I’ve been climbing for over three decades now. Although it might be more appropriate to say I’ve always been climbing like almost every child. I’ve seen trends, people and style come and go. Climbing is never static in that way. I’ve been switching between the disciplines in climbing from trad and sport to big wall and ice but always stayed true to bouldering. I’ve been part of the Swedish Boulder team competing both in WC EM WM and nationals.
My feelings for climbing is the same now as for the very first day a took the stroll out to my home crag Utby. The feeling of pure freedom and happiness. Climbing is something utterly creative in many aspects. It could be the invention of a specific movement at the very moment or the dare and vision to see what is a possible line to climb. I’ve done or put up my fair share of first ascents, perhaps because I started climbing quite some time ago but mostly because I enjoy the process and discovering part of it. This was a privilege of starting early when the sport was not as crowded as now. This is not the same for younger generations but I think it is still possible to be creative.
Memorable climbs is always the ones in good company of friends or just alone with the biggest friend of all, nature. Nature is always a good listener who knows when to be quiet.
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Climbing to me is playing, dancing, laughing, brainstorming, whining, outside the box-thinking, hoping, loving, suffering, believing and never ending – everything bundled up into one single activity.
Ever since I was little I’ve loved trying things that, at first glance, looks impossible. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I spent 15 years of my life being an elite gymnast. A unique sport that makes you challenge pretty much everything. Gravity, strength, flexibility and courage, but also your self confidence – you have to be stubborn in the belief that you can do anything if you just put your mind to it.
In climbing I get all of that and so much more. I get to train, something I love and has always been a big part of my life. I get to play around and do weird movements, laugh at myself and then try again. I get to be nerdy, discuss perfect friction, rock quality and gripping positions for hours. But first and foremost, I get to be outdoors with my friends, bouldering, laughing, whining and watching them get on top of rocks. Sometimes, I get to send too, but that’s just a sweet bonus.
I keep a quote in my phone that pretty much says it all and is good to keep in mind when vanity and frustration gains ground:
We flay ourselves against five feet of blank terrain. […] Bouldering is play. Success takes a backseat to fun.
Photo: Andreas Elmquist
Climbing to me when I was young was swinging my way up trees, stemming up a doorframe or the ascent of an especially slippery and steep snow slope. Growing up i played the usual sports such as football and hockey and It took me a great while to discover the world of Climbing. The diversity of climbing are endless! No rock, route, boulder or mountain are the same. You can travel all over the world to beautiful places way of the beaten tourist track and feel right at home with super friendly and equally psyched people form all over the world, the climbing community feels like a big family.
I ran across this quote by Yosemite legend Pat Ament which sums up the beauty which lies in the challenge of climbing pretty well.
When you ride your bike, you’re working your legs, but your mind is on a treadmill. Playing chess, your mind is clicking along, but your body is stagnating. Climbing brings it together in a beautiful, magical way. The adrenaline is flowing, and it’s flowing all the time ~ Pat Ament.
And the challenge, oh… This is something i’am deeply in love with! Climbing something you thought you couldn’t or wasn’t sure to do is one of the best feelings in the world.
I’m also studying to become a Physiotherapist and have taken the opportunity to combine my studies with climbing and doing competitions in bouldering and lead which I like quite a lot because it brings out a hundred-n-ten percent effort from my part and most of the time i end up surprising myself in a positive way (: Climbing outdoor for me is where i feel i belong the most and you would have a high chance of meeting me in our home crag Niemisel enjoying some of Swedens best granite climbing or out in the Northern woods searching for that perfect unclimbed boulder to brush up and climb!
Traveling is the only thing you pay for that makes you richer
Contact Kristoffer on Instagram!
Do you wonder when I started climbing? I didn’t start. I just never stopped.
As a child I had a lot of energy. I ran around and found happiness in having fun. It might seem obvious, but that has taught me a lot. I’ve learned that being energized gives me more energy, and being happy leads to stronger happiness. So I’ve decided to focus a lot on these things in life.
That’s why I never stopped climbing.
I’m a part of Team Sweden Climbing and yes I am competing sometimes. The situations that occurs during the competitions make me grow, as a climber, but also as a person. Not because of comparison with other climbers, but to learn about my own climbing, including my head. The head is a big part of climbing, you know. Competition climbing itself is not a goal for me. More important is to keep climbing – forever. Outdoors of course.
I never know what to answer when people do ask me which one is my favorite climbing discipline. Why choose? What matters are the people around me, the feeling of the rock, the playfulness, the focus, the coffee and the feeling!
Our life is made for us to enjoy, and the world is our playground!
I work as a route setter and as a climbing instructor. I also study ”cognitive science” at the university. I bet you can guess where I feel the most at home. Well, the good thing about studying is that it makes me even more psyched to climb!
Also follow Stella on Instagram.