We asked our friend Tommy some questions! Check them out below:
What would you be doing professionally, if you weren’t climbing?
It's hard to say for sure because everything I know and am is connected to climbing in some way. I climb because it is my first choice for a professional hobby and obsession. But if I had to give up climbing right now, I would chose a profession that challenged me to create in some way. Writing, building, designing... something along those lines.
How long did it take you to adjust to only climbing with 4 ½ fingers on your left hand?
Within three months after chopping off my finger, I was climbing near a level that I was doing when I had ten fingers. But I always knew I would no longer be able to reach my full potential in bouldering or sport climbing, So I gravitated towards more adventurous forms of climbing.
What is your favorite music to listen to while climbing?
I don't really listen to music while climbing unless I am training alone on my home wall. I tend to listen to fast paced electronic music with heavy bass.
Your dad got you into climbing but if he had been into say, kayaking, do you think you would be a professional kayaker or do you think you were just meant to climb?
I don't think I was meant only to climb. I am sure my focus could have taken many forms. Climbing was just what was right there in front of me. But I do think climbing is the best sport on earth. But who knows, if kayaking was right in front of me, I might think kayaking was the best sport on earth.
Do you have any advice for new climbers?
Get involved in the climbing community. Watching how the lives of others are enriched by climbing is the best way to become inspired yourself.
How would you advise people to push their limits while maintaining the fun of the sport?
The sport is inherently fun, so if you can shape your vision and experience of the activity in a way that drives you, the fun part should be easy. If it is not fun, try changing the venue, or possibly the activity all together.
Any places you haven't been, that you would like to go to?
Greenland, Baffin Island, Pakistan, Ruth Gorge Alaska, about a zillion places in Europe, Asia and Australia. Maybe the question should be where do I not want to go?
What is the next trip you are excited about?
I am focused on becoming a better storyteller right now, and therefore not letting myself dream about the next trip because that would be too disgracing.
Are there any climbers [or other people] that inspire you?
The climbers of the golden age of Yosemite, My Dad, Chris Sharma, Ashima, Adam Ondra. Pretty much anyone that has found intense passion in their chosen activity.
What do you think the future holds for the sport of climbing? What achievements will we see in the next 10 years?
I have seen incredible progression in the disciplines of bouldering and sport climbing. Kids are doing things I could never conceive of just ten years ago. I imagine that skill and dedication will work its way up the rungs of the ladder to the more adventurous disciplines of climbing. There are so many more people involved in climbing these days. That means a larger gene pool to draw from that will inevitably push the sport of climbing to new levels.
Do you have another "Dawn Wall" or are you ready for a break?
In terms of big climbing objectives, I think need a break. Right now I am trying to write the best book I can and that feels like my next Dawn Wall.