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Mike Adams two new 8c's + ukb interview (Read 4283 times)

shark

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Mike Adams two new 8c's + ukb interview
March 23, 2017, 12:57:24 pm
www.climber.co.uk/news/latest-news/mike-adams-blasts-far-eastern-limestone-with-two-new-font-8cs.html

Polish Dave flagged up to me that Mike seems to be the only  British climber who is still on the scene to have done 3x8c boulders and more over FAs.

Mikes agreed to do an email style interview with me tonight. Let me know any questions you want asking
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 02:50:17 pm by dave, Reason: 8c »

Luke Owens

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Cheers Shark, it would be good to know what his training has been like over the years and if he contributes anything specific to getting to that level?


petejh

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Has *he* done Gutbuster?  :P

Monolith

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Is he still sponsored by Haribo?

Jerry Moffatt or Andy Jennings?

fatneck

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And coca-cola...

Richie Crouch or Monolith?

1. How does current growth in the indoor climbing industry bode for the future of British climbing?
2. Mike is a monster, I'm interested to know how much of this he would attribute to genetics / training / starting climbing / mindset? Which is the most important in his view?   

tomtom

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Similar to fatnecks q how does he manage to train to be this good and tie that in with family and work life.

Plus what's his favourite colour ;)

k2ted

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more on training as others  :popcorn:

Does he periodise his training? If so, how?

Does he fingerboard all year round or for periods of time? If so, repeaters or max hangs?

Rest days... How does he organise rest days, if he takes em that is?


Andy F

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Now he's crushed just about every hard thing in the Peak area bouldering wise, does he fancy dusting off his harness and doing some of the bouldery hard sport routes? Hubble or The Bastard for example.

Probes

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Has he had a look/tried/done any of the hard south lakeland limestone problems, and what did he think of them

shark

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Here we go - sorry that I didn't cover everything but think we covered a lot of ground. What a nice bloke.

Simon
At the risk of name-dropping is it true you know the Dense Loner?

Michael
Lee yeah. I know him. Ha ha

Simon
Is it also true that pound for pound he is the best deadhanger in the World, with a small head?

Michael
He must be that's all I've ever seen him do. Hang off holds. I don't think I've ever seen him complete a problem? Lol

Simon
Apart from Dense which climbers do you most admire?

Michael
Oh that's a tough one. I'll have to think.
There are a lot of climbers I admire at the moment for being strong and dedicated. It seems there are a lot more around than there used to be.

Simon
No one you'd like to single out?

Michael
The people who have motivated me a lot recently are probably people you wouldn't expect. Robin Mueller for example inspires me as he's out there constantly exploring. He is limited to Lancashire due to his personal restrictions, but he still get out finds stuff and has a smile on his face. I find Dawid inspiring because I've never met a man with so much motivation. He works long hours and has more kids than me and yet still finds time to train and try hard climbs. When ever I think I can't find the time or the motivation I think of him. The last name that springs to mind is James Noble.  Because he is actually very good and quietly just gets on with climbing hard things.

Simon
Do you enjoy the exploratory aspect and esoteric crags generally?

Michael
I'm not sure I like esoteric crags as such. I just enjoy climbing and I'll pretty much enjoy climbing anything. As long as the moves are good and interesting I will forgive a bad location. I think I'm actually quite introverted and I don't like busy places. So I tend to go to out of the way places maybe. I am like most climbers in that I'd rather be somewhere beautiful rather than in a scruffy heavily littered quarrys. However with time I've even begun to see the beauty hidden in those venues as well.

Simon
You mention that you are introverted - and you picked people who keep low profiles.

Michael
I don't actually think I picked people who keep low profile. I would say Robin is very good at getting information out there about stuff he's done. Dawid tells everyone about everything he's done. James is the one who keeps a low profile. I admire him because he's not bothered and the climbing comes first as it should.

Simon
If zero is white and ten is black, on a scale of ten how dark a horse are you?

Michael
I don't really know the answer to your question as it's based on how other perceive you? I would expect somewhere in the middle?

Simon
Do you have views on commercialism and sponsorship of climbers?

Michael
I don't really see it as good or bad. It is what it is. Company's want climbers to promote their products. This will quite often be people who are very good at this, not necessarily the very best. However if you want that you can't expect people to just give you stuff just for being good. Now a day's your expected to actively promote yourself. It is what it is. This is something I've always struggled with as I was not brought up to in effect go around shouting about what i have done. I was taught that you keep your head down and work hard. That said I do try a little bit as if it wasn't for the support of my sponsor. I wouldn't have been able to afford to carry on climbing. For that I'm thankful. So I feel owe them to get the brands seen. It's certainly a funny game.

Simon
Can you tell me a bit about yourself. What’s your climbing background? Why the focus on bouldering?

Michael
I'm just a regular bloke from Rotherham. I started climbing from a very young age with my Dad and his friends. They had a very strong traditional ethic. Everything was ground up and onsite. That's how I spent my childhood. I started growing impatient waiting for climbs so one day when I was 16 my Dad bought me a copy of the first peak bouldering guide, so I could go off and boulder while waiting. Instead of bothering them. In it was Roche Abby and I realised I could cycle there or with my friends get a lift there. That's how I spent my 6th form years, basically at that crag in the week or then out on the grit at the weekend. I still trad climbed but I did it less and less.
I then went to Liverpool to go to Uni and struggled to meet other climbers and get out. So naturally i bouldered at Pex and Frodsham. I think that's when I became pretty specialised.
I then started working in the outdoors and soon grew sick of ropes and kit. Bouldering became a way of enjoying moving without it being to much like work. These days I'm the head of centre at a small activity centre at Ulley. This is very close to where I live and a lot of the venues on the east side magstone. Hence why I climb a lot over this side due to lack of time.

Michael
Sorry for the essay!

Simon
Hey no need to apologise. This is great.
You said earlier you worked hard this winter to do Bordello and Serenation? What did working hard involve?

Michael
I didn't work hard on Serenation. That was actually an by product of the work I put in on Bordello. I've actually been working on Bordello for three winter seasons. I'm not the kind of person that is motivated by training and getting stronger to just be stronger. I much prefer going climbing and enjoying doing it. I only really train when I have something I want to do and I can't do a move on, so I tend to try to isolate that weakness and train it. This means stuff just takes me ages to do unfortunately.
Bordello also is a notoriously tricky climb to get in good conditions so has for me a small window of non weepiness. The first season I spent working out how to get out of the back from a specified starting position. This took me a lot longer than I originally thought and I was glad to get it done. I did a video, but I always knew the real line was to do it from a sitting start. I tried this but I couldn't find a way and had no chance, Then it got hot and the climb started to weep.
The next winter I had done some specific training to build my lock off strength and finger strength. As I realised I needed to feel better on the finish rather than it feel like living end it had. I managed to work out the moves on the sit but not quite link them. However one session when trying the stand up I really hurt the inside of my left hand. There is a tiny sharp side pull that I basically hold with two and a half fingers. It really is woefully small  and feels like it might injury you anyway. I just couldn't pull on it any more, I'm normally good at blocking out the pain but I just could take holding this. So I had to end that trying it there.
I then chilled out a bit and repeated some cool climbs on the grit and then explored Lancashire in the summer while it healed. At the end of the summer I actually realised I was in okay condition and seemed to have strong fingers for me. I decided I was going to get stuck into the climb and during the autumn months I just did lots of board climbing trying to train power endurance in a bearable way.
As soon as it got cold I went back to Bordello and tried it. I found that I was in better shape and managed to link the start moves into the standing position within three sessions. I realised my hand didn't hurt and put a lot of time in on the finish until I was doing this on the end of my warm up. I then realised it was just a case of carrying attempting until I had that elusive go where I hit every hold perfect. After the first move there seems to me like a series of moves that are very marginal including a sloping slot you spend a lot of time on. Each of these has to be hit very precisely for it to work. It's so easy to just get them wrong.
Anyway late one night the persistence paid off and I had that perfect go. This was especially difficult mentally to do as I spent a lot of time going to that quarry on my own, late at night essentially failing. Taking long rest with only my nagging doubts for company. One night I even noticed a police van near my car. On me going over they where very concerned that I might have commuted suicide, as if was that late and a know suicide spot. They seemed relieved I was okay. If not a little confused about why I was doing what I was doing. That is my main memory of that time. It seems so fitting. Oh course it was worth it in the end as i got a result.
Serenation was really a after thought. Dawid had mentioned it and I had done it from standing a while back and just never linked in the start. Having that level of fitness and knowing the moves it came together very fast.

Simon
Awesome. What next? Does something like Hubble inspire or does work/life commitments dictate another local project?

Michael
I actually feel like I've got to a good point with local projects. All of the lines and challenges, regardless of what grade they settle at, that I set my mind to climbing. I have now done. Yes there are other undone lines that will be hard if doable, but none that I have invested any emotional energy into. Right now I feel my family has suffered from me doing so much climbing and training and so I want to spend some time with them, especially my son who asks to go climbing all the time. It breaks my heart to say no, because I need to focus. That is really difficult. So want to take him out a lot more.
Also this winter I have spent so much time on my own I want to catch up with friends and just go climbing and enjoy the banter. I also need to concentrate on my career with an opportunity  coming up that will take up my time. So all in all, for the short term I'm going to take a more relaxed approach and wait for the next challenge to appear. They have a habit of appearing themselves and I find my motivation is funny beast at the best of times.

Simon
Anything you'd like to say about your new upcoming guide?

Michael
I've always been in half a mind that the crags either are not worth publishing or better not being. The other half of me thinks that they would benefit from having a responsible adult presence, to stop anti social behaviour from local youths such as fires and litter.
The guide is really the work of Lee Robinson. I just supplied him with the notes from the problems I had done. He takes great photos and has worked very hard to put it all together. From what I have seen it looks great.
I think the compromise is to do a guide book but on a limited run and available form selected outlets only. That way only the keen people will get one. Plus I like the idea of it being almost a collectors item.

Simon
Thanks for giving up two hours of your time this evening and enjoy your downtime.

Michael
Thanks. No problem at all.

andy popp

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Thanks Mike and Simon, that worked out well.

haydn jones

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 :popcorn:

Wood FT

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Nice one Simon and Mike, best of the luck with the career opportunity

r-man

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Top stuff. I've had an ace time climbing with Mike in recent years. It's great to see him getting a bit of recognition. You don't see his name in the media much, but he just gets out there and climbs everything. First ascents and repeats of every grade all over England, Scotland and Wales.

And three 8Cs! Not bad for a working dad.  :strongbench:


turnipturned

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Well done Mike, good stuff.

Luke Owens

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Cheers Shark and Mike!

Fiend

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Straight from the medium-dark horse's mouth.

I like the direct style of that interview, big up you both.

shark

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Cheers. He's clearly got interesting things to say. I'll try and get my shit together and do a video interview later in the year as Dawid suggested

petejh

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Nice one Simon, good interview.

k2ted

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Cheers Simon.

andy_e

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Great read, thanks both!

Mark Lloyd

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Cheers. He's clearly got interesting things to say. I'll try and get my shit together and do a video interview later in the year as Dawid suggested

+1 I liked the other interviews you did, it all seemed to go quiet after the non show of malc

been to Malham this year yet ?

shark

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+1 I liked the other interviews you did, it all seemed to go quiet after the non show of malc

Thanks Mark and yes no coincidence  - it was a very frustrating experience that left me unmotivated to do more interviews. Fortunately Grimer picked up the baton

been to Malham this year yet ?

Only once at the beginning of the month and it was baltic and not totally dry but I felt strong on the moves and effectivelty did it in 3 sections first go up. The route still hasnt properly dried out yet to the best of my knowledge but it cant be long now   

shark

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So word has it that Earth Quarry isn't as unpleasant as might be assumed. I gather Ned got the Bordello Stand in 2 sessions and the sit in two more with beta different to Mike but possibly only useful to Ned i.e. some funky heel toe whilst open handing some awful thin crimp. He thought not 8C this way but going on his recent form in Switzerland who knows. The other crucial piece of beta is that conditions are perma dreadful there so a useful accessory is an industrial battery powered fan of the type Plasterer's use. Genius innovation and I shit you not. I'm a googling tonight. Joble got the 3rd ascent of the stand. His newborn has paid three visits to Earth Quarry already. Somebody call social services.

tomtom

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Watchoo-saying shark?