Le meilleur des cordes

© Escalade Alsace
Yann Corby

Interview in french

Interview by Florent Wolff

Alexandra, can you present yourself?
Yes, my name is now Dr. Alexandra Schweikart ;o), I'm 28 years old and I'm a climber with all my heart! Dr. because I did some work in Nanotechnology and climber because climbing is the most enjoyable and desirable thing in life for me. I'm living in Bayreuth close to the famous Frankenjura but I will have an extended time off as soon as I finish my work here. I will travel within Europe, USA and Australia, see if I can find adventures!

Have you always been in the Frankenjura area?
I started climbing in Forêt-Noire, Battert and Donautal were my home climbing areas. My parents started climbing when I was a little child so they brought me and my siblings out to the mountains. Since that time I travelled a lot to climb all over Europe, Asia and USA.

Is Frankenjura your favorite area? If not, what's your favorite crag?
Franken is kind of my "home" crag, I love the pocket climbing here as well as the technical crimpy climbs. The nature is beautiful, food and living here is cheap! But I also enjoy long sport climbing routes in Siurana and trad climbing in Yosemite. Yes, I would call Siurana and Yosemite my favorite crags, these places inspired me a lot!

Alexandra, 8b in Franken [Photos : Johannes Ingrisch]

What are your three best climbing experience?
1) "Via Camillotto-Pellesier" at the North Face of Tre Cime, Dolomites. I tried it for 6 days during 3 weeks, the weather was really bad all the time but finally we redpointed the route (I and Dirk Uhlig). It is an 11 pitches rout with difficulties up to 8a+/8b, peppered with over 40 years old bolts and alpine rock quality…
2) .) "West Face" at El Capitan, Yosemite, 5.11b, 21 pitches in one day, onsight
3)My first 8b+ in Frankenjura on Easter Monday, "Land of Confusion". I tried it since 3 years, only few days but this year I felt strong enough to send it!

Via Camillotto-Pellesier, 8a+/8b, Dolomites [Photos : Bernardo Gimenez]

Is there a kind of climbing you're mostly attracted by ? Multi pitch, trad, boulder, sport climb... ?
I like all varieties of climbing but I like Alpine Multi Pitch climbing most, which can be also trad climbing…bouldering is good training for climbing but if I had the choice between a boulderpad and a rope: I'd always took the rope ;o)

Is it hard to be a pro climber in Germany?
I didn't try to be a pro climber so far but I guess it's hard to live on climbing, yes. I would call myself a sponsored climber; Mountain Lion, DMM and La Sportiva support me with material, shoes and functional clothing.

What's your main project for 2011?
I don't have fixed projects, after having finished my Dissertation I want to climb as much as I can and hope to find some unclimbed alpine routes and I want to repeat a lot of classics around Charmonix! I want to try some hard routes in Yosemite on El Capitan and I'd love to go on expeditions to Canada and other rad places.

Thank you Alexandra.

Wonderfull pictures!!!
[Photo : Derek Thatcher]