10 Ques­tions

In­door and Out­door Crusher

Gripped - - CONTENTS -

04

Alex Fricker

Alex Fricker is an all-rounder based in Can­more with a num­ber of big com­pe­ti­tion wins and hard 5.14 sends out­doors.

What’s one of the most im­pres­sive climbs you’ve wit­nessed and why?

Alex Me­gos on Kinder Sur­prise 5.14c. He made some re­ally hard moves look hi­lar­i­ously easy and that was su­per mo­ti­vat­ing to watch.

What clim­bers do you look up to in 2018?

I look up to clim­bers like Alex Me­gos, Margo Hayes, Son­nie Trot­ter and Vikki Wel­don for send­ing routes that in­spire me, for be­ing hon­est and hard work­ing and of course for be­ing in­cred­i­bly strong clim­bers. I also look up the en­tirety of team Ja­pan but then again who doesn’t th­ese days.

Is your last year be­ing a ju­nior on Team Canada ev­ery­thing you want it to be?

Yes and no. Yes, be­cause my com­pe­ti­tion sea­son was my best yet and my last youth be­ing lead/speed na­tion­als couldn’t have gone bet­ter. No, be­cause I will not be at­tend­ing the Youth World Cham­pi­onships this year, partly be­cause of fi­nan­cial rea­sons with them be­ing held in Moscow but mainly be­cause my psy­che right now and my main goals are on real rock for the sum­mer.

You’ve climbed a num­ber of 5.14s. What was your favourite?

My favourite would have to be Gémi­nis in Rodel­lar, Spain. It’s a clas­sic Span­ish beast of a route, 40 me­tres of pumpy tufa climb­ing with a pow­er­ful boul­der prob­lem guard­ing the chains.

Do you have any projects this sum­mer?

My main goals, for now, are Le­viathan 5.14a at Acephale, The Il­lu­sion­ist 5.14a at Planet X and Cas­tles in The Sky, five Pitches up to 5.14a.

You’re head­ing to univer­sity in the fall. Will you still fo­cus on open climb­ing comps?

Mon­treal’s comp scene is un­real, so I plan on com­pet­ing in as many events as I can. That be­ing said I know I will be su­per busy so jug­gling school, train­ing and com­pet­ing will be a chal­lenge.

What is the best way to warm up for a day of climb­ing?

As much as it isn’t fun a de­cent ap­proach to the crag gets the blood flow­ing which is im­por­tant. Then once I’m at the crag I do some stretch­ing and band ex­er­cises to get my shoul­ders and fin­gers mov­ing. Lastly, I’ll ei­ther get on an eas­ier climb that still gets a slight pump go­ing or my favourite is just go­ing bolt to bolt on my pro­ject if it isn’t too hard right off the ground.

What and where do you see your­self climb­ing in 10 years?

I hope that I will still be com­pet­ing 10 years down the road, but I will most likely be fo­cus­ing on sport climb­ing at that point and maybe even some trad.

What is one piece of ad­vice you give to younger clim­bers?

Have fun with it, that’s why we all climb. Sure, it is im­por­tant to get mis­er­able and dig deep from time to time but if you find your­self dread­ing head­ing to the gym or crag that means it’s time to take a step back and reeval­u­ate. There is no point in get­ting crazy strong or tick­ing off hard routes if it means you burn out and lose the psych.

What’s the cra­zi­est thing that’s hap­pened on your Team Canada trav­els?

Noth­ing too crazy, but I had a venomous sea snake fall out of a tree on to my head at the 2014 Youth World Cham­pi­onships in New Cale­do­nia.—Gripped

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