Jay Smith

I still crave the unexplored, unclimbed and uncrowded.

I started climbing a very long time ago, maybe even before there was hair. Certainly before personal computers, internet and blogs. We only had pitons, goldline ropes and Kroenhoffers. It wasn't till my second year of climbing that the first nuts appeared on the scene at Tahquitz, and kernmantle ropes became more accessible, at least to me. EB's were another year away.

For a while I never even saw another climber. It was just me and a few friends that had bought the Royal Robbins' book, Rockcraft and started teaching ourselves. Another year passed and I started running into a few climbers. John Long, Richard Harrison and Tobin Sorenson to name a few. We teamed up and did a few routes, including John, Richard's and my first big wall, The East Face of Washington's Column, which later became Astroman.

It was around this time that I became interested in climbing first ascents. After all, there were plenty to be had. That desire has never left. I still crave the unexplored, unclimbed and uncrowded. It has led me all over the world, on all seven continents. Climbing new routes has always driven me to climb my hardest, in the best style I can, without any preconceived ideas of others before me. It's also the thrill of discovering that beautiful, natural line and creating a climb that other's will find a challenge and enjoy. A climb without superfluous fixed hardware, yet safe enough for the skilled, seasoned climber.

Climbing is my life. My wife is a climber. Nearly all my friends are climbers. It's a great community to which I'm proud to be a part of and I'm much appreciative of all the support that the community has provided.


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