We have quite the crew of setters here at Summit, and Will Tevepaugh has been a member of the crew for quite a while! He's normally a pretty quiet guy, but always gives great beta, and is ridiculously strong on the wall. I swear, the guy could lock off on anything. His setting style usually involves a lot of crimps and dynamic moves, but he said he's been setting outside the box lately, and said he's been pretty into pinches. Hop on some of his stuff, and tell him what you think!
How long have you been working at Summit for?
I started working here in 2012, working the portable wall at the State Fair. How that started — so I came up here (Summit Grapevine) quite often, after I had just moved here form Virginia, and my cousin took me up here one day. I was scared sh#%less the first day, but the second day I came back it was totally fine. That’s when I really fell in love with it. So I started coming back up here, Danny (the former GM of Grapevine) noticed, tried to get me to buy a gear package. I was like, "Hey I just moved here, and I don’t have a job." But by the end of that climbing day, he was like "Hey man, we have a job opening for the State Fair! If you’re interested, shoot me an email. I was like, "Right on!" So I sent him an email that day, and then just started working at Summit. I worked desk first, then started routesetting at the end of 2013.
How did you start climbing?
My cousin and his friend first took me in 2012. I had just moved here, and didn’t know anybody, and he was like "Hey, we’re going to this climbing gym, are you interested?" I said yeah, so he and his friend took me up here to Grapevine. His friend was kind of a climber and he would do it every so often, but my cousin was definitely not a climber, but he wasn’t as into it.
I definitely enjoyed my first time climbing. But I was pretty freaked out. Just me being on the wall and looking at this skinny rope and being like "Uh… is this gonna hold me? I don’t know about this!" But I still had a lot of fun that day. To me, it was kind of good to get scared.
What was your start in routesetting?
Before Chris and his crew were the main setters at the gyms, it was Rob Fielder setting here. I would ask him from time to time if I could set a boulder or two, and that’s how I started out.
Favorite climbing area?
Newlin Creek, in Colorado
My favorite boulder problem is Megalodon, V7 at Newlin. My favorite route is Lavender Eye, 12a at Horseshoe.
Favorite Summit memory?
Oh, so this is a really cool one.. I was really happy to be a part of this. So this couple comes in with a friend or two and then they started to climb. I helped them out and got them their gear. One of their friends comes up to me and was like, "Hey, we have something really special going on right now — We were wondering if you could help us out?" I was like, "Sure man, what's up?" And he was like, "Well my friend wants to propose to his girlfriend here today." I agreed to it, and they were like, "Ok, we have these 4 songs we want you to play, in a particular order. But you can’t play one of them until we give you the signal." So they started climbing and and he told me to play one of the songs, so I did. And then they told me to keep playing the other. I played those songs and she’s on the wall and he’s not belaying, he’s just standing around. But as she starts coming down the wall and I put on that one specific song, she looks down and he’s already on his knee and has the ring out. She's on the wall and tearing up and just flabbergasted. She said yes, and I helped in a proposal for a marriage!
It just came from my love for climbing. Like, the movement that I was able to learn and all the body positioning and all these different things that go into climbing — I wanted to take it a little bit further into setting, so I could not only understand climbing a little bit better, but understand movement, and how to use your body in certain ways.
Little know facts about Will:
He has lived all over the place — including Japan. He was born in Utah, from Utah he and his family went to Japan for a few years, after that went to San Antonio, from there went to North Carolina, from North Carolina to Louisiana, then to Viriginia, after Virignia he came to Dallas. Holy crap, right?
He played hockey when he was younger, and his noraml position was goalie. So at about the age of 6, and in his words, "so competitive at this point in my life," he and his friends were playing a practice game, and his friend yells, "Knuckle puck time!" Which is apparently a quote from The Mighty Ducks, and slaps the puck as hard as he can at Will. But Will wasn't wearing his goalie gloves, and catches the flying puck in his bare hand. Yeah ... things you don't do. He split his finger tip wide open, and he said that there was "blood everywhere" and the next thing he remembers, he woke up in the hospital with a bandaged finger and a newfound respect for hockey pucks.
Will is a pretty avid golf player. Both his parents golf. so he's been around it his whole life. When he was just a wee little 'un, he would caddy for his parents. So imagine a little 7 year-old Will carting a golf bag around behind his parents. Apparently he even knew the difference between all the clubs ... for the most part. The 9 iron and the 6 iron used to trip him up, though. I mean, come on, Will! What 7 year-old doesn't know the difference between a 9 iron and a 6 iron? Embarassing. (Editor's note: I have no idea what either of those even look like ... unless that's what they have at Putt Putt.)
He once watched his friend wrangle an alligator in Louisiana ... just because the thing was too far from the swamp and his friend wanted to "bring it home." They stumbled up the 6-foot gator while walking through the bayou, and his friend stood over it and just grabbed it by the neck and lifted it up. What his plan from there was, I don't know, but luckily a pick up truck drove by and guessed the boys needed help, seeing as one was carrying a 6-foot alligator. He let them load the thing in the back of his truck, and they drove it to the water and just threw it in.
Alright, so there's a lot more to Will than this, but he's a man of few words, so this is all I got. Don't try speaking any Japanese to him, since he doesn't remember it at all. Or maybe do. Cuz that would be hilarious.
So from here on out, every time you hop on a route or problem with the initials "WT" written at the bottom, see if it's pinch-y or crimp-y, cuz that's how Will rolls!