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KATHARINA SAURWEIN Born in 1987, lives in Innsbruck. It all began on a saturday in June 1995, at the sports science campus of the University of Innsbruck. She saw a climbing wall for the first time. And because you should always try everything, she put the harness on and started upwards. Once on top, all she wanted was do another route, and she was hooked on climbing ever since.
She began training with Reinhold Scherer and Rupert Messner and competed soon after. She won the youth world championships in Imst in 2006. Two years later, she won her first Bouldering World Cup. In recent years, she has been doing more more and more climbing outside, and is particularly adept in highball bouldering. “I go outside to discover new rocks. I try to develop as a climber and find new challenges.” Other hobbies are her sports studies, mandalas, reading and learning Dutch.
In 2018, after climbing in Worldcups for 15 years, she retired from comp climbing and was looking forward to climb hard and a lot outside. Just after her last IFSC competition she climbed her hardest trad route so far: ‘Tainted Love’ 5.13d in Squamish.
1) Who is your favorite climbing partner and why?
Jorg Verhoeven. Because we know each other so well and it’s great to share unique experiences with your partner.
2) Which is the first La Sportiva shoes/boot you used?
The Cobra. After That I switched to the Python and I still use it and I climb all my hard routes and boulders on it.
3) What is your favorite climbing/mountaineering book?
The Fontainebleau guidebook. I could read it all day.
4) What is the mountain you would like to see at least one time in your life?
There is way too many mountains and walls I’d like to see for a lifetime.
5) Do you take part to a charity or cultural project?
Jorg and I support the sport climbing community in Argentinia and South Africa by sending or bringing along climbing gear whenever we can.
6) What's in the air?
After retiring from comp climbing I will focus on outdoor climbing, travel to foreign climbing areas to look for new lines and I’ll try hard trad routes, boulders and sport climbs around the world and at home.
- 2006 1st place Youth World Championship in Imst
- 2008 1st place bouldering Worldcup in Moscow
- 2014 Sent ‘Nothing but Sunshine’ V13 in RMNP (USA)
- 2015 3rd place European Championship in Innsbruck
- 2018 Sent ‘Tainted Love’ 5.13d in Squamish (Canada)