It was a relatively simple question. A college student struggling with money asked Estes Park’s legendary climber Tommy Caldwell how to get affordable nutrition.
“Dumpster dive at whole foods …lol,” Caldwelll answered.
Caldwell and climbing partner Kevin Jorgeson took to Reddit to answer questions from fellow climbers Thursday to promote the Sept. 19 opening of “The Dawn Wall,” a documentary chronicling the two’s free climb up Yosemite’s sheer wall by the same name.
Showings of the documentary are largely sold out in Denver. A Red Bull Media House spokeswoman said the company was looking to add more local screens. But if that doesn’t occur, people can stream the documentary on iTunes starting Nov. 20.
Although some questions posed were silly (It was determined that Caldwell would beat Jorgeson in a fight with his high school wrestling skills), others began probing into deeper territories: their next projects, the future of climbing and Caldwell’s favorite local crag.
Here’s a sampling of some of the questions posed and the climbers’ responses.
Question from Reddit user InaneD: ”Short and simple, what is your next big project?”
Tommy Caldwell: “I have another route I’m looking at near The Dawn Wall. But for now, focusing on parenting and activism.”
Kevin Jorgeson: “Varied, but building a climbing gym for my hometown. I started a nonprofit for kids to learn climbing. I am also planning another route up El Capitan near the Dawn Wall.”
Question from Reddit user mikeslug: “What are your favorite hometown crags? Favorite route to repeat?”
TC: “The Diamond on Longs Peak. The Monastery.”
KJ: ”Fort Ross. It’s a boulder on a sandy beach full of classics.”
Question from Reddit user physnchips: “Where is your favorite place to climb?”
TC and KJ: “Yosemite!”
Question from Reddit user Sparty27: “You both started climbing young. Do you remember one of your first climbing goals and how you felt when you finally achieved it?”
TC: “When I was 2 or 3, my dad stuff (sic) a dollar bill in a crack 10 ft up. If I climbed to it, I could have it. So when I did, I felt rich.”
KJ: “Winning Youth National Championship. When that was done, I didn’t want to compete anymore. That’s when I turned to climbing outdoors.”
Question from Reddit user WeenieLoft: “Tommy, as arguably the best big-wall climber in history and all of your daring exploits, do you agree with the Cedar Wright sentiment that climbing is becoming too sterilized and losing its adventure aspect? How do you feel about the future of rock climbing as gyms explode in popularity? Do you see negative/positive things around the corner for our National Parks/climbing as a whole as the demographic changes?”
TC: “For the most part, I don’t agree with Cedars. I live in the most highly impacted place, Colorado, so when people see parks get crowded, they deal with it, they start organizations to build trails. With an increase of climbing popularity, there’s a big increase in climber/environmentalists and that’s the type of culture change we need to save the planet. So we are optimistic.”