Justin Willis is driven to explore the often-overlooked alpine faces in his “backyard” in Montana—establishing first ascents in the Beartooth Range, Mission Range, and Glacier National Park. Raised by a mountain-obsessed family in Montana, Justin found rock climbing and skiing at age 4 and ice climbing at age 8. He began competing in climbing at age 8 and when he was 17, competed in his first Ice Climbing World Cup in Romania. He competed in 16 World Cup competitions before turning his focus toward alpine climbing. Though he has traveled to France, Argentina, and Slovenia for alpine climbing, he feels a special interest in exploring the Montana and Wyoming mountain ranges close to his home. When he’s not out in the mountains, he explores woodworking and carpentry.
Justin is passionate about mentoring young climbers in the mountains. With the support of his local climbing community, he started the Billings Climbing Team (SteepTeam) when he was seven. That community was an integral part of his childhood development, so when he was twenty, he became head coach of the Missoula Climbing Team. After several years of serving as head coach, Justin shifted focus back to his own climbing and traveled for several seasons. Now, he is back to mentoring young climbers in the Montana climbing community. Nothing fires him up like the idea of inspiring young humans to explore a life of passion in the outdoors through personal development and community/environmental stewardship.
NE Face of Calowhacan, FA, Mission Mountains, Montana
3000’ (M6 AI4+ Grade IV)
Flathead Buttress Project, Blodgett Canyon, Montana