California has produced some of the best climbers in the world. Alex Honnold, known internationally for his soloing, hails out of Sacramento. Another up and coming rock star also comes from the Central Valley.
For the past four years, Joe Diaz, an 18 year old student at Bay High School and climber of eight years, has been crushing the bouldering and sport sections on the national climbing circuit. He won silver in the 2015 US National Bouldering competition. This past year, he won the Touchstone Climbing Series comps and will be taking his competitive climbing skills to the World Championships in Arco, Italy in August.
“I got into climbing by my parents bring me to multiple birthday parties at Granite Arch,” said Diaz, who began climbing at ten years old. “I was also inspired by my cousins in Colorado who have been climbing their entire lives.”
Diaz’s commitment to climbing has paid off. He excelled at the Touchstone Climbing Series this past year. “It was great climbing with people that I knew,” said Diaz about the Touchstone Comp. “The finals was one of the loudest and most exciting crowds that I have every seen.”
His obsession with competition climbing has helped him excel at the sport. “I like comp climbing because it allows me to see routes that I’ve never seen before, and I tend to do better than others under stress,” said Diaz.
Diaz has been preparing for the World Championships as best as he can. “I’m mainly training as much as I can to work out my weaknesses,” he said. “My biggest weakness is pinches, so I’m working on pinches at the worst possible angles.”
When he’s done with World’s he has other plans. “After I graduate I plan to study 3d animation at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco,” Diaz said in regards to his post-highschool plans. “I don’t know where I’m going to be climbing in the future I only know I’ll never stop climbing.”