Xiaoping Li, Chief Instructor
At age 9 Xiaoping climbed the Big King Mountain in his hometown and learned a life lesson: challenging myself to reach seemingly impossible heights.
Xiaoping started top rope climbing and sport leading outdoors in 1994 and trad leading in 1995. He made a top rope first ascent (First Try, 5.7) in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China in 1996. In 2013 he made three trad lead first ascents (L-i 5.4, RV 5.3, Sandbag 5.10a) in Ovakal Rock Garden in Andhra Pradesh state in India.
Xiaoping began to show people the ropes by leading rock climbing trips for Out & Out Club. He then taught indoor climbing at Rock Oasis and Toronto Climbing Academy. In July 2010 Xiaoping took a 7-day alpine rock climbing leadership training program in Jasper with Mr. Cyril Shokoples - former president of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) - and his fellow guide Mr. Jeremy Mackenzie. He then instructed climbing clinics for Alpine Club Canada. In September 2010 he became a certified Single Pitch Instructor with the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA).
In October 2011 Xiaoping took a 9-day Multi-pitch Guide Training program in Colorado with American Climbing Institute and learned first-hand from Mr. Alan Jolley the "baseline" approach to self-improvised rescue which, as he asserted, was invented by him and later adopted by AMGA.
In November 2012 Xiaoping took a 2-day Rescue Course and an 8-day Multi-pitch Guide Course in Joshua Tree with Professional Climbing Guides Institute, and then guided a novice climber up a 4-pitch route (1st pitch: Gaucho Marx 5.9; 2nd-4th pitch: Orange Flake 5.7) to summit Saddle Rock -- the tallest rock formation in Joshua Tree National Park.
Having rock climbed outdoors for 20 years, Xiaoping is keen to share with his clients safe climbing approaches, techniques and practices, so that they will not only challenge their climbing limits, but also live to climb for a life time!
Jonah Logan, Rock Climbing Instructor
Jonah is a retired circus clown. Or, at least he's trying to be. Jonah has toured the world working as a circus stunt performer, rigger and pyrotechnician for the last twenty years.
Jonah has over twenty five years of climbing experience, is trained in Wilderness Advanced First Aid, and is an American Mountain Guides Association certified Single Pitch Instructor.
His wife, Sabrina, is a circus aerialist and his new daughter (born in 2011), Rosie, should be climbing any day now.
Deryl Jean Hunt, Top Rope Rock Climbing Instructor
Over eleven years ago, Deryl read an article about a 63-year-old woman who started rock climbing at the age of 61. Deryl had always been remarkably UN-athletic, but she figured, "Heck. If that lady can do it, so can I." She has been climbing ever since. Recently, she had the good fortune to climb in the Rockies and in New Zealand.
Deryl has been teaching introductory rock climbing programs indoors for nine years, and is excited to take her teaching experience outside with Zen Climb.
She has been certified through Zen Climb's Top Rope Rock Climbing Instructor Certification process.
Raz Peel, Top Rope Rock Climbing Instructor
Raz grew up in the hills of north England, and was scrambling at a young age. His love for the outdoors has lead him to live in many different places across the globe.
Now in Vancouver, Raz works at a visual effects studio during the week, and tends to treat the weekend as a time for adventure. When he is able however, he still loves to travel and recently (Feb 2012) visited Africa to ascend Kilimanjaro.
He is dual certified through Zen Climb's Top Rope Rock Climbing Instructor Certification process and accredited through the ACMG as a Top-Rope Climbing Instructor. When he's not in-front of his computer, Raz enjoys trail running, rock climbing and mountaineering, and you'll find him training at the Edge Climbing Center (Vancouver's north shore) at least a few nights a week.
Rock, Alpine and Mountain Guides in Alberta and British Columbia
A number of guides serve Zen Climb's clients in the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and British Columbia and in Squamish in British Columbia. They are certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides in the disciplines of rock climbing, alpine climbing, ice climbing, skiing and mountaineering.
Brian Hibbert, Senior Advisor/Instructor
Brian is a retired public school principal and has been involved in the climbing scene for over 40 years. In 1970 he established Ontario's first commercial rock climbing company and provided safety oriented climbing programs to students and adults. He was the founding president of the Ontario Rock Climbing Association, served on the board of directors for many years and held the O.R.C.A's top level of instructor certification.
Brian currently acts as the climbing consultant and inspector of climbing programs/facilities for the Toronto District School Board and has developed climbing safety guidelines and standards for both the Board and the Ontario Physical and Health Association.
1. To provide clients with an adventurous experience with the highest standard of safety protection in our industry.
2. To teach safe climbing techniques and practices to climbers.
3. To facilitate our clients learning life lessons through climbing.
4. To develop deep appreciation our relationship with nature.
In 1970 Brian Hibbert established Ontario's first commercial rock climbing company, Hibbert Climbing and Enterprises, to provide saftety oriented climbing programs to students and adults. In the following 30 years, Brian taught generations of climbers without a single safety accident.
In 2001 Brian folded his outdoor climbing instruction operation due to inhibiting insurance cost following the 9.11 tragedy in New York, and began to work with Xiaoping Li under his company The Ping Way (established in 2000) to facilitate team building and leadership development using wall climbing and ropes course activities.
In 2010 Xiaoping Li established Zen Climb to offer outdoor rock climbing instruction service. In addition to inheriting some nonperishable climbing equipment from Brian, Xiaoping sought Brian's advice on both climbing and people skills, and decided to carry on Brian's signature torch at the crags -- to help clients to have a safe climbing experience and achieve a sense of accomplishment.
Zen Climb's facilitative approach to learning life lessons through climbing originated from Xiaoping's 10 years of work under The Ping Way with students, employees, supervisors and senior managers in eduction, government, corporate and non-profit sectors.
Zen Climb will continuously improve its services to fulfill its purposes. Xiaoping started Zen Climb at the age of 47 and intended to pass on Zen Climb's operation to climbing instructors who are modest, respectful to the knowledge, skills and experiences passed down by previous generations of climbers, and daring to venture into new territories.