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Recently, we contacted the world-class professional climber Daniel Woods for an interview.  Daniel is one of The North Face’s sponsored climbers and to help us get an understanding of what it is like for a young professional climber he kindly accepted the invitation for an interview…

Daniel Woods’ Background

Image Source: danielwoods.us

Image source: danielwoods.us

Born in 1989, Daniel has had a resounding climbing career for someone so young.  Daniel has put his stamp on bouldering from a very young age – entering his first competition when he was just 8 years old!  Since then he has continued to test the capabilities of a climber on some of the toughest climbs around.  He takes great pride in testing his climbing abilities across both bouldering and sport climbing of which he his topping the scale of difficulty ratings in both sports.  (See career highlights at the bottom).

Daniel is a well recognised climber in the field, with prominent climbing successes across the USA and around the world.  Here’s an insight into his life as a professional climber…

Interview with Daniel Woods:

CheapTents.com: What inspired you to get into Climbing?

Daniel: I started climbing at the age of 5 and did it just because it was something to do.  At the time I was too young to develop a passion for the sport and I had not tried any other activities as well.  When I was in middle school, I participated in team activities through my school and quickly found out that they were not for me. I switched my attention back over to climbing and my dedication for the sport grew every year and has led to where I am now.

My inspiration came from knowing that it is not a team sport, but a self sport.  I liked knowing that if I won a competition or completed a goal outside, it was myself who did it and not the team.  Rock climbing just felt natural and right to do.  I love the feeling of different types of rock and formations and the possibilities that they offer.  Also, knowing that what you can do with climbing is endless and there will always be a knew challenge out there is very inspirational.

CheapTents.com: What has been your biggest sporting achievement?

Daniel: So far my biggest achievement is balancing my bouldering and sport climbing.  I started out as a sport climber then switched gears to bouldering.  Bouldering has been my life for the past 7 years with an occasional trip to try a hard sport route.  I feel like I have met all my goals so far for bouldering and now am psyched to see what I can do on a rope.  In the past couple of weeks I have climbed harder on a rope than ever and hope to continue pushing my limits.  I want to be pushing my standards for bouldering and rope climbing simultaneously.

CheapTents.com: What is you biggest weakness?

Daniel: My biggest weakness is my experience level and “head game”.  I have a bunch of power, but lack when it comes to doing a climb on flash or on-sight, or developing the easiest method for completing a climb. In competitions, I can do really well once the pressure kicks in, I let my head get the best of me.

I need to learn how to be a smarter climber and control the pressure.  Strength isn’t everything, experience and confidence go a long way!

CheapTents.com: When did you feel like you ?made it? in your field of outdoor sports? And do you feel like you’ve satisfied your goals?

Daniel: At 13 I was brought onto the map.  I had La Sportiva and Sickle as sponsors, was winning junior competitions and placing podium in junior World Cup events overseas, and I was appearing in magazines. This was the beginning and since then so much has changed.

I would say that at around 17 I made my hobby into a dream. I signed on with The North Face which was the best move I have ever made in climbing. They have made my goals come true and provided me with the best product out there on the market. Also, La Sportiva, Petzl, and Organic stepped in to help me achieve my goals.  Now I am able to travel and develop/repeat hard climbs all over the world.

As for goals, I feel like each year I satisfy my goal then keep setting the next goal higher. I am satisfied with what I have completed and set up, but want to keep on going. That is the best part about climbing… there are no limits!

CheapTents.com: What do you find most challenging about training?

Daniel: The most challenging thing about training is motivation. All I want to do is climb but I recognize that some things cannot be done unless I get stronger or have more experience. I used to do the typical training such as pull ups, push ups, ab workouts, 1 arm hangs and pull ups etc. but it got too boring. Now I feel the best method is to climb as much as possible and travel to new areas with new stone. Your psyche is maintained and you gain more experience.

CheapTents.com: What has been your worst injury (if any), from outdoors sports and how did it happen?

Daniel: So far no injury knock on wood!

CheapTents.com: What will be your most challenging climbs for next year?

Daniel: Next year, my goal is to compete in all 8 of the world cup events in Europe and try to make podium at each one.  As for sport climbing, I have my sights set on many routes in the 14d/15a region such as Realization, Jumbo Love, and Action Directe.  As for Boulders, I want to repeat Fred Nicoles Terremer in Hueco Tanks which is v15 and also James Litz Warpath in Castle Rocks, Idaho which is an unrepeated v14.  Along with repeating climbs, I want to develop my own lines as well for both sport climbing and bouldering.

CheapTents.com: Where would you like to be in 5 years time? Main Ambitions?

Daniel: In the next 5 years I want to be pushing the standards of climbing as well as being a good ambassador for the sport.

CheapTents.com: For other budding outdoor sports enthusiasts, what tips can you provide to help other compete at a higher level?

Daniel: The best tip is to stay confident and maintain your motivation. That is the number one thing that always gets you in taking things to the next level is motivation of the work that is involved. Also it is important to have fun and enjoy your surroundings and company. When you are positive and motivated, then anything can happen.

CheapTents.com: What are your favourite bits of gear, and why?

Daniel: My favorite coat is the [The North Face] Nuptse Jacket at 700 down for those cold days, the motoring pant which is light weight for bouldering, the patrol 35 daypack which is light weight for longer hikes but can hold a good amount of gear if you are just wanting to go climb/hike for the day, and the Orion down sleeping bag.

CheapTents.com: Any people or sponsors that you’d like thank?

Daniel: I would like to thank The North Face, Petzl, La Sportiva, and Organic bouldering mats for making it possible to live the dream.

CheapTents.com: Anything else you would like to say?

Daniel: Have fun with climbing and enjoy the places that it allows you to go.
CheapTents.com: Thanks Daniel, on behalf of our visitors to our site and ourselves for providing such an honest and inspiring insight into climbing at a professional level.  And keep on enjoying and accomplishing your goals!

Watch Daniel Woods in action:

Daniel Woods 1998-2008 Competition Highlights:

2008 Mammut Bouldering Championship II – UT
2008 Teva Mountain Games (World Cup) – Vail, CO
2008 UIAA Bouldering World Cup – Hall, AUT
2007 UIAA Climbing World Championship – Aviles
2007 Mammut Bouldering Championship II – SLC
2007 Teva Mountain Games – Vail, CO
2007 SCS National Championship – Miami, FL
2007 Mammut Bouldering Championship – Fairfield
2007 ABS8 National Championship – Timonium, MD
2006 USAC National Championship – Portland, OR
2006 Teva Mountain Games – Vail, CO
2006 Teva Mountain Games – Vail, CO
2006 UIAA Bouldering World Cup – Rovereto, Italy
2006 Mammut Bouldering Championship I – Fairfield
2006 USAC National Championship – Everett, MA
2006 ABS7 National Championship – Boulder, CO
2006 Mammut Bouldering Championship – Timonium
2005 Triple Crown – Horse Pens 40 – Steele, AL
2005 Vedauwoo Bouldering Comp – Laramie, WY
2005 Sendfest – Salt Lake City, UT
2005 USAC Youth National Championship – Boston
2005 Teva Mountain Games – Vail, CO
2005 ABS6 National Championship – Berkeley, CA
2005 USAC National Championship – San Francisco
2005 ABS6 National Championship – Boulder, CO
2004 UIAA North American Championship – Mexico
2004 UIAA North American Championship – Mexico
2004 Triple Crown – Hound Ears – Boone, NC
2004 World Youth Championship – Scotland
2004 USAC Youth National Championship – Sac.
2004 USAC SW Division Youth Championship – Den.
2004 Teva Mountain Games – Vail, CO
2004 PCA Season 3 – Tour Championship – Boulder
2004 Phoenix BoulderBlast – Phoenix, AZ
2004 Tour de Front 03/04 – Front Range, CO
2004 Smackdown! 5 – Timonium, MD
2004 PCA Season 3 – SLC Slam II – Salt Lake City
2004 ABS5 National Championship – Boulder, CO
2003 World Youth Championship – Bulgaria
2003 USCCA National Championship – Richmond
2003 USCCA SW Division Youth Championship – CO
2003 Phoenix Bouldering Contest – Phoenix, AZ
2003 Boulder Climbing Series – Boulder, CO
2002 PCA Season 2 – Boulder Brawl – Boulder, CO
2002 USCCA Youth National Championship – OR
2002 Phoenix Bouldering Contest – Phoenix, AZ
2002 Boulder Climbing Series – Boulder, CO
2001 JCCA National Championship – Michigan
2000 JCCA National Championship – OR
1999 JCCA National Championship – Richmond
1998 JCCA National Championship – Denver
4th
5th
3rd
43rd
3rd
1st
3rd
2nd
1st
1st
1st
3rd
12th
1st
1st
1st
1st
1st
1st
7th
1st
1st
1st
5th
1st
3rd
1st
7th
3rd
1st
1st
2nd
2nd
8th
1st
1st
9th
9th
2nd
2nd
1st
11th
1st
49th
1st
1st
1st
8th
1st
1st
13th
Men’s Open Bouldering
Men’s Bouldering
Men’s Bouldering (learned alot)
Men’s Bouldering (lot to learn)
Men’s Open Bouldering
Men’s Open Bouldering
Men’s Open Difficulty (long flight!)
Men’s Open Bouldering
Men’s Open Bouldering
Male Youth A Difficulty
Men’s Open Bouldering
Men’s Open Speed Bouldering (crazy)
Men’s Bouldering (1st WC)
Men’s Open Bouldering
Men’s Open Difficulty
Men’s Open Bouldering
Men’s Open Bouldering
Men’s Open Bouldering
Men’s Open Bouldering
Men’s Open Bouldering (bicycle!)
Male Youth A Difficulty
Men’s Open Bouldering
Men’s Open Bouldering (2-for-2)
Men’s Open Difficulty (US Team)
Men’s Open Bouldering (US Team)
Men’s Open Difficulty
Men’s Open Bouldering
Men’s Open (newbie)
Male-B Difficulty (bronze medal)
M14-15 Difficulty
M14-15 Difficulty
Men’s Open (missed tying by 1 fall)
Sent 7 of 8 problems, and flashed 6
M14-19 Non-local
Men’s Open
Men’s Amateur
First Finals (sent #4)
Men’s Open
Male-B Difficulty (silver medal)
M14-15 Difficulty (bad fall)
M14-15 Difficulty
Men’s Expert (70-way tie)
Elite Boys
First Pro Climbing Comp
M12-13 Difficulty
M13- Non-local
Elite Boys
M12-13 (watch those feet)
M11-U (super-super-final)
M11-U
M11-U

Learn about bouldering here.  For more advice and information on climbing equipment, please visit the website.  Alternatively, if you are looking for a range of discounted climbing equipment, from Petzl, Clog, Wild Country, Red Chilli, Black Diamond, Beal and Roca visit the climbing gear shop.

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