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Hello Hello Hello

FRB Archived Interview
Ted Lanzano

 mid March, 2005

Ted Lanzano
Ted Lanzano Ted Lanzano Ted Lanzano Ted Lanzano


FRB: Ted, when did you first start climbing?

Ted: My first time climbing was in 9th grade when I took a local climbing school class. We spent the weekend in Eldorado and did the West Ridge and a few topropes. I also climbed some on the Boulder High School walls and with some high school buddies who would take me up to the Flatirons. I thought climbing was great, but at the time I was so involved in bike racing that I didn't have the time to climb much. Once I started under grad at CU in 1993, I stopped cycling and climbing evolved into a passion, and I haven't stopped since.

FRB: Did you grow up in Boulder?

Ted: Yes, I think I can say I'm one of the few people who were born, raised and currently living in Boulder. Having lived in other areas, I've learned what a great place this area is and it's hard to leave.

FRB: How old are you?

Ted: I'll be turning 30 next month!

FRB: What type of climbing do you do?

Ted: During the winter I tend to focus on bouldering and in the summer I climb more routes. While I enjoy both disciplines and like to mix it up, I think I'm a boulderer at heart. I have also enjoyed the little trad climbing I've done, which was primarily on East Coast.

FRB: Do you have any favorite bouldering areas
          on the Front Range?

Ted: I like a lot of the local areas such as Flagstaff, the Flatirons, Boulder Canyon, Eldorado Canyon, and RMNP. Outside of Colorado, I also like Hueco Tanks, the Gunks and Lincoln Woods. There are a lot of areas where I haven't been and I'd like to keep traveling.

FRB: What do you like about climbing?

Ted: Half the fun of climbing is being outside in pretty places with good friends. The other half is pushing myself as hard as I can and, of course, the movement in climbing. I think I used to climb more for the redpoints, and now its becoming more of an excuse to get outside and be with my friends. The sport really helps clear my head and give me energy, which helps productivity and sanity for other things.

FRB: Who do you climb with?

Ted: In the past year, I've been climbing with my brother Stan, Dan Levison, Greg Hill, Adam Brink and Theo Merrin. My step-dad Phil also likes to climb some and provides great support.

FRB: What are some of your favorite bouldering problems?

Ted: I tend to like the lines that are aesthetic, at my physical limit, safe and posses other indescribable characteristics that inspire me. Some favorites around the Front Range include Ghost Dance at the Millennium Boulder; Right Graham Arete in Boulder Canyon; the Turning Point in the Flatirons; and a lot up at Flagstaff such as Smith Overhang, Hagan's Wall and Undercling Traverse. Right now I'm working Pebble Traverse and I really enjoy the delicate yet very powerful moves, the consistency, and the total challenge involved.

FRB: Are you sponsored?

Ted: Nope, not yet!

FRB: What are your climbing goals?

Ted: I'd like to boulder V11 and climb a 13c or 13d, ideally within the next year. Left Graham Arete is very inspiring, but at the moment I can't seem to get off the ground. Most importantly, I'd like to keep having fun, pushing myself, meeting new people, and traveling to new areas.

FRB: You said you lived on the East Coast,
          what did you think of the bouldering there?

Ted: It was great! I was very impressed with the quality of climbing in New York and around Connecticut (where I lived). Some of my best times I've had bouldering were at the Gunks or Lincoln Woods with my friends from school. The only problem was that from where I lived, it was a minimum of 40 minutes driving to the nearest boulders and around a two hour drive to other areas. The accessibility of climbing around the Front Range is really unique.

FRB: Have you done much climbing
          outside of the United States?

Ted: When I was in the Peace Corps in Panama, I managed to find some descent looking boulders near my village, but they turned out to be chossy (and humid) and I broke off most of the good holds. I got the kids out climbing on some of the easier boulders, which was a lot of fun. I've done some climbing in Chile, which has some very good sport climbing (around Santiago), and some strong climbers.

FRB: Do you think climbers can excel to high levels
          with responsibilities such as school and jobs?

Ted: Yes, definitely. I think it's possible to have a full-time job, school, mortgage, a relationship or other responsibilities and still climb at the level one would like. There are a lot of people who work full time and have families and still climb very hard. In fact, I think one way climbers stay motivated over the years is because they have other interesting things going on in their lives.

FRB: How do you train?

Ted: I've discovered that I climb best when I maximize both my rests and my workouts. So, I generally like to climb for long sessions), and then rest for a few days. If I am training for a project or just trying to improve strength, then I'll climb more often in a week (around 3-4 days), but if I'm close to a redpoint I'll try to rest, which is usually about 3-4 consecutive days. I'll occasionally use the campus board, but it seems to lead to shoulder strain very quickly. Probably the best way to train is to be with a fun, motivating group.

FRB: How do you stay safe while climbing?

Ted: For starters I never do any kind of free soloing and I try to avoid high problems. In fact, I've never even soloed the Flatirons just because I tend to slip even walking around. When climbing routes, I wear a helmet and my friends and I use a 10-point check before anyone goes up. This system checks the knot, the harness, the belay devise, helmets and makes sure a knot is tied at the end of the rope. It only takes about 30 seconds and offers a complete check.

FRB: What do you think about the new OSMP proposal?

Ted: I believe protected areas like the Boulder Mountain Parks should find a balance between recreation and preservation in their management plans. I don't think the OSMP captures this balance and instead the plan will greatly limit the amount of space for a lot of users. It could be a big loss to Boulder climbing. There is actually a City Council Meeting coming up to talk about this very topic on April 5th at 6:00pm at Broadway and Canyon. Please come!

FRB: Any parting words before we conclude.

Ted: Stay safe and have fun.

FRB: Thanks a lot, Ted.

Ted: Thank you Mike, I enjoyed it.

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