posted by dpm on 05/15/2009
Interview by Anthony Lapomardo
Isaac Caldiero is many things. He is an amateur geologist, a wandering philosopher, and sometimes during fits of desert heat he has been mistaken for the messiah (maybe it's the hair), but more importantly he is a ball of perpetual psych. The man is always searching, brushing, and pulling down on anything he can squeeze or crimp in order to piece together a line. We nabbed him for a quick conversation after a recent stint in the Saint George desert.
DPM: So can you give us a quick wrap up of the past two months? What projects went down and are there new ones you are working on?
Isaac: Ah man, there are so many problems that come to mind, it's impossible to name them all, but the last couple months has mostly consisted of hiking, scrubbing blocs and a lot of sending. Just outside of Santa Clara, Utah, lies an array of unique sandstone boulders, with every style imaginable and difficulties ranging up to V13. From small power blocs to technical highballs, these boulders have it all. The one particular line that stands out is Mur-maid-er (V13). Although it is one of the hardest, it also is one of the most majestic lines in Utah. All of this along with the most recent crushing spree from Daniel Woods, Jon Cardwell, Dave Graham, and Paul Robinson has been captured on film for the upcoming DVD Leash-less In The G-spot (there is a trailer available for viewing at desertratpro.com in the vids section).
DPM: We saw your latest blog entry. Tell us about the Font-like sandstone you and Dave G are working on in Utah? Style of climbing? Any new projects out there?
Isaac: So, I was ready to leave Utah, until Dave and I scouted out a crazy mesa on Google Earth, decided to check it out, and found that it was littered with blocs housing a very similar style and texture to Font. This forced me to stay another couple weeks to develop some amazing lines that I didn't want to miss out on. Numerous projects went down, most ranging in the V9 to V11 range. So many brilliant lines to put energy towards! But, we soon ran out of time and the temps escalated to an uncomfortable degree. It was really hard for us to leave these projects behind until next year.
DPM: So your projects differ in style. You seem to move from sport to bouldering frequently...what do you look for in a line? You seem to favor tensiony roof climbing. Do you have a preference boulder/sport?
Isaac: Anything from easy highballs to ass draggers and sport lines will attract my attention as long as the rock feels and looks good, my motivation changes upon my locality along with whatever style of rock I see before me. Basically I'm psyched no matter where I am.
DPM: So your most recent send, The Present (5.14a)... how did you prep for that? You seem to be very comfortable with highballs...do you have the mind for that or is it something you have to psyche yourself up for?
Isaac: Apart from climbing up The Present a couple times on rope prior to bouldering it, I'd say I have a reputation for doing crazy highballs and solos over the past 10 years. I feel very confident and aware of my surroundings during these dangerous ascents. I would never do anything stupid. If I felt doubt or a chance of injuring myself, I would restrain myself. I feel like over time I have developed a good head for highballs. The reward and sensation in the end is hands down the most addicting and exhilarating feeling of accomplishment in my climbing. I wouldn't regret any of these ascents.
DPM: In the next 3 months where are you looking to climb? Any big trips on the horizon?
Isaac: Right now I am transferring over into sport mode. I'm heading to Clark Mountain, in Cali, to climb on the best limestone this country has to offer. There is talk of a wee road trip to Europe with my friends Dave and Seth after that, maybe France, Spain, Portugal?? Later in the fall, I look forward to heading out east to participate in the Triple Crown series bouldering event and to check out all the amazing sandstone I've heard so much about. Other than that, having good times with friends, meeting new people and seeing new places is where my motivation lies.