FRB: You're well known in the climbing world
might not have heard of you.
Who is Mike Auldridge?
Mike Auldridge is a 24 year old single available male from Loveland,
Colorado but currently living in Boulder, Colorado. I've been climbing
for 11 years and have traveled to Europe, Canada, Mexico and to the
Cayman Islands. I love to eat pizza and enjoy sitting down for a nice
FRB: How did you get into climbing Mike?
started climbing at the age of 13 when I was first shown the traverse
wall at the middle school that I was going to just before we had to
sign up for classes. From the first second that I pulled on to the wall
I was hooked. It didn't take long for me to start making progress and
soon I was ringing the bell at the end of the 100 foot long traverse.
This was the start of my now climbing career.
FRB: Who were some of your early climbing partners?
Mike: Some of my early climbing
partners consisted of Tommy Caldwell, Nolan McGregor, Christian Naisland,
Richard Sandburg, Brian Harris, Mike Hickey, Ryan Clements, Greg Diamond,
and Josh Heiney.
FRB: Got any good 'Horror Stories'?
Mike: My first horror story
would have to be when I was climbing with Tommy Caldwell. I was on my
first out door Ed climbing trip and was Tommy's partner and he had picked
out this awesome three pitch route at lumpy ridge where we were camping.
The route was called Renaissance Wall and it was three pitches of hand
drilled bolts done by Tommy's dad Mike Caldwell. At the time I wasn't
a top notch climber but I was a good candidate for a good thrill and
that it did turn out to be. The climb that we were about to do is hidden
in a narrow gully which takes some scrambling to get to. The route is
three pitches long and was hand drilled by Tommy's dad Mike Caldwell.
Tommy will be leading all of the pitches for I am not up to par and
have only done some top roping. Tommy makes it to the top of the first
pitch without any trouble at all, puts me on belay and off I go, I had
a bit of trouble getting off of the ground for that is the crux of the
first pitch (living dead 5.10a) . After I work out the ground moves
I make it to the fist belay fairly easy. The second pitch is where renaissance
wall starts going at 5.12b. Tommy makes it all the way through the crux
when I get this really strange light headed feeling and spin out away
from the wall and am looking at the wall behind me which seamed quite
strange. As I start spinning back to the wall that we are climbing on
I start to notice this warm sensation running down my forehead. Curious
to see what this strange sensation was I take my free hand and quickly
figure out that it's gushing blood and I loose my shit, and start to
freak out. Screaming and yelling I grab the attention of the principal
of our school as well as Tommy's dad. Tommy's dad yells up some commands
to Tommy and soon he is down to where I am on the first pitch and then
Tommy is able to lower me down to the ground safely but a bit shaken.
Not having any water to clean the gash caused by the foothold that Tommy
had broken off (about the size of a cookie) they decided to use some
Pepsi to clean my wound. This is a story that I will always remember
and will tell my grand kids that is, if I ever am lucky enough to have
a girl friend let alone a wife.
FRB: Done any first ascents?
Mike: I haven't done many first
ascents that are that substantial but I have done some in the Henry
Mountains a.k.a. the Horn, a dyne problem in Clear Creak called Tsunami
a problem in RMNP called White Stripes but probably my most memorable
FA would be the first rope less ascent of Double Clutch on Flagstaff
FRB: What are some of your hardest ascents?
Mike: Some of my hardest ascents
would be as follows. The Mandala V.12 at the Buttermilks, Dark Horse V.11 Black Mountain, Bone Collector V.11 Ibex, Utah, Finger
Hut V.10 Joe's Valley, Full Service V.10 Hueco.
FRB: Where is the best bouldering in the Front Range?
Mike: Where is the best bouldering
in the Front Range? Well that would be a tough question to answer because
there are so many really great areas some of my favorite would be Horsetooth,
the Poudre, RMNP and Camp Dick.
FRB: Who are you sponsored by?
Mike: My sponsors are 5.10 ,Verve, Petzl, and I am currently looking for some more. Possibly a pad company!
FRB: Do you compete?
Mike: I have been competing
for about 9 years on and off when ever I'm not injured. I'm currently
ranked 25th in the PCA and was ranked 11th the first season. Right now
I'm training for the PCA in Salt Lake City next weekend during the trade
FRB: What makes for a good comp route?
Mike: I am currently one of
the main course-setters at the spot bouldering gym in boulder, and am
getting a lot of really good feed back form the problems that I set.
I have not set for any comps but I do have some really good Ideas of
a comp this winter that have never been done before and is going to
be off the hook if all goes a planned.
FRB: Are you a 'professional' climber?
Mike: I would consider myself
a professional climber that doesn't get paid. So am I really a professional
climber, not if you go by the definition of a "professional"? There
are only a hand full of "professional" climbers in the USA well at least
that I know about.
FRB: What's it like living the life of a 'professional' climber?
Mike: Living the life of a professional
climber isn't easy at all. Here are a couple of the challenges you get
to face when being a professional non paid climber. First off you need
to make some kind of living usually working at your local climbing or
coffee shop or what ever it is that you do to make some money. Second
you need to keep in shape meaning climbing as much as possible in order
to keep strong (relative term) and to keep your sponsors happy. This
means that you don't hold a full time job because if you do you probably
won't have enough time to keep in shape. Thirdly you need to have a
place to stay most likely your car, or a friends couch because your
part time job probably won't support the cost of food, housing, car,
and your typical pot smoking habit. All in all living as a professional
climber is quite rough and means that you might have to do some odd
jobs that aren't that pleasant, but if you want to live the life then
you'll probably do what ever it takes because of course you love to climb
and climb hard.
FRB: Do you train?
Mike: Training to me is quite
boring so I don't call what I do training. Basically what I do is climb.
Climbing is the best way to get better/stronger at climbing the more
I climb the better I get. Now if there is a boulder problem that is
giving me some trouble then I might focus on that specific movement
weather it be campusing or working on my body tension. The best thing
to do is find your weakness and do more climbing that involves that
FRB: What don't you like about the Front Range
Mike: My biggest complaint about
the Front Range bouldering scene is that it's too small, being the community
that Is. The climbing scene in general is too small. I get really frustrated
with all of the gossip that goes around. I think that everyone should
just keep their mouth shut and climb, that's it just go out and climb
with you friends and have a good time. Isn't that what climbing is supposed
to be about anyway?
FRB: Got any projects right now?
Mike: The projects that I'm
currently working on are Eternia put up by Dave Graham in RMNP as well
as a new problem called Barbed Wire Beard recently established by Adam
Osterhoff. As far as projects there are a butt load of hard problems
in the Park that will keep me busy for the rest of my life.
FRB: Any suggestions to people that are just starting
Mike: My suggestion to people
that are just starting climbing/bouldering would be to go climbing as
much as possible and also to take notice between the difference between
indoor climbing and outdoor climbing because there is a big difference.
I've found that climbing outside can transfer to inside technique that
is but not always to the movement. Secondly that indoor climbing doesn't
relate to outdoor climbing at all really, so don't be bummed if you're
an indoor climber and go outside and get totally spanked, and likewise
if you're an awesome outdoor climber and expect to do well at an up
coming comp know that you had better put your time in at the gym in
order to do well.
FRB: What is the future of climbing?
Mike: The future of climbing
is being established this very second all over the world and is changing
very rapidly considering climbing is an instinctual part of human nature.
I think that climbing well forever get harder and harder the holds will
get smaller and further apart. I can see the number grades going into
5.16 and V.18 or 20 within my life time because there will always be
a better stronger climber that will do something that is harder than
what currently at the time exists.
FRB: What else do you do besides climb?
Mike: Other than climbing I enjoy
drawing, painting and doing new artwork for up coming gallery shows.
I also really enjoy shaping climbing holds. I just shaped a set for
my good friends at So Ill. I'll also done some shaping for Pusher. In
the winter I like to go snowboarding but don't get to go as often as
I'd like to mainly because of money issues.
FRB: What do your tattoos mean?
Mike: I have two tattoos one
on my left bicep representing myself and those around me. Myself being
in the middle and those around me being on either side of me all being
equal. The second tattoo is in the middle of my back and it represents
empty concepts it's of an empty melting face. Empty concepts goes along
the lines that if you can empty or clear your mind you can have everything
or the possibilities are limitless.
FRB: Parting words of wisdom.
Mike: My parting words of wisdom
would be always be true to your self, do unto others as you would want
done to you because Karma is real and it always comes back around either
good or bad so be kind to others and they will be kind to you. I hope
that you all enjoyed my thoughts and suggestions and if not then that's
OK because it's just my opinion. Peace.