Vuarnet Fellow Jon Glassberg (@jonglassberg) is a a professional climber who has traveled the world climbing rocks up to 5.14 and V15. He has grown his company, Louder Than Eleven, into one of the outdoor industry’s most trusted production houses, working with a diverse group of pro athletes and directing a variety of award-winning features and international campaigns. Jon captures imagery from precarious and dangerous places where most filmmakers don’t have the skills to go while blurring the line between commercial and documentary film in both the vertical and horizontal worlds.
All photos: Jessica Glassberg (@jessglassberg)
Why do you do what you do?
I am passionate about the outdoors and climbing and I love telling incredible stories about unique people pushing themselves physically and mentally in the climbing world. High performance Inspires me!
What is your favorite virtue?
What is your biggest fear?
Falling to my death from a mistake made while climbing or capturing climbing high on the side of a big wall.
Why do you travel?
I travel because I get to see the furthest corners of the world. I wouldn't have the opportunity to go visit and explore without climbing and filmmaking as a vehicle to see these places. I love interacting with new cultures, people and communities that do things totally differently from the way I do them but through the sport of climbing, we share a common bond. I really like to be out of my comfort zone and interacting with new places forces this experience. It is especially exciting to capture photo and video in these challenging environments and tell a visual story about why they are special.
What has travel taught you?
Traveling has taught me that while people and communities around the world might look and act differently than what I am used to, ultimately, we are all connected in exciting ways. Climbing communities around the world are all so similar and immersing yourself in an exciting new climbing location is really rewarding. The friendships and experiences you get to share together lasts a lifetime and without travel, climbing, and documenting it all on a camera, my life would not be nearly as rich and fulfilling.
Describe a recent memorable travel experience.
I was in Innsbruck, Austria documenting an athlete for the Climbing World Cup and shooting some commercial content in town and had a free day to get up high in the Alps and explore. We jumped on a gondola and within minutes we were 2000m above town in the mountains above the clouds overlooking the city. We scrambled around on the exposed ridge and took photos and it was great to get out of the city and explore a bit. One thing I love about Europe is how easy it is to get up into the mountains to climb and explore by tram.
What has climbing taught you? Why do you pursue climbing?
Climbing has taught me that with hard work and dedication you can achieve anything. I have also learned that climbing is a great way to see the world, connect with the outdoors, express myself through visual media like photo and video and scare myself just enough to feel really alive. I pursue climbing because I can feel myself getting better, honing my skills, and improving year after year. It feels amazing as an athlete to push your physical and mental barriers and overcome challenges you once thought were impossible for yourself. Pretty much everything in my life has happened or was made possible with climbing in some way.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Climbing V15 in 2021 - a climbing grade I never imagined I would be able to achieve.
Favorite Vuarnet eyewear products?
- Cap 1814 - for looking stylish off the mountain and around town (my everyday glasses)
- Dogtown - for that retro look
- Ice 1709 - for anything in the mountains...climbing, shooting, expeditions