Austrian boulderer Bernd Zangerl was at the forefront of the sport for many years. Having recently made the first ascent of a hard highball problem named 29 dots in Valle Dell'Orco, we caught up with Bernd - currently living in the Himalaya - to find out what inspires him, his thoughts on the modern bouldering scene and what lies ahead for future bouldering pioneers.
Interesting his comments about web 2.0 and climber's use of social media. I notice that Alex Megos, who initially said he was not into social media, now has a Facebook account. It makes me think that perhaps its more to do with pressure from sponsors rather than the climbers themselves. After all it's not really about how many accounts you have set up. If you're not doing something pretty exceptional no one's going to be interested enough to follow you.
> If you're not doing something pretty exceptional no one's going to be interested enough to follow you.
I wouldn't be so sure, look at Sierra Blair-Coyle for instance, from what I've read she specializes in bouldering and yet the hardest she's climbed is V9, which is not really cutting-edge, even among female climbers if you compare her to Puccio or Shiraishi. Her Facebook page looks like the Instagram of some random glitter-loving starlet and yet she has ten times as many fans as Shiraishi and 100,000 more than Honnold.
Are those figures correct? I'm surprised just because I thought Honnold was now super famous after he was the subject of a mainstream TV documentary. I would have thought he'd be far more well known than even Shiraishi. As he says, his style of climbing, soloing, is easy for the non climbing public to understand.
Presumably Blair Coyle's popularity is all down to bikini videos and thus attracts a large non climbing audience. I struggle to think of what else would get people to follow a climber's web page though unless they were making big news in the climbing media first.