A few words with Amy Fenton

Amy Fenton is a Sydney boulderer who works in a gym and boulders really hard. Having just sent her first V12 – shortly after knocking off her first two V10s – she is bringing a rich vein of form into The Festival where she will be both competing on Saturday and taking one of our Women's Clinics on Sunday. Clearly blessed with strength the equal of the Power of Greyskull and Ginger Rogers-esque fancy footwork, she is also hilarious and has a keen eye for spotting the technique flaws in climbers so we are psyched that she is coming South.

Amy on the Kindy classiqué – The Nevin rule (V7).

Amy on the Kindy classiqué – The Nevin rule (V7).

Do you believe in our mantra ‘Gramps are the best, chuck out the rest’? Why or why not? (Clearly the ‘why not’ option is to give the illusion of balance.)
As much as I enjoy a good Sydney boulder I’ve got to agree with you on this one, we just can’t compete with your proximity to Australian national gem and 2001 Tidy Town winner Horsham. Bondi is a farce*.

Do you have any advice for boulderers preparing for their first outdoor comp?
Ask me in 2 weeks! I don’t compete indoors and this will be my first competition outdoors so it will certainly be a learning experience.

Aside from a good attitude I can only recommend trying to hoard skin and energy by being picky about what you jump on - avoid slaving on problems that don’t agree with you.

What are your top five Grampians boulder problems?

  1. Mind Over Matter (V8)
  2. Sick Nutter (V5000)
  3. To Hate To Love (V8)
  4. The Nevin Rule (V7)
  5. and, of course, Wimmel Friedhoff (V5)
Amy ticking her first V5000, Sick Nutter.

Amy ticking her first V5000, Sick Nutter.

If there was one Grampians boulder problem that you could climb what would it be and why? 
Aside from the obvious Wheel of Life/Ammagamma dream lines, I think a slightly more realistic pick would be Dave Kellermann’s V11 A Puzzle About Belief, it looks unbelievably good. I absolutely love Mt Fox (walk in excluded) so doing something hard and classic there would be ultra satisfying.

What is the most common mistake you see beginner climbers making at 9 Degrees?
Leaving their feet at home.

A lot of newbies tense up on the wall and their legs very quickly become a cumbersome afterthought; it’s an easy mistake to make and one that more advanced climbers commonly fall back into when they’re trying hard.

You’re running a women’s climbing clinic, what are some of the things you’re hoping to cover?
The importance of warming up, directional footwork, a healthy climbing attitude and power! Power in all forms. It is such an important part of bouldering and too often one that is shied away from. I’m sure we’ll all be pooped after the comp so theory and the how’s and why’s of technique will be the name of the game, I think.

*Editor's note; we agree about Bondi being blahhhh.

Read more about what Amy thinks about why bouldering is better than route climbing, diets for success and sending V12 here.