Gordon McArthur is a professional ice climber headed to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi for the showcasing of competitive ice climbing. Gordon as an individual is highly motivated, extremely talented, and one heck of a nice guy. His accomplishments are numerous, and his name is well known in the ice climbing community from competing in international competitions, including the World Cup competition tour.
Gordon McArthur is also a fan of the TRUBLUE Auto Belay, and has been training on it for the last year to prepare for Sochi. Also, did we mention he’s a heck of a nice guy? Despite gearing up for the Olympics – only two weeks away – Gordon gave us a few minutes of his valuable time to pick his brain about the future of ice climbing, his goals for Sochi, and his training routine.
Gordon – Thank you so much for agreeing to give us an interview! If I may start, what has the effort been to get ice climbing into the Olympics, and what role have you played in this effort?
It’s been a huge and ongoing effort for the past 4 years, namely from the UIAA organization. Without the push they’ve put forth, this definitely wouldn’t be happening. I think personally, I’ve just tried to be supportive to the UIAA in any way that I can, promoting the idea of this opportunity and raising awareness of the sport itself.
What does it mean that competitive ice climbing is a “showcase” event at the Olympics?
Basically, it was the only way to get the sport in front of the public. We’re “showcasing” the event, not competing, no medals.
What are you hoping to achieve at Sochi, both personally and for the sport of ice climbing?
My personal goal, along with everyone else, is to raise awareness of how awesome this competition sport is. We want to give the best impression so that it will be considered for future games as a medal sport
How have you been training to prepare for this and the ice climbing world tour, and what tools have you been using to help you train/prepare?
My training regime has been based around the world cup competition circuit. I’ve been training for 6 months, generally 5 days a week. It’s been an intense program. One of the biggest advantages to my training this year was the “arch” that I built in my back yard. However, because of the height….you need a belayer…which isn’t always easy to come by. So, I added a “secret weapon”, the TRUBLUE Auto Belay. This device was the game changer. I could go out, climb as much as I wanted, and didn’t have to worry about wrangling a belayer. Seriously…game changing.
When did you first hear about the TRUBLUE Auto Belay, and when did you first start using one?
I first heard about/saw the TRUBLUE Auto Belay about 4 years ago, at its launch party at the Boulder Rock Club in Boulder, CO. I was like, “wow, I gotta get one…it would be so perfect for training.”
How has it been using the TRUBLUE? What benefits have you seen since installing one at your home training structure?
The TRUBLUE has been amazing. Having the freedom to just go climb has changed everything. It’s given me the opportunity to just “go” without thinking. That sort of freedom allows training to go to the next level.
How do you think the TRUBLUE is beneficial to ice climbers competing at your level? Do you think they’d be great as a tool for beginners to learn to ice climb?
I think the TRUBLUE is beneficial to anyone…there’s no level limit. As long as it’s set up properly and safely, I think it can be applied to any style of climbing training. Especially ice climbing!
What advice do you give to aspiring climbers?
Drive fast and take chances. Lol, just kidding. I think if I were to offer any advice…it would be to not stop. Keep going. Keep trying, as you never know what you can actually accomplish until you actually “give’r”
You can follow Gordon on the road to Sochi on his blog, Machovok Adventure, and on his Twitter and Facebook fan pages, and like Gordon, you too can use the TRUBLUE Auto Belay to train and improve your fitness and climbing skills. The Reach Your Peak Program is a training tool appropriate for people of any age or climbing skill level, and you can download it for free at reachyourpeak.autobelay.com/download.