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 By: Ignacio Sandoval Burón  | Date: 2009-02-02  | Category: Interviews    | Comment  
 8a.nu

TONI LAMPRECHT - "ANTONATOR"

Interview by Ignacio Sandoval Burón

 

Toni is another of the big names who gathered for the  Red Bull Psicobloc event in Mallorca. He’s  37 and has a vast curriculum spanning most of the rock free climbing disciplines, which, not very customarily, he combines with other passions such as playing on punk bands.

9a leading, 8C bouldering, 8c multipitch, 8c deep water soloing, FA’s in adventure terrain, etc., plus social concerns and job. I hope you enjoy his curriculum and the interview with this BIG and GREAT Bavarian dude.


 

Toni Lamprecht. Pic: Hagen Keler

Project "Le vieux el la mer" in Verdón. Pic: David Kaszlikowskiego (www.verticalvision.pl)

Antonator in Pontsaffair, 8c in Mallorca. Pic: Magnus Kaessmann (www.kaessmannphotography.com).

Assassin, Monkey and Man, 8C in Kochel: Pic: Udo Neumann (udini.com)

Toni climbing during the Red Bull psicobloc event in Mallorca.

Pic: Ignacio Sandoval Burón.

Lamprecht bouldering in Albarracín disguised like Spiderman -his "alter ego"-

Joe Brandinger, 8c multi pitch in Germany. Pic: Udo Neumann (udini.com)

        Lock, stock and two smoking barrels, 8a in Mallorca. Pic: Udo Neumann (udini.com)

Manara Potsiny, 8a multi pitch in Madagascar. Pic: Felix Frieder

Toni possing in Voralpen. Pic: Norbert Herrmann


- How could you define climbing and what have it meant to you so far?
Every day of climbing is like a big present for me. When I was a kid it meant absolute freedom. I hated rules in sports and so climbing was a playground, where we felt like anarchists – doing what ever we wanted. Like punks. Whenever there was a problem (school, girls etc.), I went climbing and so it became a pressure-release. That's what it is still for me. Bouldering after a stressful day is like being beamed into another world. I can totally forget about everything else – almost like living a second life beside my normal social habits. Climbing is being a kid again, stepping out into the world of adventures, explore new places, meet different people and visit beautiful landscapes! Being a tiger for a moment. There aren't a lot of better things in life.

 

- Please, sum your activity in 2008 up.
In January I've been surfing in Fuerteventura. After a break of almost 1 ½ years I started with hard bouldering again. We went on a trip to Albarracín, where I could
do the first ascent of a problem that I count as one of my ten best ones: "El Verano", a beautiful prow with powerful compression moves and technical footwork – an absolutely classic. Unbelievable luck that no one did it before...
After I came back I worked almost three months on the "Assassin", a long-term project in the area Kochel.


In May I climbed a bunch of hard routes and first ascents and went to Mallorca forPsicobloc. Then, I kind of ran out of motivation and made a few weeks of time out. It was perfect timing, because in July, a very old climbing friend motivated me again for an alpine project that we started to bolt more than ten years before. The result was a nice 12 pitches long limestone test piece – nothing special – but a very good, technical old-school route in the 7c-range, bolted ground up.

 

In August I drove with a group of friends to Verdón to get in shape again. We started to try a new route, but time was too short to finish it, but it is one of the most amazing lines there... End of August I was visiting Mallorca for the second time in that year to give "Es Pontas" a go. But I soon found out that I was chanceless in the second part and concentrated on the first part.

 

In October I bolted and solved some old hard projects at home, went back to Mallorca to finish at least a variation to "Es Pontas".


After another trip to Albarracín I started serious bouldering again in December. The year ended with an accident in Ticino, where I fell on my spine … shit no route
climbing until April, but bouldering without falling – so now I'm feeling stronger again!
  

 - Let's take the route you did in the Es Pontas' arch. Can you explain us on what it consist?

When I saw Chris trying the route for the first time I was fascinated by the place. On the first day there in 2005 I opened "Baby Sepia", a 7c-route left of Chris dyno festival. After seeing Chris already needied so long to do the first part I lost interest, because I knew how easy Chris was "walking" on other stuff in Mallorca like "Snatch" or "Smoking barrels". While he was flashing these routes I had to struggle or wrestle them down in the always changing conditions. That's the main problem there. And I really have to admit that climbing a route on the limit on sometimes
slimy rock seems like an unsolvable thing. On the other side are the good and try days rare. Thumbs up for Chris and his psyche to finish a project like "Es Pontas" that way.

 

After he did it, I felt interested again to try at least the first part with the dyno. In May I figured out the sequence to get there and jumped a few times without even reaching the height of the hold. But I was motivated, so I came back end of August for 3 weeks. After 3 days I realized, that I was always too tired to make a precise jump after reaching the crucial holds. To hold the swing seemed like an unsolvable thing. I heard that Ethan climbed a variation eliminating the jump. I rappelled a few times. First, in the upper part, where I saw only worse slippery sloppers than over the jump section, I only found a few holds to the left of the jump. Did Ethan climb there? I worked a sequence that brought me more and more left and soon I realized that it would be more of a variation anyway than the "Pontas".

 

The changing conditions made it hard to make constant tries. I can only imagine now, what a great achievement it was (even for a climber with the abilities like Chris) to climb an even harder part after this crazy first section. I ended up doing a new route, following the bouldery start of "Es Pontas" than climbing 5-6 meters straight with the route. Where he's traversing to the jump and finally traversing to the other side, "Pontasaffair" (the cheap version) follows under clings to a bouldery pinch-tuffa section. From there I reach a good hold and finish up straight. Nothing compared to the real "Pontas", but my attempt to end the affair in a soloable way...   


- Do you make enough money out of climbing to live?
When I was 16 and a pretty, strong climber I thought that a professional climber would live a life on the rocks getting money for whatever he wanted to do, as long as it had something to do with rocks. Soon I got strong and ended up with some sponsors (first shoes, then ropes, binners …). As soon as the money thing started, I realized that I got more and more pushed into a direction, where I had to do things
that I didn't like to (competitions, shows, courses, training seminars). This was not the climbing life that I had dreamed of, when I was 16. So the target to be a 100% sponsored climber dismingled very soon into a synergy between all my interests.


Maybe only climbing would have been too boring anyway, because there are other things out there. I'm very lucky that I have sponsors that support me, but never put any pressure on me now. And I never have to do anything strange to survive as a climber. I really appreciate that.

 

- What's your job then?
I make enough money from climbing to travel, but I work in a school for problem kids to pay my bills and my normal life! It's basically working 26 hours in the school and some time around that. But I'm very lucky, because I can climb nearly
every day I want to and I have a lot of holidays to go on climbing trips.

 

- I can remember a conversation I had with you in Mallorca about how you take this difficult teenagers out in the mountains to motivate them. Can you explain it
for the 8a.nu readers?
The work with social-emotional disabled kids is based on building a relationship. As long as you don't have any deeper relation to them it is impossible to teach them.


What I do is a trick: I use sport (especially climbing) as a bridge to get in communication with these kids that lost the confidence in a school system but also in their abilities. But they can have success in sport or out in the wilderness. They look up to you as someone they can rely on. When you manage to motivate them again to achieve something, you can start to teach them so that they will finish school and get a job one day. At least that's the ideal way. Sometimes in becomes true, sometimes not. But every problematic kid who is away from the streets can be counted as a success!

 

- Being out alone with all these guys seems potentially dangerous, apart of the big responsibility you take by doing it. What's your secret for making they respect
you?
Sometimes it is doing a one-arm pull-up, sometimes just making smarter phrases than them. If you are authentically, they learn to rely on you and when you give them 100% of your perception than they start to respect you. In the school I work 100% for them. On the rocks I climb 100% for me – that's the deal!

 

- Have you gotten any of these guys to start climbing? If so, do you think this fact (climbing) has made they have changed their behaviour and/or life?
Some of them really climbed for a while, because I liked it and they liked it, too. But it would be too much to say, that climbing by itself is so special, that it changed their life. It changed their self-confidence. But maybe that's what climbing does to all of us!

 

- What are your other interests apart from climbing?
Playing in bands, listening to music, skiing, surfing and spending time with my wife or good friends.

 

- You were a heavy smoker some years ago? How and why did you quit and how do you think it affects climbing performance?
I stopped it, because I got sick of it. Now I climb 9c, but don't tell anyone, because than they all will stop…

 

- You lived the Red Bull psicobloc event last year. What do you think about it? What things could be improved and which ones may remain?
It was a funny thing, although it was a little bit too commercial for my taste. Anyway, I met some very nice people that I will visit in the future, so what else can you
expect. Improvements: Miguel should be elected as the king of the Island with the help of these events. Just a joke, I wish that in the future it will be more open to everyone. I would like it more than being group-dependent. But they did a great job with the party, the boat with everything. Everyone who does something deserves my respect.

 

- I've heard you're thinking about moving to Mallorca. Is that right? What's so appealing in this island?
When you sit on a beautiful beach with your friends after a psicobloc-climbing day (where everyone was climbing at his limit) and you look into the sunset you know why!!!

 

- Your climbing heroes:

I had/have a lot of them, so I hope I don't forget anyone
In the 80 – Catherine Destivelle, Sepp Gschwendtner, Jerry Moffat, Wolfgang Güllich and Stefan Glowacz
In the 90 – Lynn Hill, Klem Loskot and Fred Nicole
In the 2000 – Josune Bereciartu (You have to put in the right name for me), Chris Sharma, Dave Graham and nowadays Adam Ondra although I don't know him
personally…
Multipitch-stuff: Beat Kammerlander, Tommy Caldwell and the Hubers for their visionary lines.
Bolting routes: I heard that Dani Andrada is even bolting at night to safe time – that beats my most fanatic times…
In general – everybody, who's modest and living his dream, climbing at his limit - doesn't matter how high on a grade scale that is…

 

- Your leiv motiv:
My Live Motiv is "Be happy with what you do as no other person is harmed by it"
My Leitmotiv is "Geht scho, druck o"

 

- Your thoughts to be shared with all the people:
There's not only climbing out there. Take every day, where you can climb as a privilege, always remembering, that there are people suffering from war, hunger and violence!

 

- Your best climbing experience:
That's a difficult one. I could count all my high end ascents now, but maybe it was my first meeting with Wolfgang Güllich. I was invited to a one-week training seminar, when Wolfgang came up to me shook my hand and just said "Hello, I'm Wolfgang". At the age of 17, I didn't know what to say to my climbing hero, so the well educated answer was just "Hello, Mister Güllich". Later in the week we started
training and climbing together and I realized what a modest and "earthed" person he was although already treated by everyone like a celebrity. I have made a lot of opposite experiences with climbers around the world (from being friendly to being totally arrogant), so it makes it even more worthy to see Wolfgang that way.

 

A really nice overall experience was the Greenland expedition in 2004, where we found a small island of absolutely unclimbed peaks. To explore the walls and finally make the first ascents together with good friends felt like something to me, what the pioneers in the days of Columbus must have felt. It felt like the best time, but in the end I was exhausted and really glad that I could go home again to see my girlfriend and my parents again!

 

- Your paradise in the Earth:
Cala Barca in Mallorca in 2003.

 

- Your favorite meal:
Nothing special, maybe the first real Bavarian brezel after a long trip or an expedition.

 

- Your favorite drink:
"Schorle" or Beer (Tegernseer Hell)

 

- Your favorite book:
Diary from Chuck Pamlia…

 

- Your favorite movie:
Fight club, Kill Bill

 

- Your favorite music/group of music:
Every kind of music as long as it is not commercial.
Groups: Hüsker Dü, Can

 

- Your advice/tip for every climber:
Don't take yourself too serious and don't be too selfish, there are already too many egos out there.

 

- Your worst frustration:
That there are forces in this world like stupid politics, war, diseases, social poverty (to name just a few) where I'm unable to do anything against them…

 

- Your climbing/bouldering project for this 2009:
Climbing beautiful routes in beautiful landscapes with beautiful people!

 

- Your best wishes for 2009:
Love, Peace and Understanding

 

 

Interview: Ignacio Sandoval Burón.

8a.nu