59-v 7c! Dave Smith ja Ekoterrori

Kiipeilyuutisoinnissa ehkä parasta on se, että pääsee jakamaan itseä inspiroineita uutisia. Kun Dave Smith sai reilu viikko sitten lähetettyä pitkäaikaisen projektinsa ”Ekoterrorin, 7c” Angelniemessä, olimmekin enemmän kuin pullollaan inspiraatiota. Kiipeilijäkollegan kiivetessä uransa (numeraalisesti) vaikeimman reitin vajaan 40 harrastevuoden jälkeen, eivät Karpot voi muuta kuin nostaa karvahatut nutturapäisiltä kiharoiltaan. Meillä olikin ilo ja kunnia päästä haastattamaan Davea, vaikkakin jännityksen sekaisin tuntein, kun kyseessä oli toinen virallinen kielemme. Pahoittelemmekin kysymyksissä mahdollisesti ilmeneviä kielioppivirheitä.

Congrats for your send to ”Ekoterrori, 7c” at Angelniemi. You tried it first time 2010, was it a big relief to send it now 🙂 ?

Thank you, and of course yes! Its great to break through into a higher grade and it’s a reward for the greater focus on climbing that I’ve had recently. Mainly though it´s just a relief that I can walk past it without thinking I must really try it again! I’d try the route maybe once a year, or every couple of years, and kept thinking it would go. This year, with some focus on getting stronger, a couple of 7b’s done and some slightly different beta the moves felt OK, so it was just a matter of getting on the sharp end.

Ekoterrori is your hardest send so far (or is it)? You’re now 59, how is it possible to peak at this age?

Who’s saying peaked?! I’ve climbed for many years now and never had a long break from the sport, plus I’ve always kept pretty fit in other ways and my weight has stayed the same for decades so I’ve got the basic tools to climb hard still. Recently I’ve been climbing with some younger climbers who have been training and pushing hard and that has been inspiring to follow and try and emulate. And with working less I’ve had more time to climb, go on climbing trips, get fitter and find the drive to try and climb harder, mainly because it´s now or never! So the basic message is that it´s still very much possible to push hard at this age.

How and where do you train?

I’ve never really formally trained until this year! In recent years I’ve mainly gone to OPM’s BoulderTehdas a couple of times a week in winter and just randomly climbed routes there, and now I also go to the great new K2 wall in Turku, particularly if I’m trying to build up some stamina for a climbing trip somewhere. In summer I just go bouldering or climbing outside. I’m convinced that to climb routes at your limit on real rock you have to climb outside enough. In my early days of climbing most climbers I knew didn’t train as there were no climbing or bouldering gyms so all you did was maybe a few pull ups or a bit of bouldering around at the local crag, and in winter in the UK you didn’t climb for months on end unless you went to France or Spain. So in some ways, perhaps unfortunately, I’ve always had this mindset of not doing any organised training for climbing. A while ago I realised I didn’t even know how to train, even though I was watching many people at the boulder wall very focused on training and getting super strong, so at the beginning of this year I signed up for a Lattice Training program.  I managed to complete about half of it before getting Covid and going backcountry skiing (which I do a lot of in winter). I learnt from the program what I like and don’t like about training, and what felt most useful and am sort of trying to keep some parts of that that going. I’ve found that keeping flexible seems to be important as you get older.

When, where and how did you start climbing?

I started in Bristol in the UK in 1985 when I was studying there. I’d wanted to try rock climbing for ages and never found the opportunity as it wasn’t as easy to get into it then as it is now. The guy I shared a lab with was a climber and he took me up a three pitch route in the Avon Gorge called Nightmare and I was hooked! I bought some very basic trad gear and a secondhand rope and started leading badly protected, multi pitch trad limestone with anyone I could persuade to belay me – I did some stupid things but survived. When I moved to Geneva in 1990 I had the novel experience of climbing routes with bolts – there weren’t really any sport climbing routes in the UK then – and around that time climbed my first 6c. I first climbed in Finland in 1992 when I rolled up at Olhava one autumn afternoon and Martin Nugent took me up Josse. Even though by that time I’d done a fair amount of climbing it was still a memorable experience getting on the Laatta the first time.

TOP-3 routes around Turku?

Pikku Myy (6c+/7a) at Toravuori near Salo. Lähetysseura (7a+) at Angelniemi and then of course my own trad route Sticky Fingers in Rymättylä (7-, or around 6c) 

Future projects? 8a after 60?

Maybe climb some more 7c’s then you never know.

”Crux the Movie” from 2001 is a legendary piece of finnish climbing history. How many times you have heard the slogan ”I know I can do it so…” 🙂 ?

Hah! Yes, maybe it’s a good motto to have.

Viimeisen kysymyksen Sloganiin löydät selvennyksen, kun katsot alle linkatun klassikkoelokuvan, jota muun muassa Dave ja muuan nuorehko Tomi Nytorp tähdittävät.