Splitting his time between the Sierras in California and the Southeast, you’ll most likely find Recover Brands ambassador, Wes Napier, negotiating challenging routes up impressive rock faces or savoring solace on the river with his fly rod. Early on in his climbing career, Wes focused on mountaineering; including two Mount Rainier trips, an expedition to the summit of Aconcagua in Argentina (the highest peak in the world outside of Asia), and three trips into the Alaska range including Denali. Recover caught Wes in a rare moment off belay to talk about life, sustainability, and his current escapades of big wall climbing in Yosemite.
Wes Napier taking in the view atop the infamous North American Wall of El Cap in Yosemite.
Tell us about yourself and your major passions...
I was fortunate to be introduced to the outdoors from a very early age with the help of my father. I was also involved with a very high adventure Boy Scout troop in Oak Ridge, TN. I am passionate about all disciplines of rock climbing, fresh and saltwater fly fishing, running, and occasionally road and mountain biking.
Recover Brands ambassador Wes Napier taking a shade break, courtesy of Yosemite Valley’s Washington Column on his ascent of “The Prow” last summer.
How did you come across Recover Brands?
Introduction to Bill from a mutual friend Dave Alexander at one of the EORA retail shows in Greenville, SC. The Wilson Creek mountain bike trip with their NC based crew sealed the deal on wanting to help support and help grow their business.
How do your passions mix with Recover?
I really like supporting recycled and upcycled products when possible. Reducing the environmental impact is very important to me after witnessing the amount of waste in the apparel lines I sold at Rock Creek for 10 years.
Wes enjoying river time in a Southeastern creek, and a climb up and up a California crag.
Tell us about your climbing trip last summer?
Man, I fell in love with Yosemite (the birthplace of modern North American climbing) about 10 years ago. The park is jam-packed with thousands of routes on some of the most pristine, flawless granite in the world. Longtime friend Andrew Magnussen and I have been climbing together for many years, from mountaineering trips to Alaska, big walls in Zion National Park, ice routes in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, to the local Tennessee Wall. One of the challenges in climbing big routes is finding compatible individuals that have a similar mindset and end goals. We both love climbing because of the beautiful locations it can take you, and the freedom only climbing can provide. We completed 3 big walls on 3 different formations in 3 weeks. First was The Prow on Washington column, second was the North American Wall on El Cap, and finally Wet Denim Daydream on Leaning Tower.
Resting those good ol’ Yosemite “wall climbing mitts.”
How do your outdoor experiences translate to everyday life?
My outdoor experiences have influenced my everyday life on many levels. By subjecting myself to outdoor pursuits I have gained confidence and clarity to what’s important to me, overall just aligning my priorities to allow a more active lifestyle. Establishing goals that continually push those boundaries of what is possible helps me stay motivated in training throughout the year.
Why is sustainability important to you?
We have a limited resource base, and creating products that have a smaller environmental footprint is important to me. I have a Geology degree and contemplated the environmental protection and cleanup field…but somehow ended up in outdoor retail.
What does the future of sustainability look like?
Not too sure, however I strongly believe as our population grows there will be more of a focus on supporting sustainable practices. Whether in the retail sector, the food production sector or others, this will become more and more pressing, especially if we keep depleting our natural resources.
Wes Napier on the approach to world-famous South Howser Tower and the famed Beckey-Chouinard route in the Bugaboos, B.C. Recover Brands sees outdoor pursuits as inspiration for proving the impossible to be possible. In a world in need of innovation for our next best chapter, we’re working every day to lead the way.
* All photos courtesy of Wes Napier and Andrew Magnussen unless otherwise noted. *