Scarpa North America Blog

Rob Pizem on the Notion of “Happy Hour”

Jul. 2nd 2014

Rob Pizem is an experienced climber, who has explored the world looking for traditional, sport and big wall climbs. But when he’s not climbing, he has another passion. He describes that here.

Happy hour isn’t just the hour associated with drinking beer with your friends or those couple of hours unwinding after work. If you break down the simple language, it’s just the hour you’re most happy.


I used to associate my happiest hours with camping – I loved tending and sitting around the campfire, but I have always been too antsy to truly enjoy “relaxing” for more than five or 10 minutes. There are always the associated camping activities – slacklining, cooking, reading – but turns out, I’m not that great at any of those. I’m definitely not much of a slackliner after I watched a climber in Mexico get a compound fracture in his wrist; he was on a climbing trip for two weeks and went home early due to a non-climbing related injury! I am also too impatient to find joy in cooking, even though I tried when I lived in Europe with folks who loved it. Arts and crafts have never held much of my attention – even today I lack the focus to find the peace that they can represent. Books can be good, but if I am not into the topic, it’s more like trying to choke down bad food. Instead, I always ended up exploring places that I haven’t been, scoping walls/routes that I longed to climb.

Today that is not the situation. My happiest hours while not climbing are spent with my wife and kids. I have two boys (ages 1 and 3) and from the moment I see them, it is on. I find myself running, playing with hot wheels, building train tracks, potty training, messing around on swing sets, coaching batting practice, ice skating and reading stories to attentive ears. Laughing at the songs they sing and the imaginary monsters they constantly tell me about are just a few of the things that occupy hours when I am not climbing.

I never thought that I would have kids nor was I seeking them out, but it is easy to see why folks vanish after having them. It is not that parents want to stop or lessen doing what they love to do – be it climbing or another personal pursuit – but that they are so filled with joy and elation at raising their kids that their focus changes. For us, being outside is something that my family shares today and will continue to share tomorrow. And I look forward to many happy hours with them.

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