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
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.
...and it was a bit you were training for it! Did you do a lot of
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
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!
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 ©: FreakClimbing.com
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)
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