29 January 2023

La Rambla 9a+ by Michaela Kiersch - Interview

Michaela Kiersch reports on Insta that she has done La Rambla (9a+) in Siurana. Impressively, she projected it for just ten sessions. (c) Colette McInerney

In April, the 28-year-old graduated as a Doctor in hand therapy. Last year, she was also the only female climber to complete both a 9a and an 8B+ boulder interview. Overall, her combined ticklist makes her a contender for the best female outdoor climber as of now. At the age of 15, she made her debut in the World Cup and was #22. The next year, she was #18 in a Lead World Cup.

What was your first impression of La Rambla?
On my first try I did all the moves and felt super optimistic, but there were a few sections that felt super difficult and I was nervous about being able to link them together for a send.

Did video footage of La Rambla help you refine your beta?
I watched every video available and also had a really psyched group of friends here who are also trying the route. Having others to climb with and share beta was super crucial for me. There are a few big moves - I ended up jumping in the middle and this is the section I fell on the most, maybe 5 tries.

In the end, I stayed really positive and once I stuck the jump the first time I linked up to the top crux - that’s when I knew for sure it was possible. I fell there once more and then sent the next try.

What did your training and preparation for this trip look like?
I did a really regimented training block of about 6 weeks following my trip to the RRG (Red River Gorge). It included moonboard, kilterboard, circuits, and hangboarding. And, sauna every day!

You've had quite a successful year of climbing! What do you attribute most to your success?
You can’t fill every bucket at once. I shifted my priorities to focus more on climbing as I finished my education and I think being able to spend more time and energy (on climbing) is a major factor. I have a lot of positivity in my life at the moment and it’s giving me momentum.
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