Our Staff

Rock Climbing is always better with awesome people. Meet the staff here at Vertical Hold! They are here to help guide and assist you and ensure a fun and safe time.

Alana Duyao
Alana DuyaoGeneral Manager
Alana first fell in love with rock climbing when she was just 10 years old on a guided backcountry trip through Yosemite National Park. Since then, her climbing passions have evolved to encompass a wide range of climbing disciplines. Alana loves to boulder and sport climb, but looking back to her roots; she has now set her sights on tackling some of the classic big walls in Yosemite Valley. Before her tenure at Vertical Hold, Alana graduated from UCSD in 2010 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Third World Studies and Photography. After school, Alana put those skills to use with the nonprofit Invisible Children, where she worked alongside America’s youth to cultivate global citizens in hopes of restoring human rights to Central Africa. To Alana, rock climbing has been a vessel for learning to overcome obstacles, build community, and continuously grow in mind, body, and spirit.
Katy LewisYouth Team Head Coach | Social Media Coordinator | Administrative Assistant
Katy’s role at Vertical Hold is multifaceted, but as the head coach, she is primarily responsible for the Recreational and Competition teams. Katy was born and raised in Oklahoma where she lived a very active lifestyle. She joined the United States Marine Corps and served 5 honorable years as an Electronics Switch Operator and Maintainer. She completed 3 tours in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom before her discharge. While pursuing her BA degree, Katy discovered climbing. She has been an active climber for over 6 years now. Katy’s free time is spent hiking with her baby daughter, strength training and conditioning, or bouldering outdoors.
Dorian Siemens
Dorian SiemensAssistant Manager
Dorian is a long time climber who has been in San Diego for about 10 years. Equally stoked on both plastic and stone, he has been the Assistant Manager at Vertical Hold since 2010. He’s passionate about Hip-Hop, Japanese food, and quality beer. A transplant from Portland, Oregon, he was previously focused on DJing, working at a record store, event promotion, and other things that people do while they’re partying and waiting tables in their twenties. He’s happily traded that scene for sunny San Diego. Dorian began climbing at Smith Rocks in Oregon, and while he still considers sport climbing awesome and respectable, he’s far more likely to be found bouldering.
Alex Kumaki
Alex KumakiHead Routesetter
Alex has been routesetting and manning the desk with Vertical Hold since 2014. Originally from Norway, Alex didn’t get his start rock climbing and routesetting until he moved to San Diego to attend UCSD in 2010. His favorite climbing area nearby is Red Rocks in Las Vegas, NV; where he can be found climbing on the abundant sandstone boulder problems. Alex graduated in 2014 with a B.S. degree in Math, Economics, and a minor in music theory. He also enjoys playing video games, and would like to pursue a career in game development.
Amber Jaxon
Amber JaxonYouth Team Coach
Amber is a born and raised San Diegan that has recently returned from a multi-year rock climbing hiatus to lead the Recreational Squad as the Assistant Coach of Vertical Hold’s Youth Team. Before her current coaching position, Amber lived and worked seasonally in Yosemite National Park for four years, and it was during this time that she realized her passion for the outdoors through backpacking and traditional crack climbing. Between the east and the west coast, she has climbed in other places such as Maine, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and Alberta. Her absolute favorite style of climbing is long moderate trad routes where it’s just her, her climbing partner, and the rock. Amber is now working to earn a degree in Biology in hopes of furthering her own knowledge of the natural world.
Alex Di Stefano
Alex Di StefanoRoute Setter
Alex Di Stefano is one of Vertical Hold’s most talented route setters. To Alex, route setting has been more than just a physical and mental challenge; it has also been a key source of creative output ever since he started climbing. Alex enjoys the lifestyle associated with climbing- the places he has gone, and the people he has been able to meet. In the future, Alex’s biggest goal with rock climbing is to visit all of the great climbing areas in the world and climb the most classic lines. Alex can be found spending his time outside of the gym skateboarding, surfing, bike riding, and making art.
Corey Muir
Corey MuirClimbing Instructor | Desk Staff
Corey Muir is a rock climbing instructor and member of Vertical Hold’s desk staff. As a kid he grew up in San Diego hiking, backpacking, and camping, and he has always maintained a strong passion for the outdoors. Corey has been climbing for about 10 years and loves all disciplines of climbing, but he would describe himself as a traditional climber. His favorite places to climb are at Tahquitz, Idyllwild, CA in the summer and Joshua Tree National Park in the winter. Some of his dream destinations include the Bugaboos, Canada, the Gunks, New York, and of course Chamonix, France. Corey joined the Vertical Hold team in March of 2014 and is an American Mountain Guide Association certified single pitch rock climbing instructor. As a member of the Vertical Hold team he hopes to share his appreciation and respect for the outdoors while passing on the history and ethics of rock climbing.
Orion Feist
Orion FeistAssistant Coach
Orion is a well rounded climber that has summited routes in California, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Utah. As a coach for Vertical Hold’s Youth Team, Orion’s coaching style draws from his diverse athletic and professional experience. Orion was previously a Wildland Firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service where he was frequently sent around the southwest fighting fires and quelling emergencies with the Blue Ridge Hotshots. Orion has also played soccer competitively all of his life, and has been surfing for the last 20 years. In the future, Orion plans to climb his way through Europe and hopes to establish new multi-pitch trad routes in America. Orion graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and splits his time at the gym working as an Inside Wireman Apprentice for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #569.
Ricky McFerrin
Ricky McFerrinRouteSetter
Coming all the way from Bangkok, Thailand, Ricky is one of Vertical Hold’s newest and most promising routesetters. Despite the fact that he has only been climbing a little longer than a year, he has progressed through the ranks at an astonishing rate- Ricky climbed V8 outdoors after only climbing for 8 months! Perhaps he owes his natural talent to his wrestling background; Ricky was a state qualifier in 2008 and went on to coach the Mission San Jose Warriors for 5 years. His long term goals are to finish every climb at Tramway and Black Mountain, and he has interest in exploring career paths in the outdoor industry. Ricky is also a registered respiratory therapist, can solve a rubiks cube with one hand, and carries a small dog named Oreo in a backpack with him almost everywhere he goes.
Dan Hall
Dan HallYouth Team Coach
Dan moved to San Diego from Northern California in 2014 to study Economics at UCSD. He fell for rock climbing when he took a trip into the Desolation Wilderness to climb on the Eagle Lake Buttress near Lake Tahoe. Before he took up climbing, Dan was a competitive mountain biker who assisted in coaching his team and went all the way to the national CAT 1 championships in 2012. One of Dan’s proudest accomplishments was when he competed in a 100 mile race in Oregon called the “High Cascades 100”. As a youth coach, Dan also has a great deal of experience working with kids as a mathematics instructor; he has spent years tutoring youth of all ages in everything from introductory arithmetic to calculus. When he isn’t climbing, studying, or coaching, Dan enjoys getting away on back packing trips to the Sierras, and hopes to one day free climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.
Alex Ferron
Alex FerronRoutesetter
Alex is Vertical Hold’s newest female routesetter and also helps as the gym’s acting visual historian and social media director. She was born in Wisconsin, but has lived in Southern California since she was 6 years old. Over the past four years, Alex has taken to bouldering and is fondest of steep routes and small holds. Her favorite local crag is the Rainbow boulders, but she would jump at the chance to get away for a deep water soloing trip in Thailand or Spain. Alex plans on eventually climbing double digit boulder problems outdoors and gaining some experience leading crack climbs. As a routesetter, Alex enjoys emulating nature by setting routes with flowing movement similar to what she has climbed outdoors. Alex is also an accomplished equestrian with experience as a competitive three day rider and professional trainer in breaking and rehabilitating problem horses. She has been practicing yoga for 12 years, enjoys making jewelry, and loves playing with her dog Ghost.

Yoga Staff

Read all about our wonderfully balanced Yoga staff!

Ola Hadi
Ola HadiYoga Instructor
Practicing many different styles of yoga, Ola Hadi has studied with many inspiring teachers including Nikole Fortier (Iyengar), Maral Hadidi (Anusara), and Dana Rae Paré & Trevor Monk (Ashtanga). She is certified with Yoga Alliance and has been teaching since 2011. Passionate about deepening her knowledge, she has traveled to India to learn more about yoga and meditation and is currently working towards a 500 hour yoga certification. She aspires to teach classes that are deeply playful and delightfully philosophical. Her classes are often thematic, and interlaced with liberating alignment principles and breathwork. She makes a special point of getting to know her students and creating a safe and welcoming yoga community. Aside from her love of yoga, she enjoys writing poetry, rock-climbing, traveling, and teaching World History and Geography.
Karthikeyan Rajendran
Karthikeyan RajendranYoga Instructor
Karthikeyan Rajendran is one of Vertical Hold’s cherished yoga instructors. Karthi has primarlity practiced vinyasa yoga, but is eager to expand his practice into other styles. Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Karthi moved to San Diego in 2010. Karthi works in new product development for CareFusion by day, but his real passions are being active, healthy living, enjoying the outdoors, minimalism, learning how the body works and helping people. You can also find Karthi at his home studio Yoga80 in Sorrento Valley, where he completed some 200 hours of yoga teacher training. Karthi has been rock climbing for three years, loves Joshua Tree National Park, and even summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2011.
Jenny Walsh
Jenny WalshYoga Instructor
Jenny has always been very active. Participating in everything from soccer, running, and hiking, Jenny kept active into adulthood. As adult life became more complicated, she began taking Yoga classes to relieve the stress and anxiety of daily life. She was drawn to Vinyasa yoga, because of its challenging breath to movement flow, and the state of mediation that it creates. Recognizing the power of Yoga, Jenny participated in a 200hr Yoga Alliance teacher training in the summer of 2010. She was determined to share what she had been given, and at CorePower Yoga she found her passion in teaching. She loves teaching as it is a chance to help others live a quieter, healthier, more serene life. A continual student, she is also holds certifications as an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Crossfit Level I Coach, and USA Olympic weight lifting sports performance coach.

Jenny has fallen in love with climbing at Vertical hold, and sees the benefits of pairing yoga with climbing. Every time she teaches at VH her goal is to help improve climbers range of motion, and in turn their performance as they climb.

Terra Cosby
Terra CosbyYoga Instructor
Terra is originally from Tampa, Florida and went to Arizona State University where she graduated with degrees in Exercise, Wellness, and Human Nutrition. While attending ASU, Terra started taking yoga classes to supplement her fitness routine and to help her prepare and relax before challenging exams. It was during this time that she learned how brilliant yoga really was for creating a sense of calm, focused strength, and awareness. In 2010 Terra moved to San Diego, and by 2011 she was given the opportunity to earn her 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher Certification through Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga. In 2012 Terra traveled to India where she was able to dive deeper into the roots of yoga and meditation. Terra has had the opportunity to work with teachers from different styles of yoga such as Iyengar, Anusara, Ashtanga and Sivananda. While Teaching Terra likes to incorporate all that she learned into creating classes that are not only fun, and challenging, but also utilize alignment based flows that focus on asanas, breath work, and meditation. 
Ashley Taylor
Ashley TaylorYoga Instructor
Ashley’s passion for athletics developed at a young age, she participated in volleyball, soccer and basketball while also enjoying running outdoors, hiking and training at the gym. Ashley is also an avid academic; she recently graduated from UCSD with a B.A. in Human Development and is currently enrolled in a dual Masters program at SDSU, studying Social Work and Public Health. Ashley initially connected with yoga while working as a supervisor for the UCSD Recreation Center and then deepened her practice at local yoga studios to relieve stress and anxiety. Ashley was inspired by the positive impact that yoga had on her mood so in the summer of 2014 she decided to enroll in a Power Vinyasa yoga teacher-training program through Yoga Alliance. After completing the 200-hour certification course Ashley has pursued teaching as a private yoga instructor as well as leading beginner lessons at youth group homes. Ashley continues to remain active through yoga, beach volleyball and climbing and she is enthusiastic to share the benefits of yoga with the entire Vertical Hold community.