When and how did you get into climbing? What keeps you interested? What fascinates you?
I started climbing at school with a friend when I was 12 and have been doing it ever since. I just love being outside and being able to climb in new places on different rock all the time. I am most interested in putting up new boulders in the Grampians
Who were your childhood heroes?
Ben Moon, Jerry Moffatt, Wolfgang Gullich
Do you consider yourself a role model now? Does it influence you at all that other people look up to you?
I definitely don't think of myself as a role model, mostly because I don't even consider myself a proper grown up... I'm really just someone who loves climbing and have been lucky to do all the cool stuff that I have. I occasionally have people recognise me and come and ask me questions about areas etc, but I don't think people look up to me, especially since I'm shorter than most of them.
What have been the most important milestones in your life so far, both in climbing and in everyday life? And did you recognize them immediately as such or only later on?
Wow, a pretty far reaching question. Definitely burning my friends off for the first time makes me most smug! Especially Julian Saunders, though that was so long ago, I can barely remember...
In climbing, I always wanted to climb Ammagamma in the Grampians. I achieved that dream in 2010, but really I'm most proud of the First Ascents that I have done and the amazing friends that I have made along the way. Outside of climbing, I am self employed and in business with my brother. We own a couple of restaurants and I am so happy that we are able to work together. We are so different, but somehow that works. It has been an amazing experience and we have been very lucky, especially since no one else would ever hire me now, I am almost unemployable!! With climbing I feel that I get to recognise my achievements immediately, but also it is only upon reflection that you understand the full scope of what you have been able to do.
What were your greatest failures / setbacks / injuries? How did you cope with them and how did you come back from them?
This will be a long list. My other main sport is Jiu Jitsu, so injuries are a constant, especially as you get older. I have had knee, shoulder and elbow surgery. I have detached a ligament in my finger as well. So, I have had a lot of injuries over the years. I seem to be able to stay rather positive and just work back to climbing as best I can as quick as I can. Most importantly, you must keep active. There is always something that you can do, whether it's riding a bike or stretching and strengthening unaffected areas.
What is your favourite climbing-related story / experience?
I think my favourite experience is any day where I get to climb with a big group of friends, particularly on new problems. This has happened a lot over the last 15 years and makes me very happy. Of course there are other highlights, climbing projects that I have tried for ages, or surviving hard solos or highballs, but the fun and comradeship of bouldering together is the best.