Ambassador Spotlight | Daniel Gajda

Ambassador Spotlight | Daniel Gajda

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Q: What’s your climbing style?
A: Face climbing / Photographer

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment in climbing, and outside of climbing?
A: My proudest accomplishment as a photographer had been having photos in Rock and Ice. My proudest accomplishment as a climber was finding this incredible V7 slab in Boone that hadn’t been climbed in a very long time, cleaning it on a rope because it is quite tall, then sending it all in the same day!


Rock Climber Daniel Gajda

Q: What advice would you give to your first year climbing self?
A: Stick with it and try harder.

Q: Who do you take advice from and why?
A: I take climbing advice from a couple people but Kerry Scott definitely is one person I always go to for advice about climbing.

Rock Climber Daniel Gajda

Q: How has your training for climbing changed in the last year?
A: My training over the last year has shifted towards a more structured routine rather than just climbing till I am too tired to climb.

Q: How has climbing affected the people you choose to surround yourself with?
A: Climbing has become a huge part of who I am. It has helped me surround myself with some of the best people I have ever met. I choose to surround myself with supportive people who love what they do.

Q: What have you done to give back to the climbing community?
A: Last November I took part in the Rock Project tour which was a great way to help clean up and help rebuild trails at a local crag!

Q: What have you learned from failure?
A: Through failure, the biggest thing that I have learned is to keep trying and never give up. When I started as a photographer I reached out to a few people to try and take some photos of them with no responses. So I went out made connections with the people I wanted to take photos of and did it. Never giving up is key.

Rock Climber Daniel Gajda

Q: Who are the climbers that inspire you the most and why?
A: Jimmy Chin is my biggest inspiration as a photographer and a climber. He takes some of the most incredible photos while being in some of the toughest most brutal environments there are. He really inspires me ever day to keep doing what I’m doing.

Q: What is your favorite climbing location and why?
A: The New River Gorge is definitely my favorite climbing spot because of the style, the beauty, and it is where I first learned went on a big outdoor climbing trip. I love face climbs so climbing at Endless Wall at the New River Gorge is a perfect place for me with tons of long crimpy face climbs.

Q: Why Butora Climbing?
A: Butora is one of the best climbing companies I have ever gotten to work with. Their shoes are the best shoes I have ever climbed in and everybody who works with them or for them are always incredible people to work with.

Q: What are your favorite before and after climbing meals?
A: My favorite before climbing meal is the classic eggs, bacon, and toast. I think my favorite after climbing meal would have to be a chicken Gouda pizza from Pies and Pints at the New RiveG gorge.

Q: What is your spirit animal?
A: I would say a hawk.

Questions from the Internet

Q: What differences have you found in climbing Narsha versus climbing in Acro?
A: The Narsha compared to the Acro is a shoe that is designed to edge on the smallest footholds when outdoor climbing and it gives me the security of really trusting my feet on things I would want to stand up on in other shoes.

Q: What are some tips you would give to new outdoor climbers about crag etiquette?
A: Using common sense at the crag is something that is often overlooked. Music at the crag is one of my biggest no no’s if people are being obnoxious about it. And the biggest thing for me as a photographer is not having stuff scattered all over the ground under the climbs. That can sometimes make or break a photo.

Rock Climber Daniel Gajda

Q: Tips you would give to someone who is stuck on their project? How do you stay motivated when you are stuck?
A: Sometimes the best thing to do is give it a break. Go climb some other things and focus on having fun. Then come back to your project in the best conditions and stronger then you were last time you were on it.

Q: How have you overcome fear in climbing (fear of falling, fear of failure, etc.)?
A: I overcome this fear by knowing that I can do the moves on this climb and all that happens if I don’t is the rope will catch me. That’s the whole reason for a rope and it will do its job. Not being afraid of failure just comes down to knowing that there will always be failures in your climbing. But sends usually start from failures.


Check our next Ambassador, Gabe McKenzie


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