Nils is a climber whose passion for climbing drives him to climb his best, something that comes from within. He competed when he was young, but hated the feeling of pressure that took the joy out of climbing. After this competition Nils stopped climbing for almost two years—feeling that he lost the true meaning of climbing. He started multi-pitch climbing with his father and loved it—the freedom, the connection to nature and his partner and the rock. Nils loves to travel the world to try all styles of climbing and all kinds of rock, and has traveled to many famous places like Rocklands, Albarracin, Fontainebleau and has discovered a passion for opening new lines, which allows him a creative outlet and a connection to the place and other climbers that he loves.
Hometown: Martigny, Switzerland
Currently Living: Switzerland
Height: 176 cm
Career Highlights: La Bête Humaine (8c) in “Bouddha” sector, Switzerland – Wallis at 17 years old; Le Sort s’acharne (8c) route in St-Triphon, Switzerland – Vaud; From Dirt Grows The Flowers (8C) Chironico, Switzerland; Scarred For Life (8B+) Fionnay, Switzerland; The Dagger (8B+) Cresciano, Switzerland; Aurora sit (8B+) Hoya Moros, Spain; Indartsu (8B+) Hoya Moros, Spain; FA of Low Water Solo (8B) Fionnay, Switzerland; FA of Mufasa (8B) Albarracin, Spain
When did you first start climbing?
I started when I was really young around 4 with my father. He taught me rules and the meaning of climbing.
What do you most enjoy about your sport?
Being outside with some friends and trying to exceed my limit, physically and mentally. I enjoy a lot the freedom and all the possibility there is in climbing, I can try to do the hardest movements in bouldering, try to link the hardest sequence possible in a route or add many hard pitches to each time have a different pleasure and feeling with the same sport. In the same time I can have fun in some easy stuff where I can control all my body, that’s a good feeling!
How do you define success?
For me success means the result of a project, it could be a big achievement or maybe something who has a really important meaning for me.
Who are your heroes?
I have a lot of heroes in climbing; I mean all climbers who are able to do something that I can’t inspire me.
What inspires you?
Inspiration comes from the rock for me. The line, the holds, the story are what I’m looking fore every time. When I come in a new place I don’t only check grade and mythical boulder/route because at first I just look at the all area and choose the best-looking line. Inspiration comes from other climbers too, when they have done something new or special it gives me a lot of motivation.
What are your hobbies outside of your sport?
I like to spend time with friends and walk in the mountain next to my house to look for new boulders and discover new places. I really like traveling, for sure it’s always for climbing but there is a lot of other aspect that I really like during travel. The road itself, meeting local people, sharing experiences, just enjoying a landscape or playing with friends.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Probably eating. I’m eating too much all the time, and for hard performance it’s not that good.
What are your hidden talents?
I don’t know them because they are really hidden.
Tell us about your most favorite place in the world:
I went three summers to South Africa to climb in Rocklands. I really like this place, the spirit, the quality of rock climbing, the Black Label (local beer) the landscape, the ocean, the sunset... But I love the country where I live. Switzerland is a small country but there is a lot of different landscapes. I love the mountains too, I feel safe between them. For climbing it’s just perfect too. Actually I can’t imagine living somewhere else.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had a lot of plans when I was a kid, I dreamed to be a spaceman, surgeon, football player, actor, scientist….climber came later.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be, and why?
It would be a bit more self-controlled when I can’t do a project or something really important for me. It happened I screamed or injured myself because it was a bad climbing day. Maybe just be a bit calmer, but I don’t want to loose my ultra-motivation.
Tell us about a time in your life when you have been scared:
I was doing multi-pitch climbing with four others friends and my father. We were all together on a good ledge, two pitches were left to reach the top but the goal wasn’t to reach to top but to try one hard pitch in the middle. In the evening my father decided to rappel down and make a fire at the bottom of the cliff. I was tired so I decided to just do one “new” easy route from this ledge, the route was bolted some weeks before. The route traversed a bit so I wasn’t above my belayers and friends. A big piece (size of kitchen fridge) of rock broke away from the cliff, it was so big! My father was at the bottom of the cliff below me, he ran really close of the wall—the rock missed him but uprooted several trees and went over a road!
Describe your perfect day:
I can’t answer this question, in a way, a perfect day can’t exist because there is always something that could be better or different but in a way everyday is perfect too! I mean, a good day for me is a day where I laugh, I’m happy and do what I like.
How would your friends describe you?
I don’t know exactly but probably as someone who is a bit obsessed by climbing, and really motivated.