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Hello Hello Hello

FRB Archived Interview
Brian Gallant
early February, 2004

   
Brian Gallant Brian Gallant Brian Gallant Brian Gallant Brian Gallant


FRB: How did you get into climbing Brian?

Brian: An X-girlfriend took me to the Climb-X climbing gym in Huntington Beach, CA when I used to live there. Havenít taken more than a week off since. That was 3 years ago.

FRB: Who are some of your early partners?

Brian: Greg, Matt B, and Matt C in CA. And Dave ďThe MoneyĒ Marques, Chris Kane and Heidi H. in Colorado.

FRB: Where are some of your favorite areas?

Brian: Bouldering: Hueco, The Draw in Flagstaff, Arizona. And here locally, Ute Pass. Sport climbing: definitely Rifle, and Shelf.

FRB: What are some of your favorite problems?

Brian: Wife beater at The Draw, Center El Murray at Hueco. And there are numerous good problems at Ute Pass.

FRB: What are some of your hardest sends?

Brian: Hardest send bouldering is a V8 called Wife beater at The Draw in Flagstaff, AZ., and a V6 called Center El Murray in Hueco (Stiff V6). Hardest send sport route is CHUD 5.13a in Rifle, and numerous 5.12’s in Rifle.

FRB: Do you have any projects right now?

Brian: No bouldering projects right now, but I definitely have some unfinished business with The Beast 5.13a in Rifle (One-falled it 4 times last year). I also want to start working Pump-O-Rama, and Daydream Nation. Both in Rifle. Current project at Shelf is a 5.12c called Ejection Seat.

FRB: What are your thoughts on highballing?

Brian: I think its fine if your comfortable with it. Highball problems take a lot of commitment and can definitely be dangerous without the proper precautions, and you should do it on your own time when your ready. If your wondering if I’ve done any. I would have to say no. I mean most problems in Hueco are highball, but no. I have never done anything really high, but it's all good if that’s your thing.

FRB: What do you think of enhancing, chipping and gluing holds?

Brian: I am definitely against enhancing or chipping holds to make a climb easier, but if a key hold was to break off, I donít see a problem with gluing that same hold back where it was.

FRB: Where is the good bouldering in Colorado Springs?

Brian: There is very little in Garden of the Gods, and changing all the time with the soft sandstone. So that pretty much leaves Ute Pass. Which is very good, but not to hand friendly.

FRB: What is the climbing scene like in C-Springs?

Brian: I donít like sport climbing at all in The Garden. My fav spot is Shelf Road, but it is about an hour to an hour and a half away from C-Springs.

FRB: What don't you like about the C-Springs climbing scene?

Brian: The local gym. It sucks. They donít hold a single ABS comp all year, and they hardly ever change the routes / holds in the gym. But I guess itís better than living in a town that has no gym at all. As far as the climbers / boulderers. No complaints. Thereís a lot of good, really strong climbers / boulderers here.

FRB: Do you compete?

Brian: YES. Most definitely. I really enjoy competing. It lets me know how much Iím improving, and where I need improvement. And the comp scene is awesome. Iíve made a lot of good friends along the way.

FRB: What do you think of the ABS bouldering series?

Brian: It's great! Mad props to Scott Rennak for not only starting the American Bouldering Series, but also for staying with it and constantly improving it (Such as the new ranking system) and helping it grow to the point it is now. Thanks Scott.

FRB: What other comp series have you competed in?

Brian: The Phoenix Bouldering Contest (now the Phoenix Boulder Blast. Dumb name!!), The Teva Games, The Ford Games, JCCA, Tour De Front, and I just recently competed in my first PCA comp in Salt Lake, which was really good. I also try to compete in as many Dyno comps as possible.

FRB: What motivates you to compete?

Brian: Like I said earlier, it helps me see how much Iím improving, and Iím definitely a competitive person.

FRB: How do you train for indoor comp climbing?

Brian: I just climb. I usually climb 2 days in a row in the gym, then take 2 days in a row off, and do the comp the following day. That seems to work the best for me. I definitely stick to only bouldering in the gym when Iím training for bouldering comps. Other than that, I just try to eat right and I just recently started working on my pommel horse, which has improved my core strength, and I also started doing yoga.

FRB: How do you deal with injuries?

Brian: Well up until the last comp at Thrillseekers on 11/21/03, I hadnít had any serious injuries other than a flapper or 2. But when I got the thirteen stitches in my arm from that comp, I just took a week off and I was pretty much back to normal. It still drove me nuts to take a week off though. But you have to heal.

FRB: Do you ever hit a plateau in your climbing?
          How do you overcome the plateau?

Brian: I havenít really hit a plateau aside from finding out how hard it is to move even one letter grade once you start getting into the high 12ís and 13ís. So I just keep training and climbing to get better. I think the fact that I climb outside and on routes in the warm months and stick to the comp scene / bouldering in the winter months, keeps me from getting bored with the same thing all the time.

FRB: What makes for a good comp route in your opinion?

Brian: I like sitstarts, slopers, and dynoís. And reachy moves. I am definitely more of a dynamic climber and I also like really tricky sequences. Not a big fan of crimpy stuff.

FRB: What are some of your favorite rock gyms?

Brian: The boulders at The Spot are awesome. And The Front in Salt Lake is sick, but my favorite places to do comps at are - Thrillseekers, and Paradise Rock Gym in Denver, Breckenridge Rec. Center and Vail Athletic Club. And thatís because the atmosphere and the people that run the gyms make it fun, and the problems are always awesome and very interesting. But there isnít one gym that Iíve been to yet that I wouldnít go back to because of dislike. Oh yea, I canít wait to see the new Off the Boards gym in Boulder.

FRB: What else do you do for fun Brian?

Brian: Play with my dogs (between my girlfriend Mandy and I, we have 3 Boxers) , I like to hike Pikes Peak once a year, Mountain Biking, Snowboarding, and slacklining. If you ever want to get into slacklining, go to slackline.com they have all the gear to get you started.

FRB: What do you do for a living Brian?

Brian: I work for 911. Yes emergency 911! For all of El Paso, and Teller County. I keep their computers, servers, and software working. But Iím far from your typical computer nerd.

FRB: How old are you, and how long
          have you been climbing?

Brian: Well everyone thinks Iím about 22 years old or younger, but I actually just turned 30 in January. I sure donít feel 30 though. And Iíve been climbing for 3 years as of this past December.

FRB: How do you unwind after a grueling competition?

Brian: Just grab something to eat and usually end up driving for at least a couple hours to get home. Then I just hit the sack, rest a day or two from climbing and start getting ready for the next comp.

FRB: Are you sponsored?

Brian: Yes. This March will be my one year mark with MAD ROCK. The stickiest, best performing shoes on the market. Sorry, I canít help but brag about MAD ROCK. They have sick shoes and have treated me really good. Iím currently talking with a few companies trying to pick up a clothing sponsor and possibly a chalk sponsor. So weíll see how that goes.

FRB: Parting words of wisdom?

Brian: "Fear causes hesitation; hesitation causes your worst fears to come true." I donít know. Keep doing what makes you happy.

FRB: Thanks for the interview Brian.

Brian: You are welcome.

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