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NEWS: In Isolation - Ep. 11: An Interview with Top Routesetter Tonde Katiyo

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 UKC News 19 Jun 2020

We cover some difficult topics in this week's episode of In Isolation. First, we remember French athlete Luce Douady, who tragically died last Sunday aged 16. We then have an insightful conversation about routesetting and racial diversity with Tonde Katiyo, discussing how he became an international setter and the challenges surrounding this relatively new industry. Tonde also opens up about diversity within the sport, culture as a whole and what needs to be done going forward.


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In reply to UKC News:

"The climbing community seems somewhat in denial that we are actually connected to this wider society and all the problems that are in it - we're not in a bubble."

Yeah I see that attitude a lot, in these forums and elsewhere. That climbing and climbers somehow exist apart from the world and are not subject to the same problems.

Climbers are just people, and some people are dicks.

Post edited at 12:48
 Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2020
In reply to UKC News:

> " ... I've never experienced overt racial incidents in climbing, ..."

That's good to hear.

In reply to UKC News:

Definitely the best episode so far - thanks

 Rad 23 Jun 2020

Thank you SO MUCH for interviewing Tonde.

He is very special to us here in Seattle because his ethos brought a breath of fresh air to setting at the Seattle Bouldering Project and across the community. He brought the circuit system, creative use of volumes, and climbing that was about movement and physical exploration and puzzle solving rather than just pulling hard on small holds, though there's nothing wrong with pulling hard.

You can tell from even a few minutes of the interview that he approaches the world through the eyes of an artist, a designer, a philosopher, a climber, and perhaps most importantly, a thoughtful and empathetic person. It's so refreshing compared to the climber-bro macho culture that can be so toxic.

Beyond climbing, Tonde is clearly a deep thinker who has mature and reasoned perspectives on everything from the state of the sport to the state of society and racism and politics. He is truly a treasure.

I really hope he or someone else will run with this concept of a training school for setters. It's overdue.


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