Whitey is awesome

Ryan Nelson a.k.a RyRy, Head Climbing Coach

Climbing was introduced to me while I was a sophomore in high school by a few wrestling teammates who were avid outdoors man and who wanted to share their passion for adventure with others.   We began with the ‘terrifying’ rappel and then scaled the rock that brought such fear to my mind when descending.  From then on I was hooked and continued a steady progression in learning the skills needed to climb efficiently and safely while having as much fun as possible. The sport of climbing quickly consumed all my energy, my passion for climbing was all consuming. I am now a sport, trad, bouldering gym rat, always stoked to for the next adventure. After graduating from the University of Montana with a BA in Elementary Education, and a minor in Dirtbaging 101 I ventured back home to the valley to share my passion for climbing. It’s now been 13 years since I first tied into a rope and put on tight climbing shoes, and each day I still learn and discover something new. Climbing has brought me to the most beautiful parts of the world and has taught me so much about myself, others,and the world. You just have to Love the Climbing Life.  

Growing up in Northwestern Montana with convenient access to all of the outdoor activities it has to offer has played a significant role in shaping my views on the world. I started skiing, hiking, and boating promptly after learning to walk and spent much of my time prior hanging out in my parents’ backpacks high up in the mountains. When not out in the woods, I am typically traveling or studying.

After graduating with a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Montana State in 2007, I moved home and took up coaching freestyle skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort where I’ve worked for four seasons. This initiated a change in paths and pointed me in the direction of teaching. Currently, I am in my final year of the Elementary Education program at the University of Montana and am excited to translate some of my passions into the classroom.

After blowing out both knees a few winters back, I began to spend a lot of time in the gym rebuilding strength and working to come back stronger than before. Taking time to remain healthy has become another meaningful investment and I got more involved with Rockfish over the summer by helping out with the climbing camp for kids. Climbing has been a new adventure for me. Not only does it combine many of my favorite things, but also helps maintain a balance and strong mentality in all facets of life. After a few times on the rocks I was quickly hooked and have thoroughly enjoyed learning, growing, and meeting the great people who come along with it all.


6475 US-93 #13

Whitefish, MT 59937











Contact Us

14 + 7 =

**VERY IMPORTANT: EVERYONE entering the climbing area MUST HAVE a signed Release of Liability Form. Anyone under 18 years old MUST HAVE a PARENT/GUARDIAN signed form and a photocopy of parent/guardian's drivers license if they are not accompanying their child. If they do not, they will be unable to participate. ONLINE WAIVER or DOWNLOAD OUR WAIVER HERE


Copyright © 2017 Rockfish Climbing & Fitness. All rights reserved.
6475 Hwy 93 South, #13, Whitefish, MT 59937  |  406-862-8955