The next year, 2019, was my best year, I climbed the "Slovak direct", in the south face of Denali, Alaska. We were the first spanish guys to do so. In summer, I came back to Peru and tried to open a new route in the Siula Grande's east face. There aren't any routes in this face and we opened more than half of the face but, suddenly, we were hit by a few rocks and we had to go down. Later, in 2020 "coronavirus" appeared so travelling wasn't a possibility anymore..
I climbed Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy in the same season. In 2016. 2017 I became a father, and I climbed for the 1rst time the north faces of Droites and Drus in the winter season. In summer, on the other hand, I climbed the "Walker Spoor '' in the north face of Jorasses, and in autumn we climbed the Eiger's north face in very bad conditions. The next year, in 2018, I travelled to Peru, and I climbed in solo Alpamayo. after climbing the Sfinge ''la cruz del sur" and we tried to climb Jirishanka in Huayhuash. We couldn't get to the summit but we almost made it! In autumn I climbed another time in Jorasses north face, we climbed "Japan Couloir".
In summer I went to work in Chamonix because I am a mountain guide and, when I could rest, I had the opportunity to climb two of my dream routes: "Superintegral de Peuterey", and "Manitua" in Jorasses North Face. In September when I arrived home, I strictly started my first planned training which I still do nowadays and gave me the fruits of redpoints 8a + ..!
What most people don't know about me?
I'm "casteller", which means that I make human towers..!
When and how did you get into climbing and what kept you interested / fascinated in the sport?
I started climbing with my father. First we make mountainering in pirinees, and i was fascinated by the adventures I lived in those places. more later, with my father start to climb classic rutes and I see that climb was my live..! after, i know friends for go alone and start sport climb for win more tecnic and force..! but my interest are the big advenures..!!
I started climbing with my father. At first we made mountain trips in the pyrenees and I was fascinated by the adventures I experienced there. Later I began to climb classic routes with my father, and discovered that climbing would be my life. Then I met friends, and that made me want to improve my technique, my strength and my climbing skills in general. I discovered that it was the great adventures that I loved about climbing.
Who was your childhood hero and do you consider yourself a role model now? Does it influence you at all that other people look up to you?
I actually don't have a hero in my mind, but I do remember a book and a film that hit me. "Freney 1961" is a book that taught me that the mountains are not always as beautiful as they seem and that the line from a good adventure to a tragedy could be very thin. "Touching the void", on the other hand, is a film with which I learned that if you fight to the end, you can find and do great things such as life on itself.
I don't think so. But I feel that I influence a bit more people every day, and, to be honest, that remains in my mind. But I always try to be as natural as possible so it does not affect neither my daily life nor my climbing life.
What were the most important milestones in your life so far, both in climbing and in everyday life? Did you immediately recognize them as such or only later on?
My most important climbing I think that is Slovak direct in Denali's south face. In my daily life I've also had great moments, when I became a father was definitely a highlight, too, and my life changed. I hope that another big moment comes in June when I'm doing the final UIAGM Exams..!!
What were your greatest failures / setbacks / injuries? How did you cope with them and how did you come back from them?
I think I haven't had great failures... Maybe, at some point it's been difficult to find friends to go climbing on the routes I was dreaming at that moment.
What is your favorite climbing related story / experience?
While climbing a 500 meter mixed route (free and assisted) alone, 250 meters above the ground, I put a Blue Black Diamond Cam. When I went to clip the rope, I realized that, shit, I had no rope....
I was in a wonderful place enjoying the peace and quiet, in a very bad situation. I had lost my rope because this pitch was very vertical and had pulled the rope down by its own weight in my pocket. I was climbing with the rope in my backpack on my back and I was sure that I had tied a knot at the end of the rope to avoid this situation, but anyway, it didn't matter anymore. I was in the middle of a scary pitch with bad rock and not too many options. I continued climbing 12 meters rope-free and then clung to a couple of pitons.
It was cold, no one knew I was there, and I had no rope....
Fortunately, before I tried to climb down, I heard some people near the base of the wall and was able to tell them my situation.
This was many years ago, and the rescue teams were not as professional as they are today, I think. I had to endure 23 hours hanging on the wall, it was very, very cold, without warm clothes, water, food or the most important part, my rope....
Do you have a strict training schedule for when and how you train throughout the year?
Since September I have started to train seriously and I am very motivated. I do a sport climbing training to improve my technique and my strength to be able to do greater lines in the near future. I also go for a run twice a week, but I don't take this part of the training that seriously.
What advice can you give to somebody looking to improve their training routine?
I'm not the best person to give training advice because I haven't specifically trained for a long time so far... but my advice might be to listen to your body and stop training before you get injured. I think it is keeping training in a routine that makes you improve rather than being obsessed with the power of that training.
What do you think of indoor climbing gyms in relation to climbing on actual rock?
I think that indoor climbing gyms are a great tool to get fit and improve technique and strength. However, the crowd in these places offer you a totally different environment than the natural places. I'm talking about screaming on the walls, music around, dogs, trash or motorized vehicles. We should be conscious about these challenges and try to educate beginners altogether. I also think that climbing as a "get fit" tool has created another way (or at least not mine) to understand the mountains. This other vision is far from the beginning of the climbing philosophy, when the importance was the size of the adventure and not only the difficulty on itself.
Are you able to do a one-arm pull-up? How about a single finger?
I can make 1 arm pull up but not only with 1 finger..!
How much of the success as a pro climber is due to show and how much due to actual climbing skill?
I honestly think that I don't show a lot of my image and, thus, I succeed due to my climbing skills.
Is it possible for anybody to eventually perform a one-armed pull-up or get to the top of the Eiger/Matterhorn, or do you really have to be born for it?
I think that you have to be born with the necessary power of will... but if you want you find the way to any direction.
How important is it to set goals in professional sports? What are your goals / targets you are working towards in climbing and in life?
To have a goal helps you to find a way to do it. Without any clear objective, it's easier to unfocus on what you really want.
As a short term target, I would like to free-climb the "Divine Providence" in Pilar D'Angle in summer. I also want to go back to Perú to finish the line we started in Siula Grande! As a long term target, I would like to open a new line in a 7000m mountain. For example: opening a new route in G-IV..!
My goal in life is clear: enjoy happiness and live intensely every day we get.
How to you deal with extremely hard climbing problems? Do you ever get frustrated and give up on them or do they motivate you even more?
With determination. Trusting myself and being sure I can make it!
I sometimes get frustrated. But I try one the feet touch the floor again, forget about the frustration and look at the challenge with optimism and motivation to try it again as soon as possible.
Future of climbing
Is there anything you would like to change about the current developments in climbing?
I would like the collective to have more consciousness on the environment and to be more respectful with nature. There are more and more climbers every day and if we don't look after the space we share, we will end up creating unfriendly spaces for nature and for ourselves.
Where do you see the sport going in the next years, what will change and what is your role going to be in it?
I believe that sport climbing will evolve a lot. There's more information on how to train better everyday, and how to optimize your training. If climbing becomes an olympic sport, states would invest more money in that, helping future climbers to have a wider range of opportunities. In the alpinism world though, I don't think it is going to change much. Surviving cold, not eating enough, barely sleeping or pushing the suffering doesn't like most part of the society, that search for comfort.
My role as a mountaineering professional is trying to help consciousness to preserve the environment that we share. I want to try to take part in this important challenge we have as a whole society. From a sportive view, I want to spend time enjoying as much as I can in the activities I plan, never searching to feed my ego but always trying to get to my targets.