Sam Elias


Sam Elias

Sam Elias

Sam was born on August 25,1982 near Detroit, Michigan, USA, and it is where his family still resides. He currently lives in Utah, and climbing is a driving passion for his life. Sam has been fortunate to feel an innate connection to its practice from the beginning, and he has structured his life so that he can be dedicated to it. Before climbing, Sam's life was consumed with alpine skiing and ski racing. He has skied since he was two years old, and he began racing at the age of 12. When Sam was 16, he moved from Michigan to Salt Lake City to attend Rowmark Ski Racing Academy and was eventually recruited to ski race for the College of Idaho. Sam still skis frequently, both on and off piste. It is such a pleasure to be outside and in the mountains, and he experiences a great sense of freedom and peace there. Sam was introduced to climbing through sport climbing, and it is his main pursuit. However, he enjoys many styles: traditional climbing, bouldering, deep water soloing and ice and winter mixed climbing/dry tooling. The quest to understand himself through climbing has deeply enriched his life, and for this he is eternally grateful. As a result, Sam feels a responsibility to continue to explore within the pursuit for as long as he is motivated and capable.

Discipline: Rock and Ice/Winter mixed climbing

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan

Currently Living: Salt Lake City, Utah

Height: 5'9"

Career Highlights:
Summiting Mt. Everest in May, 2012
Free ascent of El Cap’s PreMuir, 35 pitches, 5.13+ in June, 2014
First ascents on three continents
First ascents on rock up to 5.14b and winter mixed up to M12
Climbing up to 5.13c within a year, and 5.14a in 2 years
Rock redpoints up to 5.14c
Rock onsights up to 5.13c
Ice up to WI6
2nd place at 2010 Ouray Ice competition and 3rd in 2013 in Ouray, CO
1st place at 2011 and 2012 Winter Mountain Games mixed competition in Vail, CO

When did you first start climbing?

Skiing since 1984/85, Climbing since 2005, more or less.

What do you most enjoy about your sport?


What are you most proud of, either in life, your sport or both?

My '94 Astro Van

What inspires you?

Deliberate and thoughtful and balanced living. Patience. Hard work. Creativity.

What are your hobbies outside of your sport?

Running. Golfing. Making stuff.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Driving my '94 Astro van at 100 mph past Sprinter vans, and generally any other vehicle.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be, and why?

I’d rather be a Lamborghini than an Astro van owner.