Mo Staff: Noah Bigwood – VP of Development and Construction

by Jon Vickers /

Noah took to the mountains and cliffs in 1976 and has pursued climbing passionately ever since. In addition to a variety of international trips and competitions, he founded a successful climbing guide service in Moab, UT in 2001. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Colorado College in 1991 and worked his way from laborer to general contractor over more than twenty-five years in the construction trades.

In 2011, Noah was thrilled to have an opportunity to put his extensive background in guiding, coaching and professional climbing to work as a coach of Momentum’s youth team. Within such a comprehensive team program, Noah’s skills could be applied and passed on to many remarkable young athletes. Today, Noah directs all real estate acquisition and construction activities for Momentum, but he sees his role and goals as further reaching.

“I intend to help Momentum take climbing into its next stage of maturity as a sport and  develop Momentum’s gyms into the places that climbing communities call home,” explains Noah. “The only passion in my life which overshadows climbing for me is my family. I love camping, biking and playing with my children and yes…climbing too.”

Noah Bigwood on the first ascent of High Performance (5.12c) at the Lone Peak Cirque.
Noah Bigwood on the first ascent of High Performance (5.12c) at the Lone Peak Cirque.

What is your favorite part about climbing?

“Trying to dissect climbing into parts is nearly impossible for me; it is the whole package that has kept me at it for so long. There was some point along the way where I realized I enjoy climbing so much that I could imagine doing it for the rest of my life without losing the passion and intensity that it had in the beginning. Climbing has become a lifelong journey for me where I continue to learn new ways to encounter it and keep discovering aspects that I had missed before.

That being said, even though climbing is a personal journey, it would be meaningless without the friends that I share it with… So that must be the most important part for me.”

What is your favorite part about coaching?

“Coaching is something that I have always loved. I was very fortunate that when I was fifteen years old, my high school in Denver had a climbing club with two very dedicated teachers who were the coaches. This was extremely unusual considering that the first indoor climbing walls in Colorado had not been built yet, and we took a bus out to some small cliffs and boulders twenty minutes from the school every day to practice. As I improved under their teaching, I soon recognized that I enjoy sharing my knowledge and insight about climbing with others.

Through the years, I have taught climbing to youth groups at summer camps, done private coaching, run a climbing guide service in Moab, and now I coach the Momentum competitive team. There is so much technical information in climbing that it’s easy to get caught up in the particulars of  training, technique, problem solving, comp strategy, movement, equipment and process, etc. I’ve come to realize that the biggest difference between good climbers and great climbers is their enjoyment level and  confidence. As a coach, I am not a cheerleader. It’s my job to point out flaws and push people past their comfort zones, but it is always at the front of my mind that I want climbing to be fun. In my opinion, this is the best way to create self confident climbers for whom the top of a climb does not determine success, but rather giving every ounce of effort on every attempt does.”

Noah and Son
Noah teaches his son on the adjustable system wall at Millcreek. A training tool he designed for Millcreeks world-class training area.
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