On Top Of The World With Lonnie Kauk: Q&A With A Fearless Shredder And Climber

On Top Of The World With Lonnie Kauk: Q&A With A Fearless Shredder And Climber

Several years ago while working as a backcountry snowboard cinematographer I got the opportunity to work with Mammoth, Califoria based Lonnie Kauk and instantly knew he was one of the most interesting people I've ever met. The way he spoke and the vibe he exuded instantly indicated he had nothing but the best of intentions in every action and we instantly got along. The fact that he was one of the best naturally talented shredders I've ever had the pleasure of filming - not to mention the bright neon get-up he wore that winter - made for a pile of footage and some of the best days of that winter.

It was only later in the season that I heard Lonnie chatting about his interest in rockclimbing and the fact that his father was one of the most famous climbers in American history - one of the members of the legendary Yosemite Camp 4 - and over the last few years I've been keenly aware of the insane photos and videos of climbing - much of it free solo (no rope at all!) style. Finally enough was enough and I hit him up with a few questions so I could share this amazing part of his life with you guys. 

Make sure to follow him on Instagram - he posts some of the craziest photos and videos you'll have in your feed, guaranteed.

Off the rope high up

33MAG: How's the off-season treating you? Seems like you've been keeping plenty busy!

Lonnie: Everyday is great i pretty much love everyday always having fun !! so it's always good

Your father is an extremely well known climber. Was it a foregone conclusion that you would get into it hard as well?

Yeah he's done a lot for the climbing world!! But he never got me & my brother into climbing. Then i started going with friends and then one day i was in LOVE!!!! It started growing and still is. I think it's awesome how my love for climbing showed up & now it's so on !!!

Learning from one of the best must have been an incredible opportunity, but at the same time it must have been hard to not push things too far too quick. Was that ever an issue?

The best part for me is always just loving going climbing!! Everytime is awesome because everything about climbing is awesome! Always fun no matter what.

Judging from your 'grams it looks like you prefer to climb without a rope and harness, even on some lines that many others wouldn't consider going anywhere near even roped up. How do you know when it's time to unclip?

I love it all no matter what and sometimes the rock says it's ok to solo & sometimes no, I just always listen. Respect the place ... Just think how long these cliffs have been there ?? That's what gos through my head when i'm chillin with them!!! Pretty cool.

#stonehenge 14a/b #firstascent photo@christianpondella

How do you deal with the additional risks involved in free-soloing?

It's a master of oneself!!!! Stay calm

Do your rock climbing and shred worlds overlap or are they separate entities completely?

Climbing & snowboarding are 2 of the coolest things ever.. they benefit each other perfectly always in a beautiful place hanging out thats what matters


Half #million #views ^ 2nd #ascent of To big to Flail@epictv #you see #me #you #see my #fam^ #king ... PHOTO @christianpondella

Psssttt ! Envoie-ça à ton ami!