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Neely Quinn interviews pro rock climbers, climbing trainers, and other insightful members of the climbing community about how we can get a little better at rock climbing. Subjects include how to train for certain aspects of the sport, how to rehab injuries, the best diet for climbing, and personal stories about climbing.

Mar 13, 2014

I sat down with Jamie Emerson last summer and had a really interesting chat with him. Jamie is, I think, an important voice in the climbing community. As an accomplished and ambitious climber himself, having sent up to V14, he has his finger on the pulse of the climbing community's players and their ascents.

He has a deep appreciation for not only trying hard and sending hard, but also doing it all in style. I've always thought that Jamie would be the best person for the job of MC-ing big competitions because he knows a lot about everyone, and he truly cares about their accomplishments, failures, and their characters.

As the writer at, he not only keeps us all up to date on the most current sends, he also asks the hard questions and calls people out on ethical issues that no one else would dare to. This has earned him his nickname, "The Sheriff", which we discuss in this podcast interview. We talk candidly about a couple of his most controversial moments with other climbers, and whether or not he'd do it all over again if he could.

In a sport where people regularly use shady tactics for cleaning boulders, terrorize the land surrounding those boulders, manufacture holds, trespass on private property, make up their own start holds, and "send" things without anyone witnessing said send (I mean, it didn't happen unless it's on video, right?), somebody needs to be the one to say, "You didn't follow the rules. Hey everyone, what do you think the rules are here so we can tell this person the rules?"

That's Jamie, and I for one appreciate his honest, forthright style, and his willingness to fight for some semblance of order and respect in the sport, even if some think he might take it a little too far sometimes.

In this interview we talk about all that, and also this:

  • His biggest achievements in climbing
  • His biggest failures
  • His climbing aspirations
  • His um.. interesting ascent of Gang Bang
  • How he trains and the differences between the methods of all his different trainers
  • What he eats
  • What he thinks about his body weight as it relates to climbing
  • How he likes being called the sheriff, and where that nickname came from
  • What he wants to do in his professional life
  • Why he loves finding and developing new boulders
  • Why he started writing his blog
  • The surprising ways his climbing has changed as he's gotten older
  • What climbing means to him now compared with 10 years ago
  • And more!

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