Robert C. DeLena was raised in Revere, MA, and is a graduate of The Governor’s Academy, Trinity College, and Northeastern University School of Law. After practicing law unhappily, he founded a small recruiting company called Legal Staffing Solutions, and for over twenty years has advised law firms, lawyers, and law students on legal hiring. Rob lives in Sudbury, MA with his wife, Mary Beth, and their daughter, Abigail, who currently attends Hamilton College. He spends time skiing with his son Ryan and the great friends he’s made during his journey from beginner to reluctant adventurer. Rob has skied all over the United States, internationally in Canada, Chile, and Argentina, and has toured in Antarctica in 2018 and 2022.
Ryan DeLena is currently studying Outdoor Education at Northern Vermont University. For years, he’s posted content as “Extreme Ryan” – a nickname given to him by his father, after he became obsessed with skiing. A decade later, Ryan is believed to be the youngest person to ski tour in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, having completed expeditions in Antarctica (2018), Svalbard (2022), and Baffin Island (2023). Ryan was featured on the cover of Backcountry Ski Maps, and he’s climbed and skied peaks in Chile, Argentina, Oregon, Washington, Utah, California, Nevada, Wyoming, and almost every inch of skiable terrain in the Presidential Range. When he’s not on skis, Ryan is an enthusiastic rock climber, ice climber, and avid hiker, summiting the Grand Teton twice and completing the “Hundred Highest” hiking peaks in New England. He plans to ski and rock guide professionally and has earned advanced certifications from the American Mountain Guides Association and the Professional Ski Instructors of America.
As a child, Ryan had difficulty controlling his emotions and he was placed in therapeutic schools that relied on detrimental methods of behavior modification such as physical restraint. He was prescribed heavy medication, and in 2010, was voluntarily committed to a mental hospital for further evaluation. His parents Rob and Mary Beth were counseled to place him in a group home. They refused. Two years earlier, after an impulsive decision to take Ryan skiing, Rob discovered a different child than the version experts were so sure about, and with each conquest in the winters that followed, he began to question the path laid for his son by the professionals paid to judge him. Together, Rob and Ryan co-authored the newly released Without Restraint (Falcon Press, 2023), a joint father-son memoir chronicling the missteps of Ryan’s childhood and how skiing helped alter the course of his life.