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We interview Urko Carmona

Hi Urko, the reason for this interview is for our customers to get to know a little more about your climbing career in the, your initiation to the sport, and see from the perspective of a professional climber the sensations and experiences that are had from the heights.

We know the great efforts you’ve made throughout your career as an athlete, because of the amputation of your right leg when you were just a teenager.

At Boreal we like to cover everything that has to do with your personality as climber, your wins and your goals, to reflect in the interview the example of courage and overcoming you've achieved with your professional achievements.

 How did you get started on this sport? At what age did you begin?

I started climbing at the age of 14, thanks to my father and his good friend Juan Martí.

It was a love at first sight, on holiday I wanted to get to the Pedraforca refuge to climb and be emmerged in the mountain’s environment. To then return to school to spent all year thinking of going back and explore new walls and lines.

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When did you know you wanted to professionally dedicate yourself to this sport?

I always loved to climb, it could be said that when I left work and other occupations aside to just climb is when I knew.

Do you remember the first approach you had to climbing?

My start was quite abrupt, it was in 1995, I had climbed a couple of times, when John took me to have an adventure which got engraved in my memory. Peñón de Ifach, "Gómez-Cano" (MDsup, 6a + / A1, 300m), this is one of the classics of this rock. I climbed the first feature after receiving basic instruction on how to mount, join and secure a wall, he climbed, verified everything was in order and continued to the second length.

The third lengthwas mine to equip I got to a point where I could not move forward, I tried all possible ways but couldn’t reached the next bolt. After 15 minutes I told him I could not move forward, he recommended I used the cams hanging from harness, so I learned and did my first A1. The following length was simpler, I continued "learning", I was securing and I saw the rope ran out and didn't feel any sign of my companion, so I picked up everything and when there was no rope left I started to climb until you heard "joint". The length of the chimney wasmine and after this I could only follow him to the Summit. An adventure in record time!

What is the most complicated challenge a new climber faces in a situation as complex as yours?

Every situation can be different. In my case, and being so young, I could hardly find partners at first. Once at the rock, with a protesis, learning to trust in a leg that you don't feel is not easy, and when you take it off you also have to take into account your centre of gravity shifts completely.

 When did you realize your life would revolve around climbing?

Hahahaha. Great question, I suppose it was when I was climbing for months and lost my notion for time. I had no work and no money. But I knew I would climb the next day.

Due to the car accident that you suffered when you were a teenager and the tragic loss of your right leg, did you consider no longer climbing? How was the day you climbed again?

I never considerd to stop climbing, the day I went back to climbing provide me with great sense of peace of mind just to see that it could keep climbing, enjoying the sensations and the environment. My situation had changed but the desire remained intact.

 When did you realize your life would revolve around climbing?

Hahahaha. Great question, I suppose it was when I was climbing for months and lost my notion for time. I had no work and no money. But I knew I would climb the next day.

Do you have any habbits or follow any specific preparation before you beging a climb?

I have many habbits, but none for climbing.

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Which are your favourite climbing destinations?

Rodellar, Kalymnos are special places for me, I have had many good experiences, good ascents... In fact, I achieved my higher degree at Rodellar.

All places or rocks have their own charm, but preferably with overhangs and amid a savage or virgin nature with horizons where humanity has not left its mark.

Do you remember a special challenge or moment in your career which you would like to relive?

Apart from so many special tethers at the limit of what is humanly possible, with so many friends, one of the most special experiences I have lived, I who loves the rock so much was at the world championships In Gijón in 2014 where I was surrounded by good friends and colleagues, and also accompanied by me my family and that doesn't happen every day. Getting off of the wall to hug my mother filled me as much as climbing that 8a +. Hahaha.

We know that one of your most acclaimed achievements has been to achieve a 8A +, due to the difficulty involved in this kind of route, and more so with your disability. Do you feel accomplished by overcoming such complex challenges, or do you always look at a higher goal?

Obviously you feel a sense of accomplished when meet your most desiered objectives, but then when you pass a grade you want to reconfirm. And quickly fix your gaze upon the next one. In my condition the degrees of difficulty are very relative, since many times there are manuveres which are simply impossible to me and then in other occasions where other climbers can’t step ahead, I don’t find myself in any serious problems to make it. But hey, this is what gets us hooked on climbing, to make moves you saw as impossible and at the end to make them happen.

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What’s your daily routine like, do you dedicate many hours of the week to your training?

I am grateful I live more time on the walls, I don’t usually have climbing halls close by to have a serious training program, so my training is done at the rocks.

W​e know you have attained the first place in many of the most important competitions in Spain. But which one has been the one which is closer to your heart?

The world championships at Gijon, as I have mentioned before, is the moste emotive one for me.

It seems that Paideia is one of the most complicated routes you remember throughout your career. How do you remember it? Has this been your gratest challenge yet?

Mal de Amores in Rodellar has been my biggest challenge, I was testing it last year more seriously and I though it was uber difficult, I could do isolated movements, but linking them was still a distant challenge. It requieres infinite stamina when you make a difficult move and then another comes and so on until you almost reach chain, there were several sequences that were challenging me a lot, the famous bidedo that I sometimes cought and others I do not and the throw which until I positioned myself correctly I could not make. There was still the start of the last roof with a crazy step. This year, after its corresponding siege I linked it with a very good feeling, I nailed all the movements and could stand where before I wasn’t able to get to properly to set up for the next step. No doubt this route will stay with me throughout my life.

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What are your short term professional goals?

Professionally I have to return to the sparks and cables, because unfortunately in Spain it is difficult to make a living just by climbing. Money has never been a priority, this is how I have achieved all my dreams. But when you reasses your personal life, money is unfortunately necesary.

Finally, how wold you sum up in a single phrase the present moment in your professional carrer at this stage of your life?

BY THE FACE!!!!

AKUNA MATATA

Thank you for your attention Urko, greetings from BOREAL

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