Who We Are

Texas Climbing Adventures is fortunate to have a great array of seasoned local guides who we can rely on to provide outstanding instruction and great climbing for our clients. The combination of formal courses, personal experience, and dedication has been the key to their guiding excellence.

John Deas

Owner and Head Guide

Originally from Pennsylvania, John was no stranger to the attraction of the mountains in the Northeast. It’s just that, at the time, the draw was for skiing and snowboarding.  A chance visit to a local climbing gym with a friend changed everything.  John was hooked and a passion was born. Rock climbing embodied his love of the outdoors, his quest for challenge, and eventually was occupying all of his free time. After moving to Austin John took a guiding job with Mountain Madness Climbing School.

In 2013, eleven years after that visit to the climbing gym, John jumped at the chance to realize his dream when Mountain Madness Climbing School, the benchmark for climbing instruction in central Texas, was offered for sale. Renamed Texas Climbing Adventures, John and his team of experienced guides are dedicated to continuing our leadership as the most experienced guides in Texas. Just as we have for over 25 years.

John has a Bachelor’s Degree in Television and Film, plays guitar, holds a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification and, most importantly, is an American Mountain Guides Association certified Single Pitch Instructor as well as a Wilderness First Responder and NREMT-B.

Sam Whitley


Sam is a lifelong adventurer and certified climbing director for the Boy Scouts of America. A born and raised Texan, he earned a degree in Business Management from Texas State University in 2011 then moved up to Colorado the following summer to work at various high adventure camps and hone his rock climbing skills. He then spent 4 years teaching English in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and helped build the climbing community there as well as coached the climbing team at his school. His resume includes climbing the beautiful crags, mountains, and cliffs all over the United States, Mexico, Switzerland, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Australia, China, and even a few first ascents in Cambodia.

Lucas Palomeque

Senior Guide

Originally from Argentina, Lucas has rock climbing in his blood!  Lucas is a truly fun professional out on the rock!  As well as being one of the most talented people in the business Lucas is also a certified Single Pitch Instructor.

John-Paul (Travis) O’Neil

Senior Guide

I love teaching new people how to climb and be safer while doing so. I’m a certified Wilderness First Responder and will be pursuing AMGA Single Pitch Instructor certification soon. I love long adventurous multi-pitch climbing in places like Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, NV. You know climbing has an amazing magic to it when it makes you go to Vegas, but not for casinos. The all you can eat sushi is nice though. I have a background in Chemistry and Programming.

Daniel Setiawan


A lifelong climber, Daniel’s obsession with the sport has carried him across the country and around the world. He has traveled throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Malta and India in pursuit of the best routes and boulders. He calls Austin home though and is always glad to return to his favorite local crags. While not climbing, he works as a freelance writer and photographer, and at night you can find him racing a pedicab around downtown Austin. With over fourteen years of climbing experience, Daniel often remarks, “I don’t know what my life would have been like without climbing.” As a guide, he is passionate about sharing this knowledge and love of the sport with his clients.  Whether you are a beginner learning the ropes, someone wanting to advance to the next level or looking to organize an exotic climbing adventure, Daniel is an excellent guiding choice.

Rouslan Haracherev

Assistant Guide

I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria. When I was 15 years old, I moved to North Carolina where I attended high school and college. Then I moved to Telluride, Colorado, where I fell in love with climbing. Last May, my wife and I moved full-time into a 36-foot RV and we now travel America, rock climbing and playing music. Climbing is my life’s passion and I look forward to sharing that gift with you. I have a wide base of knowledge of climbing technique, movement, and safety that can benefit first-time climbers to advanced climbers! Let’s get outside and crush some rock together!

Mike Klein

Senior Guide

Mike has been a climber from the start, his first injury a broken collar bone sustained while bouldering out of his crib without a spotter.  He learned the ropes while living in Massachusetts in 1985.  In the following years Mike’s passion for climbing drove him to become a well rounded climber who excels in the rock disciplines of bouldering, sport climbing and trad climbing.  In his career peak experiences include flashing V8 boulder problems, 5.13 sport routes and 5.12 traditional climbs.  Not content to repeating routes Mike has established V10 boulder problems, 5.13+ sport routes and 5.12+ traditional climbs.  He enjoyed multi pitch climbing in Yosemite, the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming and Moab’s desert towers.

Mike has been guiding with Texas Climbing Adventures since 2010.  As a guide he focuses on risk management, skills and techniques.  He is a great choice to take your climbing to the next level, from learning to belay to climbing 5.13.  Mike is a certified AMGA SPI and Wilderness First Responder.