Rob Pizem grew up playing "mountain man" in the rolling hills and forests of northeastern Ohio. After borrowing an old hemp rope, he began to rappel hand-over-hand off the small hills and sandstone outcrops nearby. Little did he know there were such things as harnesses, carabiners and figure eights. This love of the outdoors was strengthened when he discovered rock climbing following his senior year in high school.
Upon moving to Colorado for college, he was mentored by many experienced climbers who shaped his skills and placed far away mountain ranges in his head. By the time he completed his degree, he had climbed at crags all over the US and was spending most of his time climbing and wandering in the Rockies.
After working for two years as an engineer, Rob quit his job and spent the next two climbing full time in Mexico, Yosemite, Rifle, Zion, Red River Gorge and Red Rocks. It was then that he began establishing climbs off the beaten path and attempting to reach his climbing potential. It wasn't until teaming up with Mike Anderson that his dreams of making first ascents of big walls came to fruition. Rob and Mike freed existing aid lines and established a slew of new routes in the following years with focused determination and maniacal tenacity. His proudest moments in the Zion are he and Mike's first free ascent of Thunderbird in under 24 hours, and his first free ascent of Human Centipede V. Outside of Zion, he and Mike earned the first free ascent of Arcturus on Half Dome in Yosemite after two summers, a broken back and seven weeks of work and preparation.
Rob's passion is for adventure, new routing and variety. He has walked miles of cliff line all over the Rockies and the desert southwest seeking "the line". The definition of "the line" changes as his experience grows and skill sets change. It has been cracks, roof cracks, big walls, aretes, face climbs, overhangs and mixed lines.
The mountains are in his heart and soul and along with pushing his personal limits, his goal is to support others in their passion by being a mentor. Sharing climbing, the mountains and his experiences of the past twenty-five years with other "mountain people" are what he finds most satisfying. He is currently establishing climbs in Zion National Park and Unaweep Canyon.