/ John Gaskins interview on BMC TV

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puppythedog on 19 Dec 2013
http://tv.thebmc.co.uk/video/john-gaskins-interview

exactly as the title says, originates on the other channel.
Calder - on 19 Dec 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

Many thanks to Simon for this. Made my year... (Can't post on the other channel as I don't have an account)
john arran - on 19 Dec 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

Fine video. Great insight into a rare climbing personality. Thanks.
In reply to john arran:

I think it makes me a total obsessive but that was great! I remember him repeating Hubble and the magazine reaction at the time that seemed mainly to be "WhoTF is he?" :-)

Good stuff Simon, it's a shame there isn't more footage around of him climbing but Mr Gaskins discusses that sensibly in the video.
douwe - on 20 Dec 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

Great interview thanks to UKB!
Have been waiting for it to be published and it was well worth the wait. Still some woody footage from the shed to come :-)
lx on 20 Dec 2013
Great interview! Some footage of his board and some close ups of the bad holds and footholds he is talking about would be awesome. Simon?
douwe - on 20 Dec 2013
In reply to lx:
Still some woody footage from the shed to come :-)
Check the thread on ukb for details.

slinky wizard - on 20 Dec 2013
In reply to douwe:
the second great interview from ukb keep them coming!!!
shark - on 20 Dec 2013
In reply to lx:

> Great interview! Some footage of his board and some close ups of the bad holds and footholds he is talking about would be awesome. Simon?



Hi Alex, Thanks mate. Yes - in the much shorter "Shed Session" video coming next one there will be a close up of one of the minuscule wooden "C" crimps he likes using which he also undercuts and plenty of chat about woodies and how he uses them which I'm sure will be of interest to you.
phildavies84 - on 20 Dec 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

Really enjoyed the video. Would have been interesting to get confirmation on if shadowplays in the same condition now as when it was climbed.
lx on 20 Dec 2013
In reply to shark:

> Hi Alex, Thanks mate. Yes - in the much shorter "Shed Session" video coming next one there will be a close up of one of the minuscule wooden "C" crimps he likes using which he also undercuts and plenty of chat about woodies and how he uses them which I'm sure will be of interest to you.

Cool, good work! looking forward to it.
Mick Ward - on 23 Dec 2013
In reply to shark:

Hi Simon,

Great interview! It's hard for me to even begin to imagine how hard John Gaskins has climbed. What did come across was his unfailing decency, honesty and commitment. It reminded me of an interview that Phil and Graham did with Big Ron for Peak Rock. With both Ron and John Gaskins, there was a sense of being at peace with themselves. They'd taken God-given (or universe-given) talents and made best use of them with enormous hard work - though, of course, it's a different kind of hard work if you love it. Amazing triumphs and the odd, inevitable regret. But a sense of quiet pride, a sense of peace. And, obviously, an inspiration to all of us to push just that little bit harder.

Best wishes,

Mick
In reply to shark:

So Shark, what do you think of those on the UKB (also on Twitter - I follow Jasper) who still think Gaskins's hardest routes are hoaxes? Jasper claimed that those who climb at that level don't believe him, although he doesn't actually name names of these hard-cranking sceptics. Unlike the Simpson case it seems Mr Gaskins has never really tried to do anything with his successes - a tiny bit of sponsorship it seems - which makes you think why would he bother making stuff up?
Mr Fuller on 24 Dec 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

Really enjoyable watch. He comes across as a very genuine and likeable chap. The specificity and single-mindedness of his training must come some way in explaining why he climbed such hard routes. Not getting injured must be another one! I guess the next video might 'shed' some light on it, but I wonder if his way of gripping holds is slightly unusual (it seemed from the video he does a lot of 'chisels' with 2 and 3 crimping and open-hand 1 and 4), and whether this keeps him fit or just lets him pull harder.
galpinos - on 24 Dec 2013
In reply to TobyA:
> Jasper claimed that those who climb at that level don't believe him, although he doesn't actually name names of these hard-cranking sceptics.

Carlise Slapper "wadded" Jasper for his comment so I'd say that means Dan Varian is one of the hard-cranking sceptics.
Offwidth - on 24 Dec 2013
In reply to galpinos:

That would seem to imply the only person who didn't believe him was himself.
galpinos - on 24 Dec 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

You've lost me....

Jasper is sceptical. Dan Varian agrees, so is also sceptical and hard cranking so is one of the "hard-cranking sceptics".
In reply to galpinos:

OK, I haven't followed the Gaskins discussion on UKB closely at all, most seem to think he's an almost mystical uber-wad but I guess a few just think his mystical as in a fantasist. It's odd because I hadn't heard that before this video came out but it seems there are lots of unresolved questions, at least in some peoples' minds.
thermal_t - on 25 Dec 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Like someone on UKB has said, if he was a fantasist, why didn't he claim Brandenburg Gates? To me that's probably the most compelling evidence that he is telling the truth about other projects.
Mike Highbury - on 25 Dec 2013
In reply to thermal_t:
> Like someone on UKB has said, if he was a fantasist, why didn't he claim Brandenburg Gates? To me that's probably the most compelling evidence that he is telling the truth about other projects.

Because he would have had to find a belayer to support his claim, a passing Australian if you like.
thermal_t - on 26 Dec 2013
In reply to Mike Highbury: Wasn't his wife his belayer?
neil the weak - on 26 Dec 2013
In reply to thermal_t:

It did seem a little odd when asked about sequences for his hardest boulder problems, one of which he said he worked over a four year period that he couldn't remember any of the moves though didn't it? I mean really? Dozens, or hundreds of attempts on a few move long problem and you can't describe how to do it? Odd, I thought.
misterb - on 26 Dec 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

+1 .strange , as he could remember the moves on other problems quite well and gave good beta but not on the particular hard problem in question.
Offwidth - on 26 Dec 2013
In reply to galpinos:

It was sort of a joke (ie no one ever climbed as hard as he was supposed to have climbed in his time) but we live in times when snarls snipes and sarcasm are preferred to joyful laughter.

I've known a few star performers who were not the slightest bit interested in publicity. Yet, in the modern world we are said to need to know the absolute truth (with video proof) about everything and it all seems a bit sad to me as I'd hoped climbing would still have space for the lone master. Dan and his mates must have better things to be doing than wasting energy on publicising such doubts: sure an infamous very hard problem may be unclimbable but broken holds are hardly uncommon reasons for such as that.

JG never lusted for fame. As for proof of his ability to be up there near the best he has been seen by reliable folk doing plenty, including linking moves on BG and yet honestly admitting failure. As for being 'the best' we will never know but it doesn't look like he cares: he just seemed to have wanted to climb hard things. People say such behavior is very unhelpful to guidebook production. As someone who's done the guidebook editor job I'd wouldn't swap a JG for a handful of sponsored wads. What motivated me in such a role (in 5 or so years of nearly all my free-time) was being part of celebrating the beauty of climbing, and the odd mystery in this was part of the joy. If it all becomes mechanical recording, editing will become thankless train-spotter drudgery and climbing will be losing a key part of its soul.
mrconners - on 26 Dec 2013
In reply to neil the weak:

A friend climbs E7 and boulders pretty hard at about v9/10 and can't remember anything about routes or problems till he is on them. It's unusual I admit. But not uncommon
paul__in_sheffield - on 26 Dec 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

+1, nice post.
There is also a common approach to disrespect efforts made outside the Sheffield/Llanberis mafia, a real shame.
Mick Ward - on 26 Dec 2013
In reply to neil the weak:

Regarding remembering moves, surely we have different tactics and thought processes? If I find a sequence at my limit but possibly doable with a lot of hard work, I'll run that sequence though my mind dozens if not hundreds of times. And there may be dozens of attempts. But if I get it, it's as though I've broken a barrier. For me, the sequence is no longer relevant. It fades. Weeks and months later, often I haven't a clue. And yet there are odd sequences that remain printed on my memory forever. Surely memory is a capricious thing?

Mick
Mick Ward - on 26 Dec 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

> As someone who's done the guidebook editor job I'd wouldn't swap a JG for a handful of sponsored wads. What motivated me in such a role (in 5 or so years of nearly all my free-time) was being part of celebrating the beauty of climbing, and the odd mystery in this was part of the joy. If it all becomes mechanical recording, editing will become thankless train-spotter drudgery and climbing will be losing a key part of its soul.

Beautifully said. Totally agree.

Mick

Jim Brooke - on 26 Dec 2013
In reply to misterb:

To me it sounded like he recounted shadowplay in about the same level of detail as other problems - brandenburg gate, il pirata...
douwe - on 27 Dec 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
Agree and glad you've said that.
Post edited at 00:28
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