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Climber Interview : Cody Kaemmerlen

Written by Leslie Kim


Posted on March 16 2020

Sometimes you meet the best people when you're out climbing. Like when you leave your apartment at 5am to do an offwidth bouldering circuit in Joshua Tree, and happen to run into some friends of friends. For us, so many great friendships and connections have been made in the Intersection Rock parking lot. Well that's how we met Cody Kaemmerlen, and we've been climbing and collaborating ever since.

Scroll down for the full story!


Cody Kaemmerlen Buttermilks gregnowickiphoto
Photo by @gregnowickiphoto


Q1: To start, what are a few ways you identify yourself? (some examples: name, age, pronouns, type of work you do.) But really, anything you believe is important.

A1: My name is Cody and I was born in Busan City, South Korea. He/him/his. I grew up in Tillamook, OR with the great privilege of being raised by Mike and Janet Kaemmerlen, annual recipients of the Cody Kaemmerlen's Choice Awards, Best Parents in the World. I share conversations and stories though the Wilder Mind Podcast to help elevate us all to show up as our wildest selves. To disrupt the status quo, to rage and riot for our cause and be guided by the rhythm that beats deep within.

Q2: How did you start climbing?

A2: After watching the movie Meru I arranged for a friend to take me to Mesa Rim Climbing & Fitness Center in San Diego, CA. My first 6 months were spent in a gym honing the skills to make upward progress. Later that autumn I found myself in Joshua Tree NP, Yosemite NP, and Holcomb Valley Pinnacles. To me, that's when I truly started to climb; combining my love for the outdoors, community and a good bit of type 2 fun.

Cody Kaemmerlen Pine Creek ericfalleker

Photo by Eric Fallecker: @eric_fallecker


Q3: What impact has climbing had on your life?

A3: It has changed the course of my entire life. Climbing has introduced me to my closest friends, it has broken my body and rebuilt my will. It has provided a way forward with the podcast and it continues to be a centerpiece of my personal pursuits in the mountains.

Cody Kaemmerlen Golden Colorado gregnowickiphoto

Photo by @gregnowickiphoto

Q4: What are some other things you do that you find most fulfilling?

A4: Above all else, running. There is little in this world that brings me more fulfillment than moving long distances in a short time through the variety of landscapes this earth has to offer. In those rare moments, when I’m at the threshold and my strike, stride, breath, arms, and mind are in perfect harmony; it feels like I could take flight and give gravity a hell of a fight. 

Q5: If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?

A5: To your wildest self, be true.

Cody Kaemmerlen Grand Teton gregnowickiphoto
Photo by @gregnowickiphoto


 Cody Kaemmerlen Red Rock gregnowickiphoto

Photo by @gregnowickiphoto


Cody Kaemmerlen Mammoth Lakes petercq

Photo by @petercq


Want to see more of Cody Kaemmerlen's climbing adventures? You can find him on Instagram!

His podcast, Wilder Mind can be found on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

We hope you have enjoyed these sneak peeks into climbers' lives. We're on a mission to share diverse stories about rock climbing. Let's push the boundaries of who we see as climbers. We're using our energy and passion for the outdoors to love our environment and inspire one another.

Until next week!





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