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Name: David Mason – MOON Ambassador
Interview: Moon Climbing / January 2013
Moon Climbing – When and where did you start climbing?
David – I was introduced to climbing during 6th form at school, and for six months I climbed indoors once or twice a week. I then had a year or so off during my gap year. I started climbing again at university in Leeds where I met a few people who were really keen on climbing. This time I caught the ‘bug’. During university I climbed indoors regularly and would get out on the grit stone crags around Yorkshire whenever it was possible.
Moon Climbing – Do you have a favorite style of climbing (traditional, sport, bouldering etc)?
David – I only boulder! I am not sure I have the head to do trad climbing and sport climbing does not really appeal to me at the moment. There are a few very short routes I would like to climb at some point but bouldering takes precedence for the time being.
Moon Climbing – You are stuck on a desert island with just one route and one boulder. Which ones would you choose and why?
David – If I wasn’t going to be rescued for a long time then I would want the climbs to be really difficult to keep me occupied! The route would be Action Direct; short, powerful dynamic moves on limestone pockets. The history behind the route is also really inspiring; not only was it the first 9a but as someone who relishes the challenge of training for climbing what Wolfgang went through to climb Action is extraordinary. Choosing a boulder is much more difficult as the list of things I want to climb is endless. It would be very close between General Disarray, Kawa Paradisa and Karma. General is the best set of moves that I have done on a climb, and the granite is probably some of the best in the world. Kawa again is amazing climbing in a stunning situation and I have unfinished business with it, as I dropped the last move 4 or 5 times. Karma in Fontainebleau speaks for itself; history, movement, the line and most of all it is on sandstone.
Moon Climbing – Who is your climbing hero or inspiration and why?
David – I don’t necessarily have a hero but more climbers I admire; these include Ben & Jerry, Wolfgang Gullich, Malcolm Smith, Dai Koyamada, Fred Rouhling, Killian Fischuber and Fred Nicole. The reason for these names are mainly because they have pushed the standards of climbing, developed a lot of the hardest climbs throughout the world and most of them with exception of Nicole trained very hard for it! I find training and hard work very inspirational!
Moon Climbing – How often do you climb?
David – Probably 4-6 times a week
Moon Climbing – Where and how often do you train and for how many hours per week?
David – I either train in our cellar at home or at the Climbing Works with the occasional trip down to the Wave at the Foundry.
Moon Climbing – What kind of training do you do?
David – Campusing, finger boarding, one arm pull ups, rings and climbing on a systems board.
Moon Climbing – Your top training tip or tips?
David – Try a lot harder than you think you can, try to be as structured as you can and constantly increase the intensity of what you are doing. Shocking your body and failure is what leads to improvement not success!
Moon Climbing – The climbing achievement you are most proud of and why?
David – Not really sure I am proud of things that I have done. Perhaps in the future I will be! Climbs that have given me the most pleasure probably include; Karma & L’angle Parfait (Fontainebleau), Vecchia Leone (Ticino), Future Eaters (Valais) and Pools of Bethesda (Wales). The first time I did a one arm pull up on a small campus rung and completing 1-5-8 on small rungs is also pretty high up there. When I do 1-5-9 that will be top I think!
Moon Climbing – What is your opinion on competitions? Good, bad or indifferent?
David – They are necessary in any sport and I wish I had the head to do well in them. Not only do I find competing daunting but the training for them is extremely boring and so I have huge respect for anyone who does well them. I have done a few World Cups in the past but you really have to commit time to them and this means not climbing much on rock. For me personally I prefer to climb on rock and be outdoors with friends. At some point though I hope to try again and maybe do a little better.
Moon Climbing – Your goals for 2013?
David - Go back to South Africa in better shape than I was last time and climb to the best of my abilities. Try and complete some harder projects in the UK, the weather needs to play ball for this to happen! Hopefully visit Fontainebleau and have good weather while I am there! I would love to finish off Partage and Atresie, not the hardest things but unfinished business always nags me! 1-5-9!