RITES OF PASSAGE: Ron Kauk
Today we are with the Yosemite climber Ron Kauk. Ron pushed the limits of climbing in Yosemite during the ascendance of the sport and paved the way to some extent of what we see now inspiring climbers of our generation Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnold to create the next level of what is possible on the soaring granite walls of Yosemite and the wider world.
Chris and I met Ron 3 years ago by chance. He was giving a talk in Yosemite on the few days we were there and as we sat there listening to his ideas of nature, how it has changed and what climbing has taught him about how to be a complete human we turned to each other and said we have got to spend a bit more time with Ron. WE hung out with him and featured him in Issue 1 alongside the lessons from Yosemite which we learned in our 3 day trip.
Well that was 3 years ago and on our again impromptu stop of in Yosemite we sent him a text to see if he was around for a coffee. He was and we spent the rest of the day talking from daylight to darkness and wished we had recorded it!
There is a shared connection when we talk to Ron, climbing brought us together but it is how he sees the world as a result of climbing, what he has experienced in terms of highs and lows that we hold space for because it is an opportunity to learn and share wisdom from someone who has been up to the top, seen the view, come down and then asked himself what the next step is. For Ron it became a journey of giving back through Sacred Rok the educational program sharing his experience with the younger generations to connect with their inner wisdom. Serving others and giving back being a practice we hear regularly from the people we sit with.
The big takeaway for me is the importance of rites of passage, how we have to pay our dues, work through the levels and the instability that is often a result of hacking our way through the process, becoming our best takes time and practice and the more you practice with purpose the more progress will be made. Culture, instagram, the media pushes the idea of always being the best and yet rarely talks about what it takes to get there and the stages that the idols pass through in order to achieve their status.
There are so many parallels with the conversations we have had with Jamie Wheal, Tony Molina and Arthur Joseph, Brian Mackenzie and beyond that strengthens the case for the essential principles of being a complete human, mainly that there are steps to take and if you skip the steps you will most likely have to return to take them so best to be fearless and take them as they come.
Enjoy the conversation with Ron, let us know your thoughts and it would be great if you follow us on our youtube channel weMove world and our instagram page @wemovemagazine.