Fast & Light style: Dakota Jones

07 May 2020
Fast & Light style: Dakota Jones

What are the values of this way of going to the mountain?
The point is not to subjugate the mountain, but to admire and respect it. Rather than bringing the mountain down to your level, you aspire to achieve the mountain's level. What value is there in "conquering" something that you don't respect?

What does the Fast & Light method make you feel?
Scared, sometimes. Frustrated, often. But in the end, it makes me feel proud to have met the mountain on its own terms, whether I succeeded in climbing the peak or not.

How does the Fast & Light philosophy influence your relationship with mountains?
The Fast and Light philosophy is simply an extension of my larger philosophy about landscape. Humans have proven in a million ways that we are capable of damaging landscapes and in doing so we damage ourselves. As a runner and mountain climber, my goal is to engage with mountain landscapes in a way that respects and protects them. I have to be willing to work hard and suffer in order to truly understand their power and purpose. I don't know their power and purpose yet, but I'll never stop trying to understand, and the way in which I try to understand them is to go into the mountains in the most minimalist style I can.

Do you remember the first summit you did following this philosophy?
I think every summit I've done has been in this style. Most of the summits I've climbed are relatively small and simple. Only occasionally have I really been able to accomplish big climbs in a Fast and Light style. I think the Grand Teton in 2012 was my time. I had climbed the Grand Teton in regular style with lots of equipment and over 2 days in 2007. In 2012 I came back and climbed the Grand Teton by two different routes and climbed the Middle and South Tetons as well, all in a single day in running shoes. That was a great day. Then, of course, climbing Innominatta with Kilian was truly life-changing.








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