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Welcome to the Team: Anna Liina Laitinen

Monday, May 7, 2018
Hailing from Finland, Anna Liina Laitinen didn’t start climbing until she was 17. But that didn’t stop her from dreaming. With pictures of mountains on her bedroom wall and a fierce desire to climb, Anna quickly progressed. Now, at age 28, she’s set the bar for Finnish women, claiming the national championship four years running, starting in 2014. Traveling frequently for outdoor climbing, she’s moved beyond her homeland and has been crushing at the crags. She’s redpointed 5.14c in Kentucky, onsighted 5.13d, and continues to train like crazy to get better. Her motivation is infectious, and that’s why she’s so inspiring, and also why we’re proud to have her join the BD team!
Video & Images: Matty Hong

“Mun nimi on Anna Laitinen ja mä oon kiipeilijä,” says Anna Laitinen.

Those words carry enormous pride for the 28-year-old.

My name is Anna Laitinen, and I’m a climber.

For Anna, who hails from Finland, climbing was something she only dreamed of for a while. Since climbing is sparse in her homeland, the fascination came from Hollywood movies, which she admits she watched over and over. She even drew a picture of K2 and hung it on her wall, one day vowing to become an alpinist.

When Anna visited a climbing wall at a tradeshow, however, her path became clear. From that point on, she began making a 3-hour round-trip by bus from her house to the nearest gym to climb. She’d do her homework on the ride, and get down to business once she arrived, sometimes having just 30 minutes to climb.

Anna’s immense desire to progress and get better quickly overwhelmed any potential obstacles, and before long she was an integral figure in the Finnish climbing scene.

“I was amazed how kind and helpful the whole climbing community was,” she writes on her blog, “and as a shy 17-year-old girl, that helped me to get inside of this sport.”

Now at age 28, Anna has achieved what she’s always wanted. Her motivation to push herself has brought her to the top of the sport. She’s been the reigning national champion in Finland for four years running, and when she’s not home, she travels the world ticking off some of the stoutest routes at whatever crag she’s at.

Despite her top-level abilities and achievements, however, Anna still hasn’t lost sight of what motivated her to begin with. It’s something you can’t put numbers to. And you can’t hang a medal on it. It’s more than that. It keeps her heading to the gym and training when she’s home, and continuously traveling and searching when she can.

Anna still has the fire she felt at 17 years old. The fire we’ve all felt. That deep desire … to be a climber.

That’s why we’re incredibly psyched to have her join the BD Team.

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