Will Charles Barron win a third title in a row?

August 18, 2023 / By yann

Charles Barron is a climber with the wind in his sails, having won the last two editions of the JACKALOPE, in Montreal in 2022 and Virginia Beach in 2023, in between taking part in Olympic qualifying events.


The young mechanical engineer grew up in Montana, close to the famous Yellowstone Park, and has been climbing both indoors and outdoors since he was 15. While he greatly appreciates the unique connection to nature that his discipline provides, he is equally at home in a competitive context, and excels under pressure and in front of crowds.

We talked to him about his passion as he came to Montreal to defend his championship title.

1. What do you like most about your climbing/bouldering:

It’s hard for me to pin down one thing that I like the most about climbing… But if I had to choose one thing, it would be that no two climbs are the same which makes every climb a unique challenge in its own right.

2. A competitive moment that has marked you:

I think that my most memorable competitive moment in climbing was making the semifinal at the SLC World Cup in 2022.  It was something that I worked very hard for and it felt amazing to have all of my training come together in a round and allowed me to climb at my best.

3. What kind of music or artist do you like to listen to when you climb?

I mostly like to listen to Rap and Electronic music while I climb.  Anything with a hype beat gets me psyched.

4. Triple question about bouldering:

a) A movement or situation you really like :  

I tend to enjoy in bouldering would have to be powerful climbing that is also very technical.  I really like this style because it requires me to be very in-tune with my body and manage my levels of effort while also focusing on the intricacies of the movement.

b) A skill or situation that you want to improve:

the ability to hold positions on challenging slopers as well as generating to and from these tedious positions.  In the past, I have at times felt like whether or not a sloper feels good is fully dependent on friction and how good my skin feels, but I’m starting to believe that there is a lot more nuance involving body position, hand position, and direction of applied force.

c) Something related to bouldering or climbing that you’ll probably never do (why?)  

I don’t think that there is anything related to bouldering that I would never try in my life.  I’m drawn to all styles of bouldering, everything from slab to roof, all styles of holds, and low-balls to high-balls.  In the general field of climbing, I don’t know if I’ll do anything categorized under mountaineering in my life but I’m also still quite young and don’t know what the future holds.

5. Can you describe a perfect climb day (who, where, when/how)?

A perfect climbing day to me would have to be a long day of bouldering with friends where we all sent our projects!  I’ve definitely had a few of these days in my life and I look forward to the many more to come.

6. What would you know about Montréal and/or the people who live there?

I don’t know too much about Montreal… I came to the Jackalope Festival in Montreal last year and met a lot of wonderful, kind people but I didn’t take too much time to explore the city… That’s something that I would like to do on this trip!

 7. If you weren’t climbing/bouldering, would you be more into skateboarding or basejumping? Why or why not?

It’s hard for me to picture a world where I wasn’t into climbing… But I do think that I would like skateboarding if I wasn’t into climbing.  Something about the idea of never repeating the same movement in the exact same way is really interesting to me.  Additionally, the way that you can flow between different tricks or moves seems like a ton of fun and super satisfying.

8. In what mindset/frame of mind are you going to arrive at Jackalope 2023, and what do you have to say to the people who are coming to see the shows/contests?

I’m going to arrive at Jackalope 2023 with a mindset full of excitement, ready to show off all of the training that I’ve done this summer.  I feel very fit and healthy at the moment so I hope that I can put on a good show!  To all of the people that are coming to watch the event and all of the happenings at Jackalope 2023, I’d like to tell them to get ready for an action packed event and to cheer loud at the competitions because the competitors feed off the energy of the crowd!