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Jon Nelson

Bellingham, WA
55 years old · Male
General Admin

Member Since
Sep 17, 2011
Last Visit: 23 mins ago
4,685 Points
Point Rank: #102 Details

Jon is in the Partner Finder
Best Times to Meet: Flexible.
Likes Trad, Sport, Tr, Gym
Leads Follows
Trad 5.11b 5.11b
Sport 5.11b 5.11b
Aid C2 C2
Boulders V5
Favorite Climbs
Solitude, Liberty Crack, Beckey-Stanley, Wildest Dreams, Senior Citizens in Space
Other Interests
Making things, exploring; observations of ice, water, clouds, and other outdoorsy things like the fogbow and frost on my blog below.
Personal / Fav Site
More Info
I started climbing in high school, in 1978. My main climbing areas were the old PNW granite stuff, being Index, Leavenworth, Darrington, and Squamish. I was pretty active through about 1984, but after that put more time into my studies. From 1980, I started spending about as much time on new-routing as on repeating established climbs. Early partners were mainly Jon Carpenter, Russel Erickson, Greg Olsen, and Terry Lien, but also climbed with quite a few others including Darryl Cramer, Mike Mirande, Nicola Masciandaro, Steve Strong, Tom Micheals, Dave Toler, Brian Patrick, Mark McKillop, Duck Novikoff, and Max Dufford. In 1980, I went to the Bugaboos with Jon Carpenter and Alison Osius, and also to Yosemite with Mark Johnston and his friend. I climbed with them, three other Washingtonians, and Greg Olsen.

From 1985, I was off to first graduate school (several), then a post-doc in Boulder, CO, and then a faculty position in the Atmospheric Sciences Dept. at the U of A in Tucson. Not much climbing in these years, except on buildings, a few trips back to WA and other areas, and when a climber visited. These visiting climbers included Bob Beach and Isao Fujita. Oh, and in 1987 I tried out the newfangled "Vertical Club" in Seattle. My one and only visit to a climbing gym until returning to the Seattle area in 2010.

From 1999 to 2010, I lived in Japan, first in southern Nara (Kashihara), and then in southern Shiga (Otsu, near Kyoto). During the Otsu period, I started new-routing at a neglected area just above the Kita-Komatsu station on the train line up the western shoreline of Lake Biwa. Here, I cleaned off, and put up over 250 new top-rope and easy bouldering lines. I also discovered another unknown area on the other side of the lake, on the trail past a temple whose name I cannot remember. This area had fantastic boulders, including one really big one that stuck out above the trees, allowing a view of the lake. Funny thing was, I never saw anyone else at either of those areas, nor did I see evidence that others climbed or bouldered there.

After 2010, I returned and revisited the gym scene in the Seattle area. Here, I also started climbing again with Darryl Cramer, Nicola Masciandaro, Derek Pearson, and Eric Hirst, with whom I did a lot of new-routing. I also climbed outdoors with quite a few people I met at the gym, Mt. Project, RCNW.net, and Marymoor Park.


Ticks View All 17

Tick Breakdown

Pitches Routes Days Out
90 Days 0 0 0
Last Year 0 0 0
5 Years 33 16 4
All Time 34 17 5

Where Jon Climbs