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Interview with Trent Searcy

An interview with Trent Searcy by Tom O’Halloran.

Trent Searcy is an understated fella. He’s from Adelaide, enjoys long days amongst the boulders and cool rock climbs. He also has the ability to grow a pretty sweet moustache and actually pull off the look, without looking ironic. It’s a look which wouldn’t be out of place in the 70’s. As I’m sure you’re aware, it’s not the 70’s though, its 2021, and Trent’s hanging in Araps trying a relatively recent Dave Jones boulder called Brunch. I asked Trent what grade it was and he said, ‘V11, but yeah, stiff!’

I hadn’t ever heard about this boulder until Trent posted a few photos and clips of it on Instagram. Wowsers it looks great. Then Dave Jones put up a video of himself from a good redpoint attempt from a few years back. Far out!! I needed to know more, so sent Trent some questions to satisfy my own curiosity.

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Trent working the moves on Brunch, V11

BD: We’ve been watching you over instagram putting the pieces together on a boulder in Dyurrait (Arapiles) called Brunch. Can you give us some history on the climb?

TS: I know Dave Jones made the first ascent of Brunch in mid 2016. I’d take a guess that it didn’t see too many serious contenders because it looks impossible without chalk on it. Real cool Dave having the eye to see it go. From my research it doesn’t seem to have a second ascent, which is a surprise these days being a boulder at Arapiles and an absolute plum line just off the central gully hiking track.

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Not a short boulder. A bodylength up and another 2 to go!

BD: What drew you to trying it?

TS: It’s a jaw dropper of a Boulder problem. You look up at it and think about pulling the moves it gives you chills man. It’s technical, steep, small holds, that Arapiles rock so pretty smooth, plenty of tension and precision. Hot damn. I’ve inspected it probably every year for the last eight years thinking how awesome to have that ability to climb on it. If you know me you’ll know I move pretty slowly so I’d tried it when it was a project and I’d seen Dave working it out before he sent which was amazing, and this round, years down the track, I had some more time and bit more experience so I thought I’d really get stuck in and try.

BD: We’ve seen you trying moves off a rope and off a ladder, have you used these tactics before on boulders? What’s the benefit? It seems to be what all the pros do these days; we’ve never tried.

TS: oh the rope I’ve definitely used before on boulders it seems a bit odd but for the higher rocks I don’t want to be lobbing off every time I try the moves and some of them I don’t want to be lobbing off at all so I do a little top rope rehearsal to piece it together. Ground up is the ultimate and respect to those that can do it. The ladder is only really on this boulder the crux is pretty brutal on the right index finger, I can’t pull it every time to try the second crux, a tension right hander side pull extender move. So Ive brought out my 3step costco ladder a couple of times to aid in halfway.

BD: It’s quite tall and looks to have some spicy moves at the top. What’s your mental approach to trying boulders with the height/danger factor?

TS:  It is fairly spicy and I feel the deep belly sick sometimes thinking about pulling the top moves. There’s a bit of back and forth with the brain game. I don’t want to wreck myself and put any extra pressure on our medical friends because of some rock climbing antics. Yeh it’s weird I’ll for sure shake myself more and hurt myself way more on my mountain bike or skateboard than I would on any boulder but it’s the creep fear on a highball.. slow awareness as you get higher. Creepy. Cool. I’m conservative in my approach to it.

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BD: Are there any other lines around the area you have your eye on?

TS: There could be, make sure to check in on my Insta stories

BD: Lock down has been a real plan wrecker for all of us. How have you approached your climbing/life through this time?

TS: Totally, we’re nearing the end of 2021? Social distancing isn’t a new concept for me though. Quite often I’ll climb alone and I work fairly remotely in the wind energy sector, so I’ve been fortunate enough to stay working and fairly isolated geographically but it means I’ll be away from my rocks and away from home for good chunks at a time. Having a beautiful understanding partner at home helps and each location I end up in brings out some sort of creativity if I let it. I’m trying to make the most out of my posting in Horsham.

BD: First place you’re keen to go once we can travel around the country?

TS: Yeh probably opposite to the majority, but I need the borders to open to get home, my essential work doesn’t always leave me as an essential traveller as this whole situation changes constantly.

BD: We quite like the creativity of the videos and photos you share on Instagram. We’ve also seen you making some pretty rad pictures out of pebbles. You seem to have quite the artistic flare. Can you tell us little about this side of you?

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TS: That’s real nice of you. I can weirdly put a huge amount of time into editing a 15 second Instagram story and its shared and then it’s gone, like climbing I’ll put in a lot of effort to pull three moves, try over and over, years.. I’ll do it, or not it doesn’t really matter but the effort itself always seems to be it’s own reward. Maybe that’s where I was going with the pebble creation, it was a meditation of sorts. Lockdown was being brought in plenty of uncertainty, I was outback in the desert of Broken hill in the middle of a 4 month stint, sixty hour weeks. Plenty of beers consumed, but I enjoyed moving my gravel on the concrete slab, loads of time placing them, creating something, no real meaning behind the piece itself but in the placing of each piece itself. The owner of the house did say they got some amusement out of it before I swept it all off to the side. I like that.

BD: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today mate. Hopefully we see you get Brunch soon.

TS: Thanks for the interest guys. Catchya!

You can follow Trent on instagram @trentsearcy

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