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Jonathan Clark Interview

How old were you when you first went hiking and who took you? How did it turn out?

I guess I've been hiking since I could walk. My father, uncle, and grandfather were avid hikers in the White Mountains and took me up at least 28 four thousand footers by the time I was 14.

What draws you to hiking and the greater outdoors in general?

Planning the trip and the challenge of getting to the top [or the end in the case of my long distance walks in the UK], the views from same and, when leading/participating in hikes/walks, the camaraderie of the group.

To date, what is the hardest outdoor adventure you've had to tackle and why?

Hiking up HuanShan outside of Xi'an in China. The ascent of this spectacular sacred mountain includes stairways carved into the stone with more than 10,000 steps. Extremely painful, so much so that I could barely walk at the end of the hike. Now you can can take a cable car nearly all the way to the top. 

What is your favorite survival tip?

I honestly don't have one, but I suppose it should be: know your route, watch the skies and prepare for the worst. 

What is your favorite state highpoint and why? How many have you climbed?

I've only summited Mount Katahdin once, but it was a great hike to the top including the Knife Edge and simply spectacular views of the state of Maine in general and the mountain in particular. I've been to the highest peaks in Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina and all of the New England States. 

Do you listen to tunes on the trail. What tunes would you listen to?

I mostly listen to public radio and whatever's available ~ talk or classical music.  

What is your favorite national park or forest and why?

Of the ones I've visited [and I haven't been to that many] I'd have to say Glacier ~ the trails and scenery are superb and unforgettable. For it's proximity ~ and carriage roads for biking ~ it would be Acadia.

What is your favorite outdoor retail shop and why?

REI. I like the co-op nature of the store and the quality of their products. 

What is your dream international adventure and why?

If I were to narrow it down, I'd say hiking in the Transvaal, South Africa; the King Ludwig Way in Germany and the Tour de Mont Blanc. As it is, every year [as long as I'm able] I lead a long distance walk in the UK which gives me great pleasure and lifetime memories.

What celebrity [dead or alive] would you like as a tentmate and why?

My newest man-crush is on James Wolk [LONE STAR] because he's so cute, handsome and charming. How could he not be a good tentmate, at least for a night. If this comes across as hopelessly shallow, then those of you who know me know that's the case. Enuf said. 

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