Name: Benjamin L. Eaton
Location: Location: Sandy, UT
Outdoor Activities: Rock Climbing, Trail Running, Backpacking are my core activities
Can you give us a brief bio of yourself?
Grew up in Idaho. Always went camping with my two parents and seven siblings. Was heavily involved in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Earned my Eagle Scout award. As a teenager, I actively snowboarded and backpacked while occasionally did rock climbing and kayaking. Eventually I switched to actively rock climbing and that is what I do most of the time. When I hike and camp, its usually because it is part of the climbing trip I am on.
What is your most memorable accomplishment?
Trail running the entire White Rim Trail with my wife in three straight days. And climbing Moonlight Buttress and Lunar Ecstasy in Zion National Park, UT. Soon it will be my fast pack trip of the John Muir trail.
What do people most often tease you about?
Being bald and my red facial hair
If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
Nothing. My twenties rocked. Graduations, houses, jobs, marriage, kidsit all happened in my twenties.
If the people who know you were asked to describe you, what would they say?
My wife would definitely tell you that I'm a strong and burly guyalmost like a packhorse.
Describe a typical week in your life.
Go to church on Sunday, work 8-5 on Monday thru Friday. Climbing during the week either during lunch or in the evenings after work. Play with my wife and kids outside when I'm not climbing or doing house work. Go climbing and camping on the weekends.
How do you decide where to (climb, bike, hike)?
It all depends on how much gas money I have and days off work. I tend to play only in the western states. If we have a long weekend, I'll hit up something that is about 300 miles away. If it's a standard weekend, we'll stay within a 150 mile radius. For weekday evenings, we'll hit up the local climbing crags that are all with in an easy 30 min drive.
What do you believe to be true?
I believe in the universal truth that there is a divine creator of this earth. When I climb a cliff, float a river, drop in a canyon, or hike through a forest, I am convinced that the "Big Bang" did not make all this happen. God created this earth, put us on it to fulfill some objectives, and is allowing us to return to his "kingdom" once our time on earth is finished by means of his son Jesus Christ.
What are the qualities that you admire in your friends?
The same that I hope they'd say about me: Fun, personable, enjoyable, loyal, honest, passionate, aware, observant, driven....
What is the secret to a happy life?
Believing in God. Having good friends and family members. Being selfless. Having something--a hobby/activity that you can do besides work that brings you joy and fulfillment.
Who's had the greatest influence on your life and why?
My mom influenced me a lot throughout my life and the legacy that my dad left after he died when I was 12 made me want to mimic his why of living life.
What is the hardest thing you've ever had to do?
Being a single dad for four months. My whole life, I've tried to prove to myself and others that just being a Christian, husband, or father doesn't make it so that you can't live an adventurous life. During my time as a single parent, I made it a goal to continue my adventures with my two boys. This required more time, more planning, and more stress. But in the long run, it was amazing to spend those moments with my boys. The memories you have to work the hardest for are always the most cherished.
How would you describe yourself?
I am an adventure seeking Christian, husband, father, rock climber.
What's important in your life?
Fulfilling my purpose on the earth. My family. Being outside.
If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Save it. Find ways not to spend it after I spent a little.
What principles have guided your life?
The gospel of Jesus Christ.
Where do you find serenity?
On a river. For some reason, when I am floating a river I get all patriotic and sentimental. Even if the river is flowing fast, my surroundings seem a whole lot more calm than the busy life in the city and at work. You can hear nature all around you. You can even hear me belting out, "Oh beautiful, for spacious skies"
How would you like to be remembered?
For making some type of a contribution to the various communities and groups that I've been a part of. No matter where I live, I try to get deeply involved in the local climbing groups. This could be an organized climbing coalition or just a group of climbers that tend to climb a lot together. I've lived my life with many proactive people that taught me how to act instead of be acted upon. The number of people out there that will go out and take the initiative is slipping. My goal is to never be one of those people. Hopefully my only excuse to not do something is, "I'm going to be out of town that day." And not, "Sorry, I'm just too busy." I never want to be too busy to help someone in need or to make a difference.
Who is the most important person in your life today and why?
My wife and two boys.
What's your idea of a good time?
Hanging out around a fire not drinking.
What's wrong with the world?
We've lost our trust in everything, even ourselves.
What do you still want to accomplish before you die?
Live out of a backpack for a whole month. All my toys, food, clothes, and shelter would have to come from that pack.
What's right with the world?
There are so many places to go and be reminded what life is all about. We still have forests and mountains and rivers to enjoy.
What's one thing you'd like to change about yourself?
I do miss my nice head of blonde hair that I used to have.
What is more important to you, challenge or comfort and why?
I like challenge. I like knowing that I can accomplish hard things. I'm not the best or the fastest, so I don't get caught up on running a fast race or quickly onsighting or redpointing a route. I am fed off of the challenge of trying to accomplish something that I have no clue if I can even accomplish. The first marathon I ever ran was totally doable, even if I didn't train and wore skateboarding shoes. I completed it, along with the other three after that. The only gratification I could get out of running more marathons would be to get faster, because I knew they were attainable for me. So I moved on and tackled running the White Rim Trail with my wife. Running 80 miles in three days in the middle of a dessert with only our supply truck and driver to take care of our needs. When we started, I had no idea if I would finish. That's what made it fun for me.
If your life were a motion picture, what would the title be?
Dumb and Dumber. Oh wait, isn't that already taken? I've done a lot of silly and stupid stuff in my life. My life and personality carries on some characteristics of a cartoon or a ridiculous comedy. I love Dumb and Dumber; I quote it all the time. Most people think I am a serious fellow until I feel comfortable enough to let them see my true personality.
What are the advantages of getting older?
Wisdom and knowledge and yes, those are two different things.
What would you place in a time capsule that would tell a relative 100 years from now who you were?
A digital video with snippets of all my randomness.
Read other interviews in this series:
Danny Roman | Biking, Hiking, Swimming, Snow Boarding
West Hollywood, CA
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>> Read the interview here