Woods explains his successful 9A insanity

3 April 2021

Daniel Woods shares his totally amazing “Into the Wild” story of doing the FA of Return of the Sleepwalker 9A in Red Rock, with a perfect “Hollywood ending”. Previously, the 31-year-old had never projected a boulder for more than 15 days but this time he worked it for five months, not counting doing (the stand) Sleepwalker 8C+ in 2019. On Insta he has talked about the obsession and "how comfortable can you become with your own insanity." (c) Bobby Sorich

Could you please describe the process of taking it down and the "insanity"?
In order to get fit enough to do this line I only climbed on it for 3 months straight. Literally had one day where I went and tried something else. I told myself that complete obsession had to occur in order to understand how to perfect the movement on this climb. The upside to this approach is that I got fuckin strong on it. The downside was I really got into my head in a way that I had never done before. Sleep was deprived, I was alone a lot for the last 2-week portion of the sessions. Being alone is both depressing and empowering. I had to create my own positive energy in times where having energy from others would have helped a lot. I struggled to understand my reason for continuing to try it. I had many instances where I was like “dude just move on, climb other shit, go get stronger at home, and come back fresh next year. But this was a cop-out in the end. Something in me wanted to get the job done this season.

The final 16 days of my trip I put myself in complete isolation in the desert and camped. Every night I just watched video footage of myself on the line to stay psyched. I started talking to myself a lot as if someone was there with me haha. The final week the climb was starting to feel more stressful than fun. I’d wake up every morning with butterflies in my stomach, anxious to know if I could get one more move further or not. Waiting for the point where I was gonna see regression and then that was it for my motivation. But each day I told myself to go one move further... every day was just a training day to get fitter. 2 days before I sent I stuck the final move and fell kicking my toe hook up into the final end jug. I knew then that I had sent... but didn’t. I also knew I had one more good day left before conditions were too hot to do it. I put everything in on that final day and sent. Sent alone (got iPhone footy of the send). It was a powerful feeling doing it alone. My friend Jon Glassberg walked up as I was preparing for the final slab and filmed me topping out. Was a fuckin dope experience that I will take with me into the next projects.

So for the insanity piece of my statement, I felt crazy as fuck in my head. I had to accept this feeling of self uncertainty and rise above. My head was my most important muscle in getting the job done. Blocking out negativity and constantly creating self-reassurance.

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