Marty Karabin - At age 5 Marty got into a argument with his father while being forced to wear the required Catholic school uniform. Marty exclaimed: “But you do not understand, I am to be the Jacques Cousteau of the Arizona mountains.” "I am to have two kids, one named after Jimi Hendrix and one named after Santa Claus." And this vision came true! Born in Pennsylvania, raised in Michigan and now a resident of Arizona since 1986. Throughout the years Marty has challenged himself in his art creations which include ink pen mandalas, Ukrainian eggs, glass etchings, paintings and screw art creations. Marty is a father of two sons James and Nicholas, loves spiritual teachings, and is a professional rock climber. Author of 4 rock climbing guide books and 45 paper guides to the mountains of Arizona, has the largest collection of rock climbing equipment in the USA, and presently is the Director of Vertical Entertainment at the Phoenix Rock Gym.
Growing up with Nicholas and James
Karabin Estate - Landscape
Marty: I never knew I was going to be a rock climber. I grew up being more of a wus kid always avoiding getting injured at all costs. But at age five I knew for sure that I was going to be a important figure with the mountains of Arizona. I didn’t have to think, or ponder, or contemplate the thought…..I just knew I was going to be the "Jacques Cousteau of the Arizona mountains." I say Jacques Cousteau because he was a explorer, writer, inventor, adventurer…. and that is what I will be with the Arizona mountains. But even when I turned 22 years old and finally made the move to live in Arizona, rock climbing was never a thought.
Now living in Arizona, I was confused on what my vision was to become. I started hiking the mountains and continually came across old miners trash where mankind had already visited many of the canyons. I looked and dressed like a figure out of Dungeons and Dragons. I carried a homemade sword, had a staff, had a homemade cloak jacket, and many times walked back out of the canyons with heat exhaustion. Yes hiking Arizona in the summer while hydrating yourself with Pepsi didn’t work so well! I found that most of the canyons were already mapped out, and satellite images were even becoming available. So to me I wondered what there was to explore in the Arizona mountains if everything has already been explored. Then a few campouts later, my friend Harvey brought along a climbing rope and some gear …. and then the direction within the vision I saw when I was 5 years old, was suddenly revealed to me.