UKC

Paul Robinson interview

A few days ago, Paul Robinson made the FA of what used to be the Rasta man vibration sit-project at the Buttermilks, Bishop. It had been a project of Paul's for years and he decided to give what is now Lucid dreaming the whopping grade of 8C+.


How do you feel now afterwards? Empty or even more psyched?
To tell you the truth, I feel literally exhausted. I am very psyched that I sent the line and that psyche is, I guess, what got me through the 15 hour drive home. But now that I am home, I am exhausted and have been taking it easy for the past couple of days knowing that I am going to have to start training very hard for the next big 3 competitions that are coming up in the USA. Plus now all I can think about is the next best thing! I want to find something new and even more exciting to climb on!

You decided to suggest 8C+ for Lucid dreaming, although you no doubt understand some will question this, especially considering the heat DW got after The Game and Desperanza. What were you thinking man?!
I know that people were going to question my grading. I feel that I have reached a new level in climbing and this climb epitomized this new level for me. That being said, I feel that it was that much harder than anything that I had done in the past and as mentioned in my blog, I think that bouldering needs to grow. If a sport does not grow it becomes stale and less appealing. I will take the crap from people who do not believe in v16 and maybe one day someone will get the second ascent and hopefully confirm the grade of v16. But for now, I guess Daniel and I just have to deal with trying to promote our sport.

In what ways would you say you have improved over the last couple of years?
I feel that I just have become a better climber not only in finger strength but also in climbing ability. I have learned to use my body better and have learned to execute movement on a much higher level than ever before.

Did the broken ankle change anything? How?
Haha, yes, both good and bad. The good is that I value climbing way more than I ever have in the past. I do not take it for granted and feel so lucky every time I climb. But the negative is that I do not have quite the head that I used to. It takes me a while to build confidence on climbs and I stray away from highballs because I am too scared to injure myself again.

You're going to spend a long time in Rocklands this summer, and then move to Europe for a couple of years. What's the plan?
The plan is to travel the world in search of the hardest unclimbed boulders in the world. I want to do them all. From Rocklands to Font to Ticino to Asia maybe. I am going to go wherever the wind takes me in search of the newest and hardest lines. I CANNOT wait to get back on the line to the left of Ganymede, but this is only the first of hundreds!!!

Where do you see yourself in 1, 2, 5, 10 years? Still pushing the limits?
Up to 5 years from now, I hope to be pushing the standards of bouldering. I want to leave my mark in the history of bouldering and I feel that the next few years are going to be my prime years and this will be the time in which I can leave my mark. In 10 years... I dunno! I would love to be settled down by then. I will almost be 33 and feel that by then I may be a little old to push many more standards.

If you were to speculate, how do you think bouldering will evolve?
I think that the future of bouldering will possibly move into route climbing. Short powerful bouldery sport climbs. This will allow the climber to tack on multiple hard boulder problems on top of one another. Possibly 2 V14's on top of one another or multiple V13's. This would be an amazing concept and I look forward to finding cliffs that will yield this type of climbing!
I am so psyched to search some out in Europe!!!

You're focusing on bouldering now, but have also done a few very hard routes. Is this something you'll do more of in the future? Will we see you up on Mescalito in a few years?
Yes, I would love to establish a few mini routes! I am really psyched on these and the style of climbing is so amazing. I am not super psyched on any longer stuff but this may change when I get older... we will see. And Mescalito, I would love to go try some moves on that thing and a few of the pitches. I talked to Kevin [Jorgeson] yesterday and he said he and Tommy [Caldwell] would be psyched to take me up on that thing. I dont think that I could ever have the time to make sending that thing a reality. But, it would be amazing to feel it out for a few days!

Thanks a bunch Paul, and good luck with everything!
Photos 1, 2, and 3 courtesy of Wills Young/Bishop bouldering. Photo 4 from Paul's blog


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