Around The Crag: Calvin Heslop

Each month we highlight one of the members of our growing community, giving you a chance to get to know them a little better. This time around we bring you Calvin Heslop. Calvin has recently moved out to the state of Washington, but he is still a part of The Crag community. Check out our interview with Calvin below.


Calvin Heslop, Mt Rainier

1. Where are you from?

It’s hard for me to say where I’m from, I have spent about equal time living in Washington and Indiana. I currently go to school at Western Washington University but I went to high school in Zionsville, Indiana. I guess you could say I’m a Washingtonian with some midwestern roots.


2. How long have you been climbing?

I have only been climbing for about a year and a half. I have always wanted to climb but hadn’t gotten into it until recently.


3. What do you love most about rock climbing?

What I love most about climbing is just being able to get into the outdoors and do some amazing things. I love getting to the top of a peak and seeing just wilderness around me and knowing that not many people had been there.


Calvin Heslop, Mt Baker
4. Other than climbing, what are your hobbies and interests?
In addition to climbing I really love backpacking and skiing. I really enjoy mountaineering and alpine climbing, while those fall under the “climbing” umbrella they’re not what most people think of when they talk about just rock climbing.
5. Sir Edmund Hillary or Tanzig Norgay? Why?
I absolutely prefer Tanzig Norgay to Hillary. One of the greatest Himalayan climbers of his day and carried non of the pomp or sense of entitlement that frequently comes along with climbers of that era. Not to bash Hillary, he’s an amazing climber and no one can doubt that but in his book ‘View from the Summit’ he came across as a little arrogant. You could say he has earned that right, but Tanzig was right there next to him and Tanzig didn’t get knighted or anything. Plus, the amount of work the Sherpa and other high altitude porters do for the success of those expeditions is frequently astoundingly more than that of the foreign climbers and they hardly get any credit. So the fact that Tanzig proved he could go the distance is awesome. But it really doesn’t matter because Hillary topped out first…
6. What is always in your fridge?
I always have tortillas and salsa in my fridge. You can never go wrong with a burrito, no siree. I can make a burrito for every meal of the day and be a happy man.
7. Favorite piece of climbing gear and why?
 Its hard to pick which piece of gear is my favorite, especially since lots of it is necessary to save your life in the case of a fall. But life saving capabilities aside…I’d have to say a good pair of crampons. I just got a new pair and it is amazing how secure you can feel on total blue ice. Plus climbing rocks with crampons on is a dream, imagine if your toe was small enough to fit on the smallest feature or crystal and be as strong as steel.
Calvin Heslop descending Sloan Peak
8. Tent, R.V., or Hotel? Explain yourself. 
Tent 100% of the time. First of all, I prefer my bed at home to any other sleeping arrangement. That being said, in the best case scenario if I’m going somewhere to do something cool, I had better not be where there is a road close enough to sleep in an RV and there’s no way there’s going to be a town with a hotel, or I might as well be sleeping at home. Of course this isn’t always the case; when I climb in Squamish, BC (its the best and pretty close to my school) there are plenty of roads and hotels but I just bought some skis and two half ropes so I’ll be saving the cash and sleeping in a tent.
9. Are you on Twitter and/or Instagram?
 No Twitter or Instagram, I guess I’m behind the times.
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