Episode 6: Jason Kehl — “Listen, man, I’m just exploring canvas.”

Photo provided by J. Kehl, taken by the eminently talented Dawn Kish.

Jason Kehl, one of the most iconic climbers to ever latch on a chalk bag, really has nothing left to prove. At 42, he’s left a tidal wave of accomplishments behind him, all on his own terms and without the girders of convention or covenance.

Jason helped kick off the highball revolution with his first ascent of the Buttermilk stunner Evilution (V12), in 2002. Straight Outta Squampton (5.13+, first bouldering ascent), The Fly (first ever 5.14d solo), and a bevy of blood-curdling gems soon followed. His first ascents in Hueco Tanks, TX are the stuff of legend. He’s probably brushing some bonkers highball as you’re reading this.

He’s also downloaded the 36 hour day. Really, there’s no other explanation. On top of wandering Hueco’s massive potential, Jason is one of the finest hold shapers on the planet. He designs mega-gym walls across the United States, including the nation’s largest in Englewood, CO. He’s an accomplished artist, photographer, videographer, route setter. He’s recently married. He and his wife, Martina, are new parents to little Eva Luna. Oh yeah, he’s writing the new guidebook to Hueco, too. Seriously.

On top of that, he’s one of the nicest guys in climbing. I know. I hate him, too.

Check out one of my favorite interviews with Jason here.

And you gotta dig on his classic trampoline first ascent here.

Get a hold of us anytime at thunderclingpodcast@gmail.com. We read and respond to every email we receive.

Thanks as always to the Ryne Doughty for the rad tunes.

Have a thoughtful and wonderful Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

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