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Interview: Buster Martin

Buster came on Rock Action in 2009 and 2010.  His levels of psyche were quite hard to ignore!  It was quite clear he was destined for something good and I wasn't wrong.  I remember at the end of the second trip he dragged his Dad straight back to Rubicon, minutes after the course finished, to try and finish off Kudos, a tricky 7a+ boulder problem.  I can't imagine there is a moment when Buster isn't either thinking about or actually going climbing.

Buster has certainly travelled to many places across the UK and Europe to climb in a very short time.  Now he is splitting his time between comps and crags.  Love to climb wishes him all the best for the forthcoming 2012 comp season.  Interview Feb 2012

Name: Buster Martin
Age: 15

Where do you live?
Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

How long have you been climbing?
4 years



Buster Martin on Cider Soak 8a Ansteys

Buster on Empire of the Sun 7b, Ansteys Cove

Where do you climb?
At the Westway, London

I've just had a great 2011 out on rock and indoors, ticking my first outdoor f8a routes and V8+/F7B+ boulders. Comps have taken me to Bulgaria, Imst, Pau, Kranj and Ratho, as well all round the UK.

In 2011, trips to Siurana, Zillertal, Lower Pen Trwyn, Otztal, Nassereith, Malham, Kilnsey, Rubicon, Stanage, Anstey's Cove, Brean Down, Portland and Raven Tor have been inspiring. Otztal with Ed Hamer, Dolphin’s Cry (f7c) at Zillertal with Luke Tilley, trying Predator (8b) with Zippy, and Burbage with Liam Halsey, my coach, were highlights.

What got you into climbing?
I had my 8th birthday party at my local wall and something obviously captured my imagination, though it was three years before, much to my dad’s surprise, I suddenly announced that I wanted to climb.

What are your best climbing achievements?
I was pleased to win the Youth A British Open in 2011. It was my first first place. This secured me selection for the 2012 World championships. In my first year of international competitions in Youth B last year, I got a 17th place world ranking.

I was proud to help represent climbing at a BMC meeting at the House of  Commons with Sports and Olympic Minister Hugh Robertson and Dame Kelly Holmes, both climbers, to  promote the global campaign to have the sport made an Olympic event. 

I’ve just done my first indoor 8b at The Westway, where I train. It took about 25 goes, but only Adrian Baxter and Liam Halsey have got up it as well (though loads of beasts have tried).

Doing West Side Story (font 7b+) on New Year’s Day has got me really psyched for 2012.

Best outdoor redpoints:
L'escamarlà-Ramadán (8a), Siurana, April 2011
The Cider Soak (8a), Anstey’s Cove, May 2011

Competition Achievements:
1st, British Youth Open (Youth A) 2011
2nd, UK Leading Ladder 2011 (Junior elite)
6th, British Bouldering Championships 2011 (Junior)
17th, World and European Youth B ranking 2011

Buster Martin on Statement of Youth 8a

Buster working the moves on the classic Statement of Youth 8a Pen Trywn

You’ve been making swift progress with your climbing.  You seem to be doing a mix of outdoor climbing and competitions.  How do you see your climbing going? What are your climbing goals for 2012?
I’ve got a tough challenge in my first year in Youth A internationals. I’m up against people my age who do 8c+/9a. A top 20 ranking in Europeans would be good.

I’ve not had the opportunity to make as much progress outdoors as I’d hoped since doing The Cider Soak last spring. GCSEs got in the way. Hope to go to Ceuse this summer as soon as they’re over. 

And I’ve got to get going on trad. Since Rock Action I’ve only had one other chance to try it (did an E1 and looked at an E5 which was desperate).

Can you name any particularly favourite climbs?
Breakfast Arete (font 7a), The Nose (font 7a+) and West Side Story (font 7b+) at Burbage
Crescent Arete (HVS or font 5), Stanage Plantation ‘cos it’s scary
Stone Cold Sober, Zillertal
Axle Attack 7a+, Pen Trwyn

What were your top tips that you gained from the Rock Action trips?
To have fun!  I learnt lots about ropework and placing gear for trad.  James McHaffie told me I need to be more scared!

You seem to be very psyched about climbing!  What drives your motivation?
I just love it every day. I love the history and what people have achieved.

Buster is sponsored by La Sportiva, Beal and Petzl’