posted by dpm on 03/01/2011
As far as the current climbing media is concerned if your last name is not Robinson, Woods, or Honnold you simply don’t exist. Okay, to say you don’t exist is rude and an exaggeration, but it is not far from the truth. Climbing is full of amazing talents and although most Americans may not have heard of Guillaume Glairon-Mondet or “G2” they will remember his name after the show he just put on. In just three weeks “G2” arrived in Bishop, ripped down Mandala Sit (V13/V14), Direct North (V14), Direction (V13), The Oracle (V13), various other classic Bishop double-digits, and then topped off his trip by driving 5 hours and making a quick send of Joshua Tree’s Iron Resolution (V13) a day before he flew back to France.
All photos of G2 on Iron Resolution (V13), Joshua Tree, California.
Courtesy of Anthony Lapomardo
DPM: Who are you again?
G2: Guillaume Glairon-Mondet or G2 for short. I live in the south of France. I am 24 years old and I started climbing in 1996.
DPM: You just spent three weeks in Bishop. What was your opinion of the overall quality of the boulders?
G2: In Bishop there are so many boulders, and so much good rock. Not once did I come down from one and thought, "This one was a shit!!!"
DPM: You must not have tried Grovel Roof!
DPM: This was an incredibly productive trip. How do you choose which lines you want to do in such a short span of time when you are surrounded by world class problems? Did you have a list before you arrived in Bishop?
G2: Before coming to Bishop, I made a tick-list with my coach that included The Mandala, Direction, The Swarm, andSpectre. But, when we are a group of climbers, we climb where the others climb. So I tried each problem at least once and I only really got to climb in the Buttermilk's main areas.
Editor’s Note: Guillaume sent 22 problems V10 and harder in Bishop.
DPM: How would you compare your hardest American send (Direct North V14) to your hardest European send (Gecko Assis V14)?
G2: I think Gecko Sit is really my style, so I did it quickly. Direct North was a real challenge for me (Direction too...). The start is really physical, and then you make dynamic moves on small crimps, and THEN throw a very high heel hook. Doing all the sections together was very hard for me on this boulder.
DPM: This trip appears to be a personal breakthrough for you. How did you get to this point of climbing so well? Was a lot of training involved? Where do you think your breakthrough began?
G2: I have been investing a lot of years on climbing strictly for competition and last year I stopped working on competition climbing. For one year I took a lot of time to climb outside, and this winter I spent 40 days climbing on rock. So thanks to the training for competitions I quickly excelled on rocks!
DPM: In Europe the big thing is training, training, training. In America it is more about “just climbing” what do you think of the two comparative thoughts? Pros/Cons? Is there any truth to this American view?
G2: In Europe, intensive training is necessary for withstanding the whole season of competitions (volume, endurance, strength during a small period). For the other part of the year (or the others who are not competing), I think we have the same way of thinking. In my opinion, Americans consider us without knowing us and have not attempted to do all the season of competition.
DPM: What is your training schedule like? Hours? Days a week? Routine?
G2: For two years, I was just climbing, so I was very busy. When I am training a lot inside, I generally train around 10 times per week (climbing, muscle workouts, footing...) So maybe 20 hours a week.
DPM: Have you ever worn a harness?
G2: Of course, I was once Youth World Champion in Youth A and I usually climb on routes up to 8C (5.14b)!
DPM: What are your comp objectives for this next season? (Guillaume was 7th in the 2010 World Cup ranking)
G2: This year I want to be on the podium!!! A podium at the general World Cup would be great and if possible Arco too!
DPM: In America most climbers seem to have this fantasy about climbing in Font. Do Europeans look at America in the same way, as some exotic climbing locale?
G2: For French people (hum...for me), Fontainebleau is the main area for bouldering in the world. Anyways, for each French climber, USA is an obligation. Traveling to Bishop and Hueco are really good for the countryside and for developing a boulder culture in France.
DPM: What is your starter food? What breakfast gets you going? Coffee and Cigarettes?
G2: I love fast food!!! And I am a "pure-man" (no alcohol, no coffee, no cigarettes...) Laugh!!
DPM: Best problem you encountered in America thus far?
G2: The Mandala andSpectre, but I didn't send Spectre!
DPM: Proudest send?
G2: Suspended in Silence V6, a really beautiful boulder in a place close to paradise! Also, The Mandala (V13/14), for the perfection of the line.
DPM: Oddest social situation you encountered? Possibly the language barrier?
G2: Even if I talk English badly, when we need to be understood we always are! And to help with the difficulty, Americans often try to speak slowly!
DPM: What are your plans/goals for the next three months?
G2: Now I am focusing on competitions for the next five months.
DPM: Can you tell us a little bit about those flowered swimming pants you use to wear in the comps? Is that a forfeit, have you lost a kind of bet?
G2: The day where I put this short on I was feeling beautiful! But I don’t think I’ll use it this year!
DPM: Who is the best climber in the world?
G2: Me, after the ones stronger than me!!!
Editor’s note: This interview was done in conjunction with the French climbing media site, Zebloc.com. To read the interview in French, visit Zebloc.com.