Anna Stohr and Kilian Fischhuber is a super cool climbing couple from Austria. This interview about love because we made it just before St. Valentine's day though these two legends of sport climbing never celebrate it. Enjoy reading!
Photo by Stefan Schlumpf / Red Bull Content Pool
Please share your love story. How did you meet?
Kilian: We knew each other for a long time because we were competing in the same circuit. We were not dating at that time but we were traveling a lot and we came along very well and then after a couple of years, we became a couple.
What is the best St. Valentine's gift for a climber?
Anna: To be honest we never celebrated St. Valentine's day. We give each other some gifts along the way but not on a special day. If I see a thing that Kilian might like I give it to him.
Kilian: We do celebrate Christmas and our birthdays. We try to keep our presents small because it is more about time and passion that you share.
Is it good or bad for a climber to have a partner that is a climber too?
Anna: I think it depends on a person but for me, it was always a big advantage. When your partner climbs you can share the same passion, you can travel the world and we did that through competitions but also we did a lot of travels abroad to the different rock destinations. It was always very cool to share that experiences.
Who’s the best cook?
Kilian: We share cooking cause we both like it.
Anna: It depends on the dishes. I am a more sweet chef and Kili is a more savory chef.
What are your favorite dishes?
Kilian: We cook traditional Austrian food, but we also like Italian food like especially pasta with different kinds of sauce. We try to keep it diverse, we eat meat and everything we like.
Anna: We eat a lot of porridge especially in winter. It is good to start the day with a warm meal when it is dark and cold outside. In summer we usually switch to yogurt and fruit and muesli and cereal.
Photo by PHILIPP HORAK / RED BULL CONTENT POOL
Do you train together?
Kilian: When we climb outdoors, we usually do it together but we don’t train anymore in the gym regularly because we stop competing. We like climbing in a gym, but mostly we go outside. This year we were in France and twice in Italy. It’s just two hours car drive from Innsbruck to Arco. So we spend a lot of weekends in there when it’s not lockdown time.
Did you compete with each other when you spent more time in a gym?
Anna: Sometimes we were competing with each other but it was more about motivation and encouraging each other.
What do you think about the moonboard and other training walls like this?
Anna: I think it is a very good tool to build power, it is more about raw strength and crimps but not about technic so much. In my career I never climbed such things like moonboard because I am a very muscular type and I never need to train those skills.
Did you hear about the WayUp board that is created by Anze Peharc?
Kilian: No, but it is very good that climbers like Anze create and develop tools to train with.
How do you spend your rest days? Do you like the cinema, shopping and stuff like this?
Anna: No, we are sport addicted, so even on our rest days we do some activities. For example in Verdon this year we had our bikes with us and we were biking some easy canyons. In winter we like skiing or cross country skiing.
Kilian: We both hate shopping, but we go to the cinema. We have the alternative movie cinema nearby where they don’t show blockbusters but low-budget European independent films.
It’s hard to talk about plans in 2020 but do you have some special plans for 2021?
Anna: Yeah, we have learned in 2020 is that you can’t really have plans. We wanted to travel a lot that year but then it didn’t happen. Now we are just going with the flow and seeing what is possible right now. We are at home a lot of course because Austria is in lockdown we try to enjoy whatever is there in the moment. Once we will be able to go back to Italy for example I am sure we will get the trip. We want to climb on rocks but there’s no specific goal that we have in mind.
Kilian: We changed our climbing in the last two years. We did not climb hard anymore. Anna used to boulder on rock 8B+ and I used to climb 9a’s. Now it’s a lot about passion, it’s about traveling. We really love climbing more than ever I think, we do multi-pitches, but we don’t want to spend a lot of days on one project. We can’t find the motivation for this, it’s kind of boring for us now to try the same move.
To be honest, the less hard you climb, the more climbs you have. So we can go to the areas where there are only 8b, spend a nice day and be happy.
Photo by DAVID ROBINSON / RED BULL CONTENT POOL
What are your favorite crags?
Anna: It’s so hard to choose.
Kilian: For a couple of days we like Arco – the endless number of routes, the Italian food and the lake Garda that is very scenic.
Anna: Verdon in the south of France is also very good – lavender fields, good croissants and not so many people.
Kilian: It used to be a super popular area but now it is not.
Do you have some special routes or boulders in your career?
Kilian: For me, it is Action Directe for sure.
Anna: The New Base Line, it is 8B+ boulder in Magic Wood. I did it in two days and it was a surprise for me. It’s also an iconic climb, a lot of people have done it, and I was happy that I sent it. Another big achievement for me was definitely climbing Alibaba last year. It’s a multi-pitch climb and for me, it was a big evolution to be able to lead that climb and to accomplished that goal.
Photo by Philipp Horak / Red Bull Content Pool
Finally, let’s talk about the Olympics. Can you make a prediction who can win the Games in climbing?
Anna: I believe that Janja definitely has very good chances. If we are talking about the men it is Tomoa, Adam, Jakob. She has been on the top of lead and boulder for a while now but it is interesting to see who else will fight for the medals.
Kilian: I think it is quite difficult to answer this question now because it is such a long time that we had international competitions. It is about one year that we have not seen any of these people. Some people can have the same fit, some can decline, but for sure, some of the young ones well get a lot stronger.
Anna: Who knows about Colin for example from the US.
Kilian: It is a very interesting question, and when the World Cups will kick off it will be very interesting to see who is how strong.
Text by Yury Birilov. All rights reserved.
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