We’re psyched to shine this FA Staff Spotlight on Brian Hennig! Brian joined the First Ascent team on Day 1 and brings his A-game, his care for others, and a good joke with him every day he’s on duty. He will continue on at First Ascent as the Humboldt Park Gym Manager, making sure our newest location is ship shape for members and visitors alike. Learn more about Brian below!
1. How did you get into climbing?
I first got exposed to climbing my freshman year at Lemont high school. There was a decent sized wall with a few ropes that had to be from the 90’s. One of the mandatory gym units was learning how to top rope. We learned very basic belay technique and were able to send each other up a few “routes” (really just holds sprayed all over the wall). But after a few times of making it to the top it quickly became one of the sports I enjoyed most.
2. What do you love about climbing?
Climbing to me is just fun. At any level. Whether it’s a warm up route or project I’ve been working on for weeks, anytime I’m on the wall is a blast.
3. Bouldering or sport climbing? Make sure to tell us why.
Started off as a sport climber, but over the past year have definitely turned to bouldering. You can come climb on your own, or be with a massive group trying to send the same problem.
4. What is your favorite place to climb outdoors? What other outdoor activities do you participate in?
Being outdoors in a Chicago summer is amazing. I am constantly biking or running along the lakefront path and hanging out at the beach.
5. Do you have any particular climbing projects or fitness goals for this year?
No climbing goals this year, besides trying to cut feet less. Long term I want to complete a triathlon.
6. What keeps you busy when you’re not climbing?
When I’m not climbing I’m usually hanging out with friends or around FA. In the winters I try to make it to a fair amount of concerts or comedy shows.
7. What do you love about Chicago?
There is no shortage of things to do in Chicago. People are non stop and know how to have a good time.
8. What is your favorite Chicago spot for food, music, art or culture?
Do sports count as a Chicago culture? I’m a die hard Bulls fan.
9. What is something about you most people don’t know?
I am constantly listening to podcasts. All sorts of varieties, and always looking for new suggestions.
10. Anything else you want to say to the FA Community?
Humboldt Park is worth the wait! It has had its delays, but it is an incredible facility that everyone at First Ascent is going to want to be a part of. So excited to see the community grow with new people that join, as well as giving current climbers a bad ass gym.
Catch Brian at FA Humboldt Park, opening in September! Learn more about First Ascent Humboldt Park here.