The coach’s mission is to support an environment for youth rock climbers where effort and knowledge are valued above all else. With this theme, we are dedicated to helping our athletes achieve their goals. With continued try-hard, learning, and positivity their desired results will follow.

We do this without losing sight of the big picture; time on the Rocks and Ropes Team is temporary after all. Only when we see a graduate of this program continue to show a strong sense of work ethic in everyday life and continue to explore the world of climbing have we really done our job.

Jon Mavko

Head Coach

With 10 years of coaching experience, Jon is dedicated to making the Rocks and Ropes Youth Team one of the strongest programs, not only in our Region, but also in the Nation. Jon has grown the size of the program from just 11 kids in 2009 to a roster of over 80 between 5 different teams.

Jon has been actively pursuing climbing since 1998, when he was introduced to the sport through a ropes course program at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson. A couple of years later, Jon was the recipient of a fortunate mentorship that, over the course of several years, would shape his outlook on the sport and take him to adventurous climbing destinations around the country. Jon was schooled in the culture of traditional climbing ethics all the while making trips to places like Squamish, the Bugaboos and Moab.

In 2002, Jon joined the first incarnation of the Rocks and Ropes Youth Team, then called the Tucson Climbing Project. In this environment, Jon expanded his field of experience with training and competition, and discovered the joys of striving together with a Team of other motivated athletes.

Jon understands that learning climbing skills through mentorship is a dying tradition in the sport, and something that he strives to promote and provide to his athletes. His passion for climbing, working with kids, and his goals to grow the program keep him motivated to bring the best experience possible to our athletes.

Gustavo Figueroa

I started climbing in late 2011, and from the first day, I knew it was something I wanted to deeply involve myself in. For the first 2 months of my climbing career I climbed almost every day, sometimes twice a day. It didn't take long for climbing to teach me that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. I awoke one morning with my hands in tightly clenched fists, it took me quite some time to unclench them and it was very painful to do so. This experience was somewhat shocking to me because it was the first time in my life that I wanted to do something, but I knew that if I kept climbing at the pace I was going I wouldn't be able to do it for very long.

This taught me to become more disciplined in the way I approached climbing. One of the many reasons why I love to climb is because it teaches you life lessons. It’s taught me through experiences like the one I described that if I want to keep climbing and if I want to get stronger I need to become receptive to how my body reacts to the training I go through and to keep an open mind to other people’s opinion on how to train. It’s taught me to become a smarter athlete.

I have a small obsession with figuring out what is effective for becoming a better climber and what isn't. Through this obsession I have found a way of living that not only makes me a happier person, but a physically and emotionally healthier person. I believe that climbing has the ability to teach everyone the lessons that have helped me grow into a confident and healthy person, and I am ecstatic to have to opportunity to guide young climbers in the sport. Children are our future and I am honored to have the opportunity to help them become not only better rock climbers, but also better people.

Sam Roehrich

Compared to most of the members on today's team, I started pretty late. I started climbing at The Bloc in 2014 at the age of 16 and haven't stopped climbing since. About a year and a half later I decided to join Team Rocks and Ropes and get some instruction from Coach Jon and the other coaches running this amazing program. I built relationships and developed a passion for outdoor rock climbing that could not have come anywhere else. My climbing has taken me to amazing places like Bishop, CA and Hueco Tanks, TX to challenge myself on world class boulders as well as spend time in my own backyard, Mt Lemmon, finding and repeating some of the greatly underrated granite boulders it has to offer.

I am excited for the opportunity to share my passion for the sport of climbing with everyone on the team. Climbing has changed my life in many ways and I hope to show today's team members how great of a sport climbing is as well as encourage and push all of the athletes to be the best versions of themselves possible.

Chloe Jackson

Technically, I started climbing when I was five or six years old, when my Dad dragged me to Rocks and Ropes in the hopes of tailoring his own future climbing partner. Obviously something had yet to develop in my brain, because I hated every minute of it. I finally saw the light in 2009, and have become exponentially addicted to climbing; a recent trip to Greece involved one day of being jet-lagged in a museum, and six days of climbing as much limestone as I could get my hands on. To me, the fact that I have only scratched the surface of the sport is the most exciting thing in the world.

I can attribute a massive part of my obsession to the two years I spent on the climbing team at Rocks and Ropes. The team setting combines hard work and focus with fun and companionship, and this is the perfect balance to improve as both a climber and a person. Having received so much out of my experiences on the team, I am thrilled to be able to help give the same to new climbers. I hope to be a part of building each member's appreciation of the sport, the climbing community, and all the possibilities that come with.

Elissa Moss

I started climbing in 2010 at a local gym in North Texas, and it didn’t take long for climbing to become a major factor in the way I shaped the rest of my life. I’ve been lucky enough to work in amazing climbing facilities, teach summer camps, coach teams, create branding and artwork for gyms, travel across the southwest to boulder, multi-pitch, and sport climb, and build up a network of climbing partners and friends from the different communities I have been a part of.

One of my favorite aspects of coaching is getting to witness the next generation find their place in and through our community, set and meet personal goals, and discover the gifts that only climbing brings. I feel especially grateful to have found myself in Tucson part of a supportive and talented community of teachers, mentors, and innovators who are paving the way for young climbers to achieve incredible things through this sport.

Galen McIsaac-Davidson

Since my first years climbing, from '08-'10 on the Rocks and Ropes Team, the sport has taken me to different parts of the globe and connected me with new friends in those places. My first trip came on the tail end of two years in customer service with the goal of climbing in the South of France. Three months in a tent at the base of Céüse, the holy grail of (hard) French limestone, granted me one successful ascent of someone's warm-up and a much, much deeper appreciation of what dedication to the sport looks like. I saw people from all over the world who had largely dedicated their lives to climbing, and many of them to families as well, and I wanted to be one of them.

Gratitude for climbing and where it had gotten me brought me to the University of Arizona Outdoor Program as a coach. This coaching led to a Chilean connection and I moved to Chile in 2016. While there I learned more about coaching and movement instruction at Monos Climbing, a small but excellent gym in the outskirts of Santiago. Wanting to be closer to family, I moved back to the desert in 2018 and am looking forward to digging deep with my fellow coaches and students into the intricacies of movement and attention.

Kristina Bergdahl

I started my climbing career outdoors in late 2011 after a pretty severe running injury during the Mt.Lemmon Marathon; I immediately recognized that it was a sport I wanted to pursue with great passion and gusto for the rest of my life. I am blessed to have a spouse and climbing partner who has mentored me with great patience and it helps that he as wild about climbing as I am. Together we have had the opportunity to travel to amazing climbing destinations, train to become better sport and trad climbers and we have put up more than 50 new routes. Climbing is truly a sport in which your hard work, training and dedication help you to realize your goals and it is pure joy to send that project after endless sessions of hard work. I love the sport with my whole heart.

My personal love of and dedication to the sport brought me to Rocks and Ropes for my training and here I discovered my passion for teaching and coaching the sport. I enjoy every minute when working with Tucson youngest climbers; helping them create and cultivate a deep love of and respect for the sport as well the outdoors brings me much happiness. I am honored to coach the team in Tucson and work with young climbers who never ceases to amaze me.

Cory Hanson

I have been a climber for 15(+) years, a routesetter for 10 years, and an assistant youth team coach for 1 year. I have grown up with climbing and with each passing year I seem to dedicate myself to the sport, community, and passion more. Over the years, climbing has taught me to work hard, stay active, have fun, be supportive, take advice, and be outside. I have taken interest in kinesiology, geology, and even art through my experiences and interest in climbing. I want to help youth in Tucson have access to the sport that continues to be such a big part of my life. I am a member of TCP to help give more kids access to experience competitions, trips, and adventures.

Jilian Wereb

I have have been dancing competitively for 15 years and then professionally for 13 years while working on my BFA at the University of Arizona School of Dance. Ever since I started climbing I have not been able to keep myself from the wall or training for the wall ever since. I look forward to share my experience with movement, body awareness, and the art of hard training while having fun with others.