Bradley Leighton is our founding owner, idea guy and sport climbing evangelist. He has been climbing since he could walk - always trying to reach the highest point he could see. First, in the 100ft fir trees surrounding his boyhood home in the Pacific Northwest and later taking to rock climbing big walls at nearby Leavenworth, WA and Squamish, BC. Now, at age 60, Bradley is still climbing and hopes to visit Yosemite on a regular basis to tick off some classic trade routes starting with the Nose on el Capitan. The crusty trad climber is now a enthusiastic proponant of sport climbing (indoor and out) for all ages. Bradley built Big Island Climbing to introduce the local community to sport climbing's high fun factor and numerous health benefits. He is now actively seeking partners to join him in constructing a full size climbing facility with lead and top-rope climbing, boulding and speed wall. We would like to have a venue capable of hosting world class competitions and events.
Pa'ani VR (virtual reality) is also Bradley's baby. He coded his first game in 1976 in MS Basic on a Radio Shack TRS-80 computer and has been an avid gamer and arcade aficionado for over 40 years. While working in the IT industry through its formative years (80’s – 90’s) in jobs ranging from data entry clerk to programmer/systems analyst; he gained the knowledge and technical expertise to help him in creating a high quality gaming experience for all ages. Bradley is the PaaniVR gamemaster and excels in finding just the right virtual reality experience for you to enjoy.
Bradley Leighton is also a professional entertainer, teacher, private pilot and master flutist. By combining his love of gaming, climbing, entertaining and teaching – along with his extensive technical knowledge – he promises to provide a fun, safe, family friendly space for all ages to enjoy. You can learn more about him at www.fluteguy.com
Donovan Vavuris is Big Island Climbing Head Route Setter and Director of Climbing Activities. He has a degree in physical education with an emphasis on outdoor education from Idaho State University. He started climbing at the ripe old age of 6 when his dad brought him to their local climbing gym in Santa Cruz, California. Donovan's love of the sport allows him to connect and feel grounded. He came to us with a lot of experience in climbing and teaching climbing and has had many amazing opportunities. He worked for Idaho State University's outdoor program where he led climbing trips for other college students and taught climbing to community members. He has led training in all stages of climbing from gear selection and knowledge to physical knowledge on the wall. Some of his bigger more important climbs have included Bird of Fire in Joshua Tree and Triple Over Hangs in Wasatch Range.
Donna Nichols is our Executive Manager, gopher, lead front desk person and head of retail. Donna doesn't climb or play too much VR but she certainly loves the people that do and helps us provide a safe and fun environment. She is also a Notary and provides our community with secretarial services. Her background is in legal secretarial science and hails from Ohio. This space is Donna's "early retirement" and a real departure from her life in a face paced corporate environment in pharmaceuticals and biotech.