Allez! Yuji Interviewed - VOLUME 1.5 - SEPTEMBER, 2006

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Yuji Hirayama

He is the first Asian climber to win a world cup in 2000. He also opened Underground (8c+/9a) at the Falesia di Massone, right outside of Arco that same year. He has a first ascent on Flat Moutain (9a+) in Japan and he is the first man to on-sight a 5.14b, White Zombie this year in Baltzola, Spain. His two starring moments where: “when I climbed El Cap in 1997 (fastest free ascent, on-sight) and when I won the Arco Rock Master -- two of the hardest climbs in my life [laughter].”

Age? 37 years old, and father of two.

Nationality? A mix, I travel too much to know anymore...

Climbing for how long? I have been climbing since I was 15, so I guess that makes it 22 years of climbing.

Indoors or Outdoors? I have started as an outdoor climber, but I like indoor climbing more especially for the social interactions I can have with the younger generation in a gym.

Coached or self-made climber? I don’t have a coach, but I welcome suggestions from other climbers anytime.

Eating regime when in training? Nope.

Yoga gig? Definitely I did Yoga for something like 12 years with a teacher I met in 1993, but since I now live 400km away from him, I stopped. Yoga though helped me with mind focusing and also to see life at a different velocity.

How do you cross-train? I do high volume climbs, many repetitions of them to get stronger.

Who inspires you? I get inspired by younger generations and by my 60 years old, yoga instructor who push me to climb harder.

Plans for the rest of the summer? I will proceed to Nice to climb a little more until the weather is good, then who knows.

Pizza or Pasta? Pizza, please!

Italy or France? I cheered for France, of course, because I lived there for seven years, although I like Cannavaro a lot better than Zidane.

What’s on your nightstand?Climbing, because I get it every month.