Climbing Photographer Spotlight: Rob Kepley

Westminster, CO
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Julie Ellison
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Westminster, CO

This story originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of our print edition.

Rock Climbing Photographers Photos

Cody Scarpella belays Jason Brown as he sinks his tips into the granite on the third pitch of Undertow (5.10a A4 R), which goes free at 5.11+, on the Black Wall of the Mt. Evans massif, Colorado.

In the winter of 2009, Kepley decided to shoot a few of his friends on a route in Eldorado Canyon, Colorado. After more than an hour of sketchy soloing, building a solid anchor, and rigging his rope, Kepley looked down at his tiny 5.1-megapixel camera and thought to himself, Man, you need to upgrade your equipment if you’re going to go through all this trouble. With the purchase of his first DSLR a few months later, he was back in Eldo jugging on a pre-hung rope he thought belonged to his friends, when he heard a pissed-off Steve House say, “Look what this guy is doing with our rope!” Kepley apologized profusely, offering to buy him a beer. Perhaps the worst part: “The photos of that day turned out horrible.” He recovered well from that mishap, with publication in several climbing mags and assignments for brands like Rab and Liberty Mountain.

Website: robkepley.com
Instagram: @robkepley 

Further reading:
16 Climbing Photographers You Should Know