My life's motto: Live your dream
Climbing and mountaineering for me is far more than just a sport.
I was born the 5th of April 1974. Since I was 20, the mountains have become the meaning of my life. As a born flatlander, I have found the best playground for me in the Berchtesgaden area of Bavaria. I began to climb in each free minute left by my work as a physiotherapist.
Soon mountaineering became more and more important. For that I had to gather experience on ice and soon perceived its fascination. The frozen element became my great passion.
My son Emanuel was born in 2000. In this, I was facing the greatest and most beautiful challenge of my life. From that time on I fully concentrated on climbing in addition to my task as a mother.
From 2001 on I collected ice climbing world cup and world championship titles. To find more time for my own mountain projects, I terminated my competitive career in 2006. My sponsors supported my decision. Since then I often climb with women, just because we laugh a lot and have loads of fun.
Since I've climbed a lot of different kinds of rock and ice formations, the ethical question of the style of an ascent is getting more and more important for me. Traditional climbing in alpine style, light and fast, is the right answer. It does not matter, if it's in Scotland, on Baffin Island or the Himalayas.
Black Diamond has accompanied and supported my projects since 2000. Far more than just our work connects us.
Birthday? April 5, 1974.
Year you first started climbing? 1998.
Three climbing achievements you are most proud of?
- Free ascent of Camilotto Pellisier (8b), Grande Cima
- First ascent of Into the Wild (M12) alpine climb in Icefall Brook, British Columbia, Canada
- First ascent of Cobra Norte (ED+ M8) on Kwangde Shar (6093 m), Northface, Nepal, Himalaya.
Memory/story of the first time you ever went climbing? My first ice climb was just horrifying. I was following a friend, when a piece of ice fell down just straight on my nose. With a bloody and swollen face I promised my self, not to do that again ;-) But some how I started to become a passionate ice climber…
Favorite climbing area and why? Ice climbing: Canada (Ice Field Parkway, Icefall Brook)—I love the wilderness and quietness there. Being in the middle of nowhere makes me feel happy and with lots of freedom. Rock climbing: Canada (Bugaboos)—The granite there is just fantastic.
Worst climbing experience? That was on July 15, 2005. With a friend, I climbed the famous extreme classic route on the Marmolada. When I led pitch 7, I pulled on a huge loose flake—the whole piece moved backwards and I fell at least 15 m. My lower leg was broken and we had to yell to get rescued. What a nightmare… but in one way we were lucky, because I pulled all the gear and fell onto the two-piton anchor. And the anchor did not fail…
What's your dream trip? Where? In summer 2012 I am finally going to Baffin Island. After many years of hope that it's going to be true. We are attempting for a new route on Mont Asgard. No port-a-ledges, just light and fast in alpine style.
With who? With my friends Jon Walsh and Joshua Lavigne, who are from Canada and experienced Baffin Island climbers
Guilty pleasure? No.
BD gear you use every time you go climbing? I love my Cobra tools (but just in winter). In summer my favorite piece is the gray Camalot size 0.4—the perfect finger crack.
Something that annoys you while climbing? Slow partners—because I am not patient; also complaining boys ;-)
What/who inspires you in climbing? Any person who is motivated and excited to work hard on a route, inspires me.
How are you training when you are not climbing/skiing? Mountain biking, running, skiing, paragliding and playing piano.
Favorite aprés-climb meal? Just LOTS!!! I eat almost everything, but no pork or beef!! I like vegetarian food plus fish (Canadian wild salmon).
Favorite climbing flick? Hmmm… I have a lot ;)
What's in your iPod? A 1000 different albums… what I listen to depends on the current situation. For carrying heavy packs —Coldplay or Massive Attack for example... For driving a car—Faithless or The Cult... For cleaning—Yann Tiersen.
Strangest place you've ever woken up? Sitting on a cold ledge of snow-ice (-25º), on the North Face of Kwangde Shar. We did not sleep a lot, we were waiting for the sunrise, feet hanging free 700 meters above the ground.
Strangest person you've ever woken up with? Cory Richards.
Three things you'd never roadtrip without? Coffee maker, milk steamer and my sleeping pillow.
What's your dream job? What I am doing… climbing, talking in slide shows about my passion and inspiring people.
How are you training when you are not climbing/skiing? Mountain biking, running, skiing and playing piano.
If you could steal one thing and not get caught, what would it be? A little airplane, to be more flexible for traveling.
If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive) who would they be? Hari Berger, Mary Ebneter and Nicolas Favresse.
Which would you prefer: power of flight or invisibility? Power of flight!!!
Do you have any tattoos or piercings? No.