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Name: Simon Weill – Local Hero: Australia
Interview: Moon Climbing / January 2013
Moon Climbing – When and where did you start climbing?
Simon – I started climbing in high school with a mate who had done a little bit of top roping. We climbed around on blue stone bridges in Melbourne, using homemade harnesses and sailing rope. It really was a miracle that neither of us got seriously injured. He blew his shoulder a couple of years later and never climber again. I have been lucky enough to climb almost non-stop since that first foray…
Moon Climbing – Do you have a favourite style of climbing (traditional, sport, bouldering etc)?
Simon - I mostly boulder really these days, but have been getting back into a bit of trad and have been doing a bunch of sport routes in the last couple of months. I love the freedom and simplicity of the blocs, not to mention the social aspect, but I do enjoy getting scared from time to time and also the mental battle that sport climbing provides me.
Moon Climbing – You are stuck on a desert island with just one route and one boulder. Which ones would you choose and why?
Simon - I think I would take the Project Wall boulder with me, which is situated in the Grampians. I can’t do any of the problems on it, so it would be good training, though desert Island conditions may provide some difficulties… Also, I would take Groove Train on Taipan Wall, especially if the whole wall came with it. Classic routes, some of the best rock in the world.
Moon Climbing – Who is your climbing hero or inspiration and why?
Simon - Wolfgang was the inspiration for me. When I first started climbing he was so far ahead of everyone else. His attitude to life and also training was perfect. I also really admire Jerry Moffat for his tenacity and single-mindedness. I am pretty psyched to see that Ben Moon is back at it as well.
Moon Climbing – How often do you climb?
Simon - I climb about 5 times a week, but it varies wildly, depending on the season and the weather. Lately I have been climbing a couple of days a week after work, so getting four sessions a week outdoors, but I usually do a little most days, even if its a short recovery session or some cardio to give my fingers a break.
Moon Climbing – Where and how often do you train and for how many hours per week?
Simon - Again, this depends on the season and the weather. I would usually train four to five times a week, but with the stunning evenings recently, I have done virtually no training and have just been getting out. In winter I aim for about 10-15 hours a week, usually on the woody at home or on the fingerboard. I have a social boulder on Wednesdays with some friends which is a great way to break up the week.
Moon Climbing – What kind of training do you do?
Simon - I have a systems board, a campus board and a fingerboard in my shed. I try to divide my time between the three in order to break up my training a little. I also do a bit of cardio. I find I climb and breathe much better if I have been doing lots of cardio.
Moon Climbing – Your top training tip or tips?
Simon - Do a little a lot. I think a lot of climbers live by this now. I don’t feel that I benefit from really long sessions that take a long time to recover from. I feel much better if I keep my sessions under an hour and train or do some cross-training everyday. Also, if you get injured, rest. Rest is actually the most important aspect of training, if you overtrain you will injure yourself.
Moon Climbing – The climbing achievement you are most proud of and why?
Simon - I am quite chuffed about the varying styles of climbing that I am able to do now. Initially I was a strong climber with very little or no technique, completely incapable of climbing anything vertical or slabby, but this has evolved over time and I feel that I am always improving. I am most proud of my first ascents though, having done hundreds of new blocs in the Southern Grampians. I love seeking out and climbing new lines. 2012 was a great year for new problems, so hopefully that will continue, I just need to do a lot of exploring.
Moon Climbing – What is your opinion on competitions? Good, bad or indifferent?
Simon - I like setting for comps, but have never really been into them. Probably because there is one guy from Melbourne called James Kassay who would have beaten me in any comp I went in. I am pretty competitive, so I wouldn’t have handled that very well. Given the choice I would prefer to be outside every time too…
Moon Climbing – Your goals for 2013?
Simon - This year will be an interesting one, I am going to try to train a lot harder and often as I have plateaued a little in the last 12 months. I would love to improve my finger strength and have been working hard on my body tension. I am keen to do some decent cross training as well, but mostly, I want to stay injury free and travel to great places to catch up with great friends.