Jason Kehl

Jason Kehl

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.

Native Eyewear

Jason Kehl: November 2010 Zanskar Odyssey and beyond

The last several months have been a whirlwind. It all started back in August, when I flew to Delhi for a month and a half on a bouldering expedition in the Indian Himalayas, dubbed the “Zanskar Odyssey”. I’ve traveled a lot all over the world, but nothing had prepared me for the culture shock I was about to experience in India.

Just the traveling alone was enough to exhaust anyone. We were stuck in Dehli for three days longer than we expected, which was filled with too many people, intense smells and the tail end of the monsoon season. Finally we got on the road toward our destination, even though none of us really knew where that was going to be. Abbey Smith, Pete Takeda and Mick Folari accompanied me, along with our cook Raju and his assistant Heman. My job on the trip was not only to climb but also to film the entire trip. The hardest part of all of that was making sure we had enough power to run the computer and the camera batteries.

We were on the bus for five days and check out 4 different options for our climbing basecamp and none of them seemed to be suitable for a month long stay. Not to mention that the bus broke down three times on our journey. Times were rough but finally we were left with only one option before the bus had to be on its way. We chose an area in the Miyar Valley, which was know by the locals as Zardo. So after a week and a half of travel we were finally headed to our last stop. We would be calling this home for the next 34 days.

The next morning we loaded a bus full of gear on to 13 horses and started the 20 mile hike to basecamp. They were carrying food, tents, 5 live chickens and crash pads, which I had never before seen on a horse. We arrived at night so it was hard to tell how good the boulders were, but we knew huge granite blocks surrounded us.

The climbing turned out to be amazing, and kept everyone busy for the entire month. It was a very featured type of granite that had steep lines with beautiful black streaks. It was nice to be in one location and just be able to focus on developing the boulders. Our warm ups were 50ft from our tents and we explored as far as we could up the valley, just to find more boulders. The trip as a whole was overwhelming and a adventure that I will never forget. We were lucky enough to find a great stash of boulder were we could leave our mark with the many established problems we left behind.

I decided a great way to end the trip would be to cut my hair and we shot a short film about the process, enjoy! Next stop: Spain!


You must be logged in to post comments. Please login or create an account.