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Inspiring portraits

Inspiring portraits

When Michaela Kiersch send one of America’s hardest routes

Last January, Michaela Kiersch made the first female ascent of the fiendishly thin Necessary Evil (5.14c) in the Virgin River Gorge, Arizona.

We got the pleasure to interview her…

Hi Michaela, we heard that you used to drive 14 hours round-trip to the Red River Gorge each weekend to climb— is it correct ?

Yes, when I lived in Chicago a group of climbers always drove 14 hours round trip to climb in Kentucky. The climbing there is some of the best in the world, and after a while you get used to the drive. I liked being able to escape to the forests on weekends !

Picture by James Lucas @james_lucas

Can you tell us more about you?

I am 23 years old, I was born and grew up in Chicago, but currently I live in Salt Lake City.

I’ve been climbing for 15 years and have mainly focused on competitions and outdoor sport climbing.


You are freshly graduated right ?

I graduated in November with a Bachelor of Science degree and plan to continue my studies in the next couple of years.


How has it been having more freedom for climbing?

It has been incredible to be able to focus only on my climbing for the last few months. I feel like I can really dedicate more time to my training and traveling.


Ascent of the Golden Ticket in the Red River Gorge.  Picture by Simon Carter @simoncarter_onsight

Do you climb outside more than indoor?

I think I keep it pretty balanced between climbing inside and outside. I still love competing and I am currently training for competitions but I would never give up my outdoor projects.


How did you get started coaching?

I started coaching when I was around 15 years old at the local climbing gym. I have always loved working with kids and teaching them to climb seemed like a logical step.

I think the most important thing a coach can do is to help fostering a love for the sport and teach the children how to be responsible and respectful members of the climbing community.


What is your biggest climbing dream?

To love the sport for my entire life and always find fulfillment and happiness while climbing.

What’s your current challenge?

Getting accepted into graduate school and getting stronger!


Credits : Michaela Kiersch @michaelakiersch

Can you tell us 5 things that our readers don’t know about you? 😉

I hate peanut butter

My favorite color is purple

I have a twin sister

I am afraid of spiders

My pinky fingers are really short!



Watch Michaela’s incredible ascent of the Necessary Evil (5.14c) in the Virgin River Gorge, Arizona 😉

Inspiring portraits

A mountaineering survival story

Doug Scott is a great high altitude mountaineer. He was the first Brit to climb Everest with Dougal Haston in 1975, after they found a new route on the Southwest face. He is known for the first ascent of Baintha Brakk (7285m), known as The Ogre, with Chris Bonington in 1977, which became a struggle for survival when he broke both of his legs on the way down.

‘A Crawl Down The Ogre’ tells the story of his greatest challenge … and his greatest escape.

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Inspiring portraits

“Smile at fear, expectation & failure”, Andy Lewis

This week at the Outdoor Show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, the famous slackline brand Gibbon keeps loyal to its reputation and entertains visitors with pretty impressive athletes… We met Andy Lewis, the man responsible for Gibbon’s communication, and asked him a few questions about his passion!

Can you introduce yourself?

I’m Andy Lewis, 31 years-old, it’s my … wait… 11th Outdoor Show here.. wow! The brand was created in 2007 and I’ve been helping inspire people through this sport since then.

You’re a climber as well, did slacklining help to improve specific skills?

Yes, it helped distract me from climbing ahah! For me, established lines brought everything together: rock climbing, camping, hanging with friends… But seriously, slackline develops strength and balance. Balance helps everything; it keeps yourself in the moment mentally. You’re just thinking about taking one step and not about doing the entire line. Then you’re thinking about the next step once you’ve achieved the first one, and so on.

What’s your job?

Inspiring the world with slackline! I organize competitions, set records, develop tricks, make videos…

Do you think this sport is getting more and more famous?

Yes for sure! It’s getting more and more accessible, you can find it everywhere. There are more products and more knowledge.

What would you say to beginners?

You should try it, it helps managing frustration. It helps you to smile at fear, expectation and failure with a permanent challenge. And try not to kick your balls when you start, it can be very painful ! You have to manage jumping on one side 😉

What’s the best place to slackline?

Where I live is the best place in the world. Moab, Utah.

Inspiring portraits

Natalie Duran, a ninja warrior

Natalie Duran is a professional rock climber and fitness model. She first appeared on the obstacle course show “American Ninja Warrior” in 2012 and competed again in 2016, becoming one of the first women to advance to the Los Angeles finals. We met her and she seemed to enjoy the first KLIFBOX… we’ll let you discover the video! Continue Reading