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Hello Hello Hello

Howard Schmidt
 mid January, 2006

Howard Schmidt
  Howard SchmidtHoward Schmidt Howard Schmidt Howard Schmidt

FRB: Nickname?

Howard: Schmidty, Howie or Pinche Guerro - which means my white American friend or so I am told.

FRB: FRB Message Board handle?

Howard: Greasy Enchiladas; ironically I am eating some as I type this.

FRB: Who is Howard Schmidt?

Howard: Lucky husband, father of two wonderful daughters; poser boulderer, wannabe surfer, exercise freak, and commercial real estate hack, please don't call me a realtor.

FRB: How many times have you been banned from
          FRB's Message Board? And I must confess…
          I actually banned you once for several months last
          year… that was very funny. And then I would give you
          access and take it away after a harmless post of
          yours…many many laughs on that one…
          hopefully you can forgive me?

Howard: INTERVIEW OVER YOU SOB!!!, laughing; I must admit that's pretty good. I would post something like "Celo's pix get me all hot and bothered" and then I'd be banned, I was thinking sheessshhh, wtf?

FRB: Age?

Howard: 37; someone called me "old school" the other day, kinda funny to be called that in your 30s. You're an old-schooler Mikey!!!

FRB: Height?

Howard: 6' 4".

FRB: Weight?

Howard: 180 in summer; 190 winter drinking weight.

FRB: So… what does it feel like to be one big M.F.?
          Do you take any joy crushing little bouldering
          tweakers…leveraging your gargantuan UFC like
          athletic frame… Or do you prefer the gentle giant role?

Howard: UFC??? Planes are a pain, as are European bathrooms, but you never have a problem at the movies. Like most "old-schoolers", I enjoy schooling little grommets (only when appropriate), but also enjoy a good crushing by some of the grandpas out there as well. It's all in good fun right? Some of the guys in their 50s and 60s blow my mind much more than the 20 somethings; those guys are the shit! I decided long ago that being a gentle giant sucks and fits my personality like a clarinet at a speed metal concert.

FRB: Who is better bouldering spotter? You… Scott Blunk
          Joel Gillmore, Acid Freak??

Howard: Your only good as your last spot, so it would be the last guy who plucked my ass out of air - which was my dad of all people (who didn't know what the hell he was doing) up at the Satellites on Flesh Fest. I told him just make sure my melon doesn't go kir-splate on one of the rocks below. He came through.

FRB: Did you ever beat up Chris Baker at El Paso
          high school… Truth or Urban Legend??

Howard: Chris and I were too busy fighting off Cholos and drinking cheap J-Town beverages to fight each other. Chris is one of the true and few Hueco-soul-bouldering-bruthas.

FRB: Any childhood Juarez stories you can share with us?

Howard: A lot of stories involving way too much tequila y cerveza, partying on the verge of chaos, the crooked Federales threatening and shaking us down, Boy's Town with your best friends, cab rides from and to hell, crooked cops again, donkey shows, drugs, Mexican jail cell time, knife fights and gun shots, poverty stricken women and children (yes, children) prostituting themselves for $5 to jarheads, fucking the jarheads up for this, amazing soccer (futbol) games, dancing to salsa and punk in Mexico, The Kentucky Club, The Mariachi Bar, Cosmos, The Alive, Fred's, Sub, Gato Taco, The Cave, etc., amazing Mexican food, a passionate Latin country, bloody bullfights on Sundays, beautiful senoritas, you get the picture. I love Mexico and its people; all of this had a big impact on me at a ripe age and I am grateful that I was able to experience it and live to tell about it. It is part of who I am and how I view the world.

FRB: What is your favorite boulder problem in Hueco…
          Front Range… or wherever?

Howard: Lots of unfinished business, which are also generally my favorite problems. Though undone, I love Purity Control or Pocket Prob at Milly - just a beautiful line. The new Evan's stuff is very cool as well. Esperanza at Hueco, will likely never do it, but love the line, the meaning of the name and the itty bitty holds. Bow down to Fred!

FRB: Have you developed any areas on the Front Range
          or elsewhere that you're particularly proud of?

Howard: Just the home wall in my garage; it rocks domes! I generally let guys like you do all the development then I just swoop in afterwards for the glory, hahaha!!!!

FRB: Do you play any basketball… Sorry… must
          ask question?

Howard: Dammitt! Not all tall guys play basketball, fact is I really suck at basketball.

FRB: How do you trick your family into letting you boulder?

Howard: My wife knows how bitchy I get if I don't get my bouldering fix on. Luckily this is because she also needs her running buzz as well. We work together on accommodating each others exercise drugs of choice. We are a good team.

FRB: Any bouldering sponsors?

Howard: Who would want to sponsor a 37 year old softy like me? The only thing I crush is ice for my nightly cocktail. It's just me, myself and commercial real estate; though Bryan Mallin at Paradise has been very good to me. I can just see the sponsors lining up after reading that…laughing! The only sponsor I have ever had besides my mom is Superior Cerveza - I played for a Mexican soccer team. Do think Avery would ever sponsor a bouldering team?

FRB: Where do you like to party?

Howard: My house; music is a big thing at our house, we have different music nights like big band night, country night, jazz night, salsa night, punk night, bossa nova night, etc; we crank the stereo, the kids dance their asses off and run their batteries down, the adults have a few and eventually join in and everyone has a lot of fun - that's where I like to party! The Falling Rock Tap House, The Bluebird, and the Gun are all close 2nd and 3rds.

FRB: Ape Index?

Howard: +1.

FRB: Years bouldering?

Howard: 9.

FRB: Who do you boulder with … where do you
          normally boulder these days?

Howard: Whomever will have me, a lot of Morrison whores, here goes: you, Brian M., TJ, Tom, Fi, Stef, Chris and Marene, Calvin, Bob, Rufus, Grandpa Doug, sausage finger Wayne the butt smacker, Nate, Wahly, Piz, Queen Annette, Celo, Jade, natty dread Jen, Bryan M., Sean, Tracy, Joe, Frank, Edrea, Jim, Sarah, Matt, Steve, Amy and Will, Frederic, many others.

FRB: Award for the saltiest boulderer on the Front Range?

Howard: It's a tie between Chris Baker and Bob Williams; salt of the Earth kind of guys though!

FRB: Favorite place to grab plastic?

Howard: Shotguns of course, oh, you mean climbing - definitely Paradise, where the vibe is right and the problems are outa sight.

FRB: Favorite intoxicated animal?

Howard: Sheep of course! Though donkeys are fun as well.

FRB: How did you get started in bouldering?

Howard: We used to go to Hueco during high school in the early 80s for trad climbing; we would warm up by bouldering. I loved the freedom, discovery and the spirituality of it; I also soiled myself a few times. Growing up in EP, you couldn't wait to leave, but who would have known we had the Northshore/Pipeline of bouldering in our backyard!

FRB: Any significant bouldering injuries?

Howard: Tennis elbow in both elbows, though I don't play tennis.

FRB: Favorite beer… and place to enjoy it?

Howard: I really prefer Belgium abbey ales and German bocks; they are just the best. Europe, Falling Rock Tap House, Avery Brewery, Buddy's Beer Barn and the Great American Beer Festival are all places to imbibe fine, noble brews.

FRB: If you retired from bouldering today which
          bouldering day or trip would you have the
          fondest memory of?

Howard: Joe's Valley, I really like that place for some reason. It's probably because it's my life long dream to become a full LDS member with multiple wives, 10 blond groms, and farm the boulders out there.

FRB: Your hardest boulder problem completed?

Howard: SDS to Mellon Patch - V11 maybe 12?

FRB: The boulder problem you still want to do?

Howard: Flesh Fest, Finger Hut, Karma, Purity Control, Fucking Center, Baby Face, Black Lung, Esperanza, Slash Face.

FRB: What is the craziest stunt you've ever done?

Howard: Moving here years ago with no job, no real plan and $250 to my name. Would I do it again?….Hell yeah!!!

FRB: Favorite quote?

Howard: I like quotes: Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever. Happiness is the purpose of Life - Dali. Tomorrow isn't a guarantee.

FRB: Super hard boulder problems?

Howard: Black Lung, Esperanza, and DJ TJ's Blue taped problem at Paradise.

FRB: Favorite Bouldering area … why?

Howard: Joes, Hueco, Morrison, Skyland, Red Cliff, Paradise, and Millenium for different reasons. If you have to ask, you'll never know.

FRB: Do you have any climbing heroes?

Howard: John Gill, Bob Williams, Jim Halloway, Fred Nicole, Lynn Hill, Royal Robins, Alex Lowe, Jared Ogden, Chouinard, and that always present new kid who gives it his all, comes up short, climbs back on for another go and just gets bucked off again.

FRB: Locals only?

Howard: : Hell yeah! Local breaks 1 and 2!! NFC dude! Laughing!

FRB:What motivates you?

Howard: Caffeine, fast music, living life fully and hot chicks.

FRB:Thanks for the interview, Howard.

Howard: You're welcome.

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