VIDEO: The Machine
Twenty-five hours a week would make a solid part-time job for most people. It's the amount of time Gordon McArthur views necessary for beefing up and finessing his mixed climbing skills—he's got to keep up with those ever-progressing Euros in World Cup comps, and he's not getting any younger, right? But it's also an amount of time he refuses to spend away from his family each week. Because that would mean he'd be sweating it out in a gym or at a crag, away from his home in Cranbrook, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. So, he built The Machine.
The Machine is a homemade, 35-foot tall, ever-evolving combination bouldering-cave-dry-tooling-arch right out his back door. We caught up with Gordon to get an update since the shooting of The Machine. Here's what's new.
What have you been up to lately?
"Lately, i've been pouring my attention into my "mega route." It's likely the biggest sport/mixed climb in the world. It's overwhelming as nothing has pushed me so hard. But I guess that's what I am in constant search of: a project to push me beyond my limits."
So, are you still putting a lot of time in on The Machine these days?
"I'm always on it, always trying to improve it, always route setting. I love it. Every minute of it, in fact. When I'm in the backyard, it's such a peaceful place to me. Kind of like white noise. I climb, train, and get to be creative, all at the same time."
And the neighbors are chill with this?
"The neighbors, well...they're cool with it. At first they were all a little concerned, lol, but now, not a peep. Although, every time someone drives or walks down the ally way, they always stop and look."
You seem to take a really holistic view of your progress as a climber—like it's more than just the moves, in fact more a way of life, or an extension of your progress as a human. Is that true?
"There's always room for improvement, which can be applied to life and climbing. They both go hand in hand for me. When i learn something new, or how to be better at something, whether in climbing or life, it can be applied to either. That's why i love both so much."
It seems like your family is a really important part of your life. How are they doing?
"My family is doing great. They inspire me with their energy and excitement for life. The girls are now 8 and 9, growing like weeds. They're both coming into their own, which is so cool to witness, both loving sports, school, and friends. I'm blessed for how awesome they both are. My wife is doing great, too. Currently i'm in the midst of opening a climbing gym, and she's been a rock for support."