Indoor and Outdoor Crusher
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