Climbing Photographer Spotlight: Ken Etzel

Bishop, CA
Publish date:

This story originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of our print edition.

Rock Climbing Photographers Photos

Tony DiSanto pinching, squeezing, and finessing his way up a sea of tufas on La Perla (5.14a/8b+), Margalef, Spain.

This bouldering junkie turned mountain fanatic started climbing in college by “scaling buildings and four-foot-tall blocks in Wisconsin.” When he graduated in 2000, he packed up his old red Jetta and drove straight to Bishop. Climbing and photography go hand in hand for Etzel. His ultimate goal is to “live a long and happy life in the mountains while documenting and inspiring people to get off the couch and reach their own lofty goals.” With a master’s degree in biology (he studied birds as indicators of ecological change), Etzel’s dream assignment is to travel the world, documenting shifting climates in alpine communities. “But,” he says, “documenting climbing in Patagonia or Greenland could be pretty cool, too.” At press time, Etzel had just returned from a ski shoot in British Columbia. He’s shot for companies like Backcountry and Patagonia.

Instagram: @ken_etzel

Rock Climbing Photographers Photos

Meredith Jabis and Brian Russell head toward Starlight Peak, one of five 14,000-foot peaks that are included on the Sierra’s Thunderbolt to Sill Traverse, which includes technical climbing up to 5.9.

Rock Climbing Photographers Photos

During the last moments of light, Anne Peick climbs High Deductible (5.12) in Labyrinth Canyon, Utah, above the Green River.

Further reading:
16 Climbing Photographers You Should Know