How did you get into climbing, Naomi?
Naomi: I was
introduced to climbing 12 years ago in Bristol, England by a friend
who said it would help to rehabilitate my wrist after 4 surgeries to
fix my Scaphoid.
FRB: Who were some of your
Naomi: Jo Whitford, Gill Lawrence,
Catherine Destiville and Bobbi Bensman.
FRB: What brings you to Boulder,
I got invited to the Newport RI XGames in '96 where I met Liz Grennard.
She persuaded me to come to CO to climb. I stayed for a month, climbed
around Colorado & met my hubbie Ned 'Red' Harris.
FRB: Who are you sponsored
Ten, Cordless, Pusher, S7 & The wonderful Boulder
FRB: What else do you like
to do besides climb?
Naomi: Be a mum & spend fulfilling
fun-time with my 20 month old daughter Ruby & Ned, go dancing, Longboard,
discover new places around the world as much as possible.
FRB: How often do you climb?
I try to climb every other day, though now with daylight
saving it is impossible to climb for more than 30 minutes after work
before it's dark. I boulder in the gym twice a week & get outside on
weekends & occasional mornings or afternoons.
FRB: Who do you climb with
Naomi: A bunch of powerful
honed nice ladies with talent, technique grace style & finesse. Robyn,
Jen, Trixie, Claire, Keleigh, Simona, Sasha, Emily & Ruby to name but
FRB: Have you done any first
Naomi: Yes, but not in the
Front Range. Crystal Peak, Ibex. I've done some first female ascents
in the Front Range and an awesome one at Hound Ears, North Carolina.
FRB: What are some of your
in your climbing
Naomi: Autumn afternoons on
Gritstone in the UK, Hanging out on a ledge above the sea in Pembroke
watching the sunset looking down on the backs of birds as they circle
below me. My first trip to Hueco Tanks. Climbing The Leaning Tower in
Yosemite with Ned.
FRB: What changes would you
like to see
in the climbing
Naomi: I think climbers need
to lighten up a bit, stop taking themselves so seriously. I suppose
it is an occupation that attracts slightly maladjusted people, so I
guess it's to be expected.
Naomi: Yes I do since 1991
& I really enjoy it. Especially the after-competition entertainment.
FRB: Where are some of your
Naomi: The Boulder Rock Club
for indoor stuff. For Bouldering outside: Carter Lake, RMNP & Flagstaff
Mountain Parks. Hueco Tanks & Bishop are totally awesome places to boulder
too. I really like Gritstone but rarely get the chance to touch it these
days. I recently took a trip out to Boone, North Carolina. That place is great,
so much good rock. For Trad routes I really like Welsh Limestone, like
Pembroke. My favorite sport climbing areas include, Ceuse & The Ardeche,
France. Not that I put a harness on much these days. I try to go further
afield a couple times a year. Like Ibex, Joe's Valley, The Henry Mountains,
and the Minturn Boulders.
FRB: What hard problems have
in the Front
Naomi: I thought the Kahuna
Roof was pretty hard. Maybe it's just me, but it felt as hard to me
as when I did Turning Point. Sloper Chief was hard too. Dr. Slutpants,
Reach Overhang at Horsetooth, I can't throw myself at a problem repetitively.
It gets like a chore & my interest dwindles. I love the satisfaction
of succeeding on something 1st try or even 2nd try. Especially if you
are with mates who scream encouragement. I like the buzz of being in
the 'zone' when you give it your best shot 1st try, your mind & body
work in sync. to create a kind of precision instrument.
FRB: Do you have any favorite
ones that you
thought were incredible?
Naomi: Tommy's Arete is one
from the Front Range that springs to mind; Nice movement. Kahuna Roof.
Also Bernholtz Arete at Crested Butte, a mega classic problem, Surfer
Rosa at The Horn.
FRB: What are some things you
don't like about
the Front Range
Naomi: Not enough really good
quality climbing in a concentrated area, with the exception of the BRC
which has THE best boulder problems. In fact I was at a BCS event there
last week, & some of those problems were stellar, Thanks Guys!
FRB: What direction do you
see bouldering going?
would you like to see it go?
Naomi: Sometimes I think boulderings'
popularity will phase out, like the way the hype of sport climbing diminished,
but the constant discovery of new stuff everywhere perpetuates more
enthusiasm. It is such an adventurous & sociable occupation. Extremely
satisfying, with friends & a six pack on a Sunday afternoon after a
good days climbing. There's nothing like it! I'd like to see more awareness
of the environmental impact bouldering has. I see 8 crashpads squashing
the life out of small shrubs & bushes. It's like no one really gives
a shit about what state we leaves things in for future generations.
Like the morons who manufacture or chisel holds 'cause they can't do
a move. Selfish. Is it really worth the time energy & destruction to
cut down small trees for a 3 scrappy move girdle traverse of a 4 foot high
moss covered piece of shite boulder?
FRB: Why do you think so few
women boulder outside?
Naomi: There are far more strong
talented women bouldering outside than people realize. Many who consistently
burn off most of the guys out there. Robyn, Jen, Simona, Claire & 'The
Beast', when she was around. There are a bunch of strong women elsewhere
too, Kris Dockstader, Shawna Jacoby, Lisa Hathaway, they & all their
friends boulder mostly outside.
FRB: Do you have any projects
Naomi: I was trying Deep Puddle
Dynamics, then never got to go back & finish it. I don't have a project
for long, I lose interest & have to move on to something new. I've been
trying Hollows Way, I need to go there with a big posse' & a bunch of
pads, being a Mum I can't afford to bust an ankle again. I'd also like
to do The Ineditable up at Independence Pass, one day.
FRB: How do you deal with injuries?
Naomi: Rest is most important,
that means NO CLIMBING! Then see someone who's in the know. I got rolfed
& for the first time in years could look over my shoulder & down my
back. I gained core strength, mobility & my posture improved. I know
people rag on that 'new agey' stuff, but there's a ton of climbers who've
had it done & say good things about it. Don't climb if you're sore.
Sometimes soreness is just your muscles needing gentle stretching. It's
easy & feels so much better after just a few minutes a day. If you get
to the stage in a bouldering session that you ain't progressing, then
quit & take a break, you can only gain from that approach. A lot of
people don't rest enough. I also believe in good diet, plenty of oils.
Flaxseed or hempseed sprinkled on food is good for the joints. Omega
fats. Buffalo or venison is good lean meat. Plenty of fluid is important
too, especially while climbing. I think the best way to deal with injuries
is to learn & practice the art of injury prevention.
FRB: Well, not all of us can
get out to climb when
we want to. And
we have to somewhat train.
What do you got
for secrets, tips? What do
Naomi: If you can't get out
then you must be in the rat race, it's all a matter of choice, you make
the decisions so Quit your job & make time for what you love to do.
If you can't get out get a Pusher hangboard, they are so friendly on
your fingers. Or get some S7 campus rungs & make a campus board. Ned
just made me one with an adjustable angle. Make a footboard with a few
jibs for a core strength workout & you're money! Stretch too.
FRB: Parting words of wisdom?
Naomi: Remember, it's just
a bunch of rocks.
FRB: Thank you for the interview,
Naomi: You're welcome.