Lonnie has been a pioneering figure in the Mammoth snowboarding and rock climbing scene for some time now. From break out performances at Superpark to first ascents and free solo rock climbs, Lonnie is known for his bold skills yet cool head. His talent for fluid movement over snow and stone is no doubt inspired by his deep Sierra roots. Born and raised in Yosemite Valley, Lonnie is a Native American and a direct descendant of Chief Tenaya, the last leader of the Ahwanechee people.
These days, Lonnie splits his time between rock climbing, riding BC lines above his house in June Lake and lapping the park in Mammoth. The thread that ties all Lonnie’s passions together is his motivation to push himself to the next level and the stunning mental strength he draws from to pull it off.
To catch a better perspective on how Lonnie keeps calm in the face of fatal consequences, he’s shared some thoughts about his mindset when in the mountains. Read on for some inspiring words from Lonnie and look out for much more to come from this OG Sierra rock/snow warrior.
Intuition is your biggest ally. When you put yourself out there you will feel what the mountains are telling you and whether or not to go further. You don’t want to think too much. If you meditate on the wrong thing, then you might do the wrong thing. I try to only think good thoughts. If I can’t escape worries I know to back off as i’m not ready for whatever it is.
If you really love something and want to get better at it, surround yourself by it. Your environment molds who you are. My love for climbing and snowboarding is what drives me to push it to the next level and it’s my experience that makes it possible. Living in the Eastern Sierra i’m like a painter who’s been blessed with the opportunity to paint a thousand paintings. My board and my climbing shoes are my brushes and I have put in the time to know how to realistically take my art to the next level.
I love listening to music in the mountains. It has such a powerful effect on your confidence. When I put on my headphones and listen to my favorite music I think only good thoughts. In those situations I try to play my body like it was an instrument, in tune and in time with the music i’m listening to.