The Legend of Dave Mills

Dave Mills is alive.  Well, depending on when you’re reading this article, even that simple detail may not be true.  So, let me qualify that initial statement.  At the time this article was written, Dave Mills was alive. That much is true!

Every person even acquainted Dave Mills has a Dave Mills Story, and that is one of the things that lead me ask… “Is Dave Mills a legend?”  I don’t really know, but the deeper inspiration behind that question was inspired by a fictional friend and Cornell University Alum, Andy Bernard (AKA Nard-dog)!  Andy once said with an unusual level of depth “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days, before you’ve actually left them.”  Similarly, I wish there was a way to acknowledge legends while they’re still in their prime.

I don’t know if Dave Mills is a legend, and in all honesty, I don’t really even know Dave Mills.  However, I have heard stories, and perhaps reading some of these anecdotes will allow you to conclude for yourself.

Who the F%@K is Dave Mills?  (Here’s what I know.)

  • I’ve only ever seen him wearing short sleeve button down Hawaiian shirts.
  • He’s a talented route setter.
  • He’s a very good rock climber.
  • He gave me beta and helped me finish my first V3. Pretty much my only interaction with Dave Mills.  I was really impressed with how this climber from another dimension1 who was crushing routes I couldn’t imagine would take his time and stoke to help me send something that he warmed up on!
  • He shows up every once in a blue moon to set spectacular routes at my local gym.
  • He has over 1350 ticks on Mountain Project.
  • He loves climbing.
  • He’s relentlessly strong.
  • He loves his friends and family!

Who the F%@K is Dave Mills?  (Here’s what I’ve heard.)2

  • He is a professional farmer and cultivator in the green sector.
  • He’s from Texas but lives in Colorado.
  • He’s sent 5.12’s in Air Force Ones.
  • He has a hard time finding a harness that fits comfortably because his testicles are gigantic.
  • He will go climbing at any time with anyone.
  • His favorite beer is Pabts Blue Ribbon.
  • His favorite song is My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion.
    • Rumor has it that Dave Mills pumps himself up by playing this song over and over on his way to the crag!  If he ever tells you that he can pick you up, just don’t.
  • One time while illegally trespassing on a ranch in Texas in order to hit some unexplored limestone on private property, Dave Mills and his friends were confronted by a giant angry adult full-grown longhorn bull.  Dave Mills told his friends to run toward the crag while he distracted the bull.  He took off his red Hawaiian print shirt and began to wave it at the bull, his friends ran off in the opposite direction and the angry longhorn started to charge.  The way I hear the story, Dave Mills armed with nothing but two locking biners began running directly at the bull.  Waiving his red Hawaiian shirt, Dave Mills slid the carabiners over his fingers as if to use them as brass knuckles.  The collision was all but inevitable, but just as the bull lowered his head as if to impale his would-be victim, Dave Mills slid to the ground feet first, dodging the blow and sliding directly under the charging bull.  Somehow avoiding being trampled, Dave Mills slid directly under the beast’s carriage.  At the last moment while still in the shadow of this brute and sliding along the rocky dirt terrain, Dave Mills cocked back his arm and swung mightily.  Hoping the force of this blow would deter the longhorn from a second charge, Dave Mills gave this throw everything he had and punched the enormous creature square in the anus with a Black Diamond Positron Screw Gate Locking Carabiner.  The Bull, with his head hanging in shame, slowly walked away, knowing today…he was defeated.  Dave Mills clipped the biners, put his red Hawaiian shirt back on, dusted off the Air Force Ones, and joined his pals while sipping a warm foamy PBR!
  • He rocks the Scarpa Force X Climbing shoes.
  • He off-widths with a toilet paper roll duct-taped around his penis to protect him from chaffing on crotch bars and nug snuggers. (there’s a version of this story that suggests that Dave Mills uses a paper towel roll)
  • He has never trained a day in his life.
  • One time he was offered a sponsorship from Scarpa which included free shoes for life as long as he posts photos wearing Scarpa gear on a regular basis.
    • One time, he turned down a sponsorship from Scarpa which included free shoes for life as long as he posts photos wearing Scarpa gear on a regular basis.  Saying, “You can’t buy me, Dave Mills is not for sale!” and went on to purchase a new pair of Scarpa Force X Climbing Shoes at full price just to make a point!
    • There is a rumor that Dave Mills is for sale, specifically to a place called Pabst Brewing Company.
  • Dave Mills Free Soloed a 5.12a to save a baby bird trapped on the top of a rock.
  • Dave Mills loves animals.
  • Ten years ago, a crack climber was sent to exile by an AMGA court for a dank route that he didn’t bolt.  This man promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Colorado underground.  Today still wanted by the AMGA.  He survives as a climber of fortune.  If you have a problem, if no one else has beta, and if you can find him…maybe you can climb with Dave.
  • He’s a big fan of soup, and most soft breads.
  • His favorite desert is Crème brûlée.

Of course, I’ve heard a lot more.  Anyone who has ever crossed Dave Mills’ path has heard a lot more.  I’m not sure if Dave Mills is a legend, a legend in the making, or just great climber who avoided death by punching a cow in the butthole with a fist full of carabiner.  However, I am sure that he showed me that stoke in climbing comes from a community that supports each other no matter what…whether you’re on a V3 or V13.  And, if my climbing trajectory ever crosses with Dave Mills’, I hope that moment includes a few belays, a little beta, and a trip to the bar for some PBR.  Obviously, I would expect to ride in the backseat, because I heard his gigantic testicles always ride shotgun!

Carrot (Co-writer)

  1. I don’t actually know that Dave Mills is from another dimension.
  2. I have no idea if any of this is true, it’s all hearsay with no intention to promote or malign the character or the legend of Dave Mills.

15 Replies to “The Legend of Dave Mills”

  1. If he likes crème brûlée, he can’t be all bad. But does he like to eat it, or just play with a torch? Is he old enough that, when he couldn’t scrape together enough $ for PBR, he drank their cheap brew, Red White and Blue?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dave Mills is the person who got me into climbing. I snuck out of my house to go to a party on my 17th birthday and he saw I didn’t belong there (wasn’t a safe situation) so he invited me to climb with him sometime. He basically re-routed the whole of my life by taking me to Stone Moves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aubrey…that is amazing! That is like a crossover/origin story! If we get him on the podcast, we’ll have to see if he remembers the details!


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