John Gill Interview 2013:
BHB: Thank you for taking time to do this interview!
JG: Of Course!
BHB: Do you remember how you found and what intrigued you about the Scab?
JG: I was wandering down the hill from the Needles Eye one day with my first wife, probably looking for rasberries, when i saw the overhang on the Scab and thought it looked like a good challenge.
BHB: A lot of people talk about your training for the Thimble. What was the story behind this training? The day you sent it what made you decide that would be the day?
JG: I was stationed at Glasgow AFB in NE Montana, and would drive down occasionally for some climbing. I did the route to the left and looked over and thought that I could probably work out a new route on the Overhanging face. I saw it would require some strong fingertip moves so I would practice at the gym on base pinching small nuts that protruded from the wall of the gym where some exercise apparatus was attached. I played on the Thimble several times at the ends of climbing days, and never gave much thought to making the final push, just waiting until it felt right. Then one day it did.
BHB: Among all the great problems on the Camp Ground Boulder which one remains your most memorable?
JG: Probably to the right of the center route that faces the lake. I hug onto some tiny holds thinking of going straight up and left. ( as has no been done. Gill and I (V9) FA Ben Scott 2001.) but eventually i think i moved a little to the right and did a little dynamic move-but its all pretty hazy at this time. There is a older picture of me on this problem.
BHB: Ive had the opportunity to boulder some of your problems in Colorado. What did you enjoy about South Dakota bouldering that you may have not found else where?
JG: Actually, I always liked to boulder on Dakota Sandstone and never cared much for Sylvan Lake bouldering. I felt I needed to be slimmer and lighter to really appreciate the small nubbins. They could be painful! Mostly, I did longer climbs in the Needles including a lot of soloing.
BHB: Thanks John! I appreciate everything you have done. Its been the greatest pleasure to work with you!
John was kind enough to post this video of the second ascent of the Thimble.