Spotlight: The Double Life of Chris Webb Parsons

Chris Webb Parsons, 29, has a sense of humor to go with his bold and scrappy nature. In his hometown of Canberra, Australia, he held the highest school suspension rate for offenses ranging from dropping his pants to squirting the principal with a fire extinguisher. His sophomore year, Chris was expelled for setting off two chlorine bombs at Canberra High.

By Chelsea Brunckhorst | December 15th, 2014

Webb Parsons in the Black Range, near his hometown of Canberra.    Photo by Simon Carter.    Totally unrelated. Because you’re away for two to three weeks on, two weeks off, it’s really hard to maintain a normal lifestyle. But the upside is that the money’s pretty good. I’ve always worked. Climbing just doesn’t pay that well. Actually, in Australia, it doesn’t pay at all. Sponsorship comes from overseas companies. I’ve just signed with Edelrid this year, but other than that, everything’s been off my own bat. And I still can’t totally live off that, you know? Part of me wants to throw everything into climbing, but I’m concerned for my future as well. It’s always been a real wrestle for me.

Six of the V14s you’ve climbed, you did in a day. You seem to do a lot of things quickly. 

Some days I feel stronger than ever. Like, unbeatable. Other days, I feel really average. It’s like I’ve got … What’s that disease where you get tired? [Laughs] But then I’ll have one freak day when I feel crazy, crazy strong. I can’t put it down to anything, but I’d love to nail that day in a World Cup.

You didn’t do the World Cups this year. What’s next on your radar?

At this stage, I’m just really enjoying settling back in Australia and catching up with family. This year I’m staying low for a bit; it was a pretty rocky year last year [breaking up with his girlfriend of five years]. I’m in a really happy relationship now. Later this year I’m off to do some trekking in Nepal and Pakistan.


Yeah, and exploring and checking out some boulders.

What’s your attitude toward life?

I wanna say good things. But life is full of so many ups and downs, you know? I’m a really passionate person. When I get psyched on something, or take an interest in something, I throw myself into it.

Best Hits

Sent five V15s:

Wheel of Life (Grampians, Australia); Believe in Two (Magic Wood, Switzerland); Belly of the Beast (Raven Tor, U.K.); Desperanza (Hueco Tanks); Progressive Aggression (Sydney, Australia). Also the routes Pump Up the Staminaband (5.14c), Raven Tor, U.K.; Morpheus (5.14b), Nassereith, Austria; Mechanical Animals (5.14b) and Der Kietzlig Hund (5.14b), Blue Mountains, Australia.

Third place at Arco Rock Master Festival,

Italy, 2013.

FAs of White Ladder (5.14c), Stranger on the Shore (5.14b), and Hats and Hoods (5.14b), Nowra, Australia; Motor Pussy (5.14c) and Anal Palm (5.14b), Blue Mountains, Australia. 

This article was published in Rock and Ice No. 221. 

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