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© Björn Pohl - UKC, Feb 2014
In a time when some still seem to have issues with accepting indoor and competition climbing as "real" climbing, dedicating a magazine to competitions and performance could be considered bold. That's exactly what The Circuit does.
I don't make a lot of reviews these days, and I don't think I have ever reviewed any kind of magazine, so why this?Well, first of all, this is not just another climbing magazine (and to be honest perhaps this is not a proper review).
It only comes out once a year, there is no news section and it doesn't pretend to cover everything that is climbing.
In fact, this first issue is almost exclusively about bouldering and mostly about the World Cup and its players, featuring interviews with: Udo Neumann
Guillaume Glairon Mondet
Mélissa Le Nevé
Chris Webb Parsons
Mina Leslie Wujastyk
All this, plus photo features from Grampians, Sydney Bouldering and Fontainebleau, in ONE issue without adds. No joke!Still, making the hardest ascents on rock ranks higher among most climbers and I've got the feeling even some competition climbers have to sort of excuse themselves for being just that - competition climbers.
This is kind of a paradox of course as virtually all of the best climbers on rock have done very well in comps earlier in their careers... Be that how it may, but I think that, in a few years, much like alpine skiers still ski off pist from time to time, similarly comp climbers will still like to climb rock, but I can definitely see a shift where World champions and WC-winners will be the biggest stars of our sport, though the ones pushing the limits on rock will always be held in high regard.
Consequently it's only natural that we get a magazine that follows the competition part of the sport seriously.
Instead of just scraping the surface, we get in depth interviews providing a multi angle view of where climbing (bouldering in this particular issue) is at today and where it's headed. People are given enough space to really articulate their opinions and what they want to say.
In short, The Circuit is a coffee table book in the shape of a magazine.
Eddie Fowke, the man who has created all this from scratch almost entirely by himself, has taken the time and effort to meet up with everyone on location both in Australia when possible and also on World Cup competitions in Europe.
After reading the magazine, I asked Eddie a couple of questions:
Who is Eddie Fowke?
How and when did you come up with the idea?
So I flew across the world, interviewed the greats, took the photos I needed and did it. No one else was and the sport needs it so here I am.
What IS the idea, i.e what do you want it to be?
If you're even remotely interested in the competition scene and its players, you will no doubt enjoy The Circuit, so give it a chance and order your copy today, you won't regret it.
Surely, starting a brand new magazine from scratch on your own is taking a big risk but as Eddie puts is:
Sometimes in life as in climbing you just need to commit!
We wish him the best of luck!
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