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Edelweiss Athlete - Joe Mills


Joe Mills grew up in Dallas, Texas when rock climbing wasn’t even a part of his vocabulary. However, after moving to Colorado during his last year in high school he received an offer from a friend to learn the ropes of climbing. He took to it quickly with a new psych that made him excel quickly. Now Joe is flying up some of the hardest trad routes in Colorado and Utah.

One year after learning to climb, Joe had the experience of topping out on El Cap. He climbed the Nose 100% on aid, not a single free move on the entire route. Joe says, “That was my first ascent ever of that style and will probably be the last…for good reason.”

Joe works with the U.S. Geologic Survey and is head deep in his PhD research at U of CO. He also likes to spend his free-time brewing his own ale with his wife.

Follow Joe's adventures here. 


Mountain Resume

  • Honorable mention during the 2012 and 2013 Climbing Magazine Golden Piton Awards for the second free ascent of the Hallucinogen Wall (5.13+ R, 16 pitches), Black Canyon, CO and the first free ascent of the Dunn-Westbay (5.14a/b, 4 pitches), The Diamond, Long's Peak, CO
  • Three free ascents on El Capitan,  Yosemite, CA: Freerider, Golden Gate, and Salathe Wall
  • First ascent of one of the hardest sport routes on Colorado's Front Range: Judon't Wanna Vogue (5.14c)
  • 3rd ascent of The Honeymoon is Over (13c, 8 pitches), The Diamond, Long's Peak, CO
  • 2nd ascent of Cheating Reality (5.13+ R), Flatirons, CO
  • 2nd all-gear ascent of China Doll (5.14- R), Dream Canyon, CO