7 Questions with Colin Haley

In our “7 Questions” interviews, we catch up with inspiring people from all around the world and all walks of life, from everyday heros to world class athletes. We chose the 7 questions to try and gain a glimse of personal motivation and philosophy that we can all relate to and be inspired by! 

Introducing Colin Haley

This week for “7 Questions” we meet American Alpinist Colin Haley, world class athlete and total guru of all things Patagonia. Colin is famous for first ascents and super fast ascents of technical alpine-style routes, particularly in Alaska, Canada and Patagonia, including speed records on Torre Traverse and Wave affect with Alex Honnold. Read on to discover that underneath this gnarly alpinist lies a soppy romantic!

1) Draw a 60 second picture of something on your bucket list!
2) If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three luxury items would you bring and why?

1: An iPod/phone/computer packed with 8 terrabytes of music and audiobooks and movies. Maybe that’s a cop-out of an answer, but a modern computer can hold as much artistic creation as 100 full-size libraries could have 50 years ago, so it seems like an obvious choice!

2: A combo solar panel-battery, just because otherwise I won’t be able to enjoy the music and books for very long!

3: Flippers and a snorkel – might as well enjoy some of the local recreation!

3) What is the most inspiring quote or best piece of advice that you have been given? 

Well, I’m not sure if I would count it as “inspiring,” but one quote which I like, and which I’ve seen attributed to various people, is this: “Good judgement comes from experience. However, experience tends to come from bad judgement.”

4) What’s your favourite adventure snack?

My favorite snack (for adventures or otherwise) is onigiri, which is essentially a Japanese ball of sticky rice, wrapped in seaweed (usually in a triangular shape), and with something delicious inside, like fatty salmon or fish eggs.

5) Share a photo from a moment you remember feeling very happy
"we were just madly in love, embracing outside of a Chamsud laundromat"

This photo is from a few years ago, here in Chamonix. I wasn’t doing any radical climbs, or particularly amazing skiing, but I was here with my girlfriend, Alisa. At the time we had only been together a short while, and it wasn’t yet clear if our relationship would mature or end, because we had very different lifestyles, very different life trajectories, and it wasn’t clear whether or not Alisa could appreciate living in Chamonix. But, I was falling very much in love with her – mad about someone in the way that only happens in the early stages of a relationship, and only with someone that impresses you so much. I had gone and done a half day of skiing with some other friends, and then was doing laundry at a laundromat across from the Aiguille du Midi télépherique. Alisa came to meet me, and I remember being so incredibly overjoyed and happy to see her walking towards me across the street. What I love about this moment is that we both felt it to be one of our most romantic moments ever, but it is totally the antithesis of stereotypical scenes of romance – we were just madly in love, embracing outside of a Chamsud laundromat!

6) What book, movie or podcast do you think that everyone should experience?

My favorite book is “Endurance,” about the epic, failed, but miraculous expedition led by Ernest Schackleton, attempting to reach the South Pole. However, I don’t think there is any one book/movie/podcast that everyone needs to experience. 

7) If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

 I would tell my younger self to take stretching and mobility seriously, and that traumatic injuries often affect you much longer than you might think, in subtle but annoying ways, so avoid banging yourself up too much! I learned relatively young (at 23) that the damage of alcohol isn’t worth the benefits of alcohol, but I wish I had realized that earlier.

Thank you Colin!

You can follow Colin’s adventures on his instagram here or visit his website www.colinaley.com

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