On the Cover: Mirko Caballero
Cover Date: January 28th, 2015
An Interview with Mirko Caballero
Editor: First of all, did you enjoy all that amazing skiing in Switzerland?
Mirko Caballero: For sure! It’s nice to take a break from climbing from time to time. It’s been really fun going through the whole process of being a beginner again!
Editor: You've been winning comps with a vengeance! Which is so cool.
How old were you when you developed a real interest in climbing and bouldering?
Mirko Caballero: I was about 7 years old when I really got psyched about climbing. When I was 6 years old I was at the Regional Championships watching my brother climb, and I was getting pretty bored, so i decided to compete. I ended up sneaking into the National Championships in 2nd place. It was after nationals that I really got psyched about climbing.
Editor: Was there a particular climb that you saw for the first time that inspired you?
Where was that? Who was with you that day?
Mirko Caballero: One boulder that inspired me since day one, was the meg highball Evilution. I was on a family vacation, having fun, climbing in Bishop, CA. I was 6 when I first saw it, and after that moment I knew I had to climb it someday. I finally did in November 2013. Still my proudest climb although by far not my hardest.
Editor: What are some of your favorite routes?
Can you share with us what the grades were and where you climbed?
"Permanent Midnight" 8B (V13) comes to mind…how about some others that you really enjoyed?
Mirko Caballero: Permanent Midnight is definitely a super sick bloc! I’d have to say that Evilution Direct V11 (8A) and Meadowlark Lemon Sit V14 (8B+) are two of my favorite boulders in the world! Both for the aesthetics and the movement!
Editor. You’ve also talked about how much you loved climbing in Spain…what was that like?
How different are the rocks there than here in the US?
Mirko Caballero: Yeah, for sure, Spain is dope! The rock quality is amazing and the people are awesome! The rock in Spain is different from the rock in the US in the sense that for one, it’s mostly limestone (which there is very little of in the US) and that it’s a lot of pockets and monos which are really tough on the tendons.
Editor: Yeah, everyone's heading to Albarracin! Who are your personal climbing icons that either taught you or inspired you?
What did you pick up from them as a must-have as a climber/boulderer?
Like patience, confidence, an ability to be able to listen to your intuition, maybe?
Mirko Caballero: Adam Ondra has always been one of my favorite climbers in the world, because of the way he really fights his way to the top. I’d have to say that in every video and every occasion I’ve had to watch Adam climb, I have never, not once, seen him give up. That’s always inspired me to fight even when I feel completely trashed or scared and success is inconceivable.
Daniel Woods is another one that has always inspired me. I mean have you guys seen how freaking strong he is??? haha With that aside he is a super cool dude and is awesome to watch climb!
Editor: Well, his interview follows yours and is being launched on the same day, Mirko! Cool, huh? Anyway, you talked about enjoying Bishop a lot. Which problems in Bishop did you really enjoy and what grades were they?
Mirko Caballero: Bishop is definitely world class, and a place everyone should visit. Luminance [V9 (7C)] definitely comes to mind when I think of top notch boulders. Such an aesthetic (and scary) boulder with perfect rock!
Editor: Do you prefer bouldering or climbing, or maybe both? You’re really superb at both. Do you have a personal preference?
Mirko Caballero: For the past year I’ve been really psyched on bouldering, but I am excited to get back in shape for sport climbing and test myself on some of the harder routes this coming year!
Editor: That's great! You have our full encouragement! Needless to say, you’re a world class athlete and a world famous one, too. Climbing and bouldering are your gifts that you share with the world, and inspire others to work as diligently as you do.
But climbing also builds you emotionally, step by step. It makes us hone in and focus, it makes us push ourselves and shows us our strengths and weaknesses, so we can improve upon them.
It also makes us tune in to our intuition or inner voice.
What gifts has climbing given to you?
Mirko Caballero: Climbing has taught me to stay humble and to never give up. Above all climbing has taught me patience and focus. It’s an amazing sport for an unbelievable amount of reasons.
It has helped me grow as a person and athlete. Climbing is whatever you make it out to be, whether its just a hobby, a sport, a passion, or a lifestyle. For me it’s all of the above.
Editor: Are there countries or specific locations in the world where you’d love to climb? You mention South Africa a lot…
Mirko Caballero: I actually recently climbed in South Africa this past summer. It was amazing! Hoping to get back there as soon as possible! I’d also really like to check out the climbing in Brazil, heard that place is sick!
Editor: Mirko, you’ve inspired legions of fans of all ages that try to follow in your footsteps.
Do you have any important tips for all the folks out there who want to be like you?
Mirko Caballero: The most important thing to in climbing is to always try to be happy. It’s cliché, but hey, it’s the truth. A good training program is helpful too, but the best way to advance quickly is to climb a lot and all types of climbing, slopers, crimpers, slab, overhang, etc… and have fun doing it. If you don’t have fun then you’ll get burned out quickly I think.
Editor: Well, that's true. What would you like your fans to know about you, Mirko Caballero, that they don’t already know?
Mirko Caballero: I’m not just about climbing, I love climbing don’t get me wrong, but I enjoy doing other sports from time to time.
I love to eat, like a lot. Don’t believe me? Let’s set a date, I’ll out-eat all of you ;)
Editor: Ha ha! I believe you, Mirko! How did you spend your birthday? Do something fun with family and friends?
Mirko Caballero: My birthday was January 12th. I spent my birthday out skiing and having fun with my friends and family.
Editor: That's cool, hope you had fun! Thank you for sharing your insights with us, your fans will truly enjoy reading your point of view, we'll catch you at your next FA!
Interview conducted by Vera Kaikobad L. Ac.
Editor of the Facebook Page: 'An Interview With'.
Editor-in-Chief of ClimbSkiBoulderMagazine.com
Interview © Vera Kaikobad L. Ac.
Photo Credit: Mr. Caballero
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Thank you so much. The link is below:
Pan-American Champion Youth Bouldering (2014)
USA National Champion Youth Bouldering (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011)
USA National Champion Youth Speed Climbing (2012, 2011)
1st Place Arco Rock Junior International Sport, Speed & Bouldering (2012)
2nd Place USA National Championships Youth Sport Climbing (2011)
2nd Place Pan-American Youth Bouldering Championships Ecuador (2010)
1st Place TEVA Mountain Games Youth Bouldering (2010)
Mirko Caballero, Mammut, FiveTen, Giddy Organics, USA Climbing, Climbers Against Cancer (CAC).
Sponsors: Mammut Pro Climbing Team, Five Ten Elite Climbing Team, Giddy Climbing Team.
Twitter & Instagram @mirkocaballero
Check out my blog mirkocaballero.com
Official Facebook Athlete Page: https://www.facebook.com/mirkocaballero/timeline
I’m a 14-year-old rock climber. I can’t remember when I started climbing, but I got serious about it when I was 6 years old. My parents are from Switzerland and Bolivia, but I was born in Bedford, NH and grew up and live in Los Gatos, CA.
I love all sorts of climbing including indoor competition, bouldering, sport climbing, or trad multi-pitch climbing. My preference though is to climb outdoors as much as possible, and climb the hardest boulders and sport routes I can handle.
I just won my fourth consecutive ABS Youth National Championship title, but my proudest achievements are all outdoors. I sent my hardest sport climb in Switzerland, Stop Sika 5.14c (8c), and my hardest boulder problem, Meadowlark Lemon V14 (8B+) in Red Rock, NV.
I’m passionate about climbing some of the very classic problems established by famous climbers. My proudest moment is probably when I sent the super highball Evilution Direct V11 (8A) in the Bishop, Buttermilks.
I’m very lucky because my parents are always willing to travel for climbing, and I’ve been lucky to climb in world-class crags such as Céüse, Rodellar, Magic Wood, Smith Rock, Red River Gorge, Yosemite, Bishop, Hueco Tanks, Red Rock, and many more. I really would like to travel to South Africa or Australia next…
I would like to become a professional climber, but first I want to finish school and get a college degree. I train about 3 times a week in the gym, but I try to go outdoors every weekend and vacation.
I’m just passionate about climbing, every time I’m outdoors climbing on rocks, I feel happy!
I like to figure out hard sequences, overcome my fears, and just hang out and climb with my friends.
When I’m not climbing, I also like to skate…
Climbing since... I can't remember... Serious since I was 6-years-old.
Youngest climber to boulder V14 (8B+).
Pan-American Champion Youth Bouldering (2014).
USA Youth Bouldering National Champion (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011).
Hardest Ascents: Meadowlark Lemon V14 (8B+) in Red Rock, Stop Sika 5.14b (8c) in Rawyl.
Proudest Ascent: Evilution Direct V11 (8A) Highball.