Logo Ryan Lawson Interview  Ryan Lawson Self Portrait
Self portrait of Ryan
Lawson from the
Marsupial area.

Our last Flash Feature, a detailed
interview with Alan Watts, looked
back at the heady days of the 80's
when Smith Rock emerged in the
forefront of the international climbing
scene. This time we look to the future,
as we caught up with Ryan Lawson,
the most prolific climber (as far as
putting up new routes at Smith Rock)
in some time. Ryan, can you
give us a bit of background on your
climbing? How long have you been
climbing, and how long at Smith
Rock? And have you climbed in
many other areas?

Ryan: I've only been climbing since

1996, for four years. I started at
Broughton's Bluff in Portland, and
have climbed here at Smith Rock, at
Joshua Tree, Yosemite -- but Smith
was the first major area I climbed at.

The first day I climbed at Smith was
in the Marsupials. I was with Pete
Keene and a guy from California and
a British guy. I think that's why I'm
really addicted to the Marsupials,
because that is the first place I ever
climbed. What did you climb?

Ryan: The only two routes I did that
day were Thin Air and Under The Gun.

I didn't even have climbing shoes
back then. What got you into

Ryan: I was into backpacking, and I
was always going to REI to buy gear,
and then I just kept walking by all
that shiny stuff hanging there...I
decided to get into that. Did you have
anyone in particular as a climbing

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