Patxi Usobiaga is one of the greatest climbers of our time. With onsights of 8c+, and regular onsights of 8c he earns great respect. I caught up with him for a tick list and some questions about training and climbing.
-Overal world cup champion 2006-2007
-2.world championship 2003-2005-2007
.-european youth cup winner 1997
-Serre chevalier winner 2005-2006
-2 serre chevalier . 2003-2004-2007-2008
-worl games winner 2005
Bizi Euskaraz 8c+ onsight
Home sweet home 8c/+ onsight
Nuska 8c/+ onsight
In umersee 8c onsight
Gaua 8c onsight
Pata negra 8c onsight
…and more than 24 8b+ on sight
La Rambla 9a+
La novena enmienda 9a+
And many 9ª
How long have you been climbing?
I started climbing 1990, when I was 10 and I have never stopped.
How did you start?
I usually went with my parents hiking in the mountains, and I watched free climbing on TV, I really loved it and immediately started climbing in the gym near my home.
When did you decide to devote your life to climbing?
I always wanted to climb, but I had never knew climbing could be my lifestyle. In 2003 I started full-time climbing, as well as training for rock and competitions.
What is your usual day at the cliff like?
Depending how I feel, if I am tired from the week, I will climb easier routes around 8-10, or 3-4 for warm ups, and then 4-6 harder ones. If I am in a good shape, I warming up with 3-4 routes and then usually try between 2 to 4 routes for on-sight or redpoint tries.
What is more important, competition or rock climbing? Why?
I need rock climbing to be happy, but I also like competitions. I use the fitness to try and climb everything that’s possible on rock. But the truth is, rock climbing doesn’t provide money for living, so competitions are my official job.
In competitions, do you get nervous?
Yes of course, this gives a lot of adrenaline which gets you stronger and more satisfied.
How do you prepare/train for the competition?
I think about the first and second goals, then prepare within the weeks of training… It all depends on when the comps will be and how many there will be, everything is important to design the training regime.
Give me a brief explanation of how you prepare for one competition.
The last week is usually relaxing, I rest a lot of days. Training seasons are really short but with a high quality (for example, boulder, or hard routes, or traverses, not too much) . And after I rest one or two days before the comp.
Can you talk about your diet?
The only thing that I can tell you is that I like cooking, discovering new recipes and new styles of food. As well as trying to eat better food ,and being healthy about it. My diet really is a Mediterranean diet, a lot of fish, fruits and vegetables.
You have set world records 8c+ onsight, so many 9a’s in one year, what do you give credit to? Training? Genetics? A strong mind?
Training and desire to climb everything, my forte is not genetic, I think that’s is my worst part. I love climbing and training! And really enjoy it.
What does it take to on sight 8c+?
It was strange day, I wanted to try the route, but at the same time I was scared about falling. So I tried it and I climbed it perfectly, I made some mistakes none that caused me to fall. I sent it and it was nice.
How do you make your living? Does the government sponsor you? What are the logistics of this? What expectations do you have from sponsors?
I live from different partners: Some are publics-privates like BAT from the Basque government or Kirolgi from the Guipuzkoan country.
Other are climbing partners like Ternua, La Sportiva, Black Diamond, Tendon, Walltopia
And the last ones are out from climbing like SAGE, V.A.S.A.(Volkswagen cars), UTHEMEK.
And also I work with Lapis holds, being a distributor in Spain.
Why are so many Basque climbers so strong?
We are Basque..jeje. So it seems
What advice can you give climbers that are eager to improve and become as great a climber they can be?
Climb just for fun and forget the stress, because climbing is the best!