Career Highlights

  • 8A+ “Partage”, Fontainebleau, France - 2022
  • 8c/c+ “Pati Naso”, Siurana, Spain - 2022
  • 8c “Directa Jabali” Second GO, Siurana, Spain - 2022
  • 8b+ “Semental” Flash, Siurana, Spain - 2022
  • 4th place World Championship 2019 (bouldering)
  • Ukrainian National Champion 2012-2021


Favorite places to live / climb / visit

Crimea, Ukraine. Siurana, Spain. Fontainebleau, France.

Favorite type of climbing (bouldering, sports climbing, trad, etc.):

Bouldering and sports climbing.

What most people don’t know about me:

I studied and played piano for 7 years, cello for 4 years and taught myself guitar, I also speak 5 languages and love memory games.


  • Climbing

    When and how did you get into climbing and what kept you interested / fascinated in the sport?

    I was born into climbing family. My parents, Natalia Perlova and Serik Kazbekov were professional climbers, who have numerous participations and medals in world cups, world championships and masters events. My grandparents from my mom’s side were also climbers/alpinists. My grandma, Valentina Kurshakova was a champion of USSR in climbing.  That’s why I don’t even remember myself not climbing. Climbing was always a part of my life, first as a fun game experience and later as a professional career.

    I love climbing for how natural and diverse it can be. There are so many different styles, types of rocks, different routes, each of them is unique and represents the whole journey in itself.

    Who was your childhood hero and do you consider yourself a role model now? Does it influence you at all that other people look up to you?

    I remember being stunned by the easiness of David Lama’s climbing. I was always a fan of Yuji Hirayama’s foot work. And I absolutely loved the attitude of Anna Stöhr during the competitions, it seemed like she is really enjoying what she is doing.

    I do think that when you enter a certain level of climbing  you become a role model to some people. One of my biggest dreams is to be able to inspire and support people on their climbing journey. I feel a lot of responsibility about my influence on other people, especially on younger generations, as they are easier influenced than others. I want climbing to be a healthy activity that helps kids develop their minds and bodies, because I truly believe that climbing is very special in that way and can be used as a great tool.

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

    I think many of my milestones I recognised later on. 

    I was the first girl in the world to climb 8a “Vremya CH” route at the age of 11.  At the age of 13 I climbed my first 8b+ “Parallelniy Mir”, next year after that I won my first ever Youth World Championship. 

    I graduated from my sports university with honours. Got my bachelor degree and still planning on continuing my education in psychology.

    In 2017 I climbed my first 8c+ “Güllich”.

    In 2019 I was top 10 bouldering world ranking.

    In 2022 I climbed my first 8b+ “Semental” flash and 8c “Directa Jabali” second go.

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

    After a few very successful years when I was younger I hit a time when I felt a lot of pressure to keep up with my younger self. When that didn’t happen, I felt a lot of frustration and disappointment. At the time it was a hard lesson that I had to learn: “hard work beats talent, if talent doesn’t work hard”. I should’t have only relied on me being a good climber, I should have worked hard on my weaknesses. At the time I was very self-aware about my body and it not looking athletic enough, which put me in a very unhealthy relationship with food. It took me years before I could feel like it doesn’t have power over me anymore.

    In 2020 after having a very intense competition season in 2019, I had a massive burn out. It took me a lot of effort, time and therapy to get out of that and be able to enjoy climbing again.

    In 2021 I dislocated my right elbow and ruptured ligaments while bouldering in the gym. That was the most severe injury I have ever had in my life and it took me 6 months to come back to real climbing and then another year to feel confident and safe again. I wrote an article about my recovery on my website. It is called “Living is a never-ending process of learning”.

    In 2020 after having a very intense competition season in 2019, I had a massive burn out. It took me a lot of effort, time and therapy to get out of that and be able to enjoy climbing again.

    In 2021 I dislocated my right elbow and ruptured ligaments while bouldering in the gym. That was the most severe injury I have ever had in my life and it took me 6 months to come back to real climbing and then another year to feel confident and safe again. I wrote an article about my recovery on my website. It is called “Living is a never-ending process of learning”.

    What is your favorite climbing related story / experience?

    The story about the route I climbed in Siurana, Spain. “Pati Noso” 8c/c+.

    My journey to climbing this route has begun a long time ago. Back in 2018 when I was in Siurana with my friend for a month and half, it was my main project. I spent days on it and by the end of the month I was able to climb it in two parts, but the crux move in the middle of the route wouldn't let me pass. I left with a lot of frustration and had to accept that 1,5 months weren't enough at the time.

    When in 2021 I came back to Siurana, I was walking around and thinking about getting again on the route. I felt intimidated and was scared that it will feel too hard, as my arm wasn't fully recovered after my elbow injury.

    In April of 2022 "Pati Noso" wasn't my main project, I felt like I don't have enough time to climb what I really want, so I decided to try "Pati Noso" on the second to last day of my trip. On my first try, the crux move went down easily first go, I got really excited. The tricky part was that after that you still have to climb another 25m or so, after getting to the anchor, I got so pumped that I lost my confidence in doing it quickly.

    Luckily, I decided to go for it anyway. On the next day, I found myself passing the crux, so I thought to myself: "Oh man, Jenya, now is your chance, don't mess it up". 

    I was quite nervous before the next hard section, where you have a dead point long move into a slot. I was so tired there, that my head kept replaying how I'm going to fall. I tried really hard not to think about it, so after a proper rest, I fully went for it. I could hear people cheering for me and when I hit the hold I knew I shouldn't let myself fall. The rest of the route, which is an easier part, I was really nervous and climbed carefully. When I clipped an anchor, I could hear people cheering from all over the canyon, what an amazing feeling! I felt so grateful in that moment. It was an unforgettable experience to share with my friends and family.

  • Training

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

    I used to always train by the feeling. I had a basic knowledge of what I want to do, which cycle to do when. Until I was 16 I was trained by my parents, after that I went on my single journey with a lot of learning curves along the way. My parents always stayed as advisers and my biggest support team.

    This year, for the first time I started working with my new coach, Malek Taleb. Which I am really happy about, because I really like having structure in my trainings. It is very helpful to have a coach who supports your goal to get to the Olympics and be one of the best competition climbers you can be.

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

    If you want some real progress, find a professional who will be able to build a program that matches your goals, needs and circumstances. Never forget to enjoy the process and have fun.

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

    I think indoor climbing gyms is the best way so far to prepare yourself for your rock climbing projects.

    Rock climbing will always be more rich in style, technique and texture. That’s why rock climbing will always be more special.

    Are you able to do a one-arm pull-up? How about a single finger?

    Depending on the time of the year. Usually during my competition season I can do one one arm pull up.

    How much of the success as a pro climber is due to show and how much due to actual climbing skill?

    Nowadays, with social media, it is much more common to build an image of being a pro climber through social channels. A few decades ago you had to be a really good climber to be noticed, nowadays, you can be a model and build a successful image of a pro climber through your Instagram page.

  • Psychology

    Is it possible for anybody to eventually perform a one-armed pull-up or get to the top of the Eiger/Matterhorn, or do you really have to be born for it?

    I think at a certain level, you have to be born for it. Meaning, not everyone can be a 9b climber. You have to have time, perseverance, resources, effort and natural talent. Do you need that to do an one arm pull-up? I don’t think so. If you put it as your goal to do a one armer, I am sure you can achieve it. Will it make you a good climber? No. That’s the beauty of climbing, it is so complex, you can’t narrow it down to a few skills.

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

    I think, for me personally, it is important to have big goals in the back of my head. Something that I don’t think every day about, but I know I want to get there. As much as climbing nowadays is about achievements, I think it is important to shift it from achievements to more important topics. 

    For example: can I make this sport more accessible? Can I help it get healthier? (The problem with eating disorders). Can I make it more sustainable? Can I inspire people to be more aware and respectful? Can I perform in a beautiful way? Can I make my climbing effortless and eye-catching? There are so many different ways to make climbing less ego-driven and more deep than just climbing hard grades. Maintaining this balance is really important to me.

    So yes, I have my goals. Some of them are achievement oriented, others are oriented in other directions. Climbing is more than just a sport to me, that’s why I try to expand my limits and stay open-minded about other issues.

    How to 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 think having a full spectrum of emotions is being a human. Anyone who says that they are never frustrated, angry or disappointed are not being honest. I think it is totally okay to feel anything. The key is how you get out of it and get yourself in a right headspace to perform your best. It doesn’t mean you will succeed all the time, it doesn’t mean every time you will know how to handle yourself, but that is an amazing part of climbing - it gives you an opportunity to learn, improve, face challenges and fears. During my life I learnt how to overcome fear, how to get into the flow, how to get myself out of misery on a bad day, how to support myself and how to be able to climb hard. Not being able to climb something can be very frustrating or very motivating, depending on your mindset about it.

  • Future of climbing

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

    I wish we would have more educated specialists to help climbing go in the right direction. Would be great to have more sustainability specialists, sport climbing psychologists, overall climbing ethics courses, to have organisations that help climbing become more accessible and equal. It would also be so important to have gender equality specialists in fields of route-setting and coaching. There are so many ways climbing can be improved, it is still a very young sport and what we do now will shape it in the future.

    Where do you think sport will go in the next few years? What will change? And what role will you play in it?

    With climbing becoming an Olympic sport, we will get more attention and more people who will want to try it. Which is a great thing overall, I just hope we can keep our core values and help it stay a beautiful and respectful sport. 

    I hope in the future I will be able to provide professional support in coaching and psychological part of climbing.