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Monday, November 9, 2009

Ask the man.

I'm in Switzerland at the moment, doing some filming and visiting friends. We climbed two days in the boulder wonderland of Chironico and I have to say the place is amazing. This was my fourth visit to Chironico and probably the most enjoyable one yet. We had cool fall temperatures and the forest floor was covered in thick gold leaves. I met Stephanie Marvez here, who is working in Switzerland at the moment, as well as two of her friends Irene and Martin. Our little crew went around climbing anything that looked good and we stayed out till dark on both days. I did tons of problems, one especially cool one called Rain Dogs. Yesterday the fog was rolling in and out as we were climbing, much like the whole valley was breathing slowly.

I filmed Fred Nicole recently on a extremely difficult problem that is a very unique style. Fred discovered the route with his friend Christof and after a very long time was able to send the problem, which is essentially a very long bouldering roof followed by a short sport route. The route moves like a boulder problem but is very long, similar to Witness the Fitness perhaps. Fred of course suggested no grade but when people see the footage I'm sure the speculation will be intense.

I had an idea and Fred agreed that it might be cool. I would like to open up my blog to have people write in and ask a question of Fred Nicole. I need to interview him anyways for the film, so I thought it might be a good opportunity for him to take questions from some other folks at the same time. I think one of the sad things about climbing is that often the leaders of the sport are simply those who make the most noise, not necessarily those who have the most to say. So... if you have a question you would like to ask Fred... now's your chance. I'll compile the questions and edit them for clarity, and then conduct the interview on Thursday or Friday this week. Feel free to reply to this post, or drop me an email at Chuck@Chuckfryberger.com if you have something to ask. I'll include portions of Fred's interview in my next film, and I'll include the entire thing as an extra on the DVD, and then in the future I'll make it available for free on the web. If you ask a question, please include your real name. We'll include as many questions as possible in the time we have.

So ask away!

Cheers,
Chuck

26 comments:

sock hands said...

1. with lighter, better padding and more climbers, some veteran boulderers believe that the purity of bouldering and the commitment needed for old testpieces has been corroded. having a massive padded landing zone allows climbers to try moves with virtually no consequences. how do you feel about the role of bouldering pads in climbing? positive/negtive/both?


2. you are known for your ability to give 100% effort every time you pull on. you tend not to climb in "baby steps", but rather commit to moves like no other. when you climb what is your internal dialogue like? do you feel solid on all the moves, or is there some "HOLY SHITTTT RRRAAAGGGGHHHH" going on inside? also, if you grab a hold wrong, or feel tweaky, do you commit anyway and send, or do you drop off to avoid injury and wait till a send burn that feels dialed in?

i guess the question is: how clutch are your sends? on video, things that look casual are often not so for the quiet climber.


3. who is the most badass justin you have ever met who has given you a warm, shaken pbr? how has this individual revolutionized your feelings about climbing and positively influenced your life?

charleslpayne said...

I want to second Justins 3rd Question and add this one:

How have you been so effective on so many different rock types, with so many different moves types, and so many route styles. If he says, "I'm superman," then follow up with, "then what is your kryptonite?"

Olsen said...

Chuck, thanks for doing this. Hope you are having a great time in Switzerland! I love that place. You should get your crimp on and do Freak Brothers! I love that boulder. Anyways I couldn't resist your offer and here are some of my questions. Pick one you like

1.. Fred, you are clearly one of the best boulderers of all time. You have climbed all of the world and have one of, if not the most impressive ticklists of anyone out there. That being said, what do you consider your greatest failures as a I climber, and why?

2.Do you think the grading scale has changed at all over the past 10 years? Does it affect your approach?

3.You have often taken a diplomatic stance when it comes to climbing and grading the hardest problems over the last decade, why is that? It stands in contrast with the hard line that other climbers like David Graham have taken.

4.Do you train? If so, specifically what do you do?

5.Do you cycle your climbing and try to create a peak, or moment when fitness might be high, to do a hard climb?

6. Where is the next big area? New trends?

7. Can you write down your ticklist please?

Ok thats enough harrassment for now! have fun in Europe, tell Steph I said wasss up!

Joe said...

Being 40 myself, I'm wondering how your bouldering/climbing is different now than it was when you were younger? It is inspiring to see an "old guy" still climbing hard!

Paul said...

at olsen... i am pretty sure fred put up freak brothers...

for fred...

have you tried the project to the left of ganyemede in brione? Also where is a good spot to begin searching out new amazing projects in switzerland, i will be back in a year and am psyched!

wucactus1 said...

“I think it’s difficult to get much further [in bouldering], unless the problems simply get longer, but why not climb a route then instead?”-Chris Sharma


Many top climbers such as Chris Sharma and Tyler Landman have come out and stated that the limits in bouldering are becoming harder and harder to break and may soon reach an end. Do you as one of the most established and experienced top climbers believe this is true, and if not what are you doing to push the limits infinitely further?

Justin said...

I'd like to second Ryan Olsen's question, but with a slight rephrasing.

Fred, you are known as one of the most accomplished boulderers of all time. You have climbed all over the world and have one of, if not the most impressive ticklists of anyone out there. That being said, can you provide some insight into the role failure plays in climbing? Could you give an example of a time when you invested a lot into a project that you ultimately could not climb? What do you take from these experiences?

I'd also like to know if there are any areas he has yet to travel to that he would like to visit?

-Justin Alarcon

Blackford said...

Thanks Chuck for opening this dialogue.

1. Fred, you have been climbing your entire life, and as such, made it your career. Have you ever reached a point in your life where you considered stopping climbing? If so, what were your reasons/motivations for wanting to quit and/or continue on? Additionally, what have been the longest time periods you have taken off from the sport itself?

2. When you look back through your time as a climber, what do you think have been your most difficult mental challenges as a climber and person that you have faced?

3. Do you see yourself as a role model for other climbers? If so, how does this impact your interaction with climbers? If not, what advice would you recommend to the many young strong climbers who are choosing to make climbing a career for themselves?

4. Do you feel the climbing community has supported you enough throughout your career as a professional climber? (yes/no)
How so and in what ways?

Also, what can be done to improve the support for individuals such as yourself who are the leaders of this sport?

flumpflumpflump said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Olsen said...

Olsen, in this case, is Jamie Emerson. Tresch brothers have the FA of Freak Brothers, I think. and Paul, didn't that Czech climber Rosta Stefanek claim the FA of the left variation to Ganymede? It is on his scorecard.

wyclimber said...

At 40 years of age you have set the bar for hard bouldering throughout your career. It is obvious you are still opening lines that are at or above the cutting edge. Do you think you are still getting stronger or are do you feel your years of experience make you smarter and more calculated when waging battle to open a new hard boulder problem. Which is your main focus?

Thomas said...

Europe enjoys much more publicity and popularity in climbing than the United States. Of course its success comes stereotypes and access issues. How can the developing American bouldering scene learn from and avoid some of the mistakes that Europe scene has experienced?

T.Camillieri

Movecrafter said...

Thanks for all the questions. I'm listening!

Chuck

sock hands said...

have you ever made a list of problems that you would like to send, including more obscure lines that you tried and almost did, but ran out of time for so that you wouldn't forget about them? if so, does this list haunt you in your dreams and wakeful hours? if no, do you have any good tips or 12-step programs for a self-torturing list-maker to stop doing so and just let each climbing day dictate itself rather than some godforsaken list forged in iron molten from the pits of hell?

sock hands said...

put differently, how do you balance conflicting thoughts of "nothing really matters, so let's just enjoy ourselves" and "OMG IF I DO NOT SEND THIS RIG MY FACE WILL EXPLODE OFF MY SKULL"

Paul said...

jamie, yes he may have but in this case with having tried the climb i personally do not believe it for one second that it has been done before. this is true, you are correct about the fa... but do you think fred would not have done this amazing boulder since its fa multiple years ago...?

zachary lesch-huie said...

What do you think of considering climbing as art, or at least being art-like in practice? Is that idea meaningful at all to you?

m. said...

Being a professional climber. What are some of the struggles that go along with climbing for a living?

You suffered a complete bicep tear, did it cross your mind you may never climb at high level again and might be hindered maintaining professional sponsorship.

Great idea Chuck! No other climber truly inspires like Fred.

zonker said...

jamie emerson once wrote a nice blog about what he could not do, and thus his goals.
http://www.b3bouldering.com/2009/01/13/goals/

this is similar to justin alarcon's comment: "That being said, can you provide some insight into the role failure plays in climbing? Could you give an example of a time when you invested a lot into a project that you ultimately could not climb? What do you take from these experiences?"

i'd also like to hear fred nicole's response and insight to these questions.

kt said...

Thanks to Chuck and Fred for this opportunity!

You are surely one the most accomplished, durable and impressive climbers our sport has seen. And yet, you seem to be the least-filmed, least-publicized of any, especially in this video and Internet age. Has yours been a conscious decision to stay off the radar? Are there any video archives of your many sends that we might look forward to seeing released one day?

Ken T.

sock hands said...

fred: all these damn treacherous youth can subsist on diets of pure refined sugar and scoops of lard if they want to... and still send hard (bastards!). as climbers get older, many tend to go through an evolution in their diets to healthier choices.

what role does diet play in your climbing now? has it changed over the years?

do you have any suggestions for climbers struggling to maintain fitness as their metabolism slows?

Movecrafter said...

Thanks for all the good thoughts. Fred and I will try to cover as many of these as possible in the time we have. I'll try not to edit the questions much, but I may combine a few of them together that are similar.

Cheers,
Chuck

Friction said...

Michi trech has fa of freak brothers..

Mannphoto said...

Hey Fred, do you think Dreamtime should be glued back?

Elisia said...

If its not too late I'd like to ask...

Fred climbing has obviously been a lifelong joy for you. What in your mind and life are more important than climbing or at least as important?

patrick said...

I don't know if I'm doing this right...Not computer savvy..My question is simple though...Do you consider rockclimbing an art form such as yoga,martial art,etc...or a sport? I'm surprised thier isn't more discussion on this subject..I've asked numerous climbers and got mixed reviews...Curious what the pros think...Coming from a martial arts background I think art is more appropiate...It's nothing close to say Baseball,Football,etc...