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[NEON] Neon welcomes Benjamin Lehrer as our newest athlete.

Read Bens short bio

Name: Ben Lehrer
Hometown: Lower Merion, PA
Climbing Career: Since 2015 at Philadelphia Rock Gym (PRG).
Age: 18
Profession: Student/Climber/Climbing Team Coach

Unknown V5, Hueco Tanks

(NEON)Tell me about your climbing gear outfit. What do you wear when you climb?

(BEN) As far as clothing goes, I wear Prana Stretch Zion Shorts along with my Team PRG jersey. As for gear, I use an orange and blue Beta Labs Bucket, an orange Osprey Stratos 36 pack, and one of my many assorted chalk bags.

(NEON) You climbed in the Nationals at Reach on July 11-14th?

(BEN) Yes, I got 48th place at nationals. This was my first national-level competition so it was very psychologically challenging and I didn't perform at my best.

(NEON) What are you going to do to try and improve yourself for next year? Any training focus in particular?

(BEN) I plan to standardize my training substantially this competition season. In the past, I have been unable to truly commit to a regular training schedule, but now I plan to find time to lift and climb much more each week.

Amarillo Sunset 5.11b, North 40, Red River Gorge
Photo credit: Jenifer Lehrer

(NEON) How old are you?

(BEN) I'm 18, a rising high school senior at Friends' Central School and I am from Lower Merion, PA.

(NEON) How long have you been climbing?

(BEN) I first began climbing outdoors at the local crag in 8th grade, but was determined to improve my skills. After a few sessions outdoors, I tried out for the competitive team at PRG. Although this was my first time climbing indoors, I made it onto the team and havent stopped since.

Bangers and Mash 5.11+, Muir Valley, Red River Gorge
Photo credit: Jenifer Lehrer

(NEON) What is your local crag?

(BEN) My local bouldering crag is Haycock Mountain, and my local sport crag is Birdsboro Rock Quarry.

(NEON) I take it you enjoy competing?

(BEN) I began competing right off the bat in 8th grade. At first, I wasn't placing very well, yah know, the middle of the pack at local comps. Recently, though, I'm reliably placing within the top 3 places at locals and reach divisionals regularly.

(NEON) College?

(BEN) When I haven't been climbing this summer, I've been writing essays and filling out college applications. I'm not sure where I am going to go to college next year, but I know it will be somewhere where I can continue climbing. I'm undecided right now, still in the process of visiting and selecting where I think I'll fit in best.

Reckless Abandon 5.12a, Coliseum, New River Gorge
Photo credit: Eloise Klaris and Nadia Cohen

(NEON) What is your favorite climbing variety? (sport/speed/boulder)

(BEN) My favorite is sport. I love being up high on the wall and am psyched to get into trad next summer!

(NEON) Do you have a favorite place to climb outside?

(BEN) My favorite outdoor crags are the New River Gorge and Hueco Tanks, for sport and bouldering, respectively.

(NEON) Favorite place to climb inside?

(BEN) My favorite place to climb inside is the PRG gyms. Between coaching and training, I nearly live at these gyms.

Where's The Beef? 5.12c, Bob Marley, Red River Gorge
Photo credit: Anu McCulloch

(NEON) Ale-8-1?

(BEN) Well, love the soda. Sadly, I can only get it when I'm at the Red. As for the namesake route, I love it too.

(NEON) Let's switch gears a little bit. Favorite Shoe Company?
(BEN) Scarpa

(NEON) Rope?
(BEN) Sterling Velocity 9.8

(NEON) Harness?
(BEN) Grey BD Solution

(NEON) Chalk Bag Company?
(BEN) Neon

(NEON) Good answer.
(NEON) Anything Else?

(BEN) I'm really into technology, making, and engineering. In 2016, my friend Jonathan and I started our own company, SPOT Technology. Each year, we create an invention/exhibit and display it at the World Maker Faire in NYC.
In 2017, we invented an RFID based climbing tracking system and filed a patent for it. More recently, we licensed our technology to www.climbalytics.com and they are taking the product to market. It's pretty cool technology and many gyms around the country have adopted it for games, training programs, and more. You can find more info on it here: www.SPOTechnology.com/RFiClimb

(NEON) WOW, that is super cool, very innovative. Well done!
(NEON) Last question; Where are you going to climb outside next?

(BEN) My goal for this year is to spend a lot more time at the Red and the New. Hopefully send Tuna Town then start ticking 5.13's. I would love to get to Red Rock, NV this year, as well.

Follow Ben on Instagram @blehrer99

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