"I am John Shaw, 49 years old, I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the year of 1967, November 6. I grew up in North Vancouver, and I had a lot of outdoor experience there, just had a climbing lens to a lot of this... a lot of playing around as a child building tree forts, riding bikes... the beginning of riding mountain bikes started in Vancouver, hiking and playing sports, hockey, has had a big influence on my life.
How I started getting involved in rock climbing was...ahh, I met a women in Seattle. I got married, we lived in Seattle for four years then we moved down to California, Los Angeles, where I get in the landscape lens itself to summers sports. So in California, either I gonna ended up surfing or rock climbing. Those were my two choices, or both. I tried surfing a little bit here and there, but I was more naturally gravitated towards rock climbing. First I started out hiking, and then was a small crag on my way back and forth to work in the San Fernando Valley.
In the North Eastern part of San Fernando there is a famous crag called Stoney Point, and a lot of American climbing history comes out of this place. It's a really beautiful place, I described as a ghetto crag, there is a lot of broken beers bottle and graffiti, but at the same time is a very beautiful place. Around 1999 or 2000, around that time I stated bouldering at Stoney Point.
I started involving in climbing by seeing the rocks at Stoney Point. It was a natural progression. I started hiking in the Hollywood hills, in Pasadena. And at the same time I would driving past these boulders at Stoney Point, and just curiosity took me to this place, and I explored there, scramble at the rocks in my wrestling boots, I had a pair of wrestling boots. My ex-wife was into the movie industry and one of her clients knew about rock climbing and they took me out to the Joshua Tree and it just kind of naturally progressed. The outdoors, hiking and then climbing, all, becomes one, there is mountain climbing, rock climbing, bouldering, everything was there, it was a natural progression. I naturally gravitated towards it. It chose me as soon as I started climbing at a young age, I started climbing fences when I was just three years old in Prince George, I broke my arm doing that, so that was my first accident."
"For your basic rock climbing you gonna have a harness and your main equipment is your rock climbing shoes, which have rubber soles on them, so you can stick to the rock better. If you're not rock climbing your going to have hiking boots and your harness is your main and most safest piece of your equipment is your rope and a helmet. These are some of the pieces you will get but if you are going to start bouldering you just need a pair of hiking shoes. And after that as you progress you're going to get more equipment, you're gonna get a harness, you're going to get a rope, then you're going to get draws, and umm... all the stuff to play with."
Choosing a place, choosing a rock
"You can find good places in guide books in your area. After that I would be looking at the lines on the rock, what attracts me... like if there is crack; there might be a natural line up the rock. Or what attracts me is bouldering type of climbs that are overhanging with big holes and that you have to challenge yourself to make moves on. and just, you look at the beauty of the lines and the beauty of the rock too as well. There are certain rocks climbs that call to you saying “come to climb me,ˮ and you go and climb it.
The two best places to climb in Canada, hands down, are Squamish and Penticton. Squamish has absolutely everying, they have bouldering, big wall climbing and sport wall climbing. But, I would say in Penticton and this is where I said the best sport climbing in Canada is in Penticton, BC. Sport climbing is not traditional climbing."