Having never met the man, I can only draw speculation from the climbing documentaries that I’ve seen of him. The wonders of editing aside, I can’t help but think that I would find him a likable guy.
Will Stanhope, crack crusher, Canadian, goofball… The first video I saw him in, he wasn’t even climbing. He was commenting on a Reel Rock feature that focused on Honnold. While he certainly seemed to share the stoke of his friend, there wasn’t any frame of reference that outlined his own capability or accomplishments. In that frame of reference, to me, he was just another fan, similar to myself or any of the dozen friends that sat around watching the same movie as I was.
Then.. Boys in the Bugs dropped. That changed my perspective of everything. Will seemed, just, well… fun. “At the end of the day we are just climbing for the sake of climbing.” I feel like that is a statement that most of us can relate to. Being a stereotypical workbag climber, I likely put in more effort than the average climbing tourist (not there is anything wrong with being a climbing tourist.. our community NEEDS you here!), but I also have to manage my life and professional career in order to continue with my particular passion (read: obsessive hobby.)
I decided to dive deeper into the historical accomplishments of Stanhope and what I discovered was inspiring and encouraging. Big Walls, Alipine Ascents, Free Soloing, Trad/Sport/Bouldering… the man is awfully eclectic and his resume reflects that.
The dude seems to be about living life and having fun. Not taking himself too seriously, but basking in the satisfaction of his accomplishments. Very much in the same fashion as my peers.