Jon is an American mountaineer, educator and story-teller.
Jon fused his passion for climbing with his interest in Asia to create an innovative lifestyle and career that focuses on the outdoor industry. Jon’s interest in China cemented while doing a year abroad at Peking University in 1990. He joined the Peking University Mountaineering Team, did his first Himalayan-style climb, and wrote China’s first rock climbing guide, “Climbing Beijing”.
Jon is a path breaking exploratory mountaineer who pioneers new ascents, including the east ridge of Mt. Mustagata (7546m) in 2000, the second successful ascent of 6250-meter high Mt. Siguniang (4-Maiden’s Mountain), and the highly technical east face of Crown Peak in Sichuan province, amongst many other ascents. He won several industry awards in connection to these climbs.
Jon is a talented and passionate teacher. In 2003 he started training and creating opportunities for upcoming guides and trekking cooks in Xinjiang, Tibet and Sichuan.
Jon is presently the director of LeadClimb Mountaineering and Resource Center, based out of Chengdu. As China’s foremost non-governmental climbing organization, LeadClimb is dedicated to providing high quality courses for people of all abilities and ages. In addition, he works for the professional outdoor brand KAILAS as a technical design specialist. He is also trained as a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT).
Jon has a propensity for environmental protection. In the 90s he assisted in the design and construction of the “Living Water Garden”, an international award winning environmental education park in Chengdu. In 2013 Jon started the Mountain Responsibility Team (MRT), an environmental platform with the purpose of improving environmental management practices and Leave No Trace ethics.
Jon has an addictive enthusiasm towards climbing, education and the environment, and a general good-will attitude.