On Episode 241, I connect with climber and author, Jonathan Howland. Jonathan started climbing in the early 70s and spent much of that decade obsessed with the pursuit. Then a 20 year hiatus ensued, but Jonathan returned to the climbing-fold with a similar passion but a new outlook. Then tragedy hit, and as can often be the case, so did a dark muse. The result is Jonathan’s first published novel, Native Air. The narrative in Native Air is based on characters living and climbing on the East Side of the Sierra in the 80s. However, the themes in Native Air are endowed with loss, friendship, family, and whether or not climbing can stand up to the weight of meaning we frequently heap upon it. Jonathan’s insight into the heart of why we climb is riveting.