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She herself recalls that as a child she didn’t really have an aptitude for any kind of physical activity, she would sink to the bottom of the pool, she lacked coordination for basketball and no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t master the saxophone. At the age of 9 her parents took her to a climbing gym close to home. There, she immediately felt at ease and climbing welcomed her with open arms. She began to compete in competitions and it soon became evident that she worked well under pressure. She spent the next ten years training in the gym during the week and traveling the country at weekends. At the age of 19 she left the competition scene to face the more challenging difficulties of sports climbing. Between climbing and studies at the University of Colorado, she takes part in the project Lead Now, a climbing tour with the production company Louder Than Eleven: travelling for nine months a year throughout South Africa, Russia, Italy, Japan, China, India, Turkey, Ecuador and Chile, creating videos to direct public attention to non-profit initiatives that support and defend women and children.
Some of the last projects she accomplished in the USA are Necessary Evil 8c+, Mission Impossible 8c+ and Algorithm 8c+/9a. She is currenty focusing on the repetition of classic climbing routes.
1) Who is your favorite climbing partner and why?
I love climbing with my girlfriends because we try really hard in between laughing throughout the whole day. I also love climbing with my husband because we have very different styles so we learn from one another and push each other – a little friendly competition!
2) Which is the first La Sportiva shoes/boot you used?
The Mythos were my very first climbing shoe when I was 9 years old!
3) What is your favorite climbing/mountaineering book?
The Push by Tommy Caldwell, because it’s such an honest representation of the human spirit, our quest to be the best we can be, and the personal struggles that come with those audacious goals.
4) What is the mountain you would like to see at least one time in your life?
The Taipan Wall in Australia
5) Do you take part to a charity or cultural project?
I run a charity called SAEF (Southern Africa Education Fund), to build classrooms in rural Namibia where my husband’s family farms. So far, we’ve built a new playground and 4 new classrooms for an elementary school in this small village in Namibia where we live 2 months of every year.
6) What's in the air?
Keep projecting hard sport climbs and attempt 9a+
Help increase representation for BIPOC climbers
Build out our van for climbing trips
- 1999 First Competition, age 9
- 2009 First 8b+ (5.14) at Rifle
- 2010 First time making a try hard noise, Grand Ole Opry, 8c
- 2014 Completed first 8c+ in the USA, Just Do It
- 2018 Best year of climbing yet, completed Mission Impossible (8c+), Necessary Evil (8c+) and Algorithm (8c+/9a)
- 2019 First confirmed 9a, Shadowboxing, Rifle, Colorado