Patxi was a professional competition climber for more than 8 years. During that time he won all titles there were to win culminating with the gold in the World Championship in 2009. Although he really enjoyed those years, he had to combine extenuating training and competitions with rock climbing, which was his beginning as a climber when he was 10 and which still is his passion at over 40. He is glad that all that successes and hard work allow him to now live doing what he really loves.
Birthday: September 7, 1980
Home town: Eibar, Basque Country, Spain
Current home: Oliana, Lleida, Spain
Favorite MAXIM rope: Airliner 9.1mm
“Climbing gives me what I need, balance, energy and a big smile every time.”
“This sport requires true confidence in your gear. If you are not confident on it at the wall you cannot focus on your climbing. MAXIM ROPES help me get a complete focus.”
“Lightness, safety and durability. The Airliner ropes from Maxim is the perfect balance, there is probably nothing better out there.”
Patxi Usobiaga Lacunza
Tell us how and when you got into climbing?
It was love at first sight. When I was 10 years old I watched it on the television for the first time, a few days after I went climbing for the first time. My parents encouraged and supported me doing it during my teenage years and nothing has stopped me since.
What do you think was the highlight of your climbing career (so far)?
World cups 2006-2007 and the world Championship 2009. They were somehow the culmination of my career with the most important medals that existed at that time.
What are you doing when you are not climbing?
I am a father so when I am not climbing, bolting, training or working I am with my family, which requires a lot of energy.
What is the soundtrack of your life (favorite song)?
Nuvole Bianche , Ludovico Einaudi
What stokes you the most?
Many things and actions move me, but one that is incredible is when I see an athlete get a medal. I know what it means and the sacrifice behind it.
If you could choose a super power, what would it be?
Stopping time, to be able to do all I want to do during a day. 24 hours is not enough.
What was your favorite climbing adventure?
When I see a line on a wall and I bolt it and then start evolving on it to get the send. The harder the route, the greater the adventure, and the more you enjoy it. That is what climbing is about.
What would you be doing if you weren't a pro climber?
Climbing too. I would have managed something to keep on doing it full (or almost full) time.
Find out more about Patxi here:
Country/City: Ceuse, France
One of the best lines I have ever climbed. King line. I had to make several trips to climb it, even though I was ready to send I kept falling probably because I was pressuring myself to send it. The day I got over that I sent it. This is a visionary line bolted by Jean Cristophe Lafaille, and was besieged by climbers like Arnaud Petit, until in 2001 Chris Sharma made the FA proposing 9a+. Perfect crimps and holes on a world-class rock, perfect. Also full of colors that make it very attractive from the ground.
Country/City: Peramola, Lleida, Catalunya/Spain
A personal battle that lasted 8 years. On my first trip in 2009, I was very close to send it, but in an attempt my shoulder came out and I had to get surgery. 8 years later, after many changes in my life, I was back under the same personal project. Everything was different and especially my level (much lower), but I felt that if I trained hard and focused I could do it. And so it was on and after a great struggle, I managed to climb those 45 meters of pure resistance in the Contrafort del Rumbao wall. The route was bolted and FAed by Chris Sharma.
This route is so legendary that it makes you have a different respect for it. So many times seen in magazines, videos and one of Gülich’s historic ascents. For me, with this route the fight was against the atmospheric conditions, not against the difficulty of the route. My fingers get numbed at low temperatures and I had to really focus to send it before the winter conditions arrived in the fall of 2008.
© Javi Pec, Jan Novak, Bernardo Gimenez