We met up with Alex Puccio on a hot summer day in Boulder, Colorado. She lives just a few blocks from the SCARPA office and although the 25-year-old climber couldn’t make a 5 o’clock happy hour, she was thrilled to meet up for a midday coffee. We sat down with her to talk about where she’s been climbing and what she has in store for the future.
SCARPA: How did you end up in Boulder?
ALEX PUCCIO: I moved to Boulder right after I graduated from high school. I left for three years to live in Europe, but the weather and climbing here is so amazing.
S: What’s been going on in your climbing world recently?
AP: In December and January, I had a lot of bad luck and was injured a lot. I couldn’t climb for those two months. After recovering, I was able to climb in February’s ABS Nationals and I won my eighth national championship!
I was just out in Europe participating in my fourth Bouldering World Cup circuit, which went okay, but I didn’t have the best preparation for it. I wasn’t feeling super fit and it’s just too expensive to justify. So I went outside for a month to shoot a film with SparkShop, and now I’m back climbing outside in Colorado!
S: Do you mostly climb inside or outside?
AP: I usually split indoor and outdoor 50/50, but right now I’m outside 95 percent of the time. I’ve been exploring Rocky Mountain National Park a lot right now – I actually tried a V14 yesterday out there and fell on the very last hold! I had already gotten through the hard part, but tore a massive hole in my hand. I have to wait for a few days to try again. I’ve found this new energy and strength for climbing outside and I’m going with it.
S: What’s next for you?
AP: I have two big comps I’m training for right now: one in Salt Lake City at Outdoor Retailer, which is just for fun, and 10 days later I’ll be at the Bouldering World Championship in Munich, Germany.
S: How do you think you’ll do in Munich?
AP: I have the potential to win and potential to lose. I usually make it to the finals but it’s such a head game. It totally depends on who has the best mental game that day. Boulder problems tend to be more tricky than hard.
S: How do you train for these events?
AP: I never lift weights, I just naturally have big muscles. I’ve been running a bit but mostly I just train on the wall, climb outside and hike a lot. But I’m not sure I like hiking if there aren’t boulders at the end of it!
S: When you’re not climbing, what do you like to do?
AP: I climb all the time, but I like to shop! I’m really girly. I have an addiction to Lululemon and I just chill a lot and relax. I try to do things that are not stressful. I love working and coaching, and work doesn’t seem stressful (unless the kids I coach are competing!). I like having a schedule and structure. It makes you value a vacation.
S: What’s next for you besides climbing?
AP: I’ve been talking about getting more into fitness. I’d start with being a personal trainer – take the test, get a certification – and then maybe do some fitness modeling. And then I could get into nutrition? I don’t know! I get bored being just one thing. I’d like to go to school and get a job. But right now I’m content. I’ll keep on climbing as long as it makes me happy.
S: This month our theme is happy hour. What’s your favorite drink when you’re out with friends?
AP: Strawberry mojitos!
S: What is your favorite piece of SCARPA gear?
AP: I love the Instinct VS – they fit perfectly. I like one shoe for everything. Why change? I’m set in my ways.
Thanks for meeting us for happy hour, Alex! Good luck in your upcoming comps!