John Thornton JÖTTNAR Pro Team
"I SET MY SIGHTS ON THE REGION’S STEEPEST FREERIDE AND SKI MOUNTAINEERING TEST-PIECES. OFTEN SOLOING, IT ALLOWED ME TO EVOLVE MY LIMITS AND SEE DIFFERENT POSSIBILITIES IN THE MOUNTAINS. WITH FIRST DESCENTS IN THE ALPS AND IN KYRGYZSTAN, THIS EVOLUTION CONTINUES."
Growing up in Yorkshire, England, I had no choice but to experience the outdoors from an early age. Despite trying my best to hide it I soon became fixated by outdoor sports in all their varieties.
Joining a local climbing wall I became quickly and completely immersed in the indoor bouldering scene. Throughout my teenage years this matured into an obsession for its outdoor counterpart, testing myself on the local gritstone outcrops. Gaining on each new experience I looked further afield to the world’s best bouldering areas. Armed with an amateur camera I started filming trips and began producing the Destination film series. The success of the series took me to Fontainebleau, Magic Wood and eventually Rocklands, South Africa. Soon enough, capturing the action became as big a part of the experience as participating.
In 2014 I moved to the Alps and began working as a ski instructor in St. Anton, Austria. Whilst most stories of St. Anton revolve around its après ski, I was there for different reasons. Learning new skills and meeting extraordinary people, I set my sights on the region’s steepest freeride and ski mountaineering test-pieces. Often soloing, it allowed me to evolve my limits and see different possibilities in the mountains. With first descents in the Alps and in Kyrgyzstan, this evolution continues.
Returning to the UK one summer I was persuaded to put down the bouldering pads and give sport climbing a go. Finding new motivation, I steadily began ticking classic routes of Malham and Kilnsey such as The Groove (8a+) and Predator (8b). I enjoy the process of failing, tweaking and finding improvement until success.
Whilst continuing to push my limits on rock and seek new lines in the Alpine, I have advanced my photography into a profession and work closely with many companies in the outdoor industry.
Returning to the UK one summer I was persuaded to put down the bouldering pads and give sport climbing a go. Finding new motivation, I steadily began ticking classic routes of Yorkshire such as Bat Route (8c) and most recently the first ascent of Groovyfied (8c). I enjoy the process of failing, tweaking and finding improvement until success.
CLIMBER | SKIER
JOHN'S LEGEND ARTICLES
DRESS LIKE A PRO: JOHN THORNTON
The Jöttnar Pro Team helps us test and develop our gear. Going faster, higher, steeper, harder is what drives them and is reflected in the gear we make...
FILM: GROOVYFIED 8C
Earlier in the summer, Jöttnar’s John Thornton linked together two existing hard sport climbing routes in Malham to create Groovyfied (8c)...
SKI TOURING IN THE BERNESE OBERLAND
The arrival of spring marks the beginning of the alpine ski touring season. the longer days and a more stable snowpack allow larger distances to be covered...