DAVE GRAHAM INTERVIEW
ClimbAndMore: Your fights with Realization became very famous. How close were you to doing the route?
Dave Graham: I was really close. I arrived at the hard section many times and I was feeling good every time I got there, but I had big problems with either not doing the right sequence properly or some mental problems at the section. And my fingers sweated a lot as it was summer. It was really terrible.
Are you still equally motivated to do Realization after it was repeated or is it not such a major aim for you anymore?
My motivation hasn't changed after it was repeated. But am I equally motivated like when I was trying it? No. I would love to attain the same level of motivation that I had before but to be honest, sometimes things can loose a lot of energy when you try them for too long, you know what I mean, and I'd rather do other things at the moment. But eventually I'm sure I can attain the same type of motivation. Hopefully. The fact that it was repeated changes nothing.
Let's come back to your repeat of Action Directe. You were the first climber who hadn't trained specially for that route. How do you remember that ascent?
That was an interesting route to climb as well as a kind of a mental change in my life because at that time of life I had just started travelling. I had been about 10 months out of school and out of the United States and I was just cruising around by myself. Action Direct was something I just wanted to do. It was a hard route but at the same time it was this old-time desire just to get to Action Direct. To be in Germany or to be in Europe in general was one of those dreams that I had. With AD I started to realize I could do some of the things I had dreamt about. Not only did I realize I could stay in Europe and chill out, which was one of my dreams, but I could also do AD and it wasn't that hard actually. It was good.
It wasn't that hard?
No. It wasn't that hard in the sense that if you could compare it to other routes, it didn't necessarily feel what I had imagined it to. My entire life, growing up in Maine I would climb on hard routes and I didn't know that they were so hard; but at the same time I always imagined AD to be this crazy crazy thing with mono pockets, campus moves and stuff like that, and I really wanted to go and try it because… you know, it was this weird ambition because it was so messy. And then, in the course of time, after I decided that it was such a good thing to try it I felt that it was… I don't know how to say it… feasible, realistic. It had that air of possibility, and that was something that I would never have imagined. A lot of walls were broken down just by being there in the Frankenjura in the first place, because it 1st meant I could be in Europe, it 2nd meant I didn't have to work, I didn't have to go to college, it 3rd meant that I didn't have to live in the US and I could do something in my life, and it 4th meant that I could attempt things that I had thought were really hard and they would be feasible.