78 boulders 7B+ to 8A by Arief Nagara (12)

2 September 2022

Arief Nagara has done Mark's Traverse (8A) in Mortar Rock and Midtown Brown 8A (+) in The Freaks. Amazingly, the 12-year-old has now done 78 boulders 7B+ and harder including three flashes. The picture by his father Innosanto, is from Action Jackson 7C+ which he has not yet done.

How much do you take part in your son's climbing?
I mostly am just lucky in that I have a very flexible schedule, and I know climbing so I can take him wherever he wants to go. I was never much of a boulderer and I'm from the era before crash pads, so nowadays my role in that is mainly helping carry pads, spotting, and videotaping. For sport climbing, I'm more useful because I can assess any cleaning issues if he has to bail on a lead, etc. But really he is very self-motivated about climbing. He has had some really great coaches and mentors. As I said, I quit climbing 25 years ago. My sport is martial arts, and I'm an instructor at a dojo here in Oakland. But he discovered climbing himself. The fact that I could support him in it definitely helped of course, but he's mostly motivated by his team and coaches. I think the climbing community has been great too--after some initial presumptions by some people, most climbers are willing to take him seriously as a fellow climber.

If anything I try to step back as much as I can because dad as a coach or someone trying to relive my youth vicariously through his accomplishments is a mistake.

Before this year I didn't allow him to post grades with his sends, but with that much experience I feel he now has a strong sense of what climbing grades mean in relation to his sense of self as a person and as a climber, so it's okay to have fun with that. His base is pretty strong, with almost 80 sends V8 (7B+) or above. Some are of course going to be disputed. Some are "soft". Some are hard.

Arief comments on his send of Midtown brown: "I first tried it three weeks ago and over two sessions got some really good links. But it still felt impossible because even though I could do all the individual moves I could only do the crux in isolation once every five times or so. And I couldn’t do the crux when I started from the start. Plus the second part is hard. But then I went back this week I was able to repeat the finish pretty easily and did the crux in iso on my first try so I was feeling really strong. I started trying send goes and taking long rests in between, which is unusual for me. But it worked because I ended up having enough energy to send even though it was at the end of a five-hour session"


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