Interview with Heath Norton

December 11 2001, 

What kind of mental disease do you suffer from? Giving up your social life to start a friggin' bouldering magazine. What was going on in your head, my boy? Why, oh why?

Must have knocked my head harder than I thought when I fell from that problem a couple months ago. Actually, I have always wanted to start up my own business involving something that I loved. A bouldering magazine seemed the perfect marriage between my design and business background and the thing I love which of course is bouldering. Plus I really sensed a need out there for something different that just wasn't being offered by the current pubs.


Okay, who talked you into this? I known you're not alone on this one!

It started off as my idea, then I started blabbing my big mouth off to all my friends about it and now I have several people joining me. Some ofthe people who help me out are my friends Kerrie (design), Roy (editing), Dan Patitucci (photography) and my friend Ed who helps with just about everything. I am sure you see the pattern here: it's mainly my friends and whoever else I talk to who wants to help out.


Is there going to be a 'sportswear' issue? Any naked chicks or guys? What's V Bouldering's angle?

Sportswear issue? Hmmm? Naked chicks... I'll put that down on my list. I am excited about the things that we are going to be covering, some of the articles are things you would expect like training and technique tips, topos to new areas and stuff like that. Those topics we are definitely going to cover. But some of the articles are a bit more out there, such as 'Climbing Pick upLines' and 'Hot Chicks that Climb' in this issue. In the following issue we are going to have an article about the current status of Hueco Tanks. We have talked to a lot of people and very few people seem to know the real scoop with what is going on out there. We want to clear that up.

We also are going to feature more articles on the soul of climbing, and we have the soul master himself Ron Kauk on board to help out in this area. The main focus though is short articles with an emphasis on fun, and with tons of pictures. In our issue coming out this month we have over a hundred photos.


Is there going to be lots of Eurotrashing? Is this an All-American mag? Why would non-Americans buy your rag?

I've gotten trashed with Euros before, but have never been into Euro trashing unless it is Eurotrash women then I love them. Right now we are working on expanding our international scope. In the next few issues the International section will be starting so look for some good reviews of areas from around the world. Primarily our focus right now is in America in terms of areas, but the articles about people, training and bouldering lifestyle have an international appeal. Next issue we are working on an interview with Bernd Zangerl (the other guy who sent dreamtime besides Frederique Nicole).


When are we supposed to bow down at your feet, oh überlord ofbouldering journalism?

This Month (December 2001) we will begin our plans for world domination. überlord, I kind of like the sound of that?


How's Vbouldering going to be different from what the other climbing mags have done?

First off, we write the majority of our articles in the nude. It is probably better that you just take our word for it and don't try to visualize... Actually when I first started out to come up with the magazine, I thought of just doing a bouldering version of the current mags, but after thinking about it, and talking with people I realized that boulderers are a little different. A little younger, a little rowdier, a little funnier, and suffering from short attention span syndrome. It was clear that a bouldering version of the current mags was not what was needed. Our magazine is all about getting you psyched to climb, and having fun. More pictures, more sequence shots of all levels of problems, more lifestyle articles, and definitely more humor. Also, more shots of women.


What's your stake in this? What if it doesn't go right?

Well to distill it down to it's essence, my ass is pretty much on the line,so it better work (Buy subscriptions now please...). If it doesn't go right I'll probably move to Mexico and change my name to Raul Guadalupe Romero; sing lounge versions of classics such as the Love Boat theme at run down night clubs in Juarez, and bandit climb in El Paso. As you can see my exit strategy is well in place.


Soo, how's the gigolo thing workin' in Yosemite? Still covering the rich old ladies? (Heath has a thing or two to admit about how he got the money to found his rag.).

I am actually starting a new diet plan for people who want to lose a lot of weight and crank harder. You just have to offer your gigolo services out to women in return for food (He learned it the hard way.), and this must be your only source of nourishment. I plan to lose a lot of weight under this plan, but I think that Sharma may gain a lot of weight, so our climbing abilities will start to even out. By my calculations he would only have to gain about 200lbs? okay 300lbs. Okay this doesn't help me much with the Mandala, but maybe I could reach to the top by standing on him after he fattened up a bit.


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