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 By: Jens Larssen  | Date: 2006-12-12  | Category: Interviews    | Comment  

Joey Kinder doing the relay interview with Paul Robinson, #7 in the boulder ranking.

A young buck from New Jersey now dwelled up in Boulder, Colorado.  Paul Robinson is a skinny, shaggy-headed, Crimp Pimp that has a smile on his face more often than Dave Graham sends 8c.  Paul represents a refreshing, young attitude toward climbing that can be hard to find at times.  He climbs because he loves it.  Not to be noticed, not to one up someone, and not to get the girls.  Paul is driven by passion and it shows.  He  has repeated nearly each and every testpiece in Colorado’s Front Range. From Dave Graham’s notorious Nothing But Sunshine 8B to Circadian Rhythm 8B/8B+, both are seldom climbed and often attempted.  He has the means of separating himself from every other climber around with severe tenacity and a determination that is proven for success.  Paul took some time away from his insane University of Colorado’s schedule to rap with me….check the format.


Pictures by Steve Woods
You are from New Jersey.  What kinds of ethics were you exposed to coming up in the North East?

I grew up bouldering, through this I have learned all my ethics.  I started climbing indoors on rope for my first few tears before discovering bouldering.  I mean obvious ethics learned, no chipping! Pretty much that’s it, just have fun with the sport and don’t hurt the rock in anyway.

I understand that you are not much of a route climber.  Why are there so many people climbing boulders and not climbing cliffs or mountains ?

I think that there are a lot of people climbing boulders today because it is more easily accessible than route climbing.  It seems to be somewhat “new age” and is really attracting younger people.  I climb boulders just because I have more fun doing it and it is always an exciting experience for me.  Also some of the crazy experiences I have had while bouldering I while never forget from sends to some intense times on those scary highballs.  One experience was last year In Hueco, after a good day of climbing Daniel, Jon, Vasya, and myself headed back to the campsite.  We were chilling in the tent and all of a sudden we heard some crazy sounds outside.  Being all scared we peep out and it was a freaking mountain lion!  So we just like go in gangsta mode, get out our bb guns and run out of the tent and just start shooting at it and running around the campsite. We were so scared of it, but it was absolutely hilarious afterward!

What are your favorite areas and why?

My favorite areas that I have climbed in are The Granite Areas of Bishop, CA, RMNP, CO, Joe’s Valley, UT, the Gunks, NY, Great Barrington, MA, and Hueco, TX.  I know that once I visit Switzerland , I will definitely have some new favorite areas and boulder problems!

It seems like its easy to team up with a dope crew here in Colorado …such motivation is key. Who is in your crew and why are they special characters?

First off, Joe, you best start bouldering again!  I never see you cuz you’re always out there clipping snatch links!  Well for a crew, lets see, Daniel Woods, totally rad to climb with him, super inspiring, and he is always forcing me to push my limits in bouldering.  Seth Allred, totally sick climber whose technique is just phenomenal, also super fun to climb with.  Jamie Emerson, Ryan Olson, and Angie Payne are super cool and amazing climbers too and ALWAYS cracking jokes while climbing!  Herm Feisner is strong, very inspiring and tons of fun to climb with along with Seth Meisel and Carlo Traversi.  Even though my girlfriend, Sarah Orens, doesn’t live In Boulder she is most definitely part of the crew as well along with Daniel's GF,  Laura Griffiths.

Who inspires you in climbing and outside of climbing?

Dave and Daniel are my true inspirations.  They are both super cool people who just love climbing for what it is.  I am always striving to become as good as them.  Moving to Colorado and being able to climb with Daniel on a really regular basis has helped my climbing tremendously and it is always great to chill with him as well.  Outside of climbing my dad is my true inspiration.  He has been through so much in his life but still lives everyday to the fullest and always seems to have a smile on his face no matter what.  Also he has been beside me and has supported me since day one along with my whole family.

Who in the USA should get more recognition for their climbing achievements?

Seth Allred, this kid is soooooo strong, but gets no recognition for it.  His climbing ability is phenomenal and always is super psyched on climbing. Another person I think should get more recognition is Jon Cardwell.  He is a super cool kid and super strong as well?

Is being recognized that

It all depends, if you don’t want to be recognized than it is not important at all.  But if you are like me and many other climbers in the United States that want to be able to support themselves through professional climbing then being recognized is a huge part of the sport.

Why are Americans weak-shit minus a select few?

Dedication. There are just not that many people dedicated enough in the US to pursue climbing to the next level.  I can only count a hand full of names that climb nearly as much as I do. I think it’s hard for people to get the time to climb as much as I do. But I also think there aren’t that many people who are dedicated enough to give everything in their life up to become the best rock climber in the world like a select few.

I have recently read criticism about 8a.nu in the late Alpinist 15.  Why are sport climbers and boulderers so much more involved with keeping scorecards than a climber placing gear and doing a peak?

I’m not quite sure. 8a.nu, I have found to be a great website for keeping a record of my climbs and seeing what other friends of mine who I don’t see that often have been up to. It seems that some people can get a little carried away and just be bouldering just so that they can add points to their scorecard, but I think the majority just likes the website for the reasons I stated above. I think the rankings are good for some but bad for others. If your goal is to climb some 8a so you can get in front of someone to be number 18 in the country then that’s no good. Gut if you use it to gauge yours elf and how you are climbing, then it is really productive.

What are your thoughts on the USA standards in all types of climbing?

Standards in climbing have been skyrocketing in the past few years. What once was a project for some of the best climbers in the world is now being flashed!  I’m not sure if this trend will keep going or if future generations will have a hard time getting past the bar that has been set by this generation.  I am not sure what is coming for future generations, but I'm super psyched on my own generation and the generation that is truly pushing the standards right now. I surely hope that the generation I am in will be able push the standards even further than they are today.

There have been many events of people being called liars here in Colorado. What are your thoughts on honesty in our little world of climbing?
Is there
any exception to the rule?
Well, honesty is the real world. People should not be calling others out. Climbing is a small low-key sport that should be based off of honesty. If someone tells me they do a climb I believe it and don’t go around doubting. Its just worth it, worry about your own climbing and let others do what they want. I was called a liar this summer. I was definitely pissed for a short time but then I realized that there is nothing I can do about it but climb even harder. If someone is convicted of lying then just deal with it and it will pass over. Once people see you are not lying and you are super cool for not getting all st ressed over it, they will see how good of a climber you are and how cool you are.

Are there specific rules that should be followed in climbing?  How do you think ethics (sometimes being so abstract) should be appreciated?

Not really, climbing is different for everyone and should be treated that way. That’s why climbing is so amazing.  There are no true set rules set in stone but I guess there could be some abstract type rules in climbing. Say u got a hard undercling sit start, the rule is you only get one pad to start. Or if you feel like you dab, then jump off.

Lets just say Prana just gave you one million
dollars.  If you have one year to spend it all, where do you go and what do you do?

Wow, that would be amazing!  First, I would straight up just quit college, I would be out of that soooo fast!  After packing clothing, lots of climbing shoes and chalk, and a crashpad I would head straight to the airport. First, Joe's Valley for a while then Hueco for 2 months. Then Switzerland for a while living in an amazing apartment somewhere in Ticcino. Stay there for a while living like a true gangsta. Then, maybe Font for a while.  Then hit South Africa for a while, climb a ton and possibly go swimming with some great white sharks in the ocean. And then with the rest of my money, go to Fiji and hang out on t he.Beach at a sick resort in the nice hot tropical climate with a bunch of friends!