At the age of 11, Cliff began winter camping in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, which laid the foundation for every adventure in the mountains since. His education in technical climbing began eleven years later in California, where he became a student of Yosemite. He moved to the Pacific Northwest and began guiding; he has since worked in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming, Montana, Mexico and Ecuador. His personal climbing pursuits have taken him to Patagonia, Nepal, East Africa and all across the United States. At home with his wife in Bend, Oregon he enjoys the tough choices that he faces on his days off: Climbing sunny rock, backcountry skiing or alpine climbing? All three exist within 4o minutes of his front door and have overlapping seasons for no less than six months out of the year.
He is also faculty in the Outdoor Recreation Leadership program at Central Oregon Community College, and is a writer for the outdoor section of TheWirecutter.com.