Fireside Chat with Joe Kinder

posted by dpm on 10/06/2008


Joe Kinder has been ripping the limestone apart in Rifle, CO. Recently, he repeated the Tommy Caldwell testpiece Kryptonite. DPM had the opprotunity to talk to Joe about Kryptonite, grades, and the progression of the sport. Here is what Joe had to say:

1) You and Dave have been busy cleaning up the grade inconsistencies at Rifle. Now that you both have repeated Tommy Caldwell’s Krymptonite, what do you think of his grade of 14d?


5.14d...yeah man...well hell, why not.  Its hard as shit and....HARD AS SHIT!!!  We both think it kills the 14c grade and is WAY more involved.  Its surely one of my hardest.  Krypto and GOlden Direct...straight on par with each other.  GOlden Direct is easier to get to though and working it is way more pleasant and stress-free.  Both routes I have the BIGGEST respect for, and they are VERY special to me.


 2) How does Krymptonite differ in style from the routes in Rifle?


Its Rifle rock so its pretty dang similar.  I would say Less chossy though.  Sculpted Limestone holds and really interesting features really do keep your interest more than junky rock. Kryptonite's consistency is a true stunner too, and NEVER ENDING!!!



 3) You had some difficulty putting this one together, was it mental, or was there a distinct crux that was giving you problems?


It wasn't so mental until I started falling off of the same series of moves over and over.  That honestly started to suck.  The route is hard to work being WAY up in the middle of no-where and the only time to try it is in the evening.  You get about 4 hours and then it's dark. There are NO warm-ups either, so we would just warm up on the route, which is kind of a head fuck too.


It became mental only because it meant a lot to me....Colette, my woman, says it's the same deal every project I have. I get really wrapped up in it, and I gotta say, that’s the best place for me mentally, I really care.  I think Kryptonite was a really important route due to the fact I put in some days two years ago, but weather killed the attempts and hiking up was impossible. And, I was NO where near the strength level I have now. Big EYE opener. 


The Crux comes after climbing roughly a 14a and you get a LAME knee scum to shake just a couple of times. The redpoint crux is ALWAYS hard and really never got easy.  The night I sent I decided to change a foot about 2 inches....for some reason, it helped.


4) Do you think having ten fingers helped make Krimptonite easier?


Tommy Climbed it with Ten...and YEAH of course. I prefer TEN fingers....DANG!!!


 5) You have traveled all over the world in the pursuit of your passion and have climbed in some amazingly beautiful places, why does Rifle appeal to you?


It is one of the better and more accessible spots in the USA. The style is pretty dang fun too...blocks, and lots of opposition. Its kind of like a playground. Plus, I like all the people there...All the scenesters doing their's funny like that. Each cliff has its own locals and Rifle's locals are GREAT!!!


6) With more and more climbers firing off heavy grades, do you think climbing is on the verge of seeing another breakthrough, or do you think that grades will simply solidify over time or perhaps be downgraded?


More breakthroughs for SURE, Chris climbing Jumbo Love is step ONE for American climbing...thanks to him. There are only going to be more, and it's really that simple. I love climbing in that way, there are ALWAYS progressive moves being made and amazingly hard lines to be climbed. Sure wish we had more limestone in the US...DANG!!!


7) What is next for Joe Kinder?


I am actually trying to wrap things up here to go chill in the East Coast, Home area....Mmmmmm....Good ol’ Fall time in New England CAN'T be beat.

Rumney, Marshfield, Orford, the New, the Red and so only gets better...I love this stuff.....LOVE IT!!!