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We interviewed Kico Cerdá

Today we're interviewing Kiko Cerdá! Hi Kiko, before we start the interview we'd like to thank you for giving up your time to be here. We think our followers are going to love hearing all about you and your projects.

So, to start, what does climbing mean to you? How did you know you wanted to follow this profession?

It means everything to me, I've been climbing for more than half of my life and at the moment I'm working as a High Mountain Guide.

I was born in La Pampa (Argentina) and in my teenage years I went to live in Patagonia, specifically in Bariloche. It was there I began to get involved in the mountaineering world: I studied Sports and Exercise Science with specialisation in Mountain, and that's what led me to do my first climbs.

I started to meet people from the mountaineering and climbing community at the C.A.B (Club Andino Bariloche) and I really started to get into it. I completed the mountain specialisation part of my degree and then gave up studying to devote myself entirely to mountaineering.

Finally, I decided to cross the pond and go to Spain, to the Picos de Europa mountains, and that's where I became more involved with rock climbing.

I love climbing up multi-pitch routes. I completed the first free climbing repetition of Opera Vertical on the west face of Picu (Picu Urriellu) and I collaborated in opening up the Dardara route along with Iker Pou and Ion Gurutz in Tiro Pedabejo.

I try not to mix my sporting life with my professional life, even though they go hand-in-hand, I certainly don't see myself as a professional climber. I work as a mountain guide and that's my profession, climbing is my passion.

I don't think there was a particular day when I decided that this was my path in life. I let myself be carried away by what I enjoyed and well, now I can do what I love and I try to make a living from it.

we interviewed kiko
Kico Cerda ​in Teverga (Vivac)

During your life you've done all kinds of routes; can you tell us which ones you're proudest of? Why? Which was the most difficult one for you?

Out of all the activities I've done, I've got a special feeling about some of them, because of when I did them, the company or the location. I could name loads, not only rock climbs but ice climbs, Alpine style mountaineering, I don't know, they're all special to me. The attempt on Fitz Roy, climbing in Bolivia, those were my early days and I have very special memories of them. The Integral del Cornión climb this winter here in Picos de Europa… activities that, as one of my friends says, nobody's interested in but they leave you with special moments.

I couldn't tell you which one was the most difficult, for me they're all difficult, hahaha!! But one I do remember is the first free ascent I completed of Artemisa, on the Torre de las Minas de Carbón in Picos de Europa. I do remember that day, not because of the difficulty of the route, but because of the quality of the rock, which was falling apart. I remember it as a pretty stressful day of free climbing up there.

we interviewed kico cerda
Kico Cerdá

Along with Jesús Wensell you've opened up the new route “El norte oculto” on Pico Uriellu. What was the experience like?

From the moment I arrived there, on Picu (Naranjo de Bulnes), that wall was love at first sight. The quality of the rock is spectacular. I've climbed to the summit more than 20 times, not counting the times I've done it for work, and every time I do it, it's like the first time... the excitement, the motivation and the urge to climb that wall are always there, that's why opening up that route on Picu was really special.

As I said before, the moment, the location, the company... With Johnny we climbed several routes and we always say we should have met before, we complement each other well, I think Picu saw that and opened its doors to us.

kico cerda en
Picos de Europa

When you take on a new challenge, what kind of training do you do beforehand to prepare? Do you go through any kind of ritual before you set off?

I've never done a strict training regime for climbing, but over the years I've climbed and having studied Sports and Exercise Science has helped me to get to know myself a bit.

During the year I start getting organised and I know the seasons when I have more time and can do some sport climbing. I don't get obsessed with a training routine.

In the winter, if conditions are right I focus more on Alpine style climbing, so I get to go to the climbing wall 2 or 3 times a week, as in the summer I can't go there at all as I don't have the time.

Do I have some kind of ritual? Of course, but it's at the end. Having a beer is essential.

I do the ritual afterwards rather than beforehand.

kico cerda
Kico Cerdá

Is there someone you admire in the climbing world? Who and why?

I's not sure I could name anyone in particular, but there are people I met in my early days who got me onto the path I'm following now. I coincide with the way a lot of people think about Alpine style mountaineering and climbing, and I try to convey that view to my clients and to the people coming up behind, just like they did with me when I first started.

Picos de Europa Macizo del Comión, Norte de Peña Santa

Where are you right now in terms of your career? Do you have a future project in mind?

More than the point in my career I'd rather call it the point in my life, a very sweet, lovely point, I'm doing something I love as my profession. I suppose maturity has made me see how I can combine both things.

There are always future projects and I'm motivated by all sorts of things, if I'm climbing on rock I think about the winter so I can do Alpine style mountaineering, and in winter I'm already thinking about what I can do in the summer.

This southern hemisphere summer, I want to go to Patagonia, it's my holiday trip and I'll be climbing, I've got my projects but I don't think it's a good idea to talk publicly about them before I do them.

Kico Cerdá at Naranjo de Bulnes

And to finish... What does being part of the Boreal team mean to you? What's your favourite Boreal design? Why?

The first climbing shoes I owned, back in '95, I remember they were Ninjas, I bought them in a second-hand shop. They had been resoled I don't know how many times, but for me they were like a Ferrari, I treated them like gold.

Since then I've always been especially fond of the brand and when I could afford it I used to buy Boreal.

Seeing a photo of Lyn Hill or of Wullich with the Lasers was like everyone had to have those climbing shoes to climb well.

Being here now and being part of this great family, having Boreal's direct collaboration as a sponsor is a real pleasure. For me it's an honour to be in this amazing team.

My favourite shoes? First the Lynx, although I think the Mutant design has taken a huge leap forward in terms of its development and has put the brand on top again, where it should always have been. With the new Ninja they gave it that touch of quality. All three are my favourites and the ones I'm using at the moment.

Well Kiko, thank you so much for a really nice chat. We're sure our community of fans will have enjoyed the interview as much as we have. Until next time!