We have some fantastic news which we have been so excited to share for a while now and finally it is time to reveal all!
Fernweh UK has it's first official Fernweh sponsored athlete!! We are delighted to have Professional Climber and Route Setter Steve Gaspar on board with our brand, all the way over in the USA!
Steve is a Route Setter for the amazing Rockreation Climbing Centres based in America, and has already set routes for big competitions and national championships. Climbing is a sport that has boomed over the past few years, and its great seeing the different pathways that people choose to make themselves a career in climbing. Route Setting is obviously one of the most important careers of them all, as without great route setters, there are no challenging climbs and no way of sorting the 'best from the best'! Its fantastic to see Steve doing so great in his chosen field of route setting. Alongside that, he frequently climbs alongside the biggest climbers in the profession and is already endorsed by Adidas Outdoor & Primo Chalk. We are so happy to say that Steve is on board with the Fernweh team, and we hope we can help him reach his ultimate dream of route setting for world championship stages & also spreading the world of our little brand!
Fernweh World Domination yo!
Anyways, we caught up with Steve, just to find out a little more about his passion for climbing.
Hey Steve! Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Steve Gaspar, and I am a professional Climber and Route Setter.
How long have you been climbing for & what is it about the sport that you are so passionate about?
I have been climbing for about 17 years now. I began trad climbing and mountaineering in New Hampshire and Vermont when I was young and was always inspired by the idea of standing on the summits of mountains. I remember being in the library and seeing a book with K2 on the cover and I was awe struck. I must have stared at the cover of that book for an hour. It wasn't until I moved to California 5 years ago and took a job at a local climbing gym that I got serious about Sport Climbing and Bouldering. Soon after I was introduced to the craft of Route Setting, and as an artist I was immediately hooked - I found my passion.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
I have climbed many hard mountains, sent numerous boulder problems V10 and above, as well as 5.13 sport routes, however to me, none of these compare with setting competitions at the championship level. Being able to create movement that challenges the best climbers, and watching them do the moves (and sometimes fall on the moves) is such an amazing task. Part athleticism, part art, part choreography - Route Setting is a one of a kind endeavor that is in a very young stage. The sport of indoor climbing is barely 30 years old, and the craft of Route Setting is in still its first generation - a very exciting time to begin a career for sure.
What are your goals for the future?
The future I plan to set a National Championship level event for both Sport Climbing and Bouldering. I then would like to become certified within the IFSC to set for international level World Cup events. the USA doesn't have a lot of international setters, and I hope to build a career around representing my country as one of the best Route Setters in the world.
Where is your favourite place to climb, and if you could climb anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I have been lucky enough to travel all over for climbing. It is nearly impossible to pick ONE favorite area. As far as pure variety of world class climbing Bishop, California has it all - The Buttermilks, The Happies and Sads, Owens River Gorge, you name it. Joshua Tree National Park has such an amazing energy when you are there that you can FEEL it - the climbing is pure trad and it has one of a kind lines. Yosemite National Park is the proving ground - generations of the best climbers have put up infamous lines - it is where people come to test themselves, and legends are made. Colorado has amazing climbing around every corner - granite, sandstone, you name it. I would love to travel to Europe and climb in the Alps. I have a tick list of mountains including The Matterhorn, and The Eiger that I want to do sometime in my life. I also plan to head to the Himalaya and climb an 8,000 meter peak at some point. There are still a handful of summits I plan to stand on - it isn't all about pebble wrestling and clipping bolts in my future.
Who would win in a fight, Spiderman or Batman?
To be honest, both Spiderman and Batman have different qualities. However, if it were to come down to the basics of each character my favorite would have to be Batman. He is a physically strong person who has no extra abilities, whereas Spiderman was given his spider like abilities. Batman uses his knowledge of technology and wealth to create the tools that he needs in order to helps those in Gotham City. Bruce Wayne is an average man who goes above and beyond to avenge those who are left behind or forgotten.
We'll be keeping you updated with Steve's career in the coming months!
Go Further. Stay Curious.
Photo Credit: Katie Bay Woodbury