As soon as I was of an acceptable weight and age (speculative), I started belaying my Dad. I grew up around climbing, climbers and the mountains. Father-son missions up cliffs or peaks was a regular outing. Although climbing was all around me, as a kid I was mostly occupied by skating, friends, snowboarding and mountain bike racing. Scrambling up a long 5.6 or 5.8 was something I did with Dad, and loved it, but it wasn't until I was around 18 that I developed my own relationship with climbing. I started bouldering in the hopes that I could beef up my upper body for downhill mountain bike racing - which was my passion at the time.
I immediately got hooked - like so many people I know. The movement, excitement, challenge, lifestyle, community…. I saw how much climbing had to offer, and fell in love. For years I climbed 6 or even 7 days a week, dragging friends up to Flagstaff Mountain after school and never missing a $5 bouldering night at the Spot gym. I cut my teeth on the front range, gradually improving over the years as I refused to rest and trained tirelessly. I made a home with the good people at the Boulder Rock Club and spent everyday climbing or setting routes throughout college. I climbed at local areas on the weekends and did a proper trip once or twice a year.
Traveling had been a driving passion of mine, and as soon as I really recognized what an incredible vehicle for travel climbing was, it all clicked. I finished my degree in Environmental Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Co in the Spring on 2009, and hit the road, never looking back.
Climbing took over my life - my friends, my plans, my career, my thoughts, ambitions, dreams… and I couldn't be happier. Now-a-days I travel 10 or 11 months of the year, without a fixed address, always meeting amazing new characters, seeing incredible new landscapes and cultures. It's a life that I feel so very fortunate for. Arc'Teryx has proudly supported my pursuits for years - they make it all possible!
2014 was defined by my ambition to climb the legendary route, Biographie 5.15a, front and center at perhaps the best sport climbing venue in the world, Ceuse, France. I adopted a new training regiment and a new attitude for this climb. To stay sharp before my journey to Europe I polished off some lingering projects in the Las Vegas area including ‘La Lune’ 14d, ‘Spectrum’ 14c/d and ‘Sacred and Profane’ 14c. All first ascents. After a month of effort I joyously found success on Biographie on June 1st. Other routes like ‘Lulu’ 14d and ‘Dur Limite’ 14b kept me busy at Cuese for a short time longer before I fled the crowds for my first visit to Switzerland. Here I tackled a long time dream of mine to do the test-piece ‘Speed Integrale’ 14d and explore a variety of other cliffs around the incredible Swiss country-side. Back in the states I returned for my third year to the Fins in Idaho where I added several new 5.14s and even an incredible 13d R traditional route. During the fall I checked out the sublime routes and even better sunsets on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario before I ventured eastward to New England and eventually to Tennessee, on my way back to Colorado to unpack and start the training process all over again!
In 2015 I’m finally taking a climbing trip to lovely Catalunya, Spain and returning to Switzerland. I’ve got some unfinished business in the Alpine of Colorado lined up for the summer and more time on the road during the fall.
Stay in touch with my next adventure on my website jstarinorbit.com or my Facebook Page @jonathan.siegrist and my Twitter account @jstarinorbit and Instagram account (@jonathansiegrist) for frequent updates on what I'm up to!