Episode 19: Paul Robinson and Jeremy Fullerton — Tales From The Boulders

Paul Robinson has stood at the vanguard of difficult bouldering for years, one of the crop of young beasts to rise to international recognition in the wake of Dave Graham’s and Chris Sharma’s emergence. Along with climbing a score of V15s, Paul has sought out first ascents on almost every continent, starred in some of the finest climbing films ever made, and most importantly carried himself with humor, creativity, and dignity along the way.

Jeremy Fullerton needs no introduction. Literally. He sat in the Thundercling studio for episode 8. If you haven’t listened to that…what are you waiting for?

Paul and Jeremy joined us for a wide-ranging conversation covering everything from Paul’s discovery of climbing as a grommet in New Jersey to why he and Jeremy decided to use a Toys R Us chainsaw to remove timber while building Paul’s new house. Paul also digs into media creation, his competitive nature, his bonkers rise as one of the strongest boulderers in the world, and the speculative nature of grading the most difficult rigs on the planet. Finally, for the first time in public, he digs into the controversy surrounding his epic 2010 ascent of the American classic Lucid Dreaming (V15) in the Buttermilks, Bishop, CA.

What does it feel like to wake up and realize you might be the strongest boulderer in the world, on that day and in that moment? How do you defend yourself against naysayers after FA’ing one of the most difficult rigs on the planet, with an unimpeachable resume but lacking the “uncut footy” as proof? And what becomes of a climbing culture when our strongest and most admired climbers are lambasted and threatened simply because they didn’t get around to setting up a camera to document a send for their sponsors, a film, the consumer, whomever?

Paul and Jeremy, like Dante and Virgil, escort us through the inside world of professional climbing, from the goofiest beginnings to the horror of public humiliation to finally owning one’s own past and future and taking the reigns for good. It’s a helluva tour.

Have a question, suggestion, feedback or a good joke? Wanna know what kind of shampoo products Fidi uses to treat that illustrious mane? Drop us a line at thunderclingpodcast@gmail.com. We read and respond to every missive.

Thanks as always to Ryne Doughty for the dope tunes! Our musical inspiration just took a tumble from a ladder and broke his jaw…and is still playing shows. Heal up, you monster!

And, as always, thanks for giving us a listen. We appreciate it beyond words.

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