Dom Pascariallo joined the Paradox Sports Team in a fulltime position as National Program Manager in July 2019 – after years of being involved locally and remotely with Paradox Sports and adaptive climbing! We are excited to have Dom on the team, dedicated to making a bigger mission impact with our National Programs – Adaptive Climbing Initiative courses and our national Legacy Trips. His experience on rock, and within the industry developed through completing his degree in business and working at the local climbing gym, City Climb in New Haven, during college. From there, Dom has worked the past 4 years managing and assisting in the development of climbing facilities in Boston, Providence, and Denver areas.
A Paradox Adaptive Climbing Initiative course in 2015 opened a new realm of opportunity to share his passion for climbing. Since then, he has been working with climbers and facilitators to better the industry’s standards in regards to Adaptive Climbing. In 2018 Dom joined the Paradox team as the part-time Climbing Club Coordinator and a Program Lead for Adaptive Climbing Initiative courses. When Dom is not climbing or traveling, he is trail running with his dog Louie who you may see around the office, or your next local program.
Read on to learn more about Dom, his passion for climbing, and what Disney character he would be!
How long have you been working with Paradox Sports? How did you first get involved? I have been working with Paradox since May of 2018. As the Climbing Club Coordinator and an Adaptive Climbing Initiative instructor. I first got involved with adaptive climbing when I took an ACI course in 2015 in Boston. I was able to work with Enock Glidden, Adam Payne, and other bad ass athletes that really shifted my perspective on climbing.
Where do you call home / where all have you lived? I live in Morrison, Colorado. I love the wildlife and quiet atmosphere here. Also the access to climbing and running. I have lived in Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire through the years.
Who would you most like to sit next to on a 10-hour flight and why? Probably Josh from ‘Stuff You should Know’ Podcast! Full of fun info and I think he is hysterically awkward. I listen to the show daily!
What is the first outdoor experience you remember / that had an impact on you? Hiking with my parents at Black Rock State Park in Connecticut. I remember the rocky outcrops being the highlight of the trip each time we went. Scrambling and playing in the river are still some of my favorite activities.
What was your first outdoor climb or project? My first outdoor climb was at YMCA Camp Sloper when I was about 17. I was introduced to outdoor climbing, anchor building, and rappelling. Things really took off from there. Living 5 minutes from Lincoln Woods in Rhode Island meant that I had probably 10-15 bouldering projects at any given time.
Who did you look up to the most when you were first getting into climbing and why? Nate McKenzie. He was the first person I knew who worked full time in the climbing industry. Growing up in Connecticut I never knew that it was possible to have a job as a guide and educator. He showed me it was possible and probable to work in a field that you love as long as you are dedicated and know your stuff.
What do you love most about the Adaptive Climbing Initiative courses?
My favorite part of courses is watching facilitators engage with climbers as they first come into a facility. It is often the first time these instructors have ever worked with an adaptive climber, or an athlete with a disability. It is sort of like watching a first date- at first very strained, but as they begin to build report and break down barriers you see people’s personalities really shine through. By the time a climber is on the wall, they are typically good friends with their partner.
Tell us about one of your most memorable climbing trips. I would have to say that traveling to Ogawayama, Japan to climb was the best trip of my life. I learned so much about Japanese culture and traditions, and I certainly made some “gaijin”(foreigner ) mistakes along the way. I’ll never forget the capsule hotel in Tokyo or the handmade Soba noodles in the countryside.
At Paradox we often get asked “Why climbing?” vs any other sport. Why do you think climbing is an integral part of what we do? I think the adventure of climbing is the main attraction. Every route is different and every crag has its own vibe. My favorite parts of climbing are the unknown, the research, and the opportunity you have to constantly push your limits or explore new areas. Hence the reason adaptive climbing is so interesting to me. Every climber presents a completely new puzzle – and getting them climbing in a safe and efficient manner is the end goal. There is no ‘one size fits all’ procedure.
What has climbing taught you about yourself and life? Climbing has taught me patience more than anything else. Weather windows, stuck ropes, forced bails, flaky partners – they are all part of the game, and sometimes you have to sit back and deal with it. I think it helps to believe that you are the stable mountain, and the distractions and stressors in life are the weather patterns and inconveniences that come and go.
If you had a warning label, what would yours say? “A Coffee a day keeps the cranky away.”
If you were a Disney character, who would you be and why? I would have to go with the Genie in Aladdin. What a groovy guy! Ability to grant wishes and change physical form.