In my former interview with the duo behind the BoulderBox, I had laid out questions mostly related to architecture and design. I seldom underlined the experience both the co-founders bring to this space. By experience, I specifically suggest their know-how in regards to this sport.
Yadu, the co-founder at BoulderBox is a mathematician by education. A decade ago before he sustained an injury, he ran. The injury compelled him to leave running and he steadily took up climbing. At the time, it wasn’t known to Yadu that his liking to this sport would soon morph into an obsession.
That said, when you think of a mathematician, you think of his or her ability to execute intricate problems using analytical methods. I gather that, at some point, Yadu, too, was able to employ his capacity for reasoning and exercise it physically. The problem-solving in climbing poses some real challenges that are equitable to solving problems in other disciplines. The parallels that are drawn are self-evident.
So when Yadu went to Badami this last week, he came face to face with Samsara 8a, although, he coyly says, “it felt like a 7c”. Nonetheless, a sport route quite famous for its difficulty. It stands as a testpiece for those willing to take it up a notch. Through his feed I discovered that he had managed to send it on his fourth attempt, a proud moment indeed!
On one of our earlier conversations on projects, he had exclusively said that he doesn’t like projecting. I wondered if he had said that because of its seriousness. Whatever the reason may be, the fact remains that Yadu has come a long way in his pursuit of climbing.
On a personal level, I was curious to know what climbing Samsara, his first 8a, meant for him.
SC: How does it feel to send Samsara?
YB: I was undoubtedly excited in the moment of the send. A few shouts escaped me for sure. I actually got really ecstatic when I managed to get a no hands rest using a knee bar right before the final crux of the route. It meant that final section felt quite straightforward.
Not taking anything away from how happy I am with the send, I don’t think Samsara is an 8a sport climb for me. It felt closer to a 7c due to the large number of rests available on the climb. It is actually my first and only 7c sport climb as well.
SC: Would you consider yourself a disciplined climber?
YB: It depends on your definition of disciplined. I am a disciplined climber in so far as I climb without relying on motivation to do a session. My discipline lies in climbing even when I’m not feeling 100% because I know the primary path to improvement is through climbing more.
I don’t follow any particular training plan or program. I understand doing so might lead to faster gains in strength but I enjoy the freedom of mixing up my sessions as well as just playing around on the wall. I should mention that normally I do structure each session to improve a particular aspect of my climbing based on my current goals for myself. For example I did a lot of power endurance climbing in the run up to my trip to Badami by linking together boulder problems at BoulderBox.
In term of diet, the peeps at BoulderBox will tell you about the magically disappearing peanut butter in my presence so make what you will of that!
SC: Do you not like projecting because it demands a certain kind of rigid mindset or is it because it enables monotony?
YB: I don’t dislike projecting. I’ll do it if a climb feels worthwhile. But in my experiences so far I am normally on short climbing trips that are not very frequent. In such scenarios I find it more enjoyable to go do as many beautiful climbs as possible and ideally I aim to do climbs within 1-2 sessions.
SC: How often do you climb?
YB: I climb between 3-5 times a week.
SC: Have you returned to running yet?
YB: I got back into running a few years back but I’ve lost interest in it again. I don’t find it to be directly complimentary to climbing and thus prefer pursuing other activities - such as aerial silks/rope recently - that are as they are more time efficient in the pursuit of improvement.
SC: Do you have anything to say on obsession?
YB: Obsession is just another word with inconsistent definitions between peoples. To me, it means pursuing a task with full commitment but also to the extent that it is harmful in some way. To others it might mean an entirely positive characteristic. Am I obsessed with climbing? I don’t know but it definitely is a large part of my life.