Weekend Warm-Up: Climbing Legend Jerry Moffatt Shares Tales and Wisdom

Jerry Moffatt is, handily, one of modern climbing’s great innovators. In the 1980s and 1990s, Moffatt and hard-climbing cronies like Ben Moon put up some of the UK’s burliest boulder problems and routes. They did what many had thought impossible. But to do what had never been done before, they had to develop a method that had not previously existed.

“For me, the most important thing is variety and changing where you climb,” Moffatt states. And thus systematic training for climbing was born.

Moffatt’s approach — to train multiple styles in a variety of environments from bouldering gyms to gritstone —  was simple in theory but immense in application. Not only would the great experiment demand time, testing, and physical dedication, but many of their contemporaries would balk at the idea. Train in a bouldering gym to climb better outside?

“Everyone thought I was crazy,” he chuckles. But it soon became apparent that his visionary approach to training would bear substantial results.

Some 30 years on from his psych-fueled heyday, Moffatt continues to train and send as hard as ever. Spend some time learning from one of the sport’s unparalleled masters in this short but delightful retrospective.

Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing. In 2020, Jilli left her corporate position to pursue an outdoor-oriented life. She now works as a contributor, an editor, and a gear tester for ExplorersWeb and various other outlets within the AllGear network. She is based out of Austin, Texas where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.

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1 month ago

Any news on how Nims Purjas mountain clean up with his foundation is going?