Last Col with Tim Emmett

Tim Emmett—mountain athlete, climber, free diver, bobsledder, kiteboarder, mountain biker, former wingsuit flyer, author, product designer, TV presenter and public speaker—is a busy guy.


Photo: Morgan Lee Alain

He recently conquered the first ascent of Helmcken Falls in British Columbia—perhaps the most famous ice climbs in the world—and has carved out some of the hardest rock climbs in Cuba, Mongolia and Wales. On his first trip to the Himalayas in 2006, Tim free climbed a new route on the East Face on Kedar Dome (6,840 m) in Super Alpine style. He’s been nominated for the Piolets D’Or, earned podium position four times at the World Ice Climbing Championships and currently helps design product for Mountain Hardwear.

Despite his hectic schedule, Tim found the time to sit down with us for Last Col. —Brian Peech

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Tim Emmett on his new wild mix route Brandywine falls British Columbia
Tim Emmett on Brandywine Falls, BC. Jimmy Martinello photo.


Last great advice you received: “…remember that everyone has their own story. Try to stay true to yours.” —Doug Barlow

Last climb that really challenged you: Superman (14c) in Squamish. I’m still trying to do it.

Last time you laughed so hard you cried: Last week when my friend ran into the stairs above her head and comedically crumbled to the ground. She was OK, but it was so slapstick that my concern for her pain was secondary.

Last time your child taught you something: When he handed me my iPhone when I woke up. I realized then that I use my phone a little too much.

Last time you were really scared in the mountains: Pretty much the only time I was concerned—I couldn’t really be scared—was when I got a line twist while wingsuit BASE jumping from the Vampire Spire in Northern Canada. I had to react quickly without being scared—but that’s not to say my heart wasn’t beating faster than usual.


Tim pulling down on his new line at Anvil
Pulling down on a new line at Anvil. Jimmy Martinello photo.


Last time something completely surprised you: When I started to build my climbing wall this year, I was surprised that using tools and making things was pretty fun.

Last picture you framed: My wife got a blown up picture of me climbing in Helmcken Falls where the ice formations look like angel wings everywhere around me. It looks like I’m in a frozen landscape designed by Gaudi.

Last time you did something outside your comfort zone: Jumping into a cave in Oman with a base rig. That was about 10 years ago for a Range Rover commercial. I show it in my talks usually.

Last book you read: Mike Weeks’ Untrain Your Brain. Best way to rethink how you think. Highly recommend. It’s coming out in a couple of months.


Timmy climbing on the Penguin in the Cirque NWT
Climbing on the Penguin in the Cirque of the Unclimbables, NWT. Jimmy Martinello Photo.


Last time someone inspired you: I’m inspired by my son to look at my future a little more.

Last gift you gave: I bought a trip to LA for my family. It was great to see some good friends, and for my son to experience Joshua Tree, where he could scramble up the smooth rocks and practice his balance and climbing skills.

Last exotic meal you ate: Pheasant stroganoff. Hunted that day and cooked by my lady.

Last concert you went to: Ozzy in Vegas. My wife is a metal fan.

Last thing you built with your own hands: My climbing wall. I built every hold out of wood, sanded and angled.


Tim Emmett sending on his new route The Golden Ticket NJC BC
Tim Emmett sending on his new route The Golden Ticket, NJC, BC. Jimmy Martinello photo.


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