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Name: Simon Weill – Local Hero: Australia
Interview: Moon Climbing / January 2015
Ben MOON sent the worlds first ever 9a and you are now part of the MOON team, how will you contribute to the legacy of the MOON brand?
- Sadly, I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to emulate the difficulty of Ben’s routes, but I bring my own unique enthusiasm to the MOON team. I am driven to travel, develop constantly and crush as much as I can, all whilst enjoying myself as much as possible and not getting weighed down too heavily with expectations.
Aspirations and ambitions are key drivers for all top climbers. But how do you deal with defeat?
- I just try as hard as I can as often as I can and when that doesn’t work I lose my temper and blame my spotter… Ha Ha. I just try to train for whatever move is stopping me or try to work out another way to do the thing that is holding me back. I spend a lot of time reflecting on sequences and trying to improve them in my mind, so I can do them better on the rock.
“Train Hard – Climb Harder” is a MOON motto. Share one of your secrets with us.
- Train hard, but make sure you enjoy the process, if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t improve.
What will you change in your training regime for 2015 to improve your climbing standard?
- More finger boarding. My fingers are definitely my weakest point!
We all say we climb for fun but be brutally honest what is really driving you?
- I climb for the money and the groupies!!! Really, for me it is what I’ve always done. I have never found anything that I enjoy anywhere near as much as climbing. Being outside in beautiful areas with great friends all around the world is a pretty amazing way to live and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
If you have to put a number to your ambitions for 2015 what would that be and are you raising the bar enough to be uncomfortable?
What is important? To achieve a new grade this year or send a long standing project?
- I think this one answers the next two questions. I’d love to climb some more 8b blocs or maybe an 8b+, but I would much prefer to send some of my long term projects, whether they turn out to be hard is another question entirely. I’m sure once I do them one way, some young punk will find an easy way to repeat it…
Progressing in climbing is impossible with out some sacrifice’s, what is going to have to take a back seat in 2015 in order for you to make that goal happen?
- I’d love to say work was going to suffer, but I’m not sure my business partners would approve!! As usual, I will probably see less of my friends and family than I would like, but that balances out nicely with seeing my climbing friends a whole lot more.
What will you do in 2015 to help inspire those who follow MOON?
- I will continue to develop as many blocs as possible in the Grampians and climb as hard as my limited abilities will allow. I’ll also try to write about these in an amusing way, as there are way too many people taking themselves seriously in this little world of ours. And maybe snap a few pics and videos as well. I’m psyched for 2015, I was a bit limited by injury in 2014, so ready for the comeback!!!
We all follow climbing gossip and news. What inspired you in 2014 and what pissed you off in 2014?
- Seeing some of the determination of the young up and coming crushers was pretty awesome to watch. Seeing Mirko and Ashima in Rocklands was cool, those guys are punishers. And to meet Megos and see how humble and chilled he was. What a hero.
On the downside, some of the really well known people who travel professionally did some really shitty stuff, like climbing in closed areas and ignoring requests for them to desist in doing so. Really disappointing from people who should know better!
Ok its time to have an opinion. Is it ok to improve the style of a climb and shop off bolts on a route with out asking the FA for permission (given you sent it on natural gear)?
- How much energy does it take to ask the FA their opinion on the matter? If you don’t agree with what they say, then that’s another discussion entirely. If the bolts are completely superfluous, sure lop them off, but if it’s a dangerous route without and people enjoy climbing it with the bolts, let them co-exist…
Tell us what you think will be your most ambitious and inspiring projects for 2015.
- I have a long term project in the Grampians that I tried a lot last season. I should have done it, I fell after catching the final hold a couple of times, but totally punted it. Then, I broke part of the crux hold, it’ll still go, but it’s going to be a battle.
Tell us what is the most hyped route or boulder you ever climbed that was actually just hyped and not at all that good or as hard as perceived?
- Tough question!! I don’t really have any particular routes or problems that were so bad that they were memorable. However, the whole area of Arco was pretty underwhelming, so polished, as was the machinodromo in El Chorro, total choss heap…
Suggest a few routes or problems you think any climber with some self-respect should have on their bucket list.
- Any of my problems would be a good start There’s so many good problems and routes out there, but my favourite is fake pamplemoose in Brione. And End of the Affair at Curbar. Amazing!!
- Ben Moon was my hero when I was growing up, so to be sponsored by him and his company is an honour. I still get excited whenever I get an email from him. Ha Ha. Plus, their kit is A1, great clothes and the best crash pads around!!