Kuhl Athlete Profile: Nathan Williamson
Nathan Williamson is a simple man with massive dreams. He was “Born in the Mountains“, just like KÜHL, and wouldn’t have it any other way. His life and existence is dedicated to these mountains – climbing them, exploring them and pursuing challenging and occasionally terrifying adventures within them. Nathan has never been one to be settled in one place. He views the world and Mother Nature as a playground to explore. In his eyes, there is always a new destination to experience, or an old one to revisit. He says that no matter what happens in his life, Nature will always welcome him with wide open arms and a comforting soul.
It was in Nevada that he began bouldering and spent countless hours over a number of years learning how to move his young and awkward body and how to think outside the box that contained only natural and typical body movements. He was fortunate to have a teacher, Joe, who never once lost his patience, even when Nathan flailed like a newbie and likely looked like a fool. Joe taught him to heel hook, crimp, be humble, fight through pain and, most importantly, inspire others. He also taught Nathan to never take the word “impossible” at face value. At one point Nathan believed a 5.14 climb to be impossible. Then, one day, it just wasn’t.
It wasn’t until he started climbing without a rope, or free-soloing, that Nathan fell deeply in love with climbing. This form of climbing presented Nathan with a plethora of new climbing opportunities. It enabled him to explore nature alone with no gear to haul but himself and his shoes. Like we said – simple man with massive dreams. For some strange reason, he says, “it felt natural for me to be solitary, hundreds of feet up, with nothing but my own body preventing me from a dangerous fall to the earth below.” A passion was ignited as he found a new way to push myself and face my biggest challenges and fears.
Nathan is most at home and at peace climbing in the mountains. He says that the friends he has made and the spectacular places in the world climbing has taken him have made every broken bone, stitch, bruise, and moment of doubt well worth it. To Nathan, every scar is a stepping stone in his career. Nathan said that “climbing has shaped my life into one where I wake up every day to waves of gratitude and genuine excitement to find out what the day has in store.”
His website is Push Fear.
Hey Nathan, where are you from and what is your favorite thing to do other than play outside?
-I am from Salt Lake City, Utah. Other than playing outside, my favorite things to do are hang out with my family, take naps, and eat!
What has been your most memorable adventure?
-My memorable adventure would have to be exploring the Uintas for the first time. That place is unreal and pure magic to me.
If you could adventure anywhere in the world for a week or two, where would you go?
-I have always wanted to explore Scotland. While it’s not a climbing destination, my family is from there and I think it would be a beautiful and meaningful experience for me to connect to my roots.
Who inspires you?
-My mother is my biggest inspiration. She has been a long distance runner for more than 36 years. She taught me the meaning of the word “fight” and how to push through pain. Oh, she also taught me how to try really, really hard.
-I swear too much. I picked that up from my mom, too.
What is one adventurer stereotype that you embody? That you stray far from?
-I am completely obsessed with training. I do it as often as I can and go as hard as I can. On the other hand, eating a giant tub of ice cream gets me just as psyched on getting a personal record on squats.
What has been your favorite gear innovation you have seen? Favorite piece of gear? Biggest peeve about gear?
-Climbing shoes – I think they have come so far and gotten much more technical and complicated. For this reason, I have a love-hate relationship with climbing shoes. They are my favorite, but I get peeved when they’re made wrong or when a certain type of shoe is being used in the wrong way. For example, using a vertical styled shoe for a steep, overhanging route.
What law(s) have you broken that resulted in a good story? What’s the story?
-I used to absolutely love getting into bar fights. Between climbing accidents and fists to my face, there isn’t much room left for new scars.
Of all the climbing experiences you’ve had, which is the scariest and why?
-I was about one hundred feet up on a free solo and it started to rain on me. I was so freaked out, I just stood there like a dumb farm animal in the rain. I had to finish it in the rain. Every hand hold was wet and slippery. But, I made it.
What do you think is important for people to do outside?
-Take care of our mountains. I spend so much of my time in the forests. Its mind blowing to me how much humans have destroyed. I fight very hard to keep crags a clean place. Take your trash out with you!!
Song that makes you most stoked to play hard?
-Any song from the Rolling Stones. Their music is perfect for anything. I can always find a song from them that gets me stoked for whatever it is I am up to that day.
Favorite food and drink post epic adventure?
-I always crave spaghetti after being on a crazy adventure. As far as drinks go? You’ll never find me without my electrolytes!
If your life was turned into a movie, what actor would play your role?
-That’s a hard one. I like to think it would be Guy Pierce. I get mistaken for him a lot.
Genie gives you three wishes and you have five minutes to decide all three. What are they?
-I would ask for super climbing powers, a billion dollars, and the ability to grant my own wishes, of course!
Best way to end a first date?
-Heading up a canyon for some nighttime lantern bouldering.
Most visited website?
-I would say spotify is my #1 I geek out on some music.
What’s hot?/ What’s not?
-What’s hot? No clothes. What’s not? A moo-moo. Definitely a moo-moo.
What would you do if it was the end of the world tomorrow?
-I would have a huge party with all my friends and family in the forest.
Would you rather fail or never try?
-I would absolutely rather fail than never try, even if failing means some bumps, bruises or broken bones!
If you could spend a year doing something that you have never, ever done, what would it be?
-I would explore the ocean. I’m so detached from water. The more I climb the farther I get from water. Sucks that I know so little about it.
Do you have any pets? Do you ride with them?
-I have a beautiful dog named Prayta. She is my best chum and she comes with me on all my big adventures.
Worst injury sustained from adventuring and how did you recover?
-I am always getting jacked up. I feel I am in a constant state of recovery.
What do you like most about KÜHL?
-I love how durable the clothing is. I beat the hell out of my men’s outdoor clothes and KÜHL handles it better than anything I have ever had! I also love all the people who work for KÜHL. They are so inspirational and a huge driving force for my climbing and adventuring.