Red River Gorge Original

Dru Mack (Rock & Ice/Instagram/Facebook) first caught my attention through mutual friends while spending time down at the Red. I had a specific goal at that time: learning all that I could about what it means to be a respectable member of this community. I was beginning to follow the exploits and accomplishments of celebrity climbers that lived on other other side of the continent, but with little to no knowledge of the skill and talent that resided locally. Save for a couple of crushers that had the grace enough to provide some mentoring (Margarita, and Kris.. looking at you two!), I wasn’t yet familiar with the local legends that called the Red home.

The first time I actually met Dru in person, it was a brief exchange at Miguel’s gear shop. Being the introvert that I am, it took a lot of courage to actually make an approach and say “hi”. I mean, what do I follow that with? “Dude, you’re amazing!”, “Man, keep on crushing!”. Those who know me also know that I can get incredibly tongue tied when I’m anxious, and my habit of mumbling becomes so severe that people often have a hard time understanding what I am trying to say. So, I just decided to keep it basic and hope for the best: “Hey, you’re Dru, right? Just wanted to say I’m a fan of your work”.

What I wasn’t expecting is the handshake that was extended and the follow up statement: “Hey, thanks man! What’s your name?”. Ummm… what? My name? Dude, I’m a nobody… I mean, yeah, I’m clearly a somebody to my own circle of friends and such, but I’m not really on your radar or anything…

Then it hit me…Just as Kris explained in a Power Company Climbing podcast that followed a couple of years later: Dru is a guy with infinite stoke. He is just a friendly guy that loves what he does and it shows. Watching him at the 2016 Psicobloc, and following his exploits both locally and abroad, you can’t help but be excited to see him perform and know that he is loving the hell out of life!

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Dru Mack

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