Introducing Eder Lomba Lopez de Ipiña, the newest member of the Scarpa Team. Eder is a Basque climber now living in the UK. Get to know Eder in our latest blog:
Eder has had an interesting journey in climbing, growing up in the Basque country, he didn’t seriously start climbing until he was in his 20s. Working as a plumber, it was a trip to Mexico which changed everything for Eder.
Eder now lives in Sheffield and we caught up with him to learn all about his life and experience climbing.
What was your first climbing experience?
My first climbing experience was a long time ago when I was a boy. I went with my local mountaineering club on a trip to the Pyrenees. We spent 10 days hiking and after that I was introduced to climbing, at a crag called Abuztuko Ekaite in Salvatierra de Esca. Of course, I loved it, but only 13 years later would I understand how much.
You we’re a plumber before dedicating yourself to climbing. What was the moment which made you realise that you wanted to focus on climbing?
In 2015 I went to Mexico for work, and whilst I was there I got to travel around and meet some local climbers that took me to some of the best crags in the country: Chonta, Jilotepec, el Salto… At that time, I was confident leading routes around 6b to 6c. During the 4 months I spent there I changed as a climber and truly discovered my desire for the sport. Whilst at work I would dream of doing the most impressive and hardest lines at the crags I had been visiting. I wanted to climb… I wanted to climb all the time.
When I returned home, and I quit my job, intent on climbing and travel. I started training and improving. I began to work within climbing with a few jobs at various walls, through this I met my coach Joxean. After a while of training with him he offered me an apprentice role and I started to work for him as a coach.
How does climbing in Spain compare to the UK?
I found the biggest difference in climbing to be the availability of dry rock, and good climbing conditions. In the Basque country there are long sport climbing seasons lasting 7-8 months and even outside of the season you are likely to find random weeks of amazing conditions. On top of this you also have crags that you can climb at all year round as long as you are ok with cold temps and windy days. When I started to climb in England in was shocked at how short the season is, and even within the season how bad the weather can be.
Anything you miss from living and climbing in Spain?
I used to live in the Basque country which is a brilliant location for climbing, I miss living 10-20 minutes away from dry rock and world class crags such as: Mugarra, Baltzola, Oñate… However, what I miss the most is the food. I really miss the food…
Biggest challenge you have faced to date?
Probably moving to England having 0 knowledge of English.
What made you choose to join the Scarpa team?
As soon as I bought a pair of Scarpa shoes I fell in love. They were blue Instincts that fitted my feet like no other shoe. The precision, agility and the feeling on your toes and heels is incredible. From then on, I have worn Scarpa shoes on all of my hardest redpoints and onsights. It is an honour to be part of such a great team and to be recognised by my favourite brand.
You’ve recently repeated Batman and Rainshadow at Malham, what’s next on the agenda?
Next big project in the agenda is Rainman, at Malham. I have had some sessions already and have dropped the last move a few times. It is a fantastic route and I hope to finish it soon. After that I am very keen to visit Madagascar to climb in Tsaranoro.
What are your top training tips?
Climb, climb, climb…
How did you keep active & motivated during lockdown?
I found lockdown very tough in the beginning. I was stuck in the UK feeling far away from my family and home, I lost all of my work and had to leave Sheffield. Me and my girlfriend Emily went to live with her parents early on. She was working from home and I had nothing to do, I don’t like having nothing to do.
So, I turned my attention to building a 4.5×3.5 board and making over 400 holds to train on. This was a great help to my motivation and I got really into climbing on the board. During the second lockdown luckily, I wasn’t in the country.
But then in the third lock down, again I was in the U.K … and this time it was cold and dark. So, I began on another project. I fully reconverted my Spanish van over a 2-month period. The weather started to get better and lock down eventually ended, after that and I found a new psych for getting away in the van and climbing as much as I can.
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