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Athlete Profile: Barbara Zangerl, Boulderer

Athlete Profile: Barbara Zangerl, Boulderer

Barbara Zangerl, Pura Vida, 8a+/8b, Magic Wood, Switzerland

Barbara Zangerl, Pura Vida, 8a+/8b, Magic Wood, Switzerland

Austrian Barbara Zangerl is rising at a rapid rate through the climbing world. At just 20 years of age she is setting the pace for all to follow. She recently raised the stakes again by setting a new route called Pura Vida in Switzerland’s premier bouldering area, Magic Wood. Pura Vida (8b) is considered to be the hardest boulder climbed by a woman  .

 

How did you first get involved in climbing:
The first time I got in touch with climbing was when my brother took me to the climbing hall in Flirsch. That was at the age of 14. I enjoyed it from the very beginning. In 2002 I first climbed on real rock in Switzerland and in Tyrol…… that was great, lot of new places , lots of rock. That was much better than climbing indoor. Since that trip I knew that’s my sport.

What’s your local climbing areas:
Galtür in the Silvretta Mountains, Austria and Magic Wood in Averstal, Switzerland. These are very special places not far from my hometown. Galtür is a very cool place in Summer. There is always a good friction and the landscape is beautiful. In Spring I am often in the Magic Wood.

Climber, Barbara Zangerl

Climber, Barbara Zangerl

Favourite climbing area:
In 2006 I was in South Africa, Rocklands. This is my favourite climbing area. There are so many cool boulders, it’s a climbers paradise. But I’ve found good boulder problems in every area I’ve visited in the past. I like different rock and different styles of climbing.

What motivates you to keep climbing?
Climbing is a lot of fun, you have to concentrate just on moving! I like playing with the rock!!!!!! Having a good time with my friends, being outside in the nature and looking for new boulders. I like travelling to find new boulder problems. Basically, when I can do something on my limit, and I’ve worked really hard for it, I feel happy. It’s just an amazing feeling when you manage a move that you haven’t been able to do before.

What other types of climbing do you do. eg alpine, ice?
I like bouldering, climbing routes and alpine sport-climbing but I’ve never tried ice climbing.

Barbara Zangerl, Zwiederwurtz, 8a, Galtür, Austria

Barbara Zangerl, Zwiederwurtz, 8a, Galtür, Austria

What are some of your major accomplishments?
First place: Melloblocco 2006, 2007, 2008
First woman climbing: Pura vida 8a+/8b,
Niviuk 8a/+
X-Ray 8a
Team work 8a
Dr.Pintch 8a,
Rising sun 8a

A bit about bouldering competitions?
I started in some competitions in Austria last year and I will start in some more competitions next year. Climb competitions are exciting. With competitions you have to give it your best at exactly one moment. But for me bouldering on real rock is more important and more fun

Barbara Zangerl, Too young to die, 7a, Galtür, Austria

Barbara Zangerl, Too young to die, 7a, Galtür, Austria

Plans for the future:
At this time I’m still going to school, a medical technical school in Innsbruck. I’m in the last class so next year I will be finished. After school I want to travel more and go bouldering.

Sponsors:
Adidas, Black Diamond, FiveTen

Posted by Richard in Athletes, Climbing, Sport
Athlete Profile: Sam O’Keeffe, Skier

Athlete Profile: Sam O’Keeffe, Skier

Sam O'Keeffe, St. Anton Am Arlberg, Austria

Sam O’Keeffe playing in the trees.

British skier Sam O’Keeffe has called the Austrian ski resort of St. Anton his home for the last few years. He keeps his knowledge of the best local spots close and not without reason.

Date of Birth:
18/5/80

Nationality:
Born in Switzerland but British by nationality

Home Mountain:
St. Anton Am Arlberg, Austria

Sponsors:
Icelantic Skis, Black Flys, Pull-In Underwear,
Penguin Outerwear

Sam O'Keeffe - Skier

Sam O’Keeffe – Skier

Favourite set of skis:
Don’t know yet, just got my new Shaman’s and Nomad’s from Icelantic and they look wicked, now I just need some snow to fall and I’ll let you know which one’s are my favourite.

Favourite ski spot:
There are so many around here in the Arlberg, a lot are known by everyone, but there are still some “fairly” secret spots and they are going to stay “fairly” secret, so if I answered this question honestly then I wouldn’t have my favourite spot anymore….so I would have to say the baby slopes in at the bottom of St.Anton, yup definitely.

Sam O'Keeffe Sonnenkopf, Austria

Sam O’Keeffe puts in some clean turns at Sonnenkopf, Austria

How did you get involved in skiing:
Probably like most people who love this sport, you were forced into it when your parents wanted to go skiing but didn’t want you to come along, so they whack a helmet on your head, dress you in a comical ski bib, strap two wooden planks on your feet, wave goodbye to you as your dragged into ski school kicking and screaming shouting “I don’t want to do this” and “I hate you”, then as soon as you start sliding on the strange white stuff, you’re hooked and you know that’s all you want to do for the rest of your life. Not bad forward thinking for a 2yr old!
P.S. Thanks Mum and Dad!

Sam O'Keeffe, St. Anton Am Arlberg, Austria

Sam O’Keeffe deep in the St. Anton Powder, Austria

Plans for the future:
Last year I took part in my first bit of competitive skiing and qualified 18th out of 60 odd riders at the Fieberbrunn Spyder Big Mountain competition and loved every minute of it and was really looking forward to the actual competition only to have it cancelled due to bad weather. The disappointment didn’t end there, two other competitions I wanted to compete in succumbed to a similar fate.
So this year I really want to do well in competitions as long as the snow Gods will let us compete, a definite goal is to get into the top 5 in the British Freeride Competition…..well actually I want to win it, but I would be happy to get on the podium. Also some friends have just bought a HD camera and want to make a short film this season, knowing these jokers I really can’t wait to see what the end result will be. Also year I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to go on my first team rider trip to Bulgaria, kind of things you dream about in your young skibum days, plus Bulgaria has been on my ski destination hit list for a long time, so I’m just really hoping I can make it.

Favourite Country:
Right now it’s Austria. I’ve been living here for a few years now and I love being in the mountains, there’s just so much to do. But there are a lot of other countries out there and I haven’t been to them all yet so maybe I’ll find a new one this year!

Sam O'Keeffe, St. Anton Am Arlberg, Austria

Sam O’Keeffe deep in the St. Anton Powder, Austria

Best Moment:
My Buddy and I did the front face of Schindler all the way to the Zammermoos chair 4 times last year with powder over our waists and each time we came round for another lap we just couldn’t believe that no one else was skiing it, it was an epic day that I’ll never forget…..Fair enough no one was there because it was a complete whiteout, but who needs good vis when you have sooo much snow and rocks to guide the way. Cheers Lloydo!

Worst Moment:
Fracturing my neck doing the guinea pig jump off a backcountry kicker in Zurs. Took awhile to get the confidence back after that one.

Click here for Sam O’Keeffe photo gallery

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Posted by Richard in Athletes, Skiing, Sport