AustralianBouldering.com Interviews
Chris "Crell" Ellis

by Tim O'Neill 2000 AustralianBouldering.com

Age?
20 [only just turned though!]

Residence?
Where the blocs are?

Height?
181cm [or 5'11"]

Weight?
67kg [or 10.5 stone]

Ape factor (index) in inches?
+11cm [or +4 inches]

Any other body dimension/anomalies you'd like us to be aware of?
No!

Hardest problem(s)?
La Loup Magnifique 8a, Trauma 7c [both in Sweden] and Chaos and Disorder V10/11

Flashed/on-sighted?
L' Homme Obu V11 [flashed at the Balkans]

Years bouldering/climbing?  How did you get into it?
This is my 4th year on the scene, I was introduced to climbing by my sister Shoni and Tassie friends such as Grant Rowbottom and Sam Edwards.

Sponsors?
5.10 Europe

Ok, so that's the boring questions now let's get down and dirty!  What the hell kind of nickname is "Crell"?  It sounds like a dinosaur or something that whales eat?
It's derived from my unique signiture C R Ellis, cool huh!!

What is it with you guys from Tasmania?  I mean you've bouldered V11 but you don't actually think you're that strong?  Tell us a bit about the scene down there?  What's the secret?
I think it's that we don't pay each other out and also that we're all great friends.  We keep our motivation high by training together and the atmosphere at the woody or the local gym is so full of energy and good vibes it allows us to progress at a faster pace! Maybe it could also be the Hip Hop music which for me generates a more relaxed power attitude?

So is Sam [Edwards] the man?
Well I believe so, but they're all strong from Tassie!

Who else should we be looking out for then?
Adam [Bogus], Kim [Robinson], James [Cameron, he just won the nationals!] and Jake [Bresenhan?].

So what made you leave all that and head to Sweden then?  Let me guess, you're just another Aussie boy that followed your heart there?
Well when Sam Edwards and Grant Rowbottom came back from their trip in '98 I decided that I was going! So after yr 12 I set off and stayed with my Swedish friend Lou Wallin who I met the year before. I ended up staying with her and her fantastic family, doing some work and bouldering for 17 months! It was the best experience I have ever had, and soon I will be heading back over!

What is the scene like over in Sweden?  Are you a star?
The people are great fun. We all train hard at "Klatter Verket" [the local gym] during the cold winter months and then during the crisp springs and autumns we head for the hills and send our projects! Bouldering outdoors is still less popular than climbing with only a few getting out to the blocs! There are a lot of good climbers, but because there is not that much rock about, people tend to focus on competition.

Did you ever get mistaken for that other famous Chris ... errr ... Sharma?
Not really, but some people say I look a bit like him. [He does!]

So 5.10 Europe sponsors you.  Do you get anything other than free shoes?
Not yet ...

I hear that everyone in Sweden is sponsored.  Does it surprise you or disappoint you that it isn't that way here?
It is disappointing here, young strong climbers like Adam Bogus [16] and James Cameron [15] should have been sponsored a long time ago!  I guess it's because bouldering isn't featured in the climbing media at all and coming from Tassie they don't get the exposure from competing that you NSW boys get. It's not just about bouldering hard, these guys can tear up routes too! We have lots to change though, I mean Australia doesn't even compete in the World Cup, probably because we are too far away?

So where else have you bouldered in Europe?
Fontainebleau, France and Sella, Italy. Both really nice.

Tell us a bit more about Fontainebleau?  Is it as awesome as everyone says?
Yeah, the grades are hard and so is the language but the atmosphere is fantastic, there is basically a huge forest with these smooth blocs scattered everywhere, lush! Recommend it to anyone!

What did you do over there?  Anything famous?
L' balance [7c+ or about V10], L'Aerodynamite [7c or about V9], Carnage [7b+ or about V8]

So did you meet anyone more famous than yourself while you were in Europe?
Yeah, I met up with Klem Loskot, he was inspirational and really motivated me to boulder hard. Jacob Andren and Stefan Petterson were my bloc boyz, both are Swedish and are famous to me!

Klem [Loskot] hey.  The honorary Australian.  What was that like?
He is so strong and really motivated, he has a really good attitude towards people and bouldering, a nice guy.

I heard you met Ben [Moon] and Jerry [Moffatt] as well.  What about them?
They're old, but still they can pull down hard.

So living overseas as an Australian did you feel pressure to promote or educate people about the Australian scene?
Not at all, most of them know that Australia has some of the best rock around. And plus I haven't really been travelling myself in Australia yet!

Just recently you flashed L'homme Obu V11 at the Balkans in Sydney.  Tell us about that?
At the time I was in great shape, the conditions were near perfect, I had all the beta and there was no pressure from other people! The moves suited me, it all came together and I did it. Some strong guys have done it and others been close but it still stands as V11 so thats really cool!

Ok, now for some deep personal questions.  What's your favourite food?
Weetabix with Blueberry soup, Pasta.

What, all at once?
Now and then...

Having lived and bouldered overseas do you think that has made you a better person and/or boulderer?
Yes, most definitely. It's opened up my eyes to view people and also boulders diffrently, I am more relaxed about bouldering and what grades I can pull. I have progressed heaps since when I was last in Australia, I had great walls to train on in Stockholm and frequent trips around Sweden and Europe bouldering has made me a better boulderer.

So would you say you were motivated by the ultimate goal of sending something,the entire journey or the politically correct answer that everyone else gives of "the movement"?
At present I believe, getting out amongst the blocs putting up new problems, finding the sequence of moves that suites you and going all out is what I would say drives me! [So that would be the journey then?]

What's 5 times 5?
5

What's 7 times 9?
5

What's 4 time 2?
5

What's the first vegetable that you can think of?
Parsnip.

Did you know that 90% of people say carrots?
Yep.

Damn you know all my tricks already!
Thanks.

Anything final you'd like to say?
Yep. Hi everyone, thanx to you all for getting me into bouldering. Now get off the computer and get out amongst the blocs .....