Welcome to Episode 30 of the Ω Powerband Podcast - a podcast dedicated to rock climbing in Aotearoa New Zealand.
In this episode, I speak with rural doctor, snowboarder, surfer, mountain biker and bona fide climbing legend, Dave Fearnley.
For those who have been living under a rock for the last decade or two, Dave is a mythical character in New Zealand climbing. In the 1980s and early 90s, Dave was at the forefront of climbing development, establishing a slew of hard and often committing routes from Whanganui Bay to Paines Ford to Castle Hill to the Port Hills to Hanging Rock to Long Beach and back again. He was one of the very best climbers in what many regard as the golden era of New Zealand rock climbing.
The myth of Dave Fearnley is one of a bold, uncompromising climber, who valued commitment and style above all else and who had no time for closed projects! That myth was built on the many classic test pieces he established but, as myths tend to do, it really flourished after he vanished from the climbing scene in the mid 1990s; lured away by the charms of snowboarding, surfing and mountain biking.
In our conversation, we go beyond that myth to discover (surprise, surprise!) that Dave was and is just another climber - albeit a particularly capable and well-accomplished climber. It's a rollicking chat covering everything from Dave's origins as a climber to his significant contribution to New Zealand rock climbing to his drift away from climbing and his reflections now on climbing, on who he was as a climber and what climbing meant to him.
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