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 By: Ignacio Sandoval Burón  | Date: 2013-03-06  | Category: Interviews    | Comment  


By Ignacio Sandoval Burón

After some time observing Joe Kinder's prolific activity in the social media, reading his blog where he narrates his life as a pro climber together with descriptive pictures taken by himself and watching his videos, I've come to the conclusion that he's one of the most professional climbers when it comes to transmiting the "always psyched" message with which he always signs his e-mails, etc.

His enthusiasm for everything around our activity is exuded in each and every one of his creations which together with a ticklist that includes 9a's in sport climbing and 8B's in bouldering makes him one of the climbers that better instills everybody with a lifestyle that is admired and envied by most of us.

Joe climbing climbing one of his creations 'Joe Blau', 8c+ in Oliana. Pic: Carlos Padilla.

Colette training her shoulders with a driller. Pic: Joe Kinder.

Nice pic of the couple climbing in Oliana by Carlos Padilla.

Joe on 'Bunda Ja Fora', 9a in Acephale (Canada). Pic: Colette Mc Inerney.

Another shot of Joe in the same Oliana's route, 'Joe Blau'. Pic: Carlos Padilla.

Joe putting some bolts. Pic: Colette Mc Inerney.

One more in 'Joe Blau' in Oliana. Pic: Carlos Padilla.

The MAN by Colette Mc Inerney.

- What's so special about Spain?

We seem to visit Spain each year. Sometimes even twice a year! We have simply fallen in love with it.  I think what I am drawn to in Catalunya the most is the people. They are some of the most welcoming and heartfelt humans on earth. There’s no ego here and I love that immensely.  The style and variety of climbing here is the best in the world and I am constantly challenged because of all the new route development. When you add the stimulation of learning a new language and the cultural aspects you get the full package of a place I call heaven.

- And apart from climbing? What cultural differences have you noticed between Spain/Catalunya and USA? What things would you import from the USA to Spain and vice versa?

The biggest difference I notice between the US and Spain would be the pace of life. Things here run a lot slower when compared to the US.   It feels like there’s a lesser sense of urgency sometimes. In the US you can do anything at any time of day.  Like, anything! Businesses are always open and everything seems super convenient. That being said, I’ve really learned to enjoy the tranquillo pace of life here in Spain. There’s definitely a place for both types of paces in life, and I’m happy to be able to enjoy both. 

I would definitely import Mexican food, fast Internet, cheap gas, and micro brew beers from the USA.  These are definitely the things I miss most! From Spain I would bring ALL OF THE ROCK, tufas, Dani Andrada, pastries, wine, and the Spaniard’s appreciation of life.

- I've heard you and Colette are learning Spanish... How is it going? Have you experienced any progress? Did you study it while you were in school or just started with it now? Is that a first step in coming to live in Spain?

I think it’s definitely helped to start with a base. Colette and I did take Spanish in high school, but that was a long time ago.  Studying here has been great, but at the same time the most important thing is to be immersed and not to be around English speaking people too often.  We have had a lot guests here from the USA and it’s really easy to get into the habit of only speaking English.  Luckily Colette and I both have friends who we are able to speak with. They are very patient with us and this is key.  My buddy Dave Graham keeps telling me to just speak with la gente de la calle and this is true for forcing yourself to learn.  You just have to keep challenging yourself.  I do believe you should speak some of the language before you visit a country as it shows respect as a visitor. 

- What other areas apart from Catalunya have you visited in Spain so far and what are your favourites?

Catalunya is our favorite for sure.  I have been to the Costa Blanca, Cuenca, Rodellar and a few other spots. But surely this is our favorite as now we have a great community of friends, never ending projects, and at this point we feel at home here.

- If I'm not wrong you experienced a change in your climbing lifestyle in respect to bolting after knowing Dani Andrada... Is that right? If so, what did you find so appealing in that and what areas have you helped to develop in The States?

There are climbers that inspire me on a different level and Dani is one of them.  Dani Andrada is someone who I admire for his commitment, love and pure drive for everything involved in climbing.  Dani is what we call a “lifer” in climbing and isn’t about showboating or being some goofy sponsor puppet.  He loves climbing in every way and it’s obvious when you meet him.  He is an utter fanatic and this is something I identify with.  I love rock climbing more than anything and seeing someone else so outwardly stoked is awesome to me.  He bolts because he loves it...  It’s the same for me.  He climbs because he loves it more than anything… same for me.  If Dani were poor and with nothing he would still be climbing… Same for me

- In your webpage you write that you observe and look up to Dave Graham and Chris Sharma. What is special about each of them? What differences and similarities do you find between them? Is there any other climber out there that you admire?

Dave and Chris have always been around since I started climbing.  I met and started climbing with Dave when we were pretty young and just starting, so a lot of my ethics and principles have been obtained from Dave.  Dave is another person who shows utter love for climbing and is a pioneer of the sport.  No one has put up as many hard boulder problems all over the world as he has, and his drive and energy are contagious.  The dude is one of my favorite people to climb with and one of my favorite people on the planet.

Chris is someone who I look up to in so many ways.  He is an insane climber and very gifted.  I personally believe that climbing is something that is just innate for someone like Chris. When you watch him climb it’s obvious he was made to do it.  He is more motivating to climb with than most people I know, and at the same time so mellow and grounded.  Chris has a lot of traits I wish I had in my character, like not being fazed by the little annoyances in life.  He takes things in stride so well and I think this transfers into his climbing well. 

Dave and Chris both have been huge inspirations in my climbing life, and always will be. I am inspired with unique styles, energy and those who are visionaries.

- How do you make your living out of climbing? Videos, webpage, etc? Or is it just because you're such a good climber? Is it easier to make a living as a climber in the USA than in Spain?

It’s been a long road creating a sustainable life as a climber. It was never anything that just happened over night. I have been climbing for 18 years and working with sponsors for 15. So I have a long history with many of the companies that I work with and even longer history with the outdoor industry as a whole. Over the past 7 years I have also supplemented my income with making videos for sponsors and videos about climbing. I’m lucky to say that I live my dream and make money from it as well.

I don’t believe it’s “easy” to make a living as a climber anywhere. I will say I think the requirements and obligations for sponsored athletes in the US are different than in Europe.

- In Spain we don't know much about your girlfriend although I've heard she's quite a strong climber. Could you provide us with some hard facts about her, or better, why don't you ask her to introduce herself?

Colette is my partner and my true love.  She is probably the most supportive person in my life and is also my favorite climbing partner.  She is a strong climber for sure and is well respected in the USA.  She has now climbed her first 8b and is working on 2 more plus an 8b+.  She is someone who keeps me grounded, challenges me, and encourages our crazy lifestyle to the point that it doesn’t even feel strange anymore.  Wherever Colette is I am home.

- What importance do you give to having a climbing girlfriend and at what extent is she a support in your career?

She is my partner in climbing as well in our business pursuits.  We make videos together, which means we create them as partners from the beginning to end. This includes the shooting, editing, and storyboarding.  Everything I do involves her in one way or another, and I am very lucky to have a support like her in my life. 

- I think you are really happy when you see a black coloured climber... Where does that 'obsession' come from? Why do you think there are no that many of them into climbing?

I think the correct term would be “minority” climbers. HA!  This is a funny question to me… I have always been influences by African American and urban culture in my life in terms of art, music and style.  In turn, I suppose I’m always excited when I see black climbers in what I consider a predominantly white sport. 

- How much effort do you put into editing a video? Can you explain the process to us?

There is a lot of effort when it comes to creating a movie.  The rough breakdown is having a filming day, shooting the climber from two angles and multiple times depending on angles, light, and slow-motion capabilities.  Then I arrange the footage and start editing.  Of course there is a lot more to it than that on the creative end, but I come from a painting background and like to allow the video piece to form and develop itself during the editing process.  I rarely have a set formula for my videos, at least on a conscious level.

- I think you were shaped as a climber in Rumney. How is climbing there and what things did you acquired there that you wouldn't have if you had started in other areas?

Rumney is a rad series of cliffs.  I wouldn’t call it world class, but there are some seriously great routes there.  The climbing is really bouldery and relentless.  Now when I visit there I am glad I have completed what I did, because the style is so mean and thrutchy I wouldn’t want to have to do those routes again!  Growing up there taught me how to deal with conditions, crimp hard, and appreciate what you have.

- Do you like bouldering? Do you practice it? If so, in what proportion in comparison with sport climbing? Any experience in trad or multi-pitch climbs?

Bouldering is awesome and I wish I did it more.  I always get caught up and focused on a hard project however.  When I go bouldering it takes me a minute to get into the swing of it all, but I do re

ally enjoy it.  At the end of the day I would much rather go climb a route than a boulder, but it always depends on the mood and what the climb is.  And… this summer I am eager to do some trad climbing.  I have a few plans and they may even be more than I can handle! But, why not? It’s all just climbing right??!! 

- What climbing spot would you strongly recommend to someone visiting the US and why?

For sport climbing the Red River Gorge is awesome for the international crowd.  The style is pretty simple, but the ambiance is awesome and it’s a unique part of the USA. But really climbers from Europe should probably check out the crack climbing in Yosemite, Indian Creek or the bouldering in Hueco, or down South.  Those are styles of climbing that are unique to the States.

- How do you imagine yourself in 10, 20, 30, etc. years? Still climbing?

In the future for myself…well… climbing for sure probably in the same psyched-up-mind-state as always and enjoying life.  Who knows… maybe buy a house here near Chris & Daila…?

Colette Mc Inerney on 'Sweet Thing', 8a in Acephale (Canada). Pic: Joe Kinder.