History of a 'climbing animal'
an interview with Daï KOYAMADA
by Kazu CHIBA
Biography of Daï
Born in Kagoshima on August 23,
Climbs since 15 years
Some remarkable sends
May 2004: The Wheel of Life, 8c+ (Grampians,
Australie), first realization
November 2004: Dreamtime, Cresciano, 8c, within two days
2004: winner of the Golden Piton Award awarded by Climbing Magazine (USA)
October 2005: Action Directe, Frankenjura 9a
Can you describe Angama for us?
It's very simple: one starts at the arete to the left of Fata i Helvete, and
traverses to the right and exits in that boulder problem. The problem, which I
have named Angama(*), seems much more difficult to me than Fata i Helvete
8b (8b+): that's why I propose 8c. But it might be possible that with
better conditions, repetitors find it more easy than 8c…
In what conditions did you succeed in this
I climbed the problem on October 24. During the night of the 23rd, there
was a storm… but the wind which blew very strong quickly dried the
holds, and eventually it were the best conditions during my stay. It was one
of these miracle days!
How many days did you work on Angama?
Two years ago, I had already worked on the sequence for 2 days, and this
time I spent 4 days on the problem, so it took me 6 days on the whole. I found
the best movements on October 23, so I was motivated not to miss the
opportunity on the 24th.
What did you find the most difficult part?
It's really the first movement that I find the most difficult: I am not
very large… For me, it is a dynamic move, but I found some tricks using
toe hooks. Subsequently, one has to grab the starting hold of Fata I Helvete:
it is usually taken with 3 fingers, but I found a technique to put 4 fingers
on it. It was a good point for me, because it is a dynamic move in a traverse
on a small nubbin for your right hand, and it is already the tenth move in the
Previously, I had tried to connect the traverse with Fata Morgana, but the
holds were too wet and therefore I finally exited by the less climbed line of
Fata I Helvete!
But maybe one day…
What is your secret behind these
I make sure to be in good shape when trying a project like Dreamtime or
Wheel of Life. And you know, if I have a deadline for a climb, I can really go
deep! This time, I couldn't profit of any period of good weather… but I
am accustomed to these kind of conditions in Japan, where it is often hot and
always very humid. Over there, I am often obliged to climb during the evening
to be able to work in hard projects!
Some concluding remarks?
I am extremely happy to have climbed this line, especially under such
difficult conditions! I will definitely return to Fontainebleau, because for
me it is the best bouldering spot in the world, and there are still plenty of
possibilities in the forest. Moreover, I really like the atmosphere: it is
very calm, there is a good ambiance, in short it is much in line with my
(*) name of a traditional danse of the Islands of Okinawa,
southern part of Japan (Ed.)