Interview with Sam Rothstein – Rock Climbing Ninja

sammainSam Rothstein
Sam Rothstein, aka Sam Rockstein, is a passionate climber from Dallas, Texas. His love for climbing cropped from a fun climb at the gym and there was no looking back for him. Now, he goes climbing whenever he can and jots down his adventures on his blog. 

We, at Extremepedia, were intrigued by Sam's dedication and passion and decided to ask him few questions about his rocky adventures. Here's what we learnt -
1.For how long have you been climbing and what got you addicted ?
I've been climbing for 5 years, I started climbing in a gym nearby my house in Dallas Texas. When my friend bought me for the first time I became instantly hooked. The physical challenge of using the small handholds and the mental challenge of figuring out body positioning got me extremely motivated, and I haven't stopped since.
2.What is your favorite location to climb and why ?
My favorite location to climb is Hueco Tanks, in El Paso Texas. It is a small desert bouldering area packed with tons of climbing history from legends like Fred Nicole and John Sherman. The rock quality is amazing and the atmosphere keeps me coming back.

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3.Do you have a mad crew or you prefer to climb alone ?
I prefer to climb with friends, climbing alone can be a little irresponsible because most of the places I climb at have no cell service, if you get hurt and you're alone you might be in trouble.

4.What does it take to be a great climber and how does it change your daily routine? 

The only thing required to be a great rock climber is a deep motivation for the sport. Anyone motivated enough to spend 10,000 hours climbing will surely become great. General fitness is helpful, but all the necessary muscles can be trained by just climbing. Strict dieting and exercising is not really necessary, I've always found the best way to get better is just to climb and do a little climbing specific training (ex. pull-ups).
5.Any tips for those who are just starting out ? 

For anyone starting out, I'm sorry that your hands hurt so much when you climb. I promise after climbing for 6 months your skin will adjust and stop the climbing experience won't be painful. This soreness in the hands often deters a lot of new climbers from ever really getting into the sport, but it is something that goes away with time.

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6.Which place is on your bucket list for climbing ? 

I've always really wanted to go to Australia to climb in the Grampians National Park! Incredible scenery and incredible stone.
7.What was your toughest climb and what grade was it ? 

My hardest climb is a V11 called Brick Pinch, located in Colorado. I've completed 6 other V11 boulder problems but I found brick pinch to be the hardest.

8.Your best and worst climbing experience. 

My best climbing experience was when I took a trip to Hueco Tanks for Christmas 2014 with a bunch of good friends. I stayed for 3 weeks and did a lot of climbs at my physical limit. Hueco is heaven for me, I love the
cheap burritos, Tecate beer and freezing desert temps. My worst experience was probably when I broke though the ice on a frozen river crossing. Luckily only my legs went in but it scared the sh*t outta me.
9.What are your strengths and challenges while climbing ? 

My strengths when climbing include using small holds and technical body positions. Weaknesses include big holds and dynos.

sam3Sam Rothstein
10.How do you feel after you make a tough climb – when you are at the top ?

The feeling at the top of a climb at my limit is ecstasy, however the moment is fleeting. True feelings of accomplishment only come from succeeding on a climb I had failed 100 times on previously.
Want to see Sam in action ? Watch this video - 
 
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