ROBERT ERNEST FINLAY

Director: Kayak Lake Mead

Certification: Instructor, American Canoe Association

Age: 62 (born May 1953, in case I forget to update this page...)

Military: Graduated US Army Ranger School 1974

Education: BS - US Military Academy at West Point 1976

Bio Overview
A lifelong passion for adventure: As a climber I've guided Half Dome in Yosemite and I've soloed many 2000 foot+ rock climbs. As a mountain biker, I've done races hundreds of miles in length. As a desert trekker I've crossed solo the Mohave Desert in blistering summer temperatures. As an adventure racer, I've done over 20 expedition length races. As a sea kayaker I've taken 1st Place, with my son paddling a tandem kayak, twice in the Everglades Challenge a 300 mile paddle race.

See my personal blog, a journal of adventures: http://robert-finlay-kayaklakemead-journal.blogspot.com/ 

Occupation:
Instructor: Presidio Adventure Racing Academy (climbing and paddling instructor)
E-Camp: (see www.teamsole.com) (trekking and paddling instructor)
Climbing Guide: Jay Smith's High and Wild Mountain Guides
Ironworker: Foreman; Heavy construction, bridges, high rises, etc.
Race Director: The Desert Winds Adventuring Racing Series

Kayak Lake Mead Racing:
Yukon River Quest (440 mile paddle race) Druce and Robert
June/July 2016 - 2nd tandem kayak men's, 2nd tandem kayak overall, and 13 out of 93 boats overall

Everglades Challenge (300 mile paddle race) Druce and Robert (see race reports):
March 2016 - finished 1st in our Class and 1st paddle craft overall
March 2015 - finished 1st in our Class and 2nd paddle craft overall
March 2014 - finished 1st in our Class and 1st paddle craft overall
March 2013 - finsihed 1st in our Class and 1st paddle craft overall
March 2011 - finsihed 1st in our Class and 1st paddle craft overall
March 2010 - finished 2nd in our Class and 4th paddle craft overall
March 2006 - finished in 5 days and very happy to finish

Adventure Races:
Endeavor Team Challenge Norcal 2013 - 30 hour plus, adventure race, crossfit, multi-fitness comp, Robert Finlay Ryan Ross, 6th Place  
Mother Lode 2009 - 4 day race in the Sierra Nevada, November 2009  Robert, Druce, Sylvie Maracci, Mark Jackson  3rd Place   
Primal Quest 2009 - 10 day 600 mile expedition race, Aug 2009, Robert & Druce Finlay, Amy Van Voorst, Valentin Chapa, 15th
Baja Travesia - 3 to 5 day 275 mile expedition race   March 2008  Robert, Amy, Druce   8th Place
Baja Travesia - 3 to 5 day 220 mile expedition race   March 2007  Robert, Briana, Druce   2nd Place (50 miles of kayaking)
Desert Rage Vail Lake, CA - Feb 28, 2007, Druce, Robert, Amy Van Voorst   1st Place
Desert Rage Oracle, AZ - Feb 2, 2007, Druce, Robert, Amy Van Voorst   2nd Place
Desert Rage Lake Mead - Dec 2, 2006, !st Place 2-Person   2nd Place Overall
Explore the West Adventure Race - Big Bear, CA  24 hour race  Sep 9, 10, 2006  Druce and Robert  Tied for 3rd Place Solo
Baja Extreme - Marina de Salina, Baja, August 5, 2006  Druce, Robert and John Whiteside  Men's 2nd Place
Quest for Fire - Angel Fire, NM...July 15 2006...12 hour...Team took 2nd Place with Druce taking 1st Place Solo.
Explore the West Adventure Race - Lake Mead...24 hour race...May 13, 14 2006...2nd Place.
Desert Rage - Lake Roosevelt, AZ...April, 2006...2nd Place.
Desert Rage - November, 2005...1st Place solo (Robert Finlay)...1st Place 2-person (Briana and Druce Finlay).
West Coast Adventure Race - May, 2004...1st Place with son and daughter.
Desert Sol Cup - Las Vegas, NV  Winter 2004...1st Place - 3 race series.
Desert Sol Challenge - Las Vegas, NV ;Dec. 14, 2003...1st Place.
Adrenaline Rush - Scotland...June 2003 (310 miles with 65 miles of paddling)
4-Winds OIC - Park City, UT;  Aug 2003...2nd Place (Father and Son Team) (120 miles with 15 miles of paddling).
Balance Bar Series - Phoenix, AZ ; 2002...1st Place Corporate Division.
Desert Dash - 2002 Series Champions (Father and Son Team).
Desert Dash - 2001 Nevada State Sprint Champions (Father and Son Team).
Adrenaline Rush - Scotland...June 2001(350 miles with 70miles of paddling).
Desert Dash - Lake Mead...April 2001...1st Place (Father and Son Team).
Desert Dash - Lake Mead...March 2001...1st Place (Father and Son Team).
Four Winds Adventure Co. - Lake Mead...Nov. 2000...2nd Place (120 miles with 45 miles of paddling).
Eco-Challenge - British Columbia 1996 (350 miles with 100miles of paddling)
EXPN X-Games - New England 1996...5th Place (350 miles with 170 miles of paddling).
Raid Gauloises - Argentina 1995 (350 miles with 130 miles of paddling).
Eco-Challenge - Utah 1995.

Other Experiences:
Television commercial for CompuServe - actor, stuntman and technical advisor.
Rock Climbing - 26 years experience
Long Distance Speed Hiking - 26 years experience
Mountain Biking - 15 years experience
Sea Kayaking - 17 years experience (including 50 mile paddles in approx. 10 hrs).

Athletic Achievements:

World-Class Ascents:
The Sentinel - Steck/Salathe Route, on site, unroped solo, approx. 2100...6 hours. NOTE 1
Devil's Tower - Soloed, 5.9 on sight, unroped solo.
Red Rocks of Nevada - Black Velvet Canyon  Dream of Wild Turkey IV 5.9, unroped solo, approx. 1400 feet in 2 hours.
Epinephrine V 5.9 on sight, unroped solo, approx. 1900 feet, 4 hours base to base.

Other Ascents:
El Capitan, Salathe Wall, on sight, 2 days.  NOTE 2
Half Dome, regular route, on sight, 7 hours, 11 hours base to base a 9600 foot change in elevation.  NOTE 3

Desert Mountain Biking:
July 4th weekend crossing of the Mojave Desert-Searchlight, NV to 29 Palms, CA, 180 miles of dirt, no support, 3 days.   NOTE 4
Death Valley, CA to summit of White Mountain, CA, 2 days, a 14,300' change in elevation, temperature to 130 deg.

Solo Hiking:
70 mile crossing of Mojave Desert, 100 F+ temperatures, no support, 38 hours.

Survival Highlights:
Retreat from an ascent of Dream of Wild Turkeys in full deluge from thunderstorm, essentially underwater for 1hr.   NOTE 5
Retreat from first ascent of Return of the Jedi (a continuation of X-15) on Challenger Wall, Red Rocks, NV. Rappelled 900 feet down unknown wall at night in 60+ mph winds.   NOTE 6


NOTE 1: When this was first solved the effort was called "The Climb of the Century".

NOTE 2: The longest rock climb in United States. It usually takes 4-5 days.

NOTE 3: This is the face Ansel Adams captured so eloquently with the full moon.

NOTE 4: No water bladders, navigating from spring to spring or well, etc. with a scorpion sting on my neck.  I passed out while in the bike saddle.

NOTE 5: 1000 feet up, breathing in a waterfall

NOTE 6: The rappel ropes blowing straight up!  This was a first ascent of, Return of the Jedi, with Mike Ward.












Robert Finlay
Robert training with stones...
Get strong with kettlebells or rocks...
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