I've just done a Q & A with Aidan. Yer tiz:
How old are you, where you from and when and how did you start climbing?
Just turned 18. Born and lived in the Lake District. I started when a small wall opened up in a local town when I was 13 and I've enjoyed it ever since.
I read you have a home board you train on - tell me about the set up, how often and how you use it train?
I have 2 boards, a 50degree and a 40degree filled with wooden holds through beastmaker, then I have some fingerboards and a non standard campus board. It is my main place to train and I'm usually in there 5 days a week but I'm trying to get outside when I can now so a bit less. My board sessions are pretty standard without much structure but I mainly work hard projects on it. My Fingerboarding is more scientific and I tend to stick to repeaters with the odd set of max reps
Why do you prefer bouldering?
I've always enjoyed both and have a lot of fun on routes but I've grown up climbing by myself and lack a belayer to frequently get on routes. I think this has meant I've always focused mainly on bouldering and so get more satisfaction out of the harder boulders I do. I also enjoy the absolute limit of difficulty of moves which you get on hard boulders
After winning last years European Championship did you expect to get an invite to the Olympics?
The European Championships was a big surprise for me and I wasn't really sure what to expect but in terms of the Olympics I'm still not 100% sure of the format in terms of qualification for the event and I'm unsure as to whether it is by invitation.
How do you feel about comp climbing vs outdoor climbing currently?
After a disappointing misunderstanding of the rules by the GB climbing team, I lost my opportunity to compete in the China youth world championships, the event I've been training for all year. This left me feeling pretty frustrated with the competition scene and I've decided to dedicate my time to focusing outdoors with the intention of maybe doing the competitions next summer
Yea! Though I'm enjoying the opportunity to focus on climbing outdoors
You bust your heel in March. How is that ? And have you had any other injuries that have held you back?
Yea, that was a pain and it's been a long road ro recovery but I'm finally feeling back in shape. Other than my heel I've never had any other injuries
Any people who have been a big influence for you?
Definitely Dan Varian, he's been a coach for me for a long while and we often get outdoors. It's very useful having someone who is stronger and more experienced than you, though we have slight contrasts in style which I feel helps us both out when working hard projects
Which have been your hardest boulder problems to date (worked and flashed) ?
I recently flashed tsunami 8a at Rubicon. In terms of hard projects I've never really worked on something for a significant time so I've more just been doing mileage of grades up to about 8a+. I've climbed some harder stuff abroad but they feel soft. One of my best hard blocs was super duper gene which I got the first ascent of a couple of months back at doh crag, Coniston. It links some hard 8a moves into a soft 8a higher start. I got it in my first session and graded it a 8a+. I've currently got 2 FA projects I'd like to put some time into over the winter graded around 8b+ and 8c but I'm keeping them quiet 🙂
Even from Dan?
No, we've been putting some work/sharing beta on both
Nice. Last question. Font or V grades?
Font for sure!