Mountain Club in 1991 and taking the Boston Chapter’s Spring Climbing Program he expanded his hobbies and became an avid climber. When Jim isn’t climbing mountains and scaling rock climbing walls he enjoys hiking and backpacking anywhere from local trails and hikes in the White Mountains, to multi-day trips to Yellowstone National Park. Jim currently is AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor Certified and Wilderness First Aid Certified.

Favorite Climbs: Baxter’s Pinnacle, Grand Teton National Park. “The setting is amazing with the higher Teton peaks around you and the amazing view of Jenny Lake Below.”

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Rob Dunn - Instructor

Rob was introduced to climbing as a Boy Scout and rediscovered it while taking time off from school. He has been climbing for 10 years and has a bachelor's degree in outdoor education with a concentration in adventure education and wilderness leadership from Johnson State College in Vermont. Rob is also AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor Certified. He loves to climb in Gloucester, MA; Pawtuckaway State Park, NH; and Smugglers Notch, VT. When not climbing Rob enjoys hiking and backpacking all year round as well as brewing beer. 

Favorite Climbs: Frosted Mug (5.9), Beers Wall - Adirondacks, NY. The Whip (V2) - Pawtuckaway State Park, NH. Primate 2001 (V3) - Smugglers Notch, VT.

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Events

May
23

05.23.2015 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

May
24

05.24.2015 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

May
25

05.25.2015 10:00 am - 10:00 pm

May
25

05.25.2015 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

May
28

05.28.2015 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

May
29

05.29.2015 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm

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