Interviewed by Tomasz Mazur for the Góry Magazine #184(September 2009)
Firstly, congratulation for amazing performance this year - you won bouldering World Cup (third time in row), Sint Roc Boulder Contest and were awarded Arco Rock Legend... but the first round in Kazo was one of the worst in your career. Could you expect, after Kazo, that it would be another great season for you? After Kazo I did not expect that I will win the World Cup, but I was sure that I would be good in another stage of the World Cup in 2009. I know that you can easily slip off to place 23 in bouldering and be on top the next comp.
What's happened on the World Championship in China? When I was looking at your sports shape, I could bet on your first place...
I think I was the best and I think I deserved the victory. Yet another won. That's the game. In bouldering comps you can't predict as much as in lead. The shape is one thing, the result another. The boulders and their style is sometimes more important than a good preparation.
The list of your medals and cups are almost uncounted... What do you still expect on the competition field? What can we wish you in the next few months and years? I always wish be the European Champion and/or world champion. I train for that and hope to achieve my goal, but if I can't achieve either one of them, I won't be crestfallen. I had a very good and never expected comp career!
You were awarded La Sportiva Competition Award in Arco. What is your opinion about this award? Or generally about this kind of awards? Is it valuable for you or do you prefer showing your value on the competitions and rocks? I am happy as well as surprised about this award. In Arco 2009 I realized that the whole climbing world appreciates my competition achievements and that made me smile and thankful for a while...
Still, it is just an award and every victory in a competition means more to me. I am still an active climber and so long I want to be awarded with victories...;-)
A bit changing of a topic. I'd like to ask you about your trip to the South Africa... You realized a project Air Star, which was tried by Hukkataival, Jorgeson, and Loskot... Someone's claim that is at least 8C, you gave "only" V14/8B+. What's about it?
Actually I gave it 8b! Not even that, I never wrote about it so far. Soon I will have some pics and a story on my website (in German). I am sure it is not 8C! However, it is an amazing line with and even more impressive climb. It is the best boulder I did in Rocklands and I hope that many people will climb it!
In opposite to the previous attempts, you declined so-called "Moon's kick". Did you find your own method or have a superhuman power? Super human power! ;-)
Ty Landman in some interview said that we are quite close to the end of human possibilities in the bouldering grade... From the other hand, from few years we haven't noticed braver grade than 8C. So have the best boulderers reached the "final" level? Or they are too modest in grading problems, closing the grade system and degrading oldest problems? Or "too lazy" to spend few months on working on the break-grading problem? I can't answer this question for all boulderers. For me it is important to grade correctly (and that is very hard esp. in bouldering) and not to say 8C just because it is hard and other climbers could not do it. That’s an arguable reason for a grade.
I am having my doubts when I have a look on how many people claim that they have a first ascent of a 9a route or an 8C boulder...
Tyler is somehow right. I think that concerning single moves we can not go much further than now, but we can add move the same difficulty and that process is never-ending...
About Rockland again... What do you think about quality of this area? Can it be a "new level" and future of the bouldering or only alternative for too hot summer in Europe and States?
Sorry to correct you but in my opinion Europe and the States are an
alternative to Rocklands... If you are willing to travel around Rocklands and the Cederberg mountains you will find new areas for the next 10 years minimum.