Ep. 19 - It’s All About Climbing and It’s Nothing About Climbing with Jackson Yip

Mar 6, 2024

What are the things in your life that have infinite complexity upon closer inspection?

I’m betting you didn’t expect that question on a podcast about ice climbing.

But that’s Jackson Yip for ya. An atmospheric researcher by training who specializes in cloud-microphysics, Jackson is also a deeply passionate climber and alpinist who has coupled his interests in a myriad of ways.

Whether scrabbling through murky datasets or slogging to break trail, Jackson finds beauty in the mundane and labyrinthine.

In this wide-ranging conversation, we talk about:

  • Cloud physics and the complexity of turbulence

  • The importance of first-hand experience

  • How to develop mental models

  • Why we can and need to do better when evaluating ice conditions

  • The mechanics of pillar collapse

  • And more

Hope you enjoy this chat, I certainly did.



01:41 - The concept of heat death and its implications

04:00 - Having perspective

05:37 - The complexity of cloud micro-physics

09:15 - Observing and first-hand experience

11:30 - Engineering challenges in climate research

17:58 - Predicting ice formations

20:20 - The tragic consequences of misreading ice conditions

23:10 - Mechanics of slip-out pillar collapse

28:31 - The importance of patience in climbing and life

35:38 - Accessible doesn't mean easy or safe

41:13 - The seasons of life

42:43 - Supporting socioeconomic equality


Resources and links:

If you’re interested in collaborating on one of the ice climbing models that Jackson mentioned, you can reach him at jackson.yip@utah.edu. To connect with him on Instagram, he’s @jp_yip. You can learn more about his research on his website: jpyip.com

Find the rest of the notes, timestamps, resources, and more on the episode page.



Episode cover photo provided by Jackson Yip

Intro music by Hannah Noelle Enomoto (thanks, sis!).



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© 2023 Ice Ice Beta. All rights reserved.

© 2023 Ice Ice Beta. All rights reserved.

© 2023 Ice Ice Beta. All rights reserved.