Ian Branda | London, ON
What he's known for:
I'm known for being an international competition climber in my youth, however since then I have made the transition to general outdoor adventurer.
When I was a kid I tried the typical sports, like hockey and baseball, and was not a fan. I got into snowboarding when I was 8 and it was then that I decided that I was not into organized sports in general.
When I was 11, my mom signed me up for a climbing lesson at The Edge and I fought against her - I just wanted to hang out and snowboard. After my first day of climbing, I was hooked.
I spent the next few years climbing, snowboarding, and even got into longboarding, however climbing was always the priority. When I was 16, I stopped snowboarding, sold my longboard gear, and put all my focus into training for climbing. That year I stepped it up to a new level and competed in my first IFSC Youth World Championships in Singapore, where I represented Canada for lead climbing. The next year I competed again in Saanich, this time in both lead and speed.
My final year that I was eligible for youth competitions was the year that I moved out to Ontario for school. London did not have a climbing gym at that point, and I got sucked into the university life, so the next few years my fitness declined drastically. During my third year at university, I figured out how to balance my life and jumped back into climbing full force, however this time my focus was not on competition results, but on bouldering at the Niagara Glen and in Squamish when I visit home.
Right now I'm finishing up the last year of my degree, climbing whenever I can find time, and trying to live life to the fullest. My plans for the future are to travel the world climbing, snowboarding, BASE jumping, and surfing.
Words he lives by:
One of my first climbing coaches, Andrew Wilson, always told us to focus only on what we can control. I've used this philosophy in every aspect of my life and it's been my key to always being happy and stress-free.
I also try to live by the motto "Good Vibes Only" whenever I can.
What inspires him:
People who inspire me to continue adventuring:
Erica Branda - my mom started climbing at the age of 40 and is now constantly showing me that it's never too late to learn a new skill or to keep living your life to the fullest.
Find him online: