Boulder, Competition Climber & Catalyst Climbing Coach a.k.a. Captain Cutloose
Thank you to Louis for letting us interview him at Round 1 of Blokfest 2018, at Harrowall.
Who you are and what do you do?
I’m Louis Parkinson, I’ve been climbing for around 15 years. I’m a professional coach, and head coach at Catalyst Climbing. I love competing, I love travelling, I love climbing outdoors. I love all of it really.
What was your first climbing experience?
My first climbing experience was when my parents arranged a climbing birthday party for my younger sister; I went along and I was terrible at it… really, really bad… but I really liked it so I carried on going.
How did you know that climbing was your thing?
I suppose after University, I could tell that I should spend more time just pursuing climbing as some kind of job. I studied pharmacology at Leeds but most of the time I went out on rocks or I went to competitions.
Where is your favourite outdoor climb?
That’s a good question. My favourite outdoor climbing area I think would either be Caley Roadside in Yorkshire, because that’s where I spent most of my time at University or there’s a place called Oukaimeden in the High Atlas Mountains. That’s a cool place, I liked it there.
What has been your proudest climbing moment?
Proudest moment for myself would be climbing my first V13; I was very proud of that and I had to work very hard to complete it. Other than that, I really love coaching and seeing people progress. I have a lot of proud moments through my work, I find it really fulfilling. Today was a good one. I got to watch the Catalyst Creatures junior team absolutely smash through the competition, it was great!
What are your ambitions?
I don’t like to set myself any specific goals, so instead I have a general ambition: I want to carry on climbing, enjoying it and pushing myself for at least the next 15 years.
Lead, Speed or Boulder and Why?
Bouldering, bouldering, bouldering. Because it’s the best one. You get to do cool moves, it’s like climbing distilled into the purest version it can be.
What are your most liked and hated healthy foods?
Ooh. Most hated is easy! Are parsnips healthy? I don’t care, I hate parsnips, I hate them so much. They’re awful, I don’t know why anyone likes them. Parsnips, uh, they can be destroyed for good. Favourite healthy food… I like cashew nuts. Cashew nuts are good.
If not climbing, what sport would you be doing?
Is computer games a sport? (Interviewer – “no” [laughs]). It kind of is, you can win a lot of money in Korea. Computer games, I’ll do computer games as a sport.
Give us an inspiring quote (either yours or someone else’s).
Every time you want to say the word “can’t”, replace it with “haven’t yet”. It’s a great way of building a positive mindset!
Interviewed by Ava