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  • MoonDeluxe Large Pad by MoonDeluxe Large Pad
Sport Climbing 07 November 2005 - 12:49:38 Posted by Freak      

Richard Simpson and his Action Directe: interview

Again we went "direct" to the protagonists!
Were you wondering about the only insights missing for the Action Directe serie?
Here we go: Richard Simpson!

Moon Climbing

Interview by Daniel Vecchiato

Well congratulations man! You made it!
Yes thanks, I have: haven't I! It was hard work but definitely worth it!

It was a bit you were thinking about it. Isn't it?
Yes I have always wanted to climb Action Directe, because for me it was the last route to do to follow my hero Ben Moon's footsteps and repeating all the old classics. Now I can hopefully go ahead of Ben and complete the stuff he didnt have the time to do.

Richard Simpson on Action Directe - Ph: Alex Messenger
Richard Simpson & Action Directe
Ph: Alex Messenger /Moonclimbing
...and it was a bit you were training for it! Did you do a lot of campussing?
Yes I did some campus boarding on one and two fingers: on one finger i could do 1-4-7 and two fingers 1-5-8.
I also did lots of one armed pull ups and some normal bouldeinig.

How long did it take you to get that 1-4-7 with monos?
I dont really know, I have always been very stong in pockets especially one finger. I tryed to campus on one finger and could do it so just built up over a year to get 1-4-7, at first I could do 1-3-5. Also doing one armed pull ups on one finger helped me alot to achive this strength.

You looked pretty confindent about Action. Weren't you worried to do not get it? In fact it is a route that has rejected many famous climbers.
No! I was not worried at all about failing. I am not scared to fail, in fact failing inspires me. So long as i give my best then i can not do any better, if I succeed its a bonus, but for me the goal is to be fully tested and give my best on a route, nothing else matters.
Yes obviously when trying to climb a hard rotue there are laot of things that you cannont control such as the weather for example. Especially in the Frankenjura the weather is unprdictable at the best of times so it was always in the back of my mind that i could work really hard but not get the conditions to succeed. Fortuanately it was ok. With terms of been injured etc, this was not a worry, I have never feared injury since i am very lucky that my body allows me to adapt very quickly to hard trainging etc, I was overly strong for this route, my tendons where used to alot more punishment form my training. So long as I was well warmed up injury was not an issue. However I can imagine that htis route could end a climbers career quite easily if their tendons where not up to the job. It is very fingery indeed!

Richard Simpson on Action Directe - Ph: Alex Messenger
Richard Simpson & Action Directe
Ph: Alex Messenger /Moonclimbing

Did you find out a specific "personal sequence"?
Yes my sequence was the most "direct", I am the onyl person to have climbed the Wolfgang's sequence, it now seems that people got to the right in the middle: it is more moves but easier. For me I wanted to climb it the Wolfgang's way in the middle, it was very powerful and direct and probably harder, but for me it's better, it has history.

What has been the hardest piece of sequence for you (or what did you find particularly hard on Action)?
Just to link Action was the problem! I was not limtied physically with the moves, in fact I could do them very easily. But the whole route is hard and it dosen't give in, you can fall off on any move, even the last one. It's just a problem of redpointing it.

How did you celebrate your ascent?
I celebrated my ascent by climbing Unplugged 9a. Then I eat alot of cakes and generally chilled out for the rest of my trip. It was nice to just hang out and spend some time thinking about my life and what I want to do next.

Is Action harder than the other stuff you have climbed?
Yes it is the hardest thing i have climbed, I have tried harder routes, but never succeeded in them. It is a good hard route!

It seems you often go for "super-classic" hard stuff. Do classic routes have a special meaning for you?
Yes I have no interest in climbing stuff with no history. I want to complete all the old hard classics which contain history. Kind of following in my hero Ben Moon's footsteps. I have no interest climbing overgraded routes like most of the new ones. I am just keen to climb the old school stuff which is properly graded.

Any particular anecdote about your Action Directe experience?
Yes I enjoyed the whole process. It gave me exactly what I wanted from a climb, to be inspired and to be tested and also to succeed. I was so pleased to have climbed it, a feeling that will be hard to beat.

Thanks and keep in touch Rich!

Source and :

Action Direct ascents:
- Wolfgang Gullich (1991)
- Alexander Adler (1995)
- Iker Pou (2000)
- Dave Graham (2001)
- Christian Bindhammer (2003)
- Richard Simpson (13/10/2005)
- Dai Koyamada (15/10/2005)
- Markus Bock (22/10/2005) Climbing

More on Action Directe:
Markus Bock words about Action Directe
Dai Koyamada's first press release on Action Directe + pictures

More on Rich Simpson:
The pictures of Richard Simpson on Action Directe online NOW
Unplugged for Richard Simpson
Richard Simpson repeats Action Direct!!
Stammina Band/Pump up the Power 8c+/9a for Richard Simpson
8b onsight for Richard Simpson
Richard Simpson getting ready for Action Direct
Hubble repeated by Richard Simpson!
Moffat's 'Liquid Amber' repeated by Simpson

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