Explorers Club President


Kerrek Stinson (

Kerrek is a Mathematics PhD student. He is pretty into the outdoors. His primary interest is climbing, but he also bikes semi-frequently. If you see him at the climbing gym, don't hesitate to say hi!


Explorers Club Officers


Alex Gotsis (
Treasurer & Hiking Chair

Alex is an Electrical and Computer Engineering student that loves to find the time to get out into the world and climb a mountain or two. He loves longer backpacking trips, and also considers climbing to be a lot of fun.

Travis Fu (
Treasurer & Climbing Team Coach

Travis is an undergraduate chemistry student. He started climbing in 2015 and enjoys bouldering on plastic and on real rock. He frequents the climbing gym so look out for him there!

Matt Barnes (
Mountain Biking Chair

Matt is a mountain biker, backcountry skier and trail runner. Favorite trips include the Zion grand traverse, Kilimanjaro via the western breach, Roger's Pass, Matterhorn Canyon in Yosemite and the winter mountaineer's route on Mt. Whitney. He is an Adirondack 46'er, Eagle Scout and ECP mountaineering school grad.



Catherine Pavlov (
Climbing Chair

I'm a PhD student in the Mechanical Engineering department, where I teach planetary exploration rovers to play with dirt. Climbing excites me for a lot of reasons, but especially because a) it's a puzzle! and b) it's a great way to get on top of tall things. I'm a new trad leader, and hope to take the club on multipitch trad trips soon. I tried ice climbing for the first time last year and was hooked. Hit me up if you ever need a catch!

Erika Giuse (
Climbing Team Head Coach


I started climbing seriously the summer before college, and I was absolutely hooked from the beginning! It’s a great stress reliever, workout, and way to socialize with friends. I mostly have experience with indoor climbing and currently lead the CMU Climbing Team. We welcome students of all skill levels and practice several times a week at Ascend. We will also be attending both local and collegiate competitions throughout the year. If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Ben Towne (

I got started hiking in my home state of New Hampshire, a state with enough amazing natural beauty to get me hooked.  I've climbed a number of the state's peaks including the *real* Mt. Washington, which is much more challenging than Pittsburgh's old Coal Hill.  I enjoy hiking in PA as well as other states and countries, including a 7-month travel and backpacking trip in Europe a few years back. If there's somewhere you want to go (see suggestions above) just put out a note to explorers-hiking and let's make it happen.


Lane Darby (
Canoeing Chair

I'm an undergraduate student in the Mechanical Engineering department. I started canoeing from a very young age and have been doing it ever since. I do most of my canoeing over the summer in Canada where you can see the stars at night, but when I’m here you can be sure I’m waiting to get back on the water.



Explorers Club QUaRtermasters


Aria Wang (            

Aria is a PhD student in Neural Computation. She is into climbing, backpacking and skiing. She started backpacking back in her hometown China, where she went on months-long trips through Yunnan and Tibet. Her other favorite trips include backpacking through Zion, Patagonia and Nepal. 



Explorers Club Staff Advisor

Mason Risley (


Mason is the staff advisor of the explorers club and works in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. He enjoys getting off the grid and into the wilderness by camping, backpacking, rock climbing, and mountaineering. He is a prolific traveler for getting outdoors and spends most weekends in West Virginia to go climbing and backpacking. On longer trips he has traveled to the Pacific North West, South West, New England, and Europe for technical mountaineering objectives and backpacking.