Last week, Mike DeVanzo, a 20-year-old Baltimore native became The Clymb’s one millionth member. An avid runner since high school, Mike began running to challenge himself, and although he doesn’t get to run as often as he’d like, when he does, he finds it’s the perfect time for inner reflection.
“I learn so much about myself when I beat the pavement,” DeVanzo said, “I don’t ever plan on stopping.”
We did manage to get him to slow down long enough to answer some questions about his future adventures and how he plans on spending that $1,000.
The Clymb: What’s been your most amazing adventure to date?
Mike DeVanzo: Hands down, the most amazing adventure yet, is when I get an opportunity to hike in Glacier National Park in Montana last summer. It was an absolutely amazing experience. One of the best hikes I was about to go on was to Iceberg Lake. On the way to the lake, the group I was with had to walk along snow covered steep hillsides; thankfully no one slipped and fallen. When we got to the lake, 75% of it was frozen solid and it was July! We were in shorts standing on a frozen lake in July, absolutely surreal.
TC: What adventures do you have planned for 2012?
MD: This summer, I will going on several hikes in the Mountain West and several closer to home on the East Coast. I would really like to try to hike every National Park eventually; I will probably check a few parks off the list this summer.
TC: We gotta know: Now that you have $1,000 to spend at The Clymb, which brands are you most looking forward to?
MD: I am really looking forward to getting a lot of hiking gear. Lots of apparel from Teko and Salomon, and definitely a pack from Gregory. And Of course a Clymb t‑shirt.
Nicely played, Mike. Nicely played.
And who do we have to thank for bringing Mike on board? Alex Piazza, a 22-year-old senior Physics major at Maryland’s Towson University.
TC: Alex, what’s your favorite human-powered activity?
AP: It’s a hard decision. As I’ve gotten older I have moved away from all the sports like football and lacrosse that I used to play. I have always been a big surfer (that’s man-powered, minus mother nature providing the waves, I suppose). In the past year I have really gotten into rock climbing. Mostly Toprope and some sport leading in the gym. I’ll leave it as a toss up…
TC: How often do you get to surf and climb?
AP: Surfing I try to do whenever there are waves, which on the east coast isn’t as often as I would like. I rock climb in the gym 3–4 days a week and outdoors on weekends when the weather permits.
TC: What’s been your most amazing adventure to date?
AP: Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of adventures to date that most would qualify as “amazing.” So far my most enjoyable has been climbing Annapolis Rocks in Maryland. A friend of mine went out the night before to camp, but I couldn’t make it that night. I met him out there the next morning. That involved an hour drive to the lot and then a 2.2 mile trek down the Appalachian Trial to a small trail that led to the Annapolis outlook, which was one of the most amazing views I’ve seen in a long time. I did this all with having never made that hike before and no cell phone service to call him if I got lost. I just relied on my fairly good sense of direction. We had a good day of climbing some nice sections of wall and then hiked back out.
TC: What about in 2012, got any adventures planned?
AP: I want to make several trips out to Annapolis rocks to do overnight and maybe weekend climbing trips. I wouldn’t mind just packing 10 or 20 miles down the trail and just camping for the weekend. I would love to make it to some national parks over the summer but finding a career after graduation might make that a little bit harder. Only time will tell.
TC: Why did you invite Mike to The Clymb?
AP: I was on a computer ordering my Gregory Z65 backpack when he looked over and said thats a really good price on that and that he was in the market for a new one himself. I explained to him how the website worked and sent him in invite. I guess we can say the rest is history. The millionth member, go figure.
TC: So, which brands are you looking to spend that $1,000 on?
AP: If I request them will they come up sooner? Hmm… just to name a few: Marmot, North Face, Edelrid, Petzl, Black Diamond, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear, the list could go on. I’m really hoping to find some camping and climbing gear more so than specific brands.
Nice selection, Alex! We’re on it!