Portland native and Oregon State University alumnus Ryan Palo works as a developer and controller for a fast-growing Bend-based startup firm. But he still makes time to get out and play on the cliffs, trails and backcountry of Central Oregon. Considered one of the strongest rock climbers in Oregon, Ryan can often be found climbing at local Bend boulder fields or Smith Rock State Park, a world-famous mecca of sport climbing.
Ryan is known in the climbing community for his 2012 ascent of the Smith Rock route, ‘Just Do It.’ He’s only the 12th person — and the first from Central Oregon — to complete the climb, the first in the U.S. to earn a 5.14c rating and one of the most difficult climbs in the world.
Ryan is strong enough to be a professional climber, but the strict lifestyle full-time climbing requires does not appeal to him.
He says when he was climbing his hardest, he didn’t spent much time with friends and became frustrated with his restrictive diet. He even quit mountain biking and snowboarding for fear of injury, and he says that shouldn’t be what climbing is all about.
Ryan loves his day job, his home in Bend and, most importantly, his relationships. His favorite part of climbing isn't chasing numbers and success, it's hanging out with his friends.
And that's where Ryan Palo will be: In Central Oregon for the foreseeable future.