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Hello Hello Hello

Marcelo Montalva
interview: J. Jaeger & Mike Hickey   early December, 2004

 Marcelo Montalba
 Marcelo Montalba  Marcelo Montalba  Marcelo Montalba  Marcelo Montalba

FRB: State your full name for the record.

Marcelo: Marcelo Adrian Montalva. My mom just told me a few years ago; my real middle name is Donut.

FRB: Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Marcelo: I try not to swear, but I will tell the truth.

FRB: Where did you grow up?

Marcelo: Houston/Katy, Texas until 1994. I have been in the Denver area since.

FRB: Were you a geek-dork in high school, or an ultra-cool guy?

Marcelo: Yes, but I was living in Texas.

FRB: Where and when did you start climbing?

Marcelo: My brother says he taught me to climb out of my playpen when I was little. It has always been an escape to go climbing. I started rock climbing and learning rope skills on an artificial wall when I was 12 in 1988 at a summer camp, Kooch-I-Ching in International Falls, MN. Thank you Mike Black. This led to adventures in the Black Hills, Wyoming, and Canada.

FRB: Do you still revisit your initial stomping grounds to climb?

Marcelo: I have been back to instruct at the camp. I started bouldering at Morrison where I return to get stomped whenever I go.

FRB: Do you think climbing has helped shape your character?

Marcelo: Yes.

FRB: Who's in your main crew of climbing friends?

Marcelo: Oh man, I would put everyone I have ever climbed with in this category. Everyone I know has contributed to the climbing community as I know it. These people would all have more to tell in interviews ahead of anything I could probably say. I will start by saying I am sorry I did not enter that name, but I already ran out of room. Fi, The Conductor (of the ladies) (Justin), Chuff-Phillips (Chip), Stick and Send Marvez, A-hole(Adam), Alex and Chris, Blends with Sky (TJ), Runs with Cantaloupes(Sean), Chuck- Nuts, Ben S., Petty Theft (Rob), Man Kyle, Dudeman, Dudebro, Dan, Jim, Manbro, mandude, F-Word (Tommy), Jen (Yeah Jen), Jon and Heather, Rocketman (Trevor), The Pavols, The Krugmans, Hickey (Yeah!), Joel Gillmore, Noah, Jade (Yeah!), Calvin, Anette and Rob, Colby, Micah, Eric, Justin and Kai G., Joel and the Wyoming crew, Greg Johnson (found my madness), Sean and Adie, Brandon and Clint, Justin Mag, Jeff C., Chris Simmons, Wade, Jamie, Mark, Mike A., Brian C. , Christian, Meghan P., Dan Miller, Corey D., All of the Paradise family and friends, Greg & Kristi Floyd and all of the Bent Gate employees, Chris, Aaron, all the R&J crew, Tony Symanovich, Dustin S., Chad Mc., Trey Tull, Schutt, campers and staff of Kooch, and anyone I see out climbing while I am out there.

FRB: What's it like having a long-term girlfriend who climbs?

Marcelo: Sooo Good!

FRB: Does she toast you on some boulder problems?

Marcelo: No, she does not drink.

FRB: If you could climb with anyone for a day-not
           including any of your friends or Fiona because
           you're a nice guy and probably would say
           them-who and where?

Marcelo: That jewelry radio add guy is not my friend. I can not stand those commercials. I would go to Morrison and sandbag all day.

FRB: So, I heard you used to be a proficient builderer.
           Care to elaborate on any particular twists in
            your career?

Marcelo: I used to builder quite a bit. Once I got up almost to the top of this one problem, and my hold broke while I was shaking out. A famous climber once said, "Holds break no matter how strong you climb." Joel Lee Gilmore was spotting me about 35 feet below. Thanks for saving my life. He thought I was going to splat, but I landed as softly as I could and still shattered both calcaneous bones. It is always hard to take time off climbing, but I had some time to learn wheelchair tricks and think about what I had done. A loving group of friends and family helped keep me from getting any crazier during downtime. That was key beta; I would like to thank everyone I know. There are still some gorgeous lines to be done in town. There are plenty of things that look like they should be sent. Low, bouldery buildings are still good to go, and the yellow blocks on I-25 and Broadway still look fun.

FRB: Do you have any latent fears, e.g. spiders, murky water, heights, small spaces, obesity, balding?

Marcelo: If you know anyone that has hidden and tried to jump out and scare me you would know it is a definite maybe… There is no giant foot about to squash me… I will get vertigo sometimes when I am up high. And when I swim outdoors, I kind of get sketched about alligators and sharks. Oh yeah, I am not thrilled about the idea of being drowned in a cage. I am less scared of falling than I am of landing. Helicopters freak me out big time!

FRB: Any vices?

Marcelo: I would like to say, "No". Sometimes I want to grab things and find out how much force I can put on whatever and at what angles. I am working on this, but I occasionally let climbing take precedence a little more often than I think it should (regularly more than others think it should).

FRB: What's your favorite music to get psyched up?

Marcelo: Loud music, occasionally with some yelling or rhyming. Mark and Matt have put together an excellent set of music known as the Climbing Volumes I through IV.

FRB: What's your favorite music to chill and hang out?

Marcelo: Alvin and the Chipmunks music to Zydeco music I listen and like most all kinds of tunes. Songs with a nice girl's voice can be REALLY fun to chill with, but on the other hand so can some good beats.

FRB: Describe your typical diet?

Marcelo: Water, coffee (if I am not going through a quitting phase), not much pop, beer when it is there and appropriate, frosted shredded mini wheats or granola, yogurt, cooked steak and ground beef, cooked eggs, cooked bratwurst, cheese, and a pie or ice cream I like to eat.

FRB: Any favorite movies or books?

Marcelo: Movies are all pretty fun, but since I was littler I have liked 1941. The Bible is the best book.

FRB: What aspects of climbing do you most enjoy?

Marcelo: I enjoy the self-propelling motions in climbing up or down. Sometimes I will hold onto something, and, without thinking of how poor it is, I will be able to move this way or that. It makes me feel excited and scared at the same time. A nice, clean sideways fall that you can roll out of without permanent damage is always more enjoyable the further you roll.

FRB: You're a pretty tall dude. Do you ever secretly
          laugh at diminutive climbers  ("Ha, puny midgets
          can't reach the holds…soooo, sorry!, etc.)?

Marcelo: No, I can not really laugh at anyone's height. I believe taller and shorter climbers co-exist in a sort of symbiotic community. Sometimes someone shorter might gain from a taller person reaching to brush high holds. Other times, I have been blessed to climb with people who are short enough to reach low starting holds to brush.

FRB: What are some of your favorite, can't-miss climbs
          that you would suggest to a visiting or aspiring climber?

Marcelo: Aspiring climbers DO NOT get stuck inside! Outside in Colorado is beautiful, and it is not really that much safer to be in a gym. I think Clear creek holds some classic lines if you know where to go. If time is an issue, go to Morrison and ask a local to show you their cool problems. The Black Hole has good body tension and technical climbs. Middle eliminator.

FRB: What problems have made you dig the deepest
          into your motivation and pure drive to send?

Marcelo: Brearshears in the black hole took me months of regular Morrison visits to get. In that time I saw super strong people climbing things that looked inconceivable. After lots of flappers and sore elbows, it went.

FRB: What are some of your favorite climbing areas?

Marcelo: Old Hueco Tanks and everywhere else.

FRB: Have you taken any interesting road trips?
          Any good stories of debauchery, strange encounters,
          or generally running amok?

Marcelo: YEAH! Hueco, Black Hills, Joe's, Big Bend, Wyoming, New Mexico, Central Texas limestone. I am sorry about most of the other stuff. All evidence remains under the utmost secrecy.

FRB: Have you visited any foreign climbing areas, or
          do you plan to?

Marcelo: Yes, and yes. I have pulled in the Canadian Rockies and a little in Font. I really like the looks of New Z-land bouldering.

FRB: If you could go anywhere for one week without any
          monetary issues or meddling responsibilities.
          Where would it be?

Marcelo: This sounds like an advertisement for Las Vegas.

FRB: You seem very connected with the Paradise Gym.
          Are you an employee, or just a resident slacker.

Marcelo: I am a resident slacker, but I can be found helping out using my Paradise name, 'Odd Job'.

FRB: What are you studying in school?
          Any specific career aspirations?

Marcelo: I was studying mechanical engineering. I was interested in biomedical engineering. When I finish I want to become a massage therapist.

FRB: You also work as a night watchman.
          Have you ever needed to put a beat-down on
          any intruders or have you ever started to have
         "Shining"-type paranoid delusions from the solitude?

Marcelo: It is a Security Officer position. I have seen several menacing looking, loitering bunny rabbits. I was allowed to shine my flashlight at them. I have also learned a few new boredom games. Mine is more of a "Shinning" due to copyright.

FRB: Having climbed with you a handful of times, you
          always used to wear Sportiva Mantras; a very
          soft, sensitive shoe. Then, the last time I climbed
          with you, you had switched to Mesas; a very
          stiff, powerful edging shoe. What would Freud say
          about this transition?

Marcelo: Freud would say that the repression of letting myself use the edging shoes I needed was due to the sexual activity that my brain was subconsciously playing out. The extensive activity became too much for the flimsy Mantra and required more support. That's just a guess; I am no hobbit like Freud o.

Of course lately I have been using Venoms, Hookers, and Predators. Nothing comes to mind about what he could possibly relate with those names. I have been getting a great deal of pleasure out of the new shoes. The comfortable Venoms, the awesome hooking Predators, and the sticky Hookers all have their advantages.

FRB: Was that a sketchy, disturbing question?

Marcelo: Deep down I am very relieved you asked it. Now I am going to think before I just get a pair of shoes that heel hook well. It will not even matter how the hard the sole is.

FRB: Do you have any sponsors or other supporters you would like to give a shout-out to?

Marcelo: Hi Mom! Hellooo Paradise!

FRB: Finally, a community-service question: do you
          have any final words of wisdom for climbers, new
          and old?

Marcelo: It is OK to take notes on specific problems like how you hold this hold or that hold. If your term memory is short, you can go back to an area without having to relearn your beta.

  FRB Word Association
FRB            Marcelo

Orange:   Orange (If you mean the color, I mean the fruit) (If you mean the fruit, I mean Banana)
Mars:   Candy Bars
A freak led by a leash:   Sexy party
Imagine:   Pretend there is a hold there
Coors:   Illegal to climb vertical faces
IFS:     If Fiona Sees
Liquid:   Bruce Lee movement
Wine:   Blood
War:   Blood
Drugs:    Whiz Quiz
Love:   Always
Zero:   Nothing comes to mind
Prayer:   Habitually
Magnificent:   Everyone having a good sending day
High Ball:   Shot glass
Paradise:   Training in good weather
Front Range:   Foothills
Wisdom:   Knowledge
Waves:   High Ball fun
Brilliance:  Bright and shiny
Dance:   Snoopy
God:   Trinity, always knowing everything everywhere
Speed:   Quick approach
Drums:   Bass
Muscle:   Long
Tendon:   Strong
Sloper:   Wife beater (in the Draw)
Bob Ross:   Happy Trees
Hueco:   Yeah
Red Death:   Inside out
Rocky:    Bullwinkle
Bush:    One in the hand

FRB: Thank you for the interview, Marcelo.

Marcelo: Thank you for the interview, you inquisitive inquisitor, you.


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