August at EVO has meant Passion Pursuits. That’s why we asked Justen Sjong about his long-term relationship with climbing. So what are the five ways he stays psyched? Here they are: 

Vary the Type of Climbing

For example, many new climbers start to boulder because it’s convenient to learn and socialize.  We all enjoy getting better at climbing but changing up the climbing style is a good thing for your spirit and body.  The typical progression is Gym – Bouldering – Sport – Trad – Alpine. Take the mindset of being new again, which can bring joy.

Explore the Idea of What Makes You a Skilled Climber

Strength is important but improving skills is more nuanced.  Take a season and climb only ‘easy’ climbs and don’t determine success by sending, but by floating, and making the climb seem effortless.

Explore New Climbing Areas

Because Colorado has so many little gems.  This might take more time and energy, but will expose you to different types of climbing movements and you’ll likely meet a different group of climbers.  Climbing can be about sharing experiences organically.  

Take a Whole Season to Project a Single Climb

If you have been climbing for many years, you could be stuck in a natural plateau.  Have the courage and find a long-term project.  This is about picking a route that looks or feels inspiring to send. 

But, you need to be OK with the notion of never sending this rig.  Each week aim for the simple goal of learning something new and celebrate that achievement. I was inspired by a climb called Vogue at the Industrial Wall and it became a three-year project.  It became my first 5.14 send. These days, Vogue is considered a hard 5.14b.  

Be An Amazing Partner

Support your friend on their goals for a few weeks.  Forming a solid relationship with a climbing partner is important for your personal growth and safety.  Be the first to invest in the other person.

// Justen Sjong – Five Tips on Climbing Forever

More of Justen’s tips can be found on the EVO App

Feature photo taken by: Corey Rich 

Selfie taken by: Justen Sjong 

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