Closing Out My Twenties

It would be kind of hard to remember everything that I did during my first or second decade of life, but I have a vivid recollection of all the awesome things that happened during my twenties. The last ten years of my life were riddled with life defining milestones.

The Resume of My Twenties

  • Lived in Brazil – My first year in my twenties was spent living a selfless life in Brazil where I spoke fluent Portuguese and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone that would invite me into their home.
  • Summited the Grand Teton – When I was 21, I climbed to my highest point ever at 13,775 feet onto the peak of the Grand Teton. We did it from car to car in 14 hours.
  • Skydiving – I ticked off a big bucket list item when I was 21 by jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.
  • Got Married – Four months after turning 22, I got married to a very attractive and awesome California girl.
  • Ran My First Marathon – With vary little preparation and not owning a pair of running shoes, I ran the Top of Utah marathon in just over 5 hours in my skateboarding shoes. 
  • Graduated College – At the age of 23, I graduated with a B.A. in Communications/Advertising from Brigham Young University—Idaho. 
  • Baby #1 – I was blessed with my first offspring, Indiana Laurence Eaton, when I was 23.
  • First Full Time Job – I was fortunate enough to have my internship at the City of Rexburg turn into my first full time job after graduating college as their graphic designer and events coordinator.
  • Bought My First House – Near the closing of my 23rd year of life, I bought—more like financed—my first house in Rexburg, ID where we lived for almost two years.
  • Elders Quorum Musical Chairs – I played what I like to call the “Elder’s Quorum Musical Chairs” during my 24th year where I pretty much sat in each seat of the presidency.
  • Baby #2 – Just seven days after turning 25, I was blessed with my second child, Fisher Jay Eaton.
  • Established myself as a Race Director – By the time I was 26, I had already been the race director of two marathons, two triathlons, two 5Ks, and two cyclocrosses…not to mention I landed a job being the race director of a major 200 mile relay race with Ragnar Events.
  • 4th Marathon – Right before I turned 27, I ran my fourth marathon.
  • The Climbing Trip of a Lifetime – At age 27, with a wife and two young boys, I embarked on a 2.5 month climbing trip where we were literally homeless and jobless—a status we proactively pursued.
  • The Colorado Curiosity – Most of my 28th year was spent experiencing what life is like in Colorado. (For some reason I always wanted to know what it would be like to live in Colorado, Washington, and Alaska.) During this time I worked one of my dream jobs at the prestigious rock climbing magazine, Rock and Ice.
  • First Big Wall Experience – In my 28th year, I was adopted by a recent acquaintance, now a life long climbing buddy that took me on my first big wall/aid-climbing trip where we climbed all nine pitches of the Moonlight Buttress in Zion National Park. We slept on a port-a-ledge for two nights…another major bucket list item of mine.
  • Trailer, White Rim, Dream Job, Festival, 2nd House – My 29th year was packed full a lot of highlights including: my experience living full-time in a 5th wheel trailer with my wife and two boys, ran the entire White Rim Trail in Canyonlands in three days with my wife and friends, getting hired on at a dream company to do a dream job (Working as the Communications Specialist at Liberty Mountain), kicking off the inaugural Idaho Mountain Festival that had almost 200 people in attendance, and purchasing my second house…having previously sold my first one.
  • Hardest Aid Climb My Second Go Around – To cap off my twenties, I headed up the steep and gently overhanging wall of Lunar Ecstasy in Zion National Park with my climbing buddy. For being my second aid route ever, this route was a bit above my limits, but still within my reach. There is something about sleeping on a port-a-ledge that doesn’t get old.

I am certain that I am leaving a lot of stuff out. These are just the milestones of my twenties. I have been blessed with a wonderful set of parents, amazing siblings, a fantastic wife, the coolest children, the most supportive friends, and some marvelous employers. Including God and Jesus Christ, I credit everyone in my life for providing me with the most memorable experiences in my life.

One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain that says, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do." Well, as I look back on my last thirty years, I can honestly say that I am not disappointed in how I lived my life.

I now look forward, into my thirties, with rabid tenacity. My age is only a number and that number does not have the power to tell me what I can or cannot do. In fact, to start off my thirties, I will embark on a solo backpacking trip along the entire John Muir Trail where I plan to fast pack all 200+ miles in no more than 10 days. Future posts regarding that trip coming soon.

My Job

I sometimes cringe when the first question a new acquaintance asks me is, “So what do you do for work?” Actually, it’s usually the third question; right after “What’s your name?” and “Where are you from?” It seems as though we define each other based on the answers from these three questions. I don’t like that.

It’s not that I’m ashamed of what I do as a profession, it’s just that I’d rather spend the first moments with someone explaining how I am a Christian, a father, a husband, even a rock climber. I might even tell them that I am a wannabe videographer and photographer. I’ve always considered my job to be the thing that funds my lifestyle, not define it.

Now that I’ve griped about that, let me eat my words and say that I have found a true dream job with a dream company that fits my personality and interestes. It not only funds my lifestyle, but it also enhances my passions. I am the Communications Specialist at Liberty Mountain.

Liberty Mountain is one of the largest wholesale distributors of outdoor and climbing gear. What’s a wholesale distributor? We act as the middle-man that traffics the gear from the manufacturers to the retailers. Instead of a retail store dealing with a different sales rep from each manufacturer, they deal with one of our sales reps to order products from hundreds of different companies.

As the communications specialist, I handle the media relations, social marketing, and content marketing for the company and for some of the over-seas brands that we exclusively represent in the U.S. In addition to that, I am also the project manager for Liberty Mountain’s presence at the bi-annual Outdoor Retailer Show.

Media Relations? Social Marketing? Content Marketing? Outdoor Retailer? What on earth does all this jargon mean? Let me give you a visual. (At anytime, feel free to click one of the photos to view them all in a large slideshow.)

I focus on getting information about our gear published in industry magazines by feeding them with press releases and gear samples for gear reviews and guides.
I manage a handful of social media accounts: 5 Facebook, 1 Google+, 1 Twitter, 1 Pinterest, and an account on both YouTube and Vimeo.

I write for two blogs where I post gear reviews, press releases, and trip reports from my co-workers: Everything For The Outdoors and Liberty Mountain Climbing.

I get to help out with the copy writing for the gear descriptions and essays in our two annual catalogs.

As the company’s Outdoor Retailer project manager, I coordinate the logistics of setting up our 40’ x 90’ tradeshow booth that displays loads of gear from some of our core manufactures.

Sometimes I get to go out and test the gear. Sometimes I even get to act like a model while someone takes my picture.

The Home Base Chapter

As most of you know, I’ve been bouncing around from here to there doing this or that for the last 2.5 years. My wife and I, along with our two young boys, have lived 2.5 months straight in a tent, braved our chances at becoming Coloradoans, and lived in a 35-foot fifth-wheel trailer for 1.5 years. Professionally, I spent this time unemployed, working security at the Winter X-Games, being a park ranger at the City of Rocks, selling ad-space for a prestigious rock climbing magazine, starting up a new climbing festival, and most recently been working in the marketing department for one of the largest and coolest wholesale distributors of camping and climbing gear.

That chapter of life has since passed—minus that part about working for Liberty Mountain—but the memories and enlightenment that it provided will still live on. It felt amazing to have any setting we desired be my backyard. The unconventional lifestyle was definitely a dream come true. It wasn’t the easiest lifestyle to live, nor did it come stress free. Living where we wanted, when we wanted provided many battles that tested our commitment to adventure…battles that were well worth fighting.

Living that way, as a young family of four, made me feel unique and different. It gave me a fun story to tell leaving many people slack-jawed. Echoing what a cheesy Mountain Dew commercial once said, “I don’t seek out to be different. I seek out to be me and some people find that to be different.”

After trading in the tent and mini-van for the diesel truck and trailer, we have now traded in the trailer and truck for a house. A HOUSE. How conventional can you get? It’s only been 14 days and I’m already feeling normal and less unique. I don’t regret buying a house. I’m actually really excited to have a house that I can customize to fit our personalities, even a home base that our friends can use as a hostel. We’ve positioned ourselves in the middle of everything…everything within the western states.

So what next? What does the Home Base Chapter have in store for the Eaton Family? What do we have up our sleeves to feed our adventurous appetites? Are we going to finally give into life and make our house, work, and kids our scapegoats for never doing what we aspire to do? NO!! NEVER!!

We are going to use our house, work, and kids as reasons to get out and live our dreams. With Jennilyn’s plans to run her first 100-mile trail race and my plans to fast-pack all 200 miles of the John Muir Trail while also breaking the 5.13 barrier, I think we are off to a good start for this year.

“To life, to life, l'chaim!”

Snow Cave

Childhood winters were spent digging snow caves. I didn't make that many snowmen, but I sure made a whole lot of caves and tunnels. The best caves I made were in the ditch across the street from our house in Rexburg, ID. My bothers and I would wait until the ditch filled in with snow, after which we would dig a hole down and then start our cave. The fact that the cave was practically underground made it even more cool to us.

My boys are now at the ages--6 and 4--where I can now teach them all the fun things that life has to offer them. In my opinion, snow caves are one of those things. Today was a milestone with my boys. I introduced them both to the snow-cave-concept for the first time. They loved the idea. Although they didn't understand the engineering of how to make it, they definitely watched, helped, and took mental notes. I wouldn't be surprised if I catch them making mini-caves by themselves now. The seed has now been planted.

2012 Recap

I started 2012 in a slightly tough situation and now finished it in a very pleasant one. I was an unemployed entrepreneur in Logan, UT who was working hard to put together a brand new event from scratch. My loving wife took one for the team and brought home the bacon and put bread on the table. Then I scored a very cool job as a park ranger in our “dream town” of Almo, ID where we lived right outside of the City or Rocks. That dream was short lived—only 1.5 months—after I landed a dream job with a dream company in SLC, UT as the communications specialist in Liberty Mountain’s marketing department.

I can now say that I am starting 2013 in a very awesome situation, especially with all the rad adventures and accomplishments during the year:
  • White Rim Trail Run – 80 miles in three days
  • Lived right outside of the City of Rocks for 1.5 months
  • Landed a dream job with Liberty Mountain
  • Reached the one-year mark of living full time in a 5th-wheel trailer
  • Pulled off a successful first year for the Idaho Mountain Festival
  • Climbed over 150 pitches
  • Watched my wife take the podium on a half marathon, 50K, and 50-mile race
Now I am sitting here thinking of all the radness that I am going experience this year. I have so much I want to do and achieve that I’m having to place some in the queue for 2014. Here are just a few of the things that will happen in 2013:
  • John Muir Trail – 200+ miles in no more than 10 days (ETA: Aug 24)
  • Buy a house in Sandy, UT (ETA: Feb 11)
  • Concentrate on exploring the bounteous climbing crags between Ogden and American Fork, with occasional trips to Idaho, southern UT, and Wyoming (All year long)
  • Redpoint my first 5.13 (ETA: ASAP)

Seek the CHRIST in Christmas

During the Christmas season, we recognize the birth of Jesus Christ, whom the Christians believe to be the Savior of the world; saving us from sin and death. Christmas is celebrated by millions, if not billions of people. It isn't just a Christian holiday, many other faiths celebrate this season in their own ways. Why? Because it is a season that represents salvation.

Jesus Christ, believe in him or not, is the universal symbol of salvation. When he was born, the entire world regained their hope to one day live with their God and Creator. On Christmas Day, we say we celebrate the birth of a child; what we are really celebrating is our belief in life after death.

If any of you do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the World, I invite you to ask yourself if you believe in salvation. If you do, then you have reason to celebrate Christmas. Don't throw away Christmas because you don't believe in Jesus. Embrace Christmas because it gives you hope for a life that if full of purpose and direction.

Salvation is real and it is a present that is being offered to you. So when you hear me wish you a "Merry Christmas," I'm actually inviting you to believe in the one thing that all mankind wants and believes...SALVATION.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Please share this message and image with everyone on your own blog, Facebook, Pinterest, ect.

Ugly Christmas Ornaments

It is amazing to see what kind of Christmas tree ornaments exist out there. I can't believe that some of them would even be thought of, let alone made.

Last weekend, we were invited to a Christmas party at a friends house where we had a while elephant gift exchange. The rules for this exchange was that the gift had to be a tree ornament and you have to decorate your tree with the one you win.

The ending result when all the gifts were open was a slew of some of the nastiest ornaments I have ever seen...all captured and displayed in the above photo. Jennilyn and I were the lucky winners of the energy snack garland and the Jacob fron Twilight ornament.

Maybe I've found a new holiday tradition. I think I might start giving ugly ornaments to those I love as a humorous gift for Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone.

The Year of 2012

A new year is upon us. I have now lived to see the passing of one year to another 28 times. As each year ended, I'd celebrate it banging pots and pans in the front yard, playing board games with family, watching movies, trying to find a girl from whom to steal a new year's kiss, or with my friends in a camper-trailer at a ski resort. It is always interesting to see in what way I bring in a new year.

A new year is often seen as a time to turn over a new leaf, to start over, or to do away with the old and bring in the new. I don't know if it's just me that is seeing this, but it seems like a lot of people are getting good feelings about 2012. Facebook statuses are redundant with "I've got a good feeling about 2012." and "2012 is going to be way better than 2011." I wonder if everyone had those same feelings and predictions are the beginning of 2011 or any of the past years. Is 2012 really going to be the better year or are we all just excited to try again to do better in our lives?

For me, 2012 is going to be the year for me to experience some new things. Yea, I'll focus on correcting and redoing some things, but my focus this year is to add on and discover.

It's been a while now that I have felt like I could climb a 5.13 sport route. But for some unknown reason I have held off from attempting one, let alone having the desire to climb one. I don't know why that is. I love climbing and I love progressing in it. So why wouldn't I aspire to raise the bar? Why have I saved my first 5.13 lead when I should have attempted it back in 2010?

I can honestly say that fear has never been the factor. I can also say that I could come up with many theories as to why I've waited. But in all reality, I honestly don't know the true answer. What matters now is that I have put away my childish actions and reasoning and am going to reach this new bench mark.

Who knows, I may not event red point a 5.13 this year (I hope that isn't the case). But I will feel a whole lot better about myself knowing that I spent the days of 2012 projecting a new level of difficulty for myself.

If you have a future accomplishment that has been looming and haunting you for a while, dedicate yourself to approach it and take it on. As many people are already preaching..."2012 is the year!"

Ben Eaton redpointing Snipe Hunter (5.12c) at Lime Creek near Basalt, CO.
Photo by Kausha Allison.

Ben Eaton redpointing Jumanji (5.12a) on the Black and Tan Wall
of the Woodbury Road Crags near St. George, UT.
Photo by Jennilyn Eaton.

Ben Eaton going for the failed redpoint of Zealot (5.12c) on Kelly's Rock
of the Woodbury Road Crags near St. George, UT.
Photo by Jennilyn Eaton.

Looking Back: Cross Country Skiing With Toddlers - 1st Time

Two Years ago on this very day, Jennilyn and I took advantage of the free admission day at Harriman State Park in Idaho. Our oldest boy was 2.5 years old and our youngest was 9 months old. We borrowed two pair of cross-country skis from my work, grabbed a two-person plastic sled at the Cal-Ranch Store, and took along our

Kelty Kid Carrier


It was a cold day. Luckily we were able to dress ourselves and the boys in our warm clothes in the back of our Toyota Sienna with the back seats laid down. Fisher was awake, so we started him out in the kid carrier first while Indy was sitting in the sled with a blanket wrapped around him. Jennilyn and I took turns wearing the backpack or pulling the sled. At one point I was handling both the backpack and the sled so that Jennilyn could zoom ahead and feel the winter breeze run through her winter cap before it ran through her hair.

We had a lot of fun just staying on the Road Trial that is 1.2 miles one way. We started at the parking lot of the main lodge and skied into the Becker Warming Hut. We were able to make ourselves warm, eat lunch and let Fisher fall asleep.

On the way back, Indy was in the backpack while Fisher laid asleep in the sled covered with the blanket as it snowed ever so lightly on us.

We had so much fun on that trip, that we decided that we'd try to gear ourselves up with the proper equipment to be able to do that more often. We have yet to buy our own set of cross country skis and all, but we did buy a

Nordic Cab

that converts into a bike trailer, jogger stroller, or a ski chariot. This nifty contraption allows us to run, bike, snowshoe, or cross country ski with our boys and it keeps them dry and warm.

Where there's a will...there's a way.

Thank God

Dreams. Goals. Resolutions.

As I'm making goals for the year 2011,  I've noticed that many of these goals are athletically related. Others are resolving to pursue their dreams; dreams since they were children. These goals and dreams wouldn't be possible if it weren't for our healthy bodies and this beautiful earth.

I can't help but thank God for giving us an amazing place to play and skilled bodies that do so. Whenever I see a snow capped mountain, I recognize the hand of God and his creation. The creation of the human body was surely mastered by a divine being. How else would we be able to run 26.2 miles or summit a 14,000 foot peak?

As we move forward with life and accomplish the things on our "bucket list," may we thank God for our healthy bodies and for this wonderful earth.

The Father and Son Hybrid

Irish obsessions and punk music. My father always tried to expose his small percentage of Irish blood whenever he could. This obsession of his has also shown through many, if not all, of his children.

I have always liked punk music. Ask me any time and I'll probably say that punk is my favorite type of music. One reason why punk is the best is because the bands love to include the classics and other cultures in their tunes. I have been able to include my mother with my love for punk by introducing her to Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, who cover oldies songs from the 50's and 60's.

Well, if my dad was alive, I'd include him as well but not only with the before mentioned band. I'd also make him listen to Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly.

Here's to you Dad...