Jeff Smoot is a rock climber, writer, photographer, and Bankruptcy Lawyer. He was based in Seattle, WA for much of his life and now lives in Hawaii.
Jeff is the author of numerous climbing-related books including Hangdog Days: Conflict, Change, and the Race for 5.14 , which was a finalist for several awards including the 2020 Washington State Book Awards.
His upcoming book All and Nothing: Inside Free Soloing (Mountaineers Books, 2022) explores the psychology of risk-taking to find out what drives people so perilously close to the void.
Some of Jeff's other books include:
Jeff also has a long history of climbing and writing about climbing writing for national climbing magazines like Rock and Ice and Climbing. He has also shared some wonderful, original work with Common Climber.
COMMON CLIMBER ARTICLES:
- Calling Pat Ament (By Jeff Smoot) - An adventure story of two young climbers just trying to find a place to sleep.
- I Like Fake Cracks (And I Cannot Lie) (by Jeff Smoot) - "It seems like there’s always some weirdo at the climbing gym who, despite the efforts of some poor route setter who’s labored for hours to set the holds just so to create not just a climbing problem but a work of art, insists on climbing the cracks. That weirdo is usually me." Author Jeff Smoot likes fake cracks and in this story he shares one or two that actually got him driving across the country to send.
- Lessons from a 30-Foot Ground Fall (By Jeff Smoot) - "It happened in an instant, almost by surprise. I was making the crux move, thirty feet off the ground, feet smeared out on a slick overhanging wall, reaching up from a sloping knob to a jug that was just out of reach. It was close, so close, and impulsively I lunged for it. And missed. And then I was falling..."
- Summit Fever (By Jeff Smoot) - A young, glory-eyed teenage Jeff drags his dad and little brother up a mountain in the fog and rain to bag his very first peak.
- The Tape Job (By Jeff Smoot) - Double amputee Hugh Herr experiences equipment malfunction while working on the First Free Ascent of the Leavenworth, WA roof crack "Early Morning Overhang/Flight of the Valkries."
- BOOK REVIW: Paul Preuss: Lord of the Abyss (Book By David Smart) - If you aren’t a student of climbing history, you might be forgiven for believing that big wall free soloing was invented by Alex Honnold, unaware that more than one hundred years ago, soloing difficult rock walls thousands of feet high was not an uncommon practice, and that one climber, a young Austrian named Paul Preuss, had so perfected the art that one of his contemporaries, the great Tita Piaz, the Italian climber himself known as the “Devil of the Dolomites” for his own audacious climbs, called him “Lord of the Abyss.” Reviewer Jeff Smoot takes us on a tour of the book about this legend of big wall free soloing.