An Interview with Shane Williams

Editor: Where did you go this time, Shane?

Shane Williams: We were in Joe's Valley, UT for a weekend.

Editor: How many boulder problems did you attempt?

Shane Williams: I attempted 9 total problems, sent all but 3 of them.

Editor: What were the names and grades?

Shane Williams: Bad Genes V2, Pimpin Jeans V4, Stinky Jeans V3, Reading Rainbow V5, Chips V7, Planet of the Apes V6, Scary Baby V4, Get Shorty V3, Gettin' Warmer V2.

Editor: Which ones were your favorites and why?

Shane Williams: Chips was definitely my favorite, even though I left it as a project. The moves were just so aesthetic and despite being hard they flowed and were extremely fun.

Interview conducted by Vera Kaikobad L. Ac.
Editor of the Facebook Page 'An Interview With'.
Editor-in-Chief of
Interview © Vera Kaikobad L. Ac.
All images © Shane Williams

Please 'Like' our Facebook Page "An Interview With" if you like our interviews with your favorite climbers.

Shane is a Grassroots Athlete at V LINE, Sponsored Athlete at Olmec apparel and Ambassador at Mad Rock Climbing.

Shane Williams.

Photo Credit: Shane Williams 2014

On the Cover: Shane Williams

Cover Date: November 1st, 2014, 2nd Cover Date: January 30th, 2015

An Interview with
Shane Williams 

Thank you so much for speaking with us, Shane. We greatly appreciate your time, and are excited to hear your climbing story! 

Editor: What drew you to climbing and how old were when you began? What does it mean to you personally?

Shane Williams: A buddy of mine, Charles Stoll, had gone off to college and started climbing while he was there, he came back on one of his breaks from school and talked me into going with him. I was 21, it was completely out of my comfort zone and it terrified me. I fell in love with it instantly. Climbing has given me a sense of accomplishment and
peace in a chaotic world.

Climbing is the only thing in this world that constantly pushes me both mentally and physically as well as emotionally. It has taken me to many beautiful places all over the western United States that I may have never been if I wasn't a climber. It has introduced me to some of the most amazing people in the world. I owe climbing a lot, from good friends to amazing scenery. If I can keep climbing my entire life it won't be long enough. 

Editor: Who are some of your climbing icons? Who was your first climbing instructor and how did they inspire you?

Shane Williams: Todd Skinner is most definitely one of my climbing icons, he was a pioneer for the sport and my home state of Wyoming. Some of the best climbs I've ever done were routes he had developed decades before. Charlie Kardaleff is also another icon of mine, I had the privilege of meeting him this past summer at the Ten Sleep Climbers Festival. Also another big Wyoming developer and pioneer. My first instructor was actually another friend of mine, Mike Hafner, who I met in Laramie, WY while going
to the University.

He had been climbing a lot longer than I had and had been training at higher levels for years. He took me under his wing and taught me some of his training regiments and showed me the ropes on some things. He inspired me to always climb my
best and have fun, he was positive and always had a smile on his face no matter what. He made me want to be more positive not only in climbing but in life. His training and eating routines inspired me to start taking my climbing more seriously and I started noticing improvements within weeks. 

Editor: How do your prepare your body prior to a difficult climb? What fitness regimen did you rely on?

Shane Williams: I focus on the crux moves. Work specific hold types, degree of overhang, footwork. I try and recreate the climb at my local gym and project it over and over until it becomes first nature. Depending on the length of the climb I normally try and do mainly power endurance regiments, depending on the number of moves of the climb. I
also do weekly campus board training and I try and spend 15-30 minutes on the hangboard 4-5 days a week at least. 

Editor: What type of rock is your favorite to climb on? What brand of shoes do you prefer and what brand of gear do you like to use a lot? (Crash pads, harnesses, ropes, etc.) 

Shane Williams: It depends on what I'm doing when it comes to favorite rock; if I'm sport climbing it's all about Limestone/Dolomite, whereas bouldering I prefer sandstone but granite is a close second. Mad Rock shoes are definitely my go to for everything.
Currently either the M5's or the Redlines, both equally amazing. For bouldering I love V-Line Climbing's crash pads as well as their chalk bags and buckets. As for sport climbing I am currently using a Wild Country harness that I definitely like, I'm using an Edelweiss rope, and my rack is pretty mixed but I prefer using my Petzl Ange (SmallxLarge).

Editor: Many climbers feel that climbing areas are spiritual places, where you can get a chance to get out of the chaos of the city and balance out your inner, spiritual side. Do you agree? 

Shane Williams: I agree one hundred percent. I will venture out to my local climbing
areas even if I'm not going to climb, those areas are special to me. They allow me to find peace away from civilization, being in nature gives me the chance to collect my thoughts. It's nice to be able to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life (no matter how big the city), it's nice to get away from technology and social media. I need to get out and clear my plate regularly to keep my life from cluttering up. 

Editor: Do you like to boulder or climb or maybe both?

Shane Williams: Both. A lot of it for me depends on time of the year and chasing cooler temps in Wyoming or the Rocky Mountain region in general. 

Editor: Can you share your favorite climbing or bouldering story with us? (Location, grade, weather conditions, did you have spotters, name of the route.) 

Shane Williams: It was earlier this year, I was in Joe's Valley and had a recommendation to the climb Kill By Numbers V5. I had gone the first day to check it out, and there was still a bit of snow and ice around it so I decided to just put it off until another trip. I ended up running across a family near the Mansize boulders in Right Fork and had mentioned my desire to climb that route. They found me the next morning at my camp and told me they wanted to take me over to Left Fork to get on Kill By Numbers.

When we got there they had cleaned off the landing completely. It didn't even look wet to me. I ended up working it a few times and that family stayed there cheering me on and spotting me until I got it. We parted ways that afternoon and I haven't talked to them since, but if they happen to read this I want to thank them again for helping me accomplish one of my goals down there! 

Editor: What did you gain from that experience emotionally? What does nature give back to you when you climb?

Shane Williams: I gained a new found faith in humanity. Those people were so extremely selfless to use a climbing day to clean a landing and spot someone they didn't know. They didn't need to help me but they did and I will be forever grateful to them. Nature gives me peace. When I climb I am at peace with everything that may be going right or wrong in my life or in the world. Nothing matter than that moment in time, the Rock and I. That's all that is important. 

Please keep in touch, Shane and make sure you share your next crag story with us! We'll
definitely do a follow-up interview with you. 

Interview conducted by Vera Kaikobad L. Ac.
Editor of the Facebook Page 'An Interview With'.

Editor-in-Chief of
Interview © Vera Kaikobad L. Ac.
All images © Shane Williams

Climber Bio: My name is Shane Williams, I live in Casper, WY at the moment and am thoroughly enjoying the location with all the amazing climbing within a few hours drive. I did a tour at the University of Wyoming in Geology with a minor in History, I plan on eventually finishing my major in History.