Climbing in Style, featuring Bowen Kruse.

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At Roamers, our values are derived from living beyond the regular confines. Climber Bowen Kruse has similar thoughts.

From urban environments to dying suburbs to “way out there”, Roamers is made for the modern explorer. Roamers takes pride in being unconfined, boundless if you will, with a firm understanding that we occupy an expansive planet with so much to see…

There’s few places left today that feel undiscovered, but Bowen Kruse, born & raised in Montana believes otherwise. An avid rock & ice climber, he has recently set out to summit the top 5 most prominent mountains in the lower 48 and just finished two of these with back to back climbs that took him to the top of Mt. Rainer & Mt. Baker. These weren’t just any old climbing route, both extremely technical up vertical ice walls. What’s the worst that could happen?

“I took a fall up Rainer and lost my glacial shades (sunglasses). I’d been in the sun for 12 hours and got snow blindness. I’m still on prescription eye drops. I lost my vision for two days and when I started summiting Mt. Baker, 50% of my vision had come back and that’s all I really needed.”

Crazy? Maybe. Bo is also a pilot, he just finished his degree in aviation. “I was worried that the blindness would have affected my career. A lot of my friends have gone to fly for regional commercial airlines. I’m not sure if I want to go that route or go fly in Alaska, out the bush..”

After High School, Bo spent a summer living in his car trying to figure out what he was going to do. He had studied law all through High School, but after his first aviation class he realized that he wanted to fly. “Skydiving is a goal of mine for sure, I also paraglide. Along the way you meet a lot of base jumpers, but skydiving would be the first step and would open up an entirely new dimension of adrenaline.”

Getting to know Bo, you’d want to classify him as a classic adrenaline junkie but quite the contrary.

“I definitely appreciate a good adrenaline rush, but climbing really does enough for me. It’s a lot of risk, but it is all very calculated and controlled. It’s such a physical and mental challenge. Sometimes I climb for 20 hours and rest for 3. Climbing, to me, is 90% mental and I think that’s what I love the most about it. When I climb, I’m so involved, nothing else matters. Now that climbing has become my life, it’s definitely simplified my life to specific challenges. I like that I can be way out there. It’s like you’re on another planet, not that I’m trying to escape anything but it’s nice to be away. Sometimes we’re the only one on the mountain, if you go up on the backside of the mountain on the North face, no sun or people, you’re always in your own little world.”

Bo expressed his concern for the mountain environment. Due to the sky rocketing interest in rock climbing and accessibility guides have no provided with famous climbing routes, places have become overcrowded polluted with people and waste.

Bo claims that he gets much of his style inspiration from his older brother, Logan Kruse. “I don’t dress outdoorsy. A lot of people that climb always look like they just got done climbing or rolled fresh out of REI. But I pull a lot of my style influence from skate and surf.”

So, what’s next for Bo?

“I love the access city life has. Right now, I’m looking over downtown San Diego and there’s so much opportunity. But when you have to pay for parking, traffic, and people everywhere… It’s tough to find a balance. I’m in between deciding whether to go to a bigger city or go even smaller, to Alaska and get way out there. For now, I’m enjoying climbing Montana. There’s still a lot to be discovered and pioneered. But what I do know is that I feel more comfortable hanging exposed in the mountains than I ever do wandering a city.”

Bowen Kruse Journal Roamers

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