Janja Garnbret and her first 8b on-sight
From plastic holds to rough limestone, from the gold medal at 2014 World Youth Championship to the recent amazing rock achievements: Slovenian Janja Garnbret, 16 years old, continues to get her goals and she is ready to become one of the best climbers in the world! In fact, in the last weeks Janja visited Croatia and in Pandora crag she managed to climb her first 8b on-sight and her first 8c. The 8b route is Avatar and the 8c is Scrat that Janja got at the 2nd go. Moreover she onsighted Neytiri (8a) and redpointed Rocket Max (8b, again at the 2nd go) in Kompanj crag. But what did Janja feel after these exciting successes? What are her dreams for the future? And which CAMP products does she prefer? To know her answers don’t miss this exclusive interview!
Did you think to climb Avatar on-sight? Was this 8b on-sight a goal for you, a dream that you wanted to make true, or an unexpected surprise?
«Yes, it has been a surprise! I just went in Croatia to climb a lot, to do hard training and of course to have a lot of fun. Avatar was not my first 8b ascent but certainly my first on-sight, and that was really a big surprise for me and for my coach as well».
What did you feel after getting Avatar and during the climb? When did you understand that the on-sight was possible?
«I started to climb with a lot of confidence in myself, trying to do my best, as usual. Of course I had no expectations on such a hard route, but when I realized that the moves are not too hard and then I topped the route I was very surprised, as I said. I thought that Avatar was already below me».
Could you describe the route?
«It starts with a long colonnette. When you climb on its top, you have a small rest before the main part of the route. This starts with three not so hard moves and then follows one more colonnette that you have to match. Then one more long move and finally good hold. In the last part there are crimps to the top. The route is about 22 meters long and I liked it very much, because it is kind of my style».
Are you more happy for Avatar on-sight or for Scrat at the 2nd go?
«I’m super happy to have climbed both. I can’t really decide, I am happy for Avatar because I am the 2nd youngest person who ever onsighted 8b, but on the other hand it’s not so bad to climb 8c in only 2 tries».
You climbed your first 8c but the impression is that you can improve quickly your standard: are you agree?
«Yes, absolutely agree. I’m well trained so I will try to overcome myself».
What kind of routes do you prefer? Overhangs? Technical slabs? Long or short?
«That is tough! I can’t really decide because there are too many routes that I have enjoyed; maybe I prefer long routes where you have to be persistent».
You are super strong also in competitions: do you prefer rock climbing, races or both?
«I prefer both! I like rock climbing because it’s happening in nature, it’s very calm and on the rock I can really test myself. Competitions are another story and feelings, where adrenalin goes through your veins. Every time I step on the top of the podium, I love to see smiling faces of my friends and coach».
How many hours for a day do you dedicate to training? How do you train?
«I train about 5 days for a week for about 3 hours. Normally I run a little bit, then I warm up and after that I do the main part of the training. It depends on the competition which we are preparing for. I don’t have a lot of free time, but if happens I usually hang out with my friends».
Have you a model, a climber that has inspired (and inspire) you?
«Yes, I have. There are many good climbers but Mina Markovič and Maja Vidmar are the ones who inspire me the most. In the future I want to have results like they have!».
Which CAMP products do you appreciate more?
«CAMP gear is just excellent: I use harnesses, ropes, quickdraws, chalk…and I like the Essential down jackets, I never go out without them!»
Which are your projects for 2015?
«I hope to repeat my results from last year and to do my best in senior category. I also want to climb outside and try to beat my records».
The last question: why do you like climbing?
«Because there is never an identical movement, you can climb a problem in many different ways. You have so many challenges and when you accomplish one, you just look for another. I live for climbing!».