did you get into climbing Amy?
friends of mine took me toproping in Boulder Canyon when I first moved
here ten years ago. It was possibly the most pathetic attempt at climbing
ever. But I really loved it, so I stuck with it.
FRB: Who do you climb with usually?
love climbing with anyone who's motivated; constantly meeting new people
is one of the coolest things about this sport. But the people I usually
climb with are Will Smith (my boyfriend), Calvin Fidler, Mike Hickey,
Jade Whitney, and all the girls on the Colorado Women's Bouldering Team
FRB: Have you done any first ascents?
Amy: Only one. It was on the
extreme easy side of the V scale, and Mike Hickey was really the one
to pick out the line. I think he just let me climb it first to be nice
to me. Either that or he wanted to see if the holds would break (just
FRB: What are some of your hardest sends?
Amy: The hardest number I've
climbed is V6, but I can't really rate my progress by numbers while
there is a V2 in Hueco that is harder for me than any V6 I've ever done.
My hardest sends are always the problems that don't suit me at all (aka
slabs) but I manage to get through it somehow.
FRB: Do you have any favorite problems or
ones that you
thought were incredible?
Amy: Every time I go to Hueco,
I'm amazed at how hard the Wannabe's are at V0. Same goes for Local
Flakes at V2. Sick.
FRB: Where are some of your favorite places to climb/boulder?
Amy: My favorite is Hueco. Locally
- I've been going to Castlewood lately, Clear Creek has some really
compelling boulders, Redstone has my favorite rock in the state, and
I'll always love Morrison. RMNP is really beautiful, but the journey
to get there (since they closed the road) is kind of a mood kill for
FRB: Do you have any projects right now?
Amy: Too many! This year I'd
really like to be able to finish Slopenstein and Melonstien in Redstone,
Mavericks in Clear Creek, Roadkill in Empire, a whole slew of stuff
FRB: What are your thoughts on Highballing?
Amy: A good, sporty top out always
makes the problem more rewarding, but the term highball is kind of unclear
to me. I'm not sure at what height a top out becomes a highball. I think
it changes from climber to climber depending on what your comfort level
is. A beginning boulderer could consider a 12-foot top out a highball,
and a seasoned veteran could feel perfectly comfortable on a 30-foot
top out. Plus, higher top outs are sometimes mentally easier on women
because we generally are lighter and are much easier to spot. I would
just say it's always good to have more faith in yourself than in your
pads and spotters.
FRB: What are your current goals for climbing?
Amy: Right now I'm mainly concentrating
on my practice sessions with my team. I've learned so much from Chris
and all the other girls; it's been an incredible experience. My goal
right now is to work hard on this team and to try to be a motivating
person to all the people I climb with.
FRB: What do you think of enhancing, chipping
and gluing holds?
Amy: In my opinion, the rocks
should never be altered. Breaking off a loose hold is one thing, but
you need to step back and re-evaluate what the hell you're doing when
tools and glue become involved. I also think that anyone caught with
a paintball gun near a climbable rock should be strung up by their toes.
FRB: Do you ever hit a plateau in your climbing?
How do you overcome
you really ever hit a plateau or do your expectations start to exceed
your ability? If you keep challenging yourself, you'll make progress
every time you climb even if it is very subtle. I just try to keep a
set of realistic goals along with some unrealistic ones thrown in (no
harm in trying).
FRB: What are some things you don't like about
the Front Range
Amy: Aside from the distance
from Hueco, what's not to like?
FRB: Who are you sponsored by?
Amy: Through the Colorado Women's
Bouldering Team (and with many thanks) I am sponsored by the Spot,
the Boulder Rock Club, and
Stonewear Designs. I am also proud to be sponsored by Evolv climbing
shoes (also with many thanks). Evolv does a great job of representing
at the comps, and it's a great situation since it demands little of
me and has more to do with the fact that their shoes climb well for
FRB: Do you have any 'heroes' in climbing?
Adam: No… no one I could really
call a hero. But every once in a while, I get inspired from watching
someone. Last year when I was in Hueco, we climbed one day with a couple,
Nick and Katie. Katie was working Mushroom Roof (I heard through the
grapevine that she just sent it a few weeks ago), and that girl was
cutting her feet loose on those little crimps on that steep angle and
just fought like hell and kept on going. It was all heart and it was
awesome to watch.
FRB: Do you compete?
Yes, I just started this year since I've been on the CWBT and I've totally
enjoyed the comps I've gone to so far. I love the support and encouragement
you get from everyone, and I love giving that back in return. I've met
so many great people this year and I've learned an awful lot. Comps
are a great way to make your weaknesses blare out at you, and I think
I've made a lot of progress this past year because of that.
FRB: What makes for a good competition route in your opinion?
Amy: The kind of problems that
interest me are ones in which I can do all the moves but have to work
hard to link them. I really like higher problems if the gym can accommodate
them. I'm not a fan of dihedrals and awkward movement, but in the ABS
format it really doesn't matter since I can just steer clear of the
problems that I know I'm weak at. I certainly don't envy route setters;
it would be very hard to make sure you set routes that can appeal to
all strengths and sizes. The Tour de Front series has had really wonderful
problems that I think have appealed to everyone.
FRB: What are some of your favorite climbing gyms?
Amy: Paradise for the awesome
angles and gazillion holds, The Spot because it's the closest to real
bouldering, the BRC for it's new super steep wall (the new weight room
is the BEST) and CATS for the crimps and the humbling problems.
FRB: What else do you like to do besides climb, Amy?
lift weights in part to get stronger for climbing, but also because
I just enjoy lifting. I also golf as much as I climb. Trying to swing
a golf club correctly ranks as one of the hardest things I've ever tried
to do. If I don't chicken out, I'm going to enter a long drive competition
this summer. I also used to write music in what seems like a past life.
FRB: Parting words of wisdom?
stop believing, hold on to that feeling!"
FRB: Thanks for the interview, Amy.