When and how did you get into climbing and what kept you interested / fascinated in the sport?
I began climbing in 1995 at an indoor climbing gym, but I fell deeper in love when I learned to climb outside, this fascination has kept me passionate for 26 years. It’s a full package, a connection to the natural world, movement, problem solving and hard work are all things I enjoy on a daily basis.
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?
My first life hero’s were my mom and my dad. In climbing it was Wolfgang Gullich, then it was Chris Sharma and Tommy Caldwell. Today I have hundreds of hero’s and people I admire
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 don’t really see any of my climbing achievements as milestones, I see it all as a journey of a thousand steps. I climb as much as I can, sometimes I feel strong and rested and want to push myself, and some days (or even weeks) I feel tired but still go out to move over stone.
My greatest milestones in my life journey are meeting my wife, getting married, buying a home for us to live in and of course becoming a father of 2 very loving and active children.
What were your greatest failures / setbacks / injuries? How did you cope with them and how did you come back from them?
I tore a tendon in my finger one day on the hardest route I ever climbed, and it took nearly 2 years for me to become 100% again. I was devastated at first, but I realized quickly that I love so many other styles of climbing and that motivation for adventure carried me through.
What is your favorite climbing related story / experience?
One of my all time favourite days of climbing is free climbing El Capitan on the ‘Pineapple Express’. It was 24 hours before a massive season ending snow storm hit Yosemite Valley. My family was getting sick and we were all in Yosemite Valley together. Tommy Caldwell offered to support me and belayed and cleaned all 28 pitches in a 13 hour push. It was the first time I climbed entirely for myself, completely focused on pushing my limits, without belaying a partner, and I owe it to Tommy. It was a very special day for me.