Jason Kehl has been climbing for over 13 years and an artist for just as long. Climbing has always been a good creative outlet and his vagabond lifestyle and penchant for danger have fueled his adventures over the years. Jason's evolvement in the climbing world reflects theses ideas and he is willing to share them with whoever is willing to listen.
A pro climber that has been living on the road for the past 10 years, Jason always seems to find adventure. His highballing escapades have been well documented, including some amazing first ascents like- Evilution in Bishop, Ca and becoming the first person to solo 5.14d with his boulder ascent of The Fly in Rumney New Hampshire. You can also see what he is up to via his website www.cryptochild.com.
I have been doing a lot of traveling lately and one thing that I am always noticing is how emotional I get when flying in a plane. My theory is; this heightened emotional state is caused by a subconscious fear of death and being out of control of your own survival. So that would explain how, when I reach a cruising altitude of 39,000 feet and the fat kid at the end of the movie saves the day, I'm doing all I can to hold back the tears and avoid public humiliation. These are cheesy movies that I would never watch, but somehow in that world, up in the sky I'm as soft as a teenage girl. It's interesting how your surroundings can subtly change your emotional state in a major way. That change in awareness and intensity is something I have always craved in climbing. Standing on the ground or on the edge of a cliff, your mind tells your body your just standing there, but your senses know better. When you find yourself in a situation that your only choice is to focus 100% or the results could be deadly and in that one moment nothing else exists in the world except your target, everything is clear. Accepting these dramatic changes in every situation and controlling them is one of the most difficult skills to master, requiring the body and mind to work fluidly together. Or tricking the body to follow the mind and blocking out the danger that is everywhere.
It sounds complicated, but its really not, we are all just monkeys trying to get to the top of the tree. Some of us fall and go splat and some of us hang on forever. I like to look at it this way; I travel around the world in search of really large boulders. Then with my trusty little brush, I attentively clean the boulder while looking for a way to scale up the most difficult side. Upon reaching the summit I usually like to throw my hands in the air and release a war cry. It's really quite an invigorating escape and I suggest you try it sometime. That is what climbing is all about for me, escaping all nonsense that we deal with on a daily basis. My life right now is spinning rapidly, but the change is what makes it exciting. It's and end of an era here in the Bubble. The 902 house is finally changing hands after a decade of being "in the family" of climbers. The days of sitting on the porch in the afternoon are now the "good ol days". The future is bright though and I have work to do. I've been shaping my little fingers off in the past weeks. Producing some killa climbing holds for So iLL and now my own line of Cryptochild holds and T-shirts. The Outdoor Retailer Show is in a week, so I have no time to waste. The conditions here are getting prime for the high alpine granite and soon I will be unable to resist.