September 18, 2023 3 min read

Hola! Me llamo Xavier Bravo and I am originally from Illinois with family roots in Michoacán y Guadalajara, México. I found love for the outdoors not through recreation, but through community. The flatlands of the Midwest encouraged me to seek a relationship with nature via a relationship with others. It was not until college that I found the outdoor sports we all know and love. With a newfound passion for life, I guided outdoor recreation sports until settling in Boulder, CO, where I now work for the American Alpine Club as their Event Coordinator. While I love guiding and all the wonderful places it has taken me, I craved a community to share the memories with—particularly my Latine community. After receiving my Single Pitch Instructor certification, I set out to bridge the climbing gap I noticed in my community and created Escaladores Unidos, an affinity group dedicated to fostering conexión for all self-identifying Latine/x & Hispanic individuals through a shared passion of cultura, comunidad y climbing. My hope is that by bringing this community together, collectively we can increase visibilidad, representación y accesibilidad for all escaladores. 

Header photo by: Mike Thurk
Adjacent photo by: Zoe Herwitz
Full Name: Xavier Bravo

Pronouns: He/Él

Nickname:Javi, X-Man, Professor (X), X-Box, Zav, Peanut Butter, Eyeball

Specialty: Climbing & Community Organizing

Age: 26

Current Location: Boulder, CO

HEST Product: Foamy Wide, Standard Pillow & Bedding

Side, front or back Sleeper? I usually start on my right side and slowly, but surely, become a starfish by the time I wake up.

Any before bed rituals?

Brush the teeth and floss while gazing at the night sky hoping to see at least one shooting star before laying down for bed. I take out my contacts and throw on my reading glasses to flip through the pages of my favorite books before my eyelids get heavy. Once I lay down, I close my eyes and do a somatic exercise where I scan my body toe to head and think about every sensation I am feeling: the blankets lightly brushing my toes, my heals pressed against the mattress, my legs heavy from walking around all day, all the way up to the tips of hair on my head. To be honest, I’ve never scanned the whole body - I usually fall asleep by the time I’ve gotten around my shoulders.

Best dream you’ve had recently summed up in 3 words? Monkeys, Music, Lasers

Early bird or night owl? When I am outside on my adventures, definitely an early bird! The natural cycle of the sun helps me wake up earlier than I do back in the city. Once I’m back home, I slowly shift back into night owl mode.

Coolest place you’ve ever woken up in? Hard to choose but either the rainforests of Madagascar or an island in Alaska with a beautiful view of the Blackstone Glacier!

Land Legs or Sea Monster?  I’m a landlubber! Although I’ve guided canoe, kayak, and rafting trips in the past, I have a deep fear (and healthy respect) for water sports. Having my feet on solid ground - or on tiny crystals on the wall - is where I feel the most comfortable.

Preferred method of getting your adrenaline/endorphins pumping? Climbing of course!

What is one thing you can’t camp without? In the summer, bugspray. In the winter, my puffy down pants!

Dreams & goals for the next couple years? See Escaladores Unidos officially become a 501(c)3 Non-Profit & have a chapter in every state, become a 8A climber in bouldering & sport climbing, buy a van and build it out, visit Alaska again & finally travel to Mexico to visit family.

Tips/advice for your younger self? Be unapologetically, unabashedly authentic and you will attract the people you hold most dear in life. Your hardwork will always be worth it in the end. Don’t be afraid to get weird with it.

Photo credit from Left to Right: Bree Robles, Eddie Negrete, & Grey Jensen