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8 Year Old Bouldering Phenom Chats with Camp4

 8 Year Old Bouldering Phenom Chats with Camp4

by Sean Hudson

April 16, 2002

Cicada Jenerik...heard of her? No we didn't think so, but watch out. This eight-year-old phenom is going to be making some waves in the competition and bouldering circuit. When she was 7 years old she was pulling down V5. Now she is eight years old and has done a V7. But thats not all she has her sights set on a V8 while she is still eight years old. How about that for motivation?

Cicada Jenerik started her athletic career in Gymnastics. Her exceptional strength and flexibility prompted her coaches to put her in the Tops program, which would provide the development needed for a possible slot on the US National team. But in December of 2000 her father built a bouldering wall in their warehouse. Cicada practically lived on the wall and at 7 years old, joined the JCCA, took third in the NOR CAL region and twenty sixth at Nationals in the Girls eleven and under category. She had to make a hard decision between Gymnastics and Climbing, as it was not possible to do both. Climbing won out and throughout the rest of the year Cicada trained hard and discovered a new passion, bouldering outside. On December eighth, 2001 Cicada sent Beak Mantle at Castle Rock, CA. She is believed to be the youngest Female to send V5 (7 years, 259 days old). While climbing in Bishop, CA, the editors of Vbouldering magazine were so impressed with her ability that they interviewed her for their premier issue. Competition climbing continued with the Youth Climbing League, where she flashed all but one route in the entire season, placing first in overall, difficulty and speed. She is currently competing in the USCCA and is a close second to US Youth Team Member Tiffany Hensley. Her competition goal for this year is to place in the top four at Nationals which will secure a spot on the US Youth Team. Only one other youth climber has ever made the team at 8 years old, her training partner Scott Cory. Her finest achievement to date is her recent send of the Monkey Bar Traverse (V7) at the Kraft Boulders, Calico Basin, NV Once again she may have set a world record as she is believed to be the youngest Female to send V7 (8 years, 37 days old). Climb X Media will soon be running an article, interview and video of Cicada and on the Monkey Bar Traverse.

Although Cicada is a strong competition climber and has recently started climbing on lead, her passion for climbing rest firmly in bouldering on rock. Her current bouldering goal is to send V8 while she is 8. If she could, she'd move to Bishop, CA in a heart beat, and spend every day at the Happy and Sad boulders.

Cicada Jenerik Camp4 recently had a chance to talk to Cicada and her father, Scot. Here is what they had to say...

C4- We understand you were a gymnast before becoming a climber. What got you interested in climbing, why climbing?

Cicada- My Dad started climbing so I got interested. He built a climbing wall and I loved it so much I felt like sleeping on it. Climbing Rocks!

C4- You mentioned one of your short-term goals was to climb V8 while you are still eight years old. Have any ideas on a particular climb to complete this goal?

Cicada- There's a traverse called Orange Top Blue Sky at the Kraft Boulders that I know I can do. I want to find one in Bishop too since we go there more often and it doesn't take as long to drive there.

C4- Lisa Rands is probably one of the best female (or male) boulder's around. I believe she and Claire Murphy are the only females to climb V10. Your ascent of a V7 is amazing, but I don't think you will stop at just V8. What are your long-term goals? I would guess finishing school is one of them.

Cicada- When I grow up I want to be a climber, even though I already am. I want to win the world cup and boulder harder than any females ever have.

C4- Speaking of other female climbers, do you have any heroes or other people that really inspire you? ...male or female

Cicada- When I watch other people climb hard, it makes me want to climb harder, like Scott Cory, Frankie Ocasio and Lisa Rands.

C4- Do you train to climb, or do you just get out at every opportunity possible?

Cicada- I want to climb any time I can, but most of the time I'm at the gym, but it really sucks because I'd rather be out doors.

C4- How often do you get to climb, and where is your favorite place to boulder?

Cicada- I train three days a week plus comps, but we go on trips at least once a month. My favorite place is Bishop

C4- Do you get to travel much to climb in many different places?

Cicada- Yeah we go to different places and I like it a lot. Most of the trips are to Bishop, and Castle Rock and Mickeys Beach are pretty close to my house. I've also climbed at Calico Basin, Red Rocks, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Joshua Tree and around Tahoe. Cicada Jenerik

C4- What do your (school) friends think of your recent accomplishments? Are they climbers too?

Cicada- They think it's pretty cool, there's only one kid in my class who climbs.

C4- What are your favorite things to do when not climbing?

Cicada- I like to swim, play volleyball, play with friends and I like school. I can't wait till winter vacation to go to India with my Mom. I bet there'll be climbing there too.

C4- Yeah, you should check out Hampi. Just don't drink the me.

C4- Can you climb harder than your Dad? Sorry Dad.

Cicada- Yes! We do work problems together but I almost always send them before he does. He can't use my beta though.

C4- Speaking of Dad, is he your coach? Or are you being coached by anyone else right now?

Cicada- He's my coach and I like it a lot, because I get to spend a lot of time with my Dad.

C4- That is great family time is very important.

C4- I noticed you have placed very high in several bouldering competitions this past year. Do you really enjoy the intense atmosphere and competition that comps can breed, or is just a necessary way to become a better climber? If you had your choice would you rather boulder outdoors(real rock) or indoors(artificial wall)?

Cicada- Real Rock! Indoors sucks.

C4- Note: big smile on interviewer's face

Cicada- But I do like competitions because they push you to climb harder.

C4- Anything else you would like to say to other young Camp4 readers?

Cicada- I think the way to get stronger is to do laps and push yourself beyond what you think you can do.

C4- One last question, NSYNC or Metallica...Who would win in a "celebrity death match"?

Cicada- Social Distortion, PUNK ROCK RULES!

C4- Awe yeah! I like this girl!

Cicada, good luck in the competition circuit this year, and we hope to hear from you when you get that V8 (sometime this year).

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