Meet Our Team
Gary Rall Owner & Founder
Gary has been climbing throughout the West Coast for almost 40 years. On a trip to England in 1987, he got the idea of building an indoor climbing gym. While there, Rall heard about a community center that had a climbing wall where people kept in shape during the winter months. He thought of Portland’s rainy weather and decided to build the Portland Rock Gym. It turned out to be the second gym in the country, and the first to use modular holds. His wife, Julie, actually came up with the phrase “rock gym” as they named the business.
Gary is a pioneer of the rock climbing in Oregon. He has a multitude of hard FAs and FFAs under his belt, established Rat Cave, been regional coordinator of the Access Fund earning their 5.13 Service Award for securing public access to the Carver Bridge Cliff & Boulders, and helped to create the modern american rock climbing industry.
Erik Allsopp General Manager
Erik started climbing in college the notorious mountains of Pennsylvania. After spending too much time on the east coast he headed to Colorado and climbed as much high alpine granite as his schedule allowed. He has also been a backcountry wilderness guide, skier and has a striking suspicion of avalanches. In the Northwest, he digs the climbing at Smith Rock and the skiing that Mount Bachelor and the Northern Cascades offers. Outside of the gym he is probably down the street at Triumph Coffee or in the gym training for some audacious goal, like climbing Mount Hood from the North, South, East and West all in one day. Favorite Climbing Location(s): Moab, Rocky Mountain National Park, Bishop, Red Rocks, Smith, Rumney etc...
Sean Harris Head Route Setter, Guide
AMGA SPI, USAC Level 3 Setter, Setting Initials: SH
Sean hails from Tucson, Arizona. He got hooked on climbing in 2002 and has traveled through much of the western U.S. to climb. His favorite climbing area is Bishop, but the climb that sticks with him the most is “Royal Arches” in Yosemite. Sean started setting in 2004 and in 2005 became an AMGA climbing guide. Now he is a USAC level 3 setter and holds an American Mountain Guide Association, Single Pitch Instructor certification. Sean has experience setting for local, regional and divisional USAC comps for roped climbing and bouldering. During the climbing season, you can find Sean out at his favorite local crag, Carver. Sean teaches all of the classes we offer in the gym, and he frequently does private lessons and runs the month long conditioning clinic, Rock Training. When he is not climbing, instructing, guiding or setting, Sean likes to hike, snowboard and “shoot some b-ball.”
Ben Wilson Head Guide, Route Setter
AMGA SPI, Setting Initials: BW
Ben has been climbing for about five years. The story of how Ben got started is best told his own words: “As a runt growing up outside Boston, I lived in some housing projects where the maintenance would charge residents $20 if they ever locked themselves out to get back in (which was illegal). My mother, a creative woman, used to have me free solo the porch scaffolding and the rafters under the eves to break in through an open window or porch door and unlock the apartment from the inside. This is when I discovered my confidence with the Y axis. My mother only charged $5, and sometimes I would sneak a slice of American cheese from the fridge and fold it up into a cube and eat it.” His favorite places to climb are Cathedral Ledge, NH & Red Rock, NV. Besides working at PRG, Ben is also a Research and Development Test Pilot for the nonprofit Pacific Space Flight. He is a self proclaimed Expert Minesweeper with a 52 second record. Aw yeah, Minesweeper.
Sean Harris Head Route Setter
See "Administrators" section above.
Griffin Fuller Second Route Setter
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
See "Administrators" section above.
Ben McMullen Head Coach
Ben Started climbing six years ago at Edgeworks Climbing in Tacoma,Washington. He quickly fell head-over-heels in love with climbing and spent more time at the gym then he did at home. He loves climbing not only for the physical workout it provides but also how every climb is a different puzzle that you need to figure out. After two years of climbing he got a job coaching at Edgeworks. He has been working with youth for 14 years, everything from day care to youth pastor to coaching, and having the chance to combine his love for climbing with his love for working with youth has been a dream come true.
Pavlo Kostenko Assistant Coach - Competition Team
Pavlo Kostenko (Paul) comes to us from the country of Ukraine. Paul has been climbing since 2014 starting here at the Portland rock Gym. He started coaching youth competitive team in 2016 and has been loving it ever since!
Leah Bell-Johnson Assistant Coach - Development Team
Bio coming soon!
Raina Miller Studio Manager
Passionate about helping improve the health and well-being of her clients, Raina has been a Personal Trainer for 15 years. She believes fitness should be approached from a total lifestyle perspective. With this in mind, she helps each client to make changes that are conducive to living stronger, happier and healthier lives. Raina believes that what you do in the gym, should make you better at what you love to do outside of the gym. She always encourages her clients to make athletic goals rather than aesthetic ones and has derived a great deal of joy from watching them succeed at things they hadn’t thought possible.
Raina holds several Personal Training Certifications including Corrective Exercise, Performance Enhancement, and Special Populations Specialist from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She owned her own gym and Personal Training studio in San Antonio for 4 years where she trained a variety of clients, including ballroom dancers and high school athletes. She also developed a group exercise class program that was hugely popular with her clients and neighbors.
Having lived the first 30 years of her life in the Rocky Mountains, Raina knew South Texas was not going to be her forever home, so in August of 2015, Raina decided that it was time for a new adventure, the mountains of the Pacific Northwest were calling. Within a couple of months, she had closed the doors to her gym and hit the road for Portland where her heart belonged. Raina loves the outdoors, and in her free time can be found hiking, in creative pursuits, reading, and hanging out with her husband and two beloved cats.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Annette Herwander has spent the last 10 years teaching and dancing professionally in New York City. She acquired her Pilates Apparatus and Mat certification from the Kane School in New York in 2008 and has been blown away at how Pilates continues to serve both her and her clients in maintaining a healthy body. She brings with her an in-depth understanding of anatomy and the nervous system. She was on staff with Westside Dance Physical Therapy for 3 years and in 2017 she completed her certification in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. She teaches a contemporary approach to Pilates that works with myofascial release techniques in combination with targeted exercises to aide in better joint stability and flexibility.
Brenda fell in love with working out after attending a morning group fitness class with a friend a year and a half ago. Like most, she struggled to get into a groove with any workout class, and would certainly never have called herself a morning person. While the workouts were tough and the early mornings were even tougher, soon she learned to love the sweat and was motivated by her new fitness friends. She took this new found energy and passion for health and fitness and turned it into fun and motivating group fitness classes for PRG!
Brenda has been an avid climber for two years, having just lead her first two routes outside this past summer. When she isn’t on the rock wall or working on her deadlifts, you can find her riding her bike around town, searching out delicious sour beers, and nerding out on all things transit.
Brenda loves using fun and functional fitness training, coming up with creative workouts, and playing the jams that will keep you moving, (even at 7:15 am!). Whether you want to build muscle, burn calories, or get lean, Brenda’s classes will help you achieve a wide range of fitness goals with cardio, core, and strength work.
Christina’s practice began in college when a dorm mate invited her to yoga at the rec center on campus. She fell in love immediately and surrendered to an eternal life of conscious practice and learning. Never before had she been asked to breathe this way, to listen this way, to move and stretch this way, to be this way. Yoga quickly became more than the balance she needed to get herself through the stressful times; yoga became Christina’s spiritual fire and connection to an evolution of movement.
During her time in Southeast Asia, the asanas were brought to life for her in a traditional experience. Traveling from village to village, Christina sought out guidance and training under Buddhist monks. She learned to quiet the mind and surrender to the power of meditation.
Today, yoga continues to challenge her as she strengthens her relationship with herself. As this connection deepens, she is able to share her heart and passion for this life to the people around her through practicing yoga side by side. This ever growing love has presented Christina with the opportunity to teach and share her spiritual journey with our yoga community.
Emily began teaching Yoga in early 2010 after completing a 200 hour Yoga Power Vinyasa Yoga certification in Portland, OR. She is fascinated with the human body and the unique beauty and experience of each individual. Since 2010, she has completed multiple continuing education courses, facilitated teacher trainings and is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT.
In 2015, Emily left her corporate office job to pursue her dream of teaching Yoga and playing music full time. She currently teaches Power, Vinyasa, Hatha and Yin Yoga, believing that there are many benefits offered by the plethora of styles and modalities of Yoga. Emily's own Yoga practice includes a wide variety of movement styles and her classes are influenced by the gems she has uncovered within them all. Emily demonstrates that she is forever humbled and inspired by the continued adventure of self-inquiry and reflection that is Yoga. She says, "Yoga has brought light to my body and my life; I am grateful for its teachings, my teachers and for those who give me the honor of sharing space by stepping into my yoga class."
Since she can remember, Hannah has always been restless. Her curiosity and abundant energy kept her running, dancing, playing, painting, drawing and reading all day until she dropped, often times with her hand still marking the page in a book. It’s not a surprise that as she grew older she began to get a little burnt out. In an effort to stay active despite multiple injuries, she began attending yoga classes at her local gym. There was something about the rhythm – the incredible dynamic between breath and movement – that she loved, and soon enough she was hooked. Although her relationship with Downward Facing Dog has continued to be complicated there were, luckily, other aspects of the practice that began to develop and take hold: intention, mindfulness, and radical love and acceptance.
In her classes, she encourages curiosity, emphasizes proper alignment, and incorporates her passions for both music and philosophy. Her goal is to create a space in which her students can experience their deepest presence.
Hannah received her training with Rosie Acosta through YogaWorks and is RYT-200 certified.
My love affair with movement began at age 3 when I started dancing. I have a profound appreciation for the self awareness, connectedness, spaciousness, and peace which physical practice brings to each individual. I have been practicing yoga for over 14 years and am honored to have been certified in Hatha and Vinyasa yoga under the tutelage of Sarah Trelease. I am personally committed to yoga asana as a form of moving meditation on a daily basis as a way of staying mindful, centered and whole. My teaching focuses on alignment, strength, connection to the breath, presence, compassion and awareness. I aim to help my students build confidence in their abilities and loving kindness toward themselves. I strive to create an environment in which all feel completely welcome and accepted regardless of where they are at in their practice; a positive space from which to learn, grow and thrive. I am humbled with gratitude at the opportunity to share presence, space, and breath with the Portland Rock Gym community.
Kendall teaches yin yoga, with an emphasis on pranayama, to help promote stillness and calming of the mind. Over the last five years, yoga has embodied her personal self-care practice which has allowed her to live more peacefully and with a greater awareness and connection to her body. She hopes to share with others what her practice has generously gifted her. Kendall is wholeheartedly committed to providing a supportive and nurturing environment for people of all ages, backgrounds, and limitations to explore the practice of yoga. She uses compassionate cues and meaningful poses to encourage people to learn to listen and trust their body’s guidance. Her passion to understand the human body inspired her to complete a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in Physiology from San Francisco State University. She then moved to Portland and is attending Naturopathic Medical School at the National University of Natural Medicine where she strives to educate and empower people to find effective and meaningful solutions for the benefit of their health. She completed her 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification through Alchemy of Yoga led by Silvia Mordini and Angela Howell, in Costa Rica. Kendall has an adventurous spirit who enjoys traveling, being in nature, and finds joy from sharing her tools for self-healing so that others can experience peace and happiness from within.
With a background of 16 years of professional and pre-professional ballet training, Lexi has studied movement intensively. After finding a consistent yoga practice at the age of 16, she discovered the movements of asana to heal the body, as well as the ability to calm the mind through meditation and pranayama. Lexi became certified in 2013 with a goal to share the life changing lessons which yoga had taught her. Studying with her fellow yogis has been incredibly rewarding and continues to show the value of practicing gratitude every day. Through guiding flows, she hopes to open the mind through encouraging playfulness, curiosity, and self acceptance.
Morgan has always been athletic soul. From playing tag outside with friends in elementary school, to playing basketball in middle and high school on a varsity team. Always on the search for a great total body workout she has taught and been a part of multiple types of workout classes, including Aqua Aerobics, boot camps, and adapted physical activity programs. Morgan grew up in Southern California where the sun was always shining, and outdoor activities were abundant. From hiking the Hills of LA, to bike riding along the Pacific Coast Highway, she is always for yearning to find where adventure and physical activity meet. In her free time she plays Dodgeball in an adult recreation league, enjoys hiking the various trails of the PNW, and has recently discovered a love for bouldering! Morgan graduated with her Bachelors in Kinesiology, and plans to go to Graduate School to obtain a degree in Physical Therapy to continue her goal, and passion of helping people get healthy, fit, and happy!
Nicole has been practicing yoga since 2007. She came to yoga after years of competitive sports play, digestive disorders, and bouts of depression left her worn out and longing deeper connection within herself and the outside world. The practice changed her life in meaningful ways, bringing more joy and improved health. In 2016/2017 she completed teacher training at Bloom Yoga Studio in Chicago and spent time in her native Puerto Rico engaging with the yoga community there while teaching Adaptive/Chair Yoga at the VA Hospital in San Juan. Her love for yoga stems from a passion for intuitive movement and creative self-expression, as well as the desire to always continue learning and growing as a human being. She appreciates how yoga, through mind-body awareness, allows us to connect with and express our truest-self, enhancing quality of life and positioning us to be better, more loving and compassionate individuals. Her classes are influenced by classical Hatha and Vinyasa Flow Yoga. She likes helping students find their own flow and pose expression, focusing on what proper alignment feels like, while building strength and cultivating balance from the ground up in each pose. She brings a sense of lightheartedness to every class while challenging her students to explore the unknown.
Nicole holds a Master of Science in Public Service Management and Metropolitan Planning. Prior to her move to the Pacific Northwest she worked in Chicago’s southwest side on community health and food systems initiatives. Outside of the studio you will most likely find her listening to music while dancing or hooping, exploring the outdoors camera in hand, watching movies, reading about metaphysics, or playing hide and seek with her cat Nanichi.
While searching for something to help calm the mind and relieve stress Natasha walked into her first Yoga class in 2013, little did she know that her life had changed from that day forward. She completed her 200YTT through Yoga Maze’ with Rocky Heron where she studied the workings of the body, proper alignment, philosophy and one of her favorites; meditation. Natasha’s teaching stems from her heart, providing a safe, fun and comfortable space to move and strengthen the body while shaping the mind. She hopes to inspire her students to be the best they can be and be happy with showing up as they are the way that her teachers have done for her. Natasha loves to surround herself with kind-hearted people, explore the beauty of nature whether it be with her dog Timber at the park, in the mountains ploughing through snow or getting caught in the rain. Never leaving her house without a book or her journal she believes that writing down dreams and desires turns them into a reality.
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