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.
A short excerpt from our in-depth conversation:
'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. Although I've never experienced overt racial incidents in climbing, I know it's there because it's connected to the world, it can't be removed.
'For me, the biggest problem is that climbers try to ignore the rest of the world - we love this little bubble of safety, comfort and familiarity and we try and barricade ourselves in it. I think it's unhealthy and for me it's counterproductive to the idea of being a climber; the point is to be more open and to travel and exchange and when things get uncomfortable we still try again - we make another attempt, change beta or do something. Let's call it maturity, we lack maturity and we're still a young sport for lots of reasons and we've grown up really fast.
'Acknowledging this doesn't exempt us from doing the work that's required to be more open and inclusive. By and large it is an expensive sport and leisure activity for white people. It's not very accessible. As a sport we're a teenager, we think we're cool but...maybe not so much. There's no parent there - it'd be cool if we could take it on ourselves and grow into it.'
Catch up with Episode 10, an interview with Australian Olympic hopeful Campbell Harrison, below: