My name is Alex Waterhouse, I’m a 24 year old competition climber originally from Plymouth but now living in Sheffield to train for the World Cup season.
I’ve been climbing for 13 years, and have been competing for most of that time, starting on the junior circuit in 2013. I took a break from comps to study in the USA, but I’ve been back for a couple of years and focusing on competition climbing for that whole time.
Get to know Alex
Tell us about your successes so far?
My biggest success to date in competition is my 8th place finish at my second ever IFSC world cup in Salt Lake City, USA this year. After a cancelled 2020 season, my debut season on the international senior circuit was delayed, so to come out and make the semi-final and almost the final so quickly was incredibly exciting. Outside, climbing my first 9a (The Fly, Rumney, NH USA) and 8B+ (New Base Line, Magic Wook, Switzerland) in the same year was an amazing marker of my progress as a climber.
What are you working on? What are your goals for the future?
I am currently finishing up the IFSC season, looking to gain experience in the scene to hopefully have a successful 2022 season with the goal of qualifying for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. I have also co-launched a hold brand this year, Contact Holds, making fibreglass climbing holds in the UK. I am also excited to grow the company while I improve myself as a competition climber.
Why do you climb? What do you love about climbing?
For me, climbing is all about solving a puzzle with the skills and physical capabilities I have developed. I love the feeling of progress, and climbing gives me a complex environment to push myself to improve in. Through climbing, I have learned to work hard and think deeply about my performance in order to improve, and those are skills that will serve me well in all the other aspects of my life.
Which Scarpa shoe is your favourite?
My current go-to is the Drago LV. It fits my foot perfectly, is ideal for the modern, smeary competition style but can handle edging in most circumstances. I normally pair it with the Instinct VS WMN in my competition bag so I can stand on a tiny edge if the boulder demands it.
Tell us about your best day climbing?
Competing in the semi-final of the Salt Lake City world cup and flashing 2 boulders has got to my best day on the wall. I climbed with total confidence and no expectation surrounded and supported by the people that I love and I had a blast the whole day. If I can manage any more days like that through my competition career then I will count it as an unreserved success.
What do you do away from your sport?
Mostly I make climbing holds, but I also enjoy Kendama and playing chess when I can find the time. I’m not very good at either of them, but I enjoy the process all the same!
The driving seat of my Transit Van, Nimbus. He’s allowed me to live in Sheffield to focus on my training when walls across the UK were closed, travel across Europe to climb on rock and gives me the flexibility to be where I need to be in comfort.