James Pearson

James Pearson

January 6 2009, 

On december 13th the Belgian Boulder Championship 2008 ended with a lecture by James Pearson. The perfect opportunity for a short interview with this young high level climber who still has a long future ahead! Only started climbing when he was 15 he now has, with his 21 years, climbed the most difficult trad route ever climbed (E12 7A The Walk of Life, september 29th 2008) and already flashed two Fb8b.

It seems like you are performing at high level in all kinds of climbing. You're a strong boulderer, you're one of Englands most known trad climbers and in sportsclimbing you reached the 8b+ as well. But you prefer bouldering, isnt it?

I try to make a mix between boulder and trad climbing. It's true that sportsclimbing is my weakest. If I'd live in Spain I imagine it would be otherwise. In my opinion a line has to be inviting. The sportsclimbing in Peak District is not very tempting due to difficult reading (same color all over), painfull grips and some more reasons.

You travelled already a lot, which climbing spot do you prefer?

I still havent been in Australia or New Zealand, nor have I been to the african continent or South America but I do enjoyed Asia. Thailand, Vietnam and Laos are very nice places. The climate isn't ideal for climbing but I do feel the people and the spirit you find there as unique and motivating. Switserland is such a nice place and beautiful country that I do have to mention it here. And then England and its gritstone, my homecountry. It's true that we dont have the ideal weather conditions but it really is a nice climbing destination.

Recently there's a lot to do about the E-grading system. What's your opinion?

Yeah, I noticed. It seems that to many people have to many opinions on grades. I used to be one of them as well but the more you think about it the more confusing it becomes. Each grading system is designed for something specific so trying to compare them isn't really an option. In fact you waste much of your life thinking or worrying about it. That time could be better spent. To much people on the internet spend to much climbing time on writing down these opinions.

Do you know something about Belgian climbing?

I heard about Nico and his performances. He came to England and did some cool stuff, in the Valley (Yosemite) as well. I heard about Greenspit, Cobra Crack,... It's an impressive list.
And then, Freyr maybe?? Berdorf is in Luxemburg, isn't it? Next year (2009) we plan a trip, 40 days, 15 countries and the 20 best 8a's of Europe. Maybe we'll include Freyr. We combine climbing days with days for press, sponsors and kids masterclasses.

What's so special about your masterclasses?

I was so lucky as to climb with a lot of strong climbers who could teach me a lot. So I didn't have to live through a whole sequel of trial and error. That's what I try to do in my masterclasses as well. I don't focus on physical training but instead work on techniques. It's more subtle but effective as well. I won't say one method is better than another but I believe in this one. And next to that it's true that I'm not really familiar with all kinds of physical training. I don't know much about Sports Science and the methods translated to climbing. I only started training myself recently

Sounds like we're going to hear from you again, then! Good luck!!!

James Pearson is one of the climbers you can see in action in Comitted Volume II, the latest film of Hot Aches Productions.
His partners: The North Face, Five Ten, Wild Country.



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