Dylan Johnson

Age: 30, Years climbing: 20, Hometown: Ventura, California, Favorite product: KATANA


Do you clip bolts, plug cams, stack pads, or crush ice?

All three - love it all, and actually spend most of my time clipping bolts and plugging cams, but always with a bigger, colder and snowier objective on the horizon.

How long have you been an athlete with La Sportiva?

2012 rookie.

What are some of your lifetime climbing goals?

As many big alpine routes as far away as possible. I would be very happy if I could get old going on at least one major alpine expedition a year while continuing to get stronger technically year after year.

Do you have a claim to fame?

Ha! We're climbers, so not really... maybe my +7" ape index! In terms of climbing though, the most significant climb I've completed was the FA of the SW Ridge of Siguniang in China with Chad Kellogg. It was a pretty transformative adventure for me - 10 days of continuous, technical alpine climbing. 72 pitches in total including a big wall, long complex alpine ridge, a big storm and unplanned night out at over 20,000 feet. I lost 40 pounds on that climb.

Do you have any vices?

Coffee. Lots of coffee.

What makes you tick as a climber and in the real world?

Always trying to manage three things at the same time: family, climbing and architecture. Each of these three things supports the other two. I couldn't imagine living without any one of them. I'm always going on or planning for a climbing trip, have an amazing wife (we'll have a daughter in a few months), and run a small architecture practice based with projects in several states.

What drives you to climb? The money? The groupies? The fame? What?

It probably comes down to the adventure of it. Its fun to explore personal limits - and those are pretty easy to access in the mountains. That's motivating, but its also about the contrast that climbing offers to everyday life. Its just so surreal to be way up high on an unclimbed face in some remote range and think about "normal" life back at home. Life just wouldn't seem complete without climbing. Makes you appreciate everything a little more. The groupies are pretty awesome too....

What is your favorite movie?

hmmmm. I never watch movies, I know, its lame.

Do you have any nicknames? Explain:

Ponce. A friend in college had a history class and learned about Ponce de'Leon; he somehow thought de'Leon sounded like Dylan. Anyway, we needed code names for a guidebook to climbing on campus he was publishing. We had hundreds of routes - boulder problems to 120' pant-loading stemming routes. He used a bunch of photos of my cousin and me and we needed aliases; obviously it was all illegal. We were Ponce and Frat-Boy. 206ers know what I'm talking about. No one actually calls me Ponce though....

What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep? Why?

I've gone 40-50 hours on a number of occasions. Some memorable ones: days 8 and 9 on Siguniang (couldn't find our high bivy cache while descending in a shit storm from the summit), and as a super-fun 42 hour car to car push when Chad Kellogg and I established "The Simulator" on the west face of the North Howser Tower in the bugs. Some other climbs are coming to mind too; that 45 hr threshold seems to be about right for single push climbing....

If you had to be named after one of the 50 states, which would it be?

Alabama!! The most fabulous state in the Union!

What did you have for lunch yesterday?

Two fish tacos and a tamale. After surfing, on the pier, best fish tacos in soCal.

If you could hook up a thought monitor to your head, would you see pictures, hear words or would music be playing?


What really scares you about climbing?

Things out of our control. Mostly things falling down on us - seracs, avalanches, etc. The thought of getting buried is one of the darkest places my mind can go when thinking about the hazards of climbing.

If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?

The Secret Life of an Architect (thanks Mick, you're pretty much setting the bar)

Where would you live if it could be anywhere in the world?

Tent, Airplane and Sprinter. But in between those, California is turning out to be pretty damn good.

Have no food or have no gasoline?

No gasoline. There are lots of ways to get around.

Do you wish you had sexier feet?

Why not?