Touchstone Blog Archive
Friday, February 5, 2010
  Cuz Crushes: Touchstone Routesetter Hikes Bishop Testpieces
Hailing from Charlotte NC, Cuz, Brian Hedrick, moved to the bay area with the intentions of working for three weeks on a boat. Instead of becoming a mariner, Cuz joined the Touchstone Route setting team, taking his experience as a setter at Charlotte's Inner Peaks to a larger arena. All the time climbing and training in the gym has paid off for Cuz who has had a banner Bishop season this year, completing Buttermilker Stand (V12), The Mystery (V12), Haroun and the Sea of Stories(V11/12), Michael Caine SDS (V12), flashing Acid Wash (v10), and crushing a number of other double digit problems. The 23 year old strong man took some time off from his hectic schedule of destroying the boulders to answer a few questions.

Cuz crushing Haroun and the Sea of Stories (v12)

How did you start climbing?

I've been climbing for going on 11 years. I started out at a small climbing gym in NC called Inner Peaks. My first trip into the gym was an end of the year Team Party for my baseball team. After the first day of climbing, My dad got my little brother and I a membership.

Where did you get the nickname Cuz?

It's a terrible story....

As with any job, especially with one with as much ego associated it as route setter, there is a significant harassment period for newcomers. A bit of innocent heckling is to be expected. I was no exception. For the first month, the rest of the crew was trying to come up with a good insignia for me instead of just my initials, BH.

One day while setting the Yosemite Wall at Mission Cliffs, a fellow route setter Dave Wallach decided to get stuck on the idea that EVERYONE from the South calls each other Cuz. He was persistent while using a terrible interpretation of the vernaculars of the South. The rest of the crew got into it, naturally. It stuck and the rest is history. Now it's rare for anyone to even know my real name!

How did you get so strong?

The right application of motivation is the key to climbing harder in my opinion. I've never worked on finger strength and have only trained my core. Progressing through climbing is more about the experience you obtain from many ascents of all grades. You will never lose experience from climbing a problem or a route just because it's not the grade you think you can climb. Be motivated for the number but more importantly, inspired by the line.

What are you climbing goals?

My climbing goals for the year are to climb consistent V13 and to climb at least one V14. I want to rope climb 5.14b or harder and I want to up my trad climbing abilities and get a few ascents of both El Cap and Half Dome. I want to try and free Half Dome's Regular Route as well.

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