Ionel (John) Ene’s passion for climbing began when he was 12 years old. The Romanian native has been a connoisseur of rock climbing for nearly twenty-eight years. Over the years, he has trained and participated in various types of climbing including lead climbing, ice climbing, trad climbing, alpine climbing, solo climbing, big wall climbing, and bouldering.
His extensive climbing background and training greatly contributed to his success within rock climbing competitions. John took first place four times in the Balcanic Championship and placed first (ten consecutive times) in the Romanian Championships. He has participated in more than thirty World Cup competitions in Europe and has spent over fourteen years competing in the United States. John took podium twelve out of twenty times while competing in the American Bouldering Series (ABS). He also placed third for lead climbing during the Sport Climbing Series National Championship in Miami in 2004. He has had the honor of meeting, competing, and climbing against some of the most well-known athletes in the world like Chris Sharma, Daniel Woods, Paul Robinson, Yuji Hirayama, Francois Legrand, and Arnaud Petit, Obe Carrion, Matt Bosley.
Rock climbing has allowed John to travel to some of the most beautiful climbing areas including but not limited to: Frankenjura (Germany), Fontainebleau, Ceuse, Les Calanques (France), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Arco (Italy), Magic Woods (Switzerland),Bulgaria, Red River Gorge, New River Gorge, Yosemite, Rumney (where he conquered his hardest route, 5.14b), Shawangunks, HuecoTanks (where he conquered his most difficult problems, V12), Horse Pens, Bishop (USA). He has reached the summit of some of the highest mountains such as Mont Blanc (France) and Elbruce (Russia).
John and his wife, Ina, who also has 25 years of climbing experience, often dreamt about having their own climbing gym. A place where they could combine two different climbing styles: European and American, with the hope to create more climbing awareness within the community and other areas. John used his training, experience, perseverance, and resourcefulness to make his dream a reality. Since 2008, their passion and enthusiasm for climbing has continued to grow, excite, and influence.
At Elite Climbing, everything is taken personally. John and Ina’s generosity goes beyond the expectations of typical business owners. They spark interest in beginners and challenge those with experience. They hold member/customer appreciation celebrations, offer beta or information about climbing, host charity, and fundraising events, and enjoy the company of fellow climbers both indoors and out. Elite Climbing has felt like home to John and Ina, as well as the climbers for the past seven years, and they invite you to become a part of the family.
A family who climbs together stays together! Recently back from their trip out west (January 2016), Elite Climbing owners, John, Ina, and Maya would like to share their adventure.