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.
Ever feel like you life is a video and you're watching it thru your own eyes, but the only problem is that the fast forward button doesn't work?
Rewind to the beginning of the month. I'm in Colorado and the weather is great! The alpine granite conditions are peaking and even the areas closer to Boulder are starting to cool off. I had a fun experience on Cage Free in Boulder Canyon. A two move dyno problem with bad foot options that throws you like a rag doll when you latch the big move. Lesson learned: "Try every possible possibility and something will work, eventually." In an unrelated event, I put up a new highball in Mt Evans at Area B. It's a beautiful arête with blocky holds and a weird slab landing, the name One False Move seems to fits accordingly. Lesson learned: "Double-check every hold on highball first ascents, especially the ones that wiggle." Unfortunately, it seemed like someone was pushing my fast forward button and since there is only one level here, it probably wasn't the man upstairs.
Fast forward to the end of the month, I have two weeks left but I am off to the Shire in Maryland to visit family. A quick getaway to the eastern shore so I can look at the beach and also realize what drove me to live in Colorado, the humidity. Halfway thru that trip let's hit the pause button and analyze the scene. I'm standing above a hard tile floor, it's early morning and in my arms is a jumble of stuff, computer bag, camera, etc...
But what is that in the bottom right corner of the frame? Hey, it's my external hard drive and it seems to be headed for impact. That's when I remember that the pause button doesn't work and reality sets in. The good news is that it was actually fine, just a little shaken up.
Fast forward to two days ago, it's a beautiful fall day and I'm taking Abbey Smith out to one of my favorite areas in Southern Illinois. Earlier that morning I had taken the hard drive in because it wasn't powering up, the prognosis I got on the phone during the drive was negative, unrecoverable. Although this wasn't my first break up, it's still a hard blow to take.
Lets see, freak out about it, or continue and have a great day climbing? Seems like an easy decision. Walking into the boulders was just as I remembered, just as it is at any other area in the world. It's like a cleansing process, starting with the hike. By time you have warmed up you're halfway there and when your going for the crux move on your latest project everything is gone. Now you are existing in the pureness of the moment and that's not an easy thing to find in everyday life.
Nothing is a guarantee, not even in life. It seems the most solid thing in this world is rock. People die, cars break down, computers crash, but the rock is still out there sleeping in the forest waiting for your return. I'm not here to cry about the material things in life. Who needs the stress? Who needs any of it? "Crash the Internet," That's my motto. I'm going back to pencil and paper, shoes and chalk. You know, the good old days!
I invite you to join me. One time, I was riding my bike over a small bridge; in the stream below, there was a laptop in the water. It looked so peaceful.
For you viewing pleasure here is Episode 3 of the Salivation Station, I hope you enjoy!!