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.
It was the winter of 2003 and the golden age of bouldering competitions. The PCA (Professional Climbers Association) was the new organization on the climbing scene. They were throwing huge comps and actually getting the climbers paid for real this time. It was a great arena that anyone could test there metal against some of the days best climbers. I was one of the usual suspects at all of the comps, but waiting in isolation for this one, I had no idea my life was about to change.
If you've read my last blog you understand the situation I'm going through. On Febuary 5th I underwent surgery to replace my torn ACL that has been plaguing me for six years. A lot has happened since the first time I injured it, including one failed surgery and a countless number of reoccurring tweaks that would occasionally put me out for up to two weeks at a time. I was also able to get away with some sketchy sends during this time, like bouldering The Fly 5.14d in Rumney, NH (without an ACL). So I wasn't completely helpless. All of this may sound a little complicated, so I figured the best place to start would be the beginning.
There I was sitting facing away from the first problem, the towering wall to my back was about to bring me crashing down like a giant wave and leave me lying helpless on the mats. I had no a clue and was psyched for my turn to start tearing at the wall. The buzzer rings and I turn around quickly. It's a low angle problem, so I quickly hop on and make my way to the very last move and then my foot pops, spitting me onto the ground. I was pissed and knew I could not let this happen again. I jumped back on in a fury and regained my high point and then using that rage, I locked the tiny holds down and gave a little hop for the top of the wall. My first mistake was letting that surge of energy continue, hurling me to the ground into a blur of lights and different size pads. Then it happened. I was spinning out of control and landed one leg on a high pad and one on a low pad, straddling the seam. This was too much torque for my right knee to handle and I felt it give out, completely bending the wrong way.
I don't know if it was from the adrenaline or what, but I somehow managed to finish the comp even though my leg felt like it was hanging from a string. I think I have a pretty high pain tolerance over all, but the pain now from my recent surgery is enough to bring these memories flooding back. I often wonder if life would have been much different if I had a healthy knee? Well after my full recovery I am going to find out!
This is what happen to me...