Career Highlights

  • Quadruple world champion (2005, 2007, 2011, 2012), triple overall world cup winner lead (2004 ,2005, 2006) Overall combined world cup winner 2006, 25 individual world cup wins, European champion 2010, 6x Rock Master (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2012), winner World Games 2005
  • „9b La Planta de Shiva", Villanueva del Rosario (Sp), "9a Hades", Nassereith (AUT), "9a Big Hammer", Pinswang (AUT), "8c+ Zauberfee", Arco (IT), "8c+ Nostalgischer Bastard", Prutz (AUT), "8c+ Hercules", Nassereith (AUT), "9a Pure Dreaming", Massone (IT)


  • Climbing

    When and how did you get into climbing? What keeps you interested? What fascinates you?

    I started climbing at the age of eleven. I've been fascinated by it ever since. The huge variety of different movements, areas and routes constantly provides me with new puzzles and challenges.

    Who were your childhood heroes?

    When I started climbing, I was fascinated by many of the climbing pioneers, for example Wolfgang Güllich, Lynn Hill and François Legrand.

    Do you consider yourself a role model now? Does it influence you at all that other people look up to you?

    I might well be a role model for certain people. But what's more important to me is that my story gets told and above all, that younger climbers are encouraged by it.

    What have been the most important milestones in your life so far, both in climbing and in everyday life? And did you recognize them immediately as such or only later on?

    My motto is "carpe diem!" I want to live in the here and now. I'm not interested in long-term plans. Life is short and requires me to react in a flexible manner.

    What were your greatest failures / setbacks / injuries? How did you cope with them and how did you come back from them?

    Injuring my shoulder back in 2008, which took me six months before I could climb again. It was a hard struggle to make it back to climbing at an international level. Pure willpower and support from family and friends made all the difference.

    What is your favourite climbing-related story / experience?

    When I became World Champion for the third time in Arco in 2011. The final route had a big dyno, which I managed to find a creative alternative to – using my legs first. It was an incredible moment that remains with me to this day.

  • Training

    Do you have a strict training schedule for when and how you train throughout the year?

    As a competition climber, I used to follow a training plan. These days, I listen to my body and soul and train according to how I feel.

    What advice can you give to others looking to improve their training routine?

    My basic principle is: mix it up. This applies to both choice of routes and strength exercises.


    What do you think of indoor climbing gyms in relation to climbing on actual rock?

    Climbing walls work even in bad weather and provide good training possibilities. Climbing on rock is always an adventure. It allows me to tap into the natural elements and draw new energy.

    How much of success as a pro climber is due to self-marketing and how much due to actual climbing skill?

    As a professional climber, I have to be active in many different media environments, to make a living from what I do.

  • Psychology

    Can anyone train to be able to do a one-armed pull-up or reach the summit of the Eiger/Matterhorn? Or do you have to be born for it?

    In my opinion, the most important things are passion, willpower and self-belief.

    How important is it to set goals in professional sports? What are your goals? What targets are you working towards for your climbing and in life?

    I like goals. They help me define a direction. Generally speaking, I want to pursue an active, healthy life. I also want to be able to continue climbing and be around for my nearest and dearest for a long time to come.

    How do you deal with extremely hard climbing problems? Do you ever get frustrated and give up on them? Or do they motivate you even more?

    I love a challenge. But the moment my health or well-being is at risk, then it's time to stop and review the situation. Only once I've fully replenished my energy, do I go back to try again.

  • Future of climbing

    Is there anything you would like to change about current developments in climbing?

    Yes, I feel that the climbing community is currently too obsessed with grades. As a former international competition climber, this kind of performance-related thinking is also part of me. However, I feel it's important not to lose sight of having fun, remaining passionate about climbing and being in touch with nature.

    Where do you see the sport going in coming years? What will change? And what will your role be in it?

    I think the grades are going to be pushed again. More and more strong climbers are coming through. It will be my job to support them along the way.