For this week's OCC Regional Coordinator spotlight, we would like to direct your attention to Ted Welser! He represents the Southeast region of Ohio.

Ted first began climbing in 1989 at Miami University where he worked extensively with the Outdoor Pursuit programs as an instructor and manager.  While completing a MS in Sport Studies he worked as a head route setter at Rock Quest, and developed a strong love for steep sport routes at the Red, New, Obed and Little River Canyon; as well as multi pitch trad routes at the Gunks and Linville Gorge.  During the mid 1990’s he wintered with friends in Hueco Tanks, which spurred his exploration of bouldering possibilities in Ohio and Appalachia, including countless hours at Whipps Ledges.

After graduating he moved to Logan Utah and then to Reno Nevada to manage RockSport while applying to graduate school, getting married, and finally moving to Seattle to attend UW.  After 8 years, two PhDs, two kids, and postdocs in Ithaca NY, Ted and Laura became professors at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

Since then Ted has started his second climbing career with his family and has been building community and resources for climbers in SE Ohio.  In 2007 he built his 5th home climbing wall, started exploring local boulders of Athens County, and sharing those findings online.  Family, community, training and exploration have been major aspects of this second career which includes family climbing trips to Horsepens 40, the New and Red, Virgin Gorda, Wild Iris, Maple Canyon and Mt. Mizugaki Japan.  

Recently Ted helped build a garage bouldering gym called Beta Fish, and founded (with Bryant Noble) Climb Athens, a non profit climbing gym.  He has also taught workshops on route setting at OU and Hocking College, and is learning to replace anchors and establish routes with Yoichi Ishida and Marina Baldissera Pacchetti.

Ted looks forward to helping build, preserve, and improve access to climbing resources in SE Ohio, and to foster stronger community connections in the region. 

Thanks for all your hard work, Ted!