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Cloud9 Acai-Berry Ė complete anti-oxidant formula

Hello Hello Hello

Pete Takeda
late September, 2002

Pete Pete Pete Pete Pete
Fly through Airport Security!

FRB: How did you get into climbing Pete?

Pete: I was a high school kid in Boise, Idaho. I was with a bunch of friends in a quarry. We were all kinda high - if you know what I mean - and we began groping all the white spots on the quarried boulders. That was it. A few weeks later I had a pair of EBís - it was the early 80ís - and we were bouldering almost every day.

FRB: How long have you climbed for?

Pete: Iíve been climbing for over 20 years. I started as a boulderer - when it was considered to be the silliest branch of climbing. I went on to trad cragging, big walls, sport climbing, comps, and ice/mixed. Iím currently psyched on alpine climbing. No - alpine climbing isnít mountaineering. It is technically demanding climbing with all the accompanying mountain hazards. Iíve climbed some big numbers on rock and ice, but the challenge of putting it all together in the mountains is currently the most gratifying experience I enjoy.

FRB: How did you get the name 'Big Wall Pete'?

I was in the Valley in the late 80ís and had a really hard time getting up my first big wall. I think I tried the South Face of Washington Column twice before getting it. The Nose must have taken 6 times. My bros, bless their hearts, gave me the nickname ďBig Wall PeteĒ. A few years later I was as experienced and jaded as most wall climbers. I spent over 60 nights in portaledges one year.

FRB: You've climbed a long time.
          what keeps you going?

Iíve been climbing for over 20 years. Throughout that time Iíve specialized in each facet of the sport. Right now I am into alpine climbing. Itís the variety and cross-pollination of disciplines that keeps me interested. Climbing is scalable - both in the literal and metaphorical sense. It has something unique to offer the participant at any given time.

FRB: Who were some of your early mentors?

Pete: No one in particular. All of us who started were self-taught for the most part. Two very influential books come to mind - Robbinís Basic Rockcraft and Advanced Rockcraft. These two guides provided some solid, albeit sometimes outdated advice. Some times weíd be at the crag, one hand on the rope and the other holding the book open to make sure we were doing things right.

FRB: Who were some of your
          early climbing partners?

Pete: Cade Lloyd was my buddy in climb in Idaho. We started climbing together in the 80ís. Chris Snyder was my bro in the early days in Yosemite and Jeff Perrin and I climbed a bunch of walls together in the early 90ís.

FRB: You spent years in the Valley.
          How did you make a living there?
          What did you send?

Pete: I was a bus boy at the Four Seasons and the Mountain Room Broiler in Yosemite. I could give my best energy to climbing during the day and give whatever was left over to the Curry Company at night. A few times we fixed pitches on El Cap in the week and finished the route over the weekend. I remember barely making it to my shift on Monday evening with 15 minutes to spare - surreal In the Valley, I did everything from long trad routes, hard walls like Aurora, boulder problems like Midnight Lightning, first ascents up to 5.13b. One of my best memories was flashing Tales of Power on Halloween 1987 and getting drunk on the roof of the Ahwahnee at night. I almost fell through the skylight into a party.

FRB: What do you derive from
          a lifetime of climbing?

Pete: Freedom and a lot of great experiences.

FRB: What are some of the sacrifices you've made
          to live a life of climbing?

Pete: Iíve passed up on careers and lost more than one potential relationship to go climbing. There have been times that Iíve resented how much climbing has pervaded my life. But life is all about choices. I feel it is good to not view climbing as an answer to our issues or something that will transform us. It is an activity, a passion sometimes, maybe an addiction at certain points in our lives, but always a gift.

FRB: You've done many audacious climbs.
          What are some of your sends you are
          most proud of?

Pete: I donít feel Iíve really done anything audacious besides some ill-advised free soloing. We used to go on cragging trips with only a pair of shoes and a chalkbag. I on-sight soloed up to 11b, but I wouldnít do it again. Though last night we had some beers and moonlight highballed at Sanitas Our attempts on Meru Sharksfin in the Himalayas was way intense. It was like living under the gun for days on end. The sends I am most proud of are the ones I remember most. Flashing Never Believe (12d) in Rifle was a surreal sport climbing moment. That was 10 years agoÖ Redpointing Path (13c) is burned into my brain. I remember being so pumped I could barely clip the belay off the openhanded jugs.

FRB: You must have had many interesting
          adventures, can you share some more
          of them with us.

Pete: Not enough room here. Please read my book - Peteís Wicked Book.

FRB: What else do you like to do besides climb?

Pete: I am a writer for several periodicals and a published author. I am trying to sell another book as the next step in my writing career. I have a day job - I work at an agency called Texture Media as a Content Designer. We do a Experience Design, an emergent field that encompasses a wide range of engaging areas. Skills like writing, editing, and information strategy play a key role.

FRB: You have a web site.
          What's that for?

Pete: Spray (ha ha). PeteTakeda.com is a portfolio site that tells the viewer a little about myself and showcases some of my writing. Itís a great way to avoid send resumes and portfolios around.

FRB: Do you have any books you've written?

Pete: Iíve written two - one is a compilation of stories called Peteís Wicked Book, published by Prime Media. The other is an introductory book called Climb!, published by National Geographic.

FRB: How about your photography.
          Where can we see some of your photos?

Pete: Check out my website petetakeda.com or buy my book - Climb! by National Geographic.

FRB: Have you done any first ascents?

Pete: Iíve done a stack from boulders to Big Walls. I feel that the best things are yet to come. It would be great to do a first o a fine alpine climb. Than would top the list.

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

Pete: I think it sucks, though I have done it on crappy rock to create sport routes. To me it seems amazing that I cared enough about climbing a certain piece of rock to resort to any of the above. Of course, Iíve drilled long rivet ladders to climb certain big walls - in a way, itís hard to differentiate between that and chipping. The rock in our country is a limited resource so we have to respect it and leave something hard for the next generation. In the long run, something we chip or glue wonít really be memorable. Plus there are so many routes we havenít done. Why bother with all that effort?

FRB: What brings you to the Front Range?

Pete: I wanted to live in Boulder since I was a high schooler. It took over a decade to get here, but I am psyched. Boulder is the best place Iíve ever lived. Climbing, great work, and an advanced social scene we have it all.

FRB: Do you compete?

Pete: I competed in the late 80ís in national sport comps. I never made it to the semifinals. I think I placed 15th in the Phoenix Bouldering comp in 1988 or 87. I competed in Ouray for ice/mixed in 1998 and did well - won the mixed and came in 3rd overall. Next year - 1999 X Games ice climbing - second or third from the bottom! I think certain climbers are great competitors. I am not.

FRB: Where do you think the best bouldering
          in the Front Range is.

Pete: Oooh thatís tough. I am no expert, but the areas that really impress me are 287 boulders above Fort Collins and the problems in Crested Butte. Great rock, singular problems, great setting - these two areas have it all.

FRB: Do you have any favorite problems or
          ones that you thought were incredible?

Pete: Germ Free Adolescence, Kahuna Roof, Midnight Lightning, Thriller (though I never did the last move). About six problems in the Tapovan boulder field in the Indian Himalayas.

FRB: Climbing is constantly evolving,
          where do you think it is going?

Pete: Itís getting big, bad, and bold! It seems that all facets of climbing are experiencing a increase in overall technical and performance standards. Sport climbing saved the sport - or should I say influenced it in a number of ways. Climbers are stronger. Climbers have a greater sense of athleticism. The climbing populace is now drawn from a bigger gene pool - increasing the overall talent and bringing young positive energy into the sport. The resonant energy influences everything from indoor bouldering to high altitude alpine climbing.

FRB: Do you have any projects right now?

Pete: No projects. I am psyched on climbing in the high country and taking some big trips. I used to be very project oriented, but I am in a phase where I want to be very spontaneous and climb whatever looks good. That might change in the future, but for right now it s the plan of no plan.

FRB: What do you suggest to people who
          are just starting in climbing/bouldering?

Pete: Have fun. Do it for kicks. Enjoy failing. Savor victory.

FRB: What are your thoughts on Highballing.

Pete: Highballing is beautiful. It blurs the line between the boulder and the free solo. It extends the powerful bouldering mentality into the realm of bigger things. We can see evidence of highballing/soloing/bouldering as legitimate route training with the number of strong climbers emerging with bouldering as a key training base. Plus, look at Matt Sametís 5.13c X route in the Flatirons. That route points to the future. Similar skills allow allowed someone like Leo Houlding to nearly on-sight an all-free El Cap route.

FRB: What do you suggest for training.

Pete: I used to train hard, stuff like 300 chin-ups sessions, fingerboarding, and weight training. That was great and all, but it got to be a lot of work and took a lot of time. Plus I got really good at training, but not as good at climbing. I really think that sustainable training is to learn to have fun and be consistent without becoming a slave to the activity. We have so many resources - the climbing gym, woodies, stacks of great rock - itís almost a matter of picking and choosing. I am no expert, but it seems like volume of training i.e. doing a shitload of climbing whether its bouldering or pitches, in a session is what gets you strong and not injured. But then again, what do I know.

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

Pete: Iíve hit so many plateaus that I canít even remember. It seems like you can train through plateaus but eventually you hit a solid wall. The best thing Iíve done to manage the wall is quit climbing and do other activities. The rest and rejuvenation of psyche always seems to work .

FRB: How do you deal with injuries?

Pete: Iíve had some bad injuries in my fingers over the years. The best thing for me is to go off and do something completely different for a long time . There is plenty to do and our climbing careers last a very long time. There is plenty of time to do other things, get strong in other areas, and recharge our psyche!

FRB: How do you train for hard bouldering?

Pete: I donít boulder hard anymore, ha ha. For a problem that is hard for me, I might try to get lighter and work on weaknesses. I did a first ascent on a boulder in India - probably V8. All I did was loose some weight and increased my volume on bouldering days. One thing thatís helped everything I do is improving my VO2 max. Running, cycling, hiking really help my power.

FRB: Parting words of wisdom Pete.

Pete: Climbing is a powerful vehicle for empowerment and self-awareness. It is also a highly addictive experience and a great way to avoid reality. The good barometer to gauge itís quality is - are you enjoying it? Have fun!

FRB: Thanks for the interview Pete.

Pete: Youíre welcome.


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