4 October 2023

Christoffer Barlow, 41, does Waka Flocka Flame (8c+)

Christopher Barlow has, at age 41, done his first 8c+ Waka Flocka Flame in Rifle (CO). "I got excited about Waka Flocka Flame kind of accidentally. I had done the two independent lines and started trying the link up mainly as training when it was too hot for other routes. Then, I started getting closer and more obsessed with actually sending it."

Yesterday, he also sent Nostalgie in Wasteland, as his first 8c in two years.

How have you managed to climb your hardest at age 41?
I think my progress is based partly on simply focusing on foundational strength and power for many years now. I honestly feel more "injury-proof" now than in my early thirties. I think my real superpower is my discipline and rather ruthless time efficiency. I've really distilled my life into mostly family, career, and climbing (and training). It's not for everyone, but it works for me.

What does your normal climbing week look like?
Due to my job (running outdoor adventure courses), my week can vary a lot. I try to align my climbing and training with that - lighter work times are for performance, moderate periods for training, and super heavy work weeks are when I rest. A "typical" week would include 1-2 short strength sessions, a few power-focused sessions, a day of "daddy rock climbing" (when I get to prioritize my climbing), and then another family climbing day, which can be anything from fun (with some focused climbing) to utter chaos.

How do you train?
I train mostly in my garage on a steep, short spray wall, hangboard, and weights. I usually train early in the morning when the rest of the family is still asleep or waking up. My workouts are shorter and very focused. Similarly, I really try to maximize my climbing days. I drive way too fast to the crag and hustle between pitches. I think I annoy most of my partners because I don't do much sitting around talking.

I definitely live at a pretty fast pace. I'm working on slowing down. I'll work after my kids go to bed or early in the morning to offset the time during a work day that I train and climb. I'll send work emails when resting between boulder problems. I'd like to think that my discipline and focus helps me have more time to enjoy fun with my family and the fun of quality effort in climbing.
Sort by:
Most commented
Jernej Kruder sends Martin Krpan (9a) sans knee pads

Jernej Kruder, who won the Boulder World Cup in 2018, has done Martin Krpan (9a) in Mišja Peč. “I would like to expose something here: I spent many tries on t…

Welcome to Vertical-Life Web

Six years after partnering with 8a.nu, we’re excited to announce the unification of the 8a.nu website and the Vertical-Life app into a single platform: Vertical…

Will Bosi repeats Return of the Sleepwalker (9A)

William Bosi has made the second ascent of Daniel Woods’ Return of the Sleepwalker (9A) in Black Velvet Canyon, after projecting it for 12 sessions. This was th…

The Crew 8c+ by Delaney Miller

Delaney Miller reports on Insta that she has done The Crew (8c+) in Rifle (CO). (c) James Lucas "The route meant a lot to me. I started working on it last year…

Kinder Cakes 9a+ by Jonathan Siegrist

Jonathan Siegrist has made the first repeat of Joel Kinder's Kinder Cakes (9a+) in Rifle (CO). "Intense and very physical roof climbing from the depths of the S…

Tyler Thompson does Planet Garbage (9a)

Tyler Thompson has completed Planet Garbage (9a) in Rifle (CO). ”Great route with a crazy low percentage dyno into a pumpy boulder and a hard endurance outro. S…