Katharina Saurwein on climbing, competition and more.
The first time I climbed was at a summer party in the springfest. We were free to try all kinds of sports and I tried it. Soon after I got into Reini Scherer’s team. There were some people training with him and I just started to train with them, I saw what they did and tried to do the same. I started in 1995 when I was 8 years old, so it was a long time before there was a gym like Tivoli in Innsbruck.
It wasn’t really big but the older people in the team already did the comps, so I just started doing them as well. I didn’t really plan on doing competition I just came in to it. Soon there were a lot of us doing the European Youth Cups, so I’ve always been into competition climbing, it’s just part of what we did.
I don’t know, I still have fun doing comps, I’m still fascinated by the sport and I think it’s also because I’m not only doing comps but I also climb outside a lot. It gives me a lot of motivation after a season because then I’m really tired and kind of sick of training and doing comps. And then I just go outside and I’m psyched to climb outside. And then after being outside as much as possible for half a year I’m super psyched to train again.
Basically I just climb outside as much as possible but if it’s raining or if I have to be at University or something I will go to Tivoli, but I just do whatever I feel like there. During Indoor season you have a really planned way to train.
It’s pretty important to stay fit, its way easier to start training again if you are really strong, it makes a big difference.
Oh I did! After we’d been in Chile for example for one month doing multi-pitches. I got back from that trip and I felt like a beginner, I couldn’t climb! (laughs) I couldn’t pull any more, it was terrible!
I was Lead climbing till 2008 and then I switched to bouldering, I kind of got sick of training for lead and doing the lead comps. It’s more serious and everybody’s way more focused in lead. It was just too much of doing the same thing, maybe if I’d been bouldering for 10 years I would have switched to lead.
We definitely need a new gym (laughs). I mean Tivoli, it’s only one gym but it’s a really good gym for training! There are a lot of bad holds and there’s a lot of different angles. It’s just that it’s a bit too low and we don’t have slabs which you can see in the comps.
Yeah I think so. As for me like, I need to have fun in training to get strong I think. I’m not a person who can train two hours alone in the gym. For me it really helps that there are a lot of strong people around.
Normally I train with Jule and Berit, they are in the team but they are only going to the European competitions. And we do have some team trainings but only maybe once or twice a month, it always depends.
We go to Babzi and Sabbi’s (The Bacher sisters) gym in Ötztal, just sometimes maybe twice a month, it depends. And we do go to Munich sometimes because they do have really nice problems. They do have slabs and they have a lot of volumes.
I think it’s actually good for them because they can see what we are able to do, and what they need to be able to do, and they can see how we train.
There are some climbers in the east of Austria too, but most of them are in Innsbruck.
Jorg: there were some others like Johanna, she moved to Innsbruck but she was in the eastern part of the country. There were some other examples where they just moved to Innsbruck because of the facilities.
Yes because of the structures in place here already, you just have to come and be able to train. We have the good coach, team mates and it’s just easier to train here in a team than somewhere else on your own.
Well I really like Rocklands, Hueco, Bishop. But I also climb around here, like Ticino, and I would love to go to Fontainebleau this winter. I’ve been to America quite a lot, we visited for half a year a couple of years ago; after we finished our bachelor degrees we took a year off.
It’s really hard to say, winning the Youth world championship was a highlight for me as a youth climber, and then winning the World Cup in Moscow of course, winning the Rockmaster… But also climbing outside like This Side of Paradise (V10 Super highball) for example, it’s not super hard but it’s really super high, it was a big battle.
Ha, that’s a good question. I just know I want to go on climbing as long as possible, maybe I’ll use my sport science degree to help in climbing…
Jorg: Actually in Austria there’s a lot of possibilities now, we’re good where we are.