giovedì 31 agosto 2017

Intervista a Tom Randall (atleta Wild Country) dei Wide Boyz

In occasione dell’edizione 2017 di Rock Master, in programma dal 24 al 27 agosto ad Arco di Trento, Wild Country ha portato con sé un ospite esclusivo: Tom Randall, uno dei climber più forti ed ecclettici del Regno Unito. Tom forma, insieme all’amico Pete Whittaker, il duo Wide Boyz, famoso per la pratica dell'arrampicata a incastro. Tom e Pete non sono solo esperti di queste tecniche, sono dei veri coach: organizzano infatti numerosi tour, per il momento solo nel Regno Unito, per diffondere e insegnare i segreti di questa disciplina. Incastri di mano, di piedi, di braccia, di gambe e di dita per salire una fessura: fatica e dolore, ma anche impegno, dedizione e amore per l’arrampicata.

Personalmente, ho avuto la possibilità di intervistarlo e riporto sotto il risultato:

  1. First, let's warm-up. Could you please tell us briefly using your own words who are you, where are you from and most important how, where and with whom you started climbing?
    TOM: My name is Tom Randall and I'm a 37yr old professional rock climber. I say I'm "professional" but I think the reality is that this is a mixture of both athlete and coach as I really enjoy both of these disciplines. I'm from South Africa originally, but I've lived in the UK for the last 30yrs and have a wife and two children. I started climbing 18yrs ago whilst taking part in a fun competition at school - I did better than I expected, so it seemed fun! 
  2. Is your cracking climbing technique invented and develiped by you, or at the beginning were you inpired by someone or by a specific event?
    TOM: I certainly didn't invent crack climbing - as far as I am aware it has been around for at least 100yrs?? It's actually a very old form of traditional climbing and one that has been used for a long time. Where I differ is that I take modern training techniques and sports science knowledge to apply it to an "ancient craft" :-)
  3. Which were the first reaction of the traditional  climbing community? Is it now commonly appreciated? Are you feeling a growing curiosity?
    TOM: About 10 yrs ago a lot of people thought that crack climbing was quite unusual and something that only the weird climbers would really be motivated by. My friends thought I was strange in that I wanted to always try more and more hard crack routes, but with time (and me and my climbing partner doing some world-famous hard routes) people started to see that it was something that was cool! These last few years, I can see a lot of momentum behind crack climbing and lots of people ask me questions and want to train more.
  4. How can the crack climbing techniques evolve further?
    TOM: I'm not sure the techniques can evolve any further, but the physical training can improve. It's always a case of working harder, working more constantly and starting at a younger age!
  5. For not yet climbing people at home, how painful is it? Did you have injuries? Do you use protections for your hands?
    TOM: In my opinion it's about as painful as minor tooth ache. It can be a bit annoying in the moment, but once you numb up a little it's all good fun! No.... sorry..... I joke. Seriously, it's actually not that bad once you have good technique. Yes I have got injured but it's often because I didn't stop when I have a little problem. Normally we tape up our hands to protect them.
  6. Personally, I feel a higher degree of security with crack climbing. Can you comment on it?
    TOM: I think this comes down to personal experience - I've met many people who would say the exact opposite. You and I feel comfortable on cracks.... others much prefer to face climb. It's all a matter of taste and experience I think?
  7. This year we experienced two extreme events like Alex Honnold Climbing Yosemite's El Capitan solo (i.e. Without a Rope) and Adam Ondra climbing the first 9c ever in Flatanger-Norway. How can these events influence the future of climbing? What’s your feeling?TOM: In my opinion these events are not extreme at all. They simple reflect the margins of current standards and show how the sport is evolving. What is today's "extreme" with be the next decade's "normal" so I try to not get too carried away by it. It's inspiring to see people push hard, work hard, make little differences in the path to achieving their aims and I think we can all do the same in our lives. Much that we like to think we have super heroes, we are all capable if we let ourselves truly commit, with little thought of the sacrifices.

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