SmithRock.com LogoSmithRock.com Logo SmithRock.com Alan Watts Interview
SmithRock.com Powder in the Eyes
Hangdogging on Powder
in the Eyes (5.12c) in 1986

Alan: There were routes in other part
of the country that were going up in
what was then considered to be in
really, really bad style -- which is
how they would have considered
these new routes at Smith Rock.
Other climbers that were climbing
in "bad style" were climbers like Todd Skinner...and Christian Griffith was
no purist, either.

And, even before that, people like
Mark Hudon, Max Jones, Ray Jardine
and Tony Yaniro -- and the way people
like that were climbing, was new. But
it was different. It wasn't like they were
rappelling and bolting on rappel, or
anything like that.

They were rebelling against an ultra-pure
style, a Jim Erickson type of style out
of Colorado where the ethics were
EVERYTHING; a religion essentially.

They were doing a whole variety of
things, hangdogging, pre-placing some
nuts, yo-yoing -- all sorts of different
tactics that challenged the purists'
methods of the day.

SmithRock.com: Speaking of methods
of the day, what kind of training were
you doing back then to get in shape
or stay in shape?

Alan: I was pretty much just climbing,
that's really what I was doing. I would

do a little bit of finger work, but there
weren't any hang-boards back then,
or plastic holds. If there would have
been climbing gyms -- that would
have been wonderful! But there
weren't, and I pretty much just
climbed. If I had known to train,
and could have devoted more time
to that, I think it could have made a
real difference. But back then, if I
was climbing 20 or 25 days a month
already and I wanted to get better,
then the way to get better would be
to climb 30 or 31 days a month.
That was my attitude and what I
was doing.

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