Early this August, we were part of a small group of climbing media professionals who were invited to the Adršpach and Teplice rocks, two of the most iconic areas for sandstone climbing in the Czech Republic.
Our hosts were Robin Kaleta, a renowned Czech freeride skier but also a passionate sandstone climber, and Adam Ondra, who surely needs no introductions. If you’d like to know what a nice weekend among sandstone towers and cliffs can be like, just keep on reading…
Photo: Adam Ondra climbing on the sandstone cliffs of Teplice © Claudia Ziegler Photography
David and Ruben Firnenburg are some of the most promising young guns around, being among the five youngest people ever to redpoint 9a.
Born respectively in 1995 and 1997, they made the headlines multiple times last winter, as they sent a number of hard routes in Catalunya.
However, hard sends are not the only thing that makes them special. Despite their young age, they have very interesting opinions and a great awareness regarding important topics such as perceived grades, long-term projecting and access issues…
Photo: David and Ruben Firnenburg © Firnenburg Archive
Climbers come in all varieties. You have those with little weight to carry up overhangs, those with fingers of steel, those with unbelievable endurance, those with megatons of explosive strength. And, of course, they are all passionate. A few of them, though, seem to have so much passion for climbing, travelling for climbing and even just training for climbing that their love really makes up for other things in which they may be lacking.
One of them is Romain Desgranges, whose drive and passion brought him to new heights during this 2013 now coming to a close.
Photo: Romain climbing Digital Crack, 8a, on the Mont Blanc © Moctar Walid
Thirty-two year old Ramón Julián Puigblanque is simply one of the strongest climbers around. But the interesting thing is that you could have said that 5 years ago and it still would have been true. And even 10 years ago. This is no little feat considering that he’s not only an amazing rock climber, regularly making quick work of 9a+ routes and climbing 9a in as few as two attempts. He’s also one of the most successful competition climbers ever, being a multiple World Champion, European Champion, World Cup, World Games and Rock Master winner.
Therefore, we brushed up our Spanish and we set out to meet the legenday climber in Kranj, during the last event of the 2013 Lead World Cup.
Photo: Ramón Julián Puigblanque © Gerard Montero
Since 2010, Korean Jain Kim and Slovenian Mina Markovic have dominated the female lead World Cup, repeatedly trading first and second places at the various events and in the seasonal ranking. And this year was no different. In fact, they have been closer to each other and further from the rest than ever. Because of this, we wanted to find out what makes them similar and what doesn’t, so we decided to get them together after the Kranj semifinal and to go for a double interview!
Photo: Jain Kim and Mina Markovic © Manfred Werner, Stanko Gruden
This last September, Austrian champion Angela Eiter retired from lead climbing competitions after having won more than any other female athlete ever has. Naturally, we wanted to have a chat and ask her what it all meant. And we were amazed to hear how she managed to make history by focusing on the present moment as much as possible, without letting either setbacks or triumphs getting in the way of her climbing.
Photo: Angy at the 2012 World Championships, where she won gold in Lead © Stanko Gruden
We met Adam and spent some time looking back at what happened since he completed high school and became a fully fledged fulltime climber (but only until university starts this autumn!). It was a bit difficult, since the passionate Czech is always thinking about what comes next, always preparing for the next challenge, whether it’s completing a Spanish project or getting back to the competition circuit…
Photo: Adam on the crux of one of his latest first ascents, Move 9b/+ © Petr Pavlíček