Wednesday, September 18

Sooooo, Who's this Dillon Guy?????

Dillon bouldering in Cody
I'd like to take the chance to introduce you all to our new head coach, Dillon Key. I'm excited to have him, I'm excited by his enthusiasm, and I think his skills will take Steepteam to new levels. I recently had the chance to sit down with him and figure out what's underneath that mane of hair you often see putting up routes at the gym.

Where are you from? and why did you move to Billings?
I grew up in Houston, TX, and moved to Billings last August to attend MSU-B.
What are you studying at MSU-B? Majoring in Outdoor Adventure Leadership with a minor in Business.
What is your competitive climbing experience? I climbed on Team Natural in Houston when I was in high school.
What is your coaching experience? In Texas I was an assistant coach on Team Natural in Houston, and with Team Austin Rock Gym in Austin. This past year I ran Steep School at Steepworld, attended Nationals for both youth sport climbing and bouldering, and attended USA Climbing's national coaching symposium.
What is your route setting experience? How does that tie into coaching climbing? I have been setting for two years now, I currently have my USA Climbing Level 1 Certification. Being a good setter requires a well rounded knowledge of climbing technique and movement which will be very beneficial to coaching.
What's unique about Billings climbing? Billings climbing is unique in that we have several bouldering spots and many sport/trad climbs all within a 10 minute drive.
What are your favorite routes in Billings? fav easy boulder problem, moderate boulder problem, gnarly boulder problem? I have not done much route climbing in Billings, but out of what I have gotten on, I would say "The Last Best Route in Billings" is my favorite rope climb. My favorite easy boulder problem is Phipps Arete, moderate problem; Rocky Top Orange Soda, and gnarly problem; Heath Bar Crunch.
What is unique to coaching climbing from all the other sports? Coaching climbing is unique, because each athlete is competing against themselves, trying to push past mental barriers and climb at their best, whereas in other sports there is more of a focus on competing against an opponent.
You seem like a scrawny dude, what are your strengths in climbing? Being scrawny can have its perks, for instance, I have a less weight to throw around, which is why I enjoy overhangs. But I would say my style leans more towards moves requiring a lot of body tension and subtle adjustments.
Have you ever been to / do you want to go to Dillon Montana? I have never been to Dillon, MT, and I probably couldn’t even point it out on a map, but if I ever do go there, I’ll make sure and take a picture by a road sign with my name on it.
Anything else you'd like to share with us? I’m very excited to take over as head coach and can’t wait to see what this season has in store.
Dillon sport climbing in Ten Sleep Wyoming

Dillon putting up one of his first first ascents in Billings.  The sit start to the Sharks Fin V6 at Phipps.