Meet Scott Hall. Hailing from Washington State but currently in Utah, Scott, @scottchanning, can usually be found climbing in red rock canyons, camping the Wasatch or taking his FJ62 Land Cruiser on backcountry roads. We're thrilled to have Scott as a Western Rise ambassador and eager to share more about Scott with you.
WHAT YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
The glory jobs have included farmer, river guide and mountain guide, but I've filled the gaps with many other inglorious ones to pay the way and live a life outside.
For the past 10 years I have worked for a satellite communications company. Initially with the company, I set up emergency response communications for wild fire camps around the west—sleeping in a tent at the camps for months at a time to monitor the communication links for stability. Getting paid to camp in the mountains fit me well.
When wild fires aren't raging I do diagnostics work at the office in Salt Lake City for the networks we provide—staring at 6 monitors for 12 hours at a time. Sounds miserable eh? However, twelve hour shifts mean I only work 15 days a month and the other 15 are almost always spent in a tent next to a stream, boulder or nestled up to a mountain. The contrast of work to play only adds perspective to a vista as I sit early in the morning and sip a cup of cowboy coffee.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO THOSE OTHER 15 DAYS A MONTH?
Get outside as much as possible. Mostly, I climb rocks obsessively, but also spend a lot of time fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking and generally exploring the beauty outside of city limits. If not outside, I tinker on my 1988 Land Cruiser or 80's dual sport motorcycles in the garage. Then take them deep into the hills for more outside play time.
FAVORITE UTAH CLIMBING SPOT?
Joe's Valley—named after the reservoir it is near. Beautiful sandstone next to an emerald green creek with climbing and fly fishing just feet from your tent. More importantly, there is a gas station in the nearby town that makes the best donuts you've ever tasted so yeah, best Utah donut spot...definitely Joe's Valley.
WHAT'S GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW?
In May I am going on a 3 week African Safari to Botswana and South Africa where I hope to get better at nature photography as well as do some climbing.
WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?
Reading: Wilderness by Lance Weller
Favorite Book: Lonesome Animals by Bruce Holbert
TELL US SOMETHING WE WOULDN'T LIKELY KNOW ABOUT YOU UNLESS WE SPENT A DAY OUT CLIMBING TOGETHER?
Haha, I'm a relentless teaser of both my friends and myself—and expect my friends to be the same. It is easy to lose perspective when climbing, because of the physical and mental demands you put on yourself. Making fun of each other maintains humility and reminds that, really, we are just adult kids in our adult playground. Let's laugh, self deprecate and make our gift of time spent outside fun.
BROWN ALE, LAGER OR IPA? Yes.
MORNING BIRD OR LATE NIGHT OWL?
Morning bird for sure. I'm a farm-kid so, genetically, I can't sleep in, or not be socially awkward. Cup of coffee in hand, I love watching the sunrise light fog rolling over the mountains, the mist burn off a stream and the neighbor get dressed in the window. Haha, what, I mean....
WHAT MAKES YOU OR HOW DO YOU TRUST THE WILD?
Raised on a farm in eastern Washington, I yearned for a view not always obstructed by wheat. My Grandfathers worked hard—one a farmer, the other a park ranger, while my Father drove long haul truck—and so, it only seemed natural to Trust The Wild and learn to utilize the earth as a means for growth, admire and celebrate the grandeur of our landscape, and love the open road. After being raised with hands in the soil, I left the farm to see where these legs could to take me. Curiosity leaves the hometown abandoned.
While attending college in Bellingham, WA I traded in the cowboy boots for mountaineering boots and found my legs taking me to the summit of many peaks in the Cascade Mountains. I'd spend half the summers working at Mt. Rainier and the other half working back on the farm for the annual Harvest.
College ended and, slipping back into cowboy boots, I felt the need to travel to the desert Southwest where my hands have since held the reins, at first, leading up sandstone cracks but more recently to the top of sandstone boulders. Rock climbing was a reunion between hands and terra firma.