Credits: Matteo Mocellin / The North Face®

Credits: Matteo Mocellin / The North Face®

Who’s climbing style amongst the athletes that are here do you admire the most? Male and Female

Joanna Ernst from the comp. When she was 15 she was so fluent and so light. Just as if every hold was a jug, when she was open-handing it really looked effortless. Really,really smooth. So yeah, JoannaErnst.

For the men, he’s not here, but he was last year… Yuji Hirayama. He’s got this very Asian cat-like style. He’s very dynamic and at the same time very light on his holdsand very precise on his foot placements. It’s like a cross between adancer, a cat and karate kid.
Who would you say is most similar to you, climbing-wise?

It’s hard to say as I can’t see myself. Basically, you’d have to find a girl with no finger strength, but with big muscle strength and good endurance… maybe Nina Caprez, except that she has less big muscle strength and more finger strength.
You got married little more than one week ago to climber James Pearson, has that had an affect on how you are looking at this contest?

Definitely, I prepared myself a tiny, tiny bit for this contest. We went to La Reunion in June, to open a route. Which means a lot of working out, a lot of cleaning but very little climbing action. In August, we then went trad climbing, which also meant not a huge amount of climbing in terms of sports climbing. So then I took 2 weeks in September to train a bit indoors, because I thought otherwise it would be ridiculous to turn up to the contest. Then we went to Kalymnos,ten days before the comp to get used to the rock but I was surprised with my own wedding and we didn’t climb for 4 days as my whole family and all my friends came. We got very,very drunk and we danced till very late and we ate way too much – but it seemed like it worked well! No, but honestly, I think that because of all of that, I didn’t have any pressure because I didn’t expect to be any good. So it has been positive really, because I’m doing ok.
Do you and James have a competitive element to your climbing?

No definitely not. I really like to burn him off but it doesn’t happen very often. I really make fun of him when it does though. Any occasion to make fun of him, but I wouldn’t call that actual “competition”.
Jarl Gabriele What’s more challenging for you? The psychological or the physical climb?

I always say, that the climber I admire the most in a competition is the one who manages to win when they are obviously not the best. What I really find amazing is when a climber is able to dig deep inside of themselves and finds something you really didn’t expect them too. Which Yuji has.
What has been your hardest climb?

I don’t have great memories of sport climbing routes, but my most epic route was Zembrocal on La Reunion. It was one full week of working, of being scared, and every evening wondering if the route would work. So it was very very physically and mentally demanding, but it was my first route opening, so I guess it’s normal. Route opening is really really tiring.

Credits: Damiano Levati / The North Face®

Credits: Damiano Levati / The North Face®

Credits: Alessander Argenti  / The North Face®

Credits: Alessander Argenti / The North Face®

Credits: Riky Felderer / The North Face®

Credits: Riky Felderer / The North Face®

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Location: Kalymnos, Greece
Athletes: Caroline Ciavaldini \ The North Face®

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