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Interview with 28 year old Austrian Angy Eiter who was recently in South Africa and spent time in Rocklands and Montagu.
Angie Eiter Interview
28 year old Austrian Angy Eiter was recently in South Africa and spent time in Rocklands and Montagu.

She has won three World Cups lead (in a row), from 2004 to 2006 and four World Championships.  In 2011 she achieved her 25th win in World Cup and her 42nd podium.

All photos courtesy of k3 Climbing

The thing that I could not get over was that she has only really been climbing outdoors for about a year now.  With no intentions of climbing in competitions again, Angy has her sights on sending hard.  She already climbs 8c+ sport and whilst in South Africa sent problems of up to 8B (flashing up to 8A) and on a very short trip to Montagu she sent ‘Jabulani’ (7c+) and ‘My route down by the river’ (8a+).

Angie Eiter Interview
Angy at the Worldcup in Chamonix

Where were you born and where are you living now?
I was born in Austria and live in Imst

How long have you been climbing?
Since 1998 (I started when I was 11 years old)

How did you start climbing?
At school, it was an alternative to other the other sport, which was football.

What did you study?
I finished an economic school with my final exams.

Your indoor climbing track record is extremely impressive:

I started competing in the World Cup lead climbing at age sixteen and in 2003 I won my first Cup at Aprica.  I went on to win three World Cups in a row: in 2004, 2005, winning eight out of nine events and in 2006, winning seven out of ten events.

I also won four world championships in the lead climbing specialty: the 2005 edition in Munich, the 2007 edition in Avilés, the 2011 edition in Arco, and the 2012 edition in Paris.
Ed:  She was also awarded the La Sportiva Competition Award for her climbing achievements in 2006.

Whats the most important piece of advice you tell kids who are starting out with competition climbing?
I think the best thing that they can do is to have fun with the sport and to enjoy it.

You were 15 when you sent your first 8a, how old were you when you climbed 8c?
At 19 years old.

Angie Eiter Interview

What routes have you opened and do you have any projects at the moment ?
Yes, I have made one first Ascent in Zillertal, Austria (it was open project).

Do you ever train specifically for routes?
Usually yes, I like bouldering and I believe that its important for natural routes.

How often do you train?
Nowadays it has changed, when I was climbing in comps it was 5 times a week for +-3 hours a day.  Now, it depends on weather, skin, motivation and how my body is feeling.

What brought you out to South Africa and what areas did you visit?   
Bernie (my boyfriend) brought me here, he was here the year before in Rocklands and recommended that I come along this time.
For me it was important not to just go bouldering, but also to go route climbing and so we landed in Montagu.

Angy Eiter Interview
Bernie on ‘Cool Like That’ (7c+) at the Scoop in Montagu, South Africa


And your thoughts on Rocklands?
Definitely also the landscape which impressed me and the bouldering itself, I have never bouldered in this way before.  You have many easy and hard boulders together.   So many different boulders, with such a range of potential.

We discovered different areas such as “Pakhuys”, “Eight Days Rain”, “The Pass”, “Fields of Joy”, “Sassies” and “Champsite”.  Apart from inspiring lines we met climbing legends like Dave Graham, Alex Megos and Ashima Shiraishi.

My greatest highlights in Rocklands were several 7C+ problems and flashing ‘Paula Abdul’ 7C+ & ‘In the middle of the ass’ 8A.  This was my hardest flash on the trip!

I also sent ‘Fragile steps’ 8B in ‘The Pass’ sector.  This is a boulder that goes through a steep roof with crimpy holds.
The most frustrating boulder in for me was ‘Tea with Elmarie’ 8A+ An amazing line with one strange move where I managed to fall off a lot!

‘Hatchling’ 8A was the coolest line I have ever tried.  This boulder is quite high and demands a lot of finger power.  I had great respect for its height.  Therefore, I was stunned when I reached the top of it on my only second go.

Encouraged of the ascent of Hatchling I wanted to try the more thrilling ‘Out Of Balance’ 8A, additionally, it demands horizontal and unstable body positions.  I was so happy that I kept quiet and concentrated till the end.

Angie Eiter Interview
Angy on Hatchling (8B) at Rocklands

Below is Angy’s Rocklands Ticklist:
Weichei, Pakhuys 7C+
When the days break sit, The Pass/Roadcrew 7C+
Dry baby, Sassies 7C+
Stargate, The Pass/Fortress 7C+
No late tenders, Pakhuys/Fields of joy 7C+
Carolin, The Pass/Mainroad 7C+
The ghost in the darkness, Sassies 7C+
Paula Abdu,l Sassies 7C+, flash
Black mango chutney, 8 day rain 7C+
Streched and pressed, The Pass/Fortress 7C+
Stalker in the horizon, The Pass/Rhino Area 8A
In the middle of the ass, Champsite 8A, flash
Hatchling, Kleinfontein 8A, 2.Go
Out of balance, Pass/Mainroad 8A, 6. Go
Tea with Elmarie, Champsite 8A+
Fragile steps, The Pass/Fortress 8B

And what do you think of Montagu?
I’m impressed with the beautiful landscape and the vegetation.  I really enjoyed climbing on the Quartizitc Sandstone Rock.
Also, the calmness of the region.

Nevertheless, I didn’t want to miss sports climbing. That was why Bernie and I traveled to Montagu to climb some routes. The rock contains many slopers and the routes are usually powerful but worthwhile climbing. We explored the areas “Waterworld“, “Jurassic Park” and “The Scoop“.  Unfortunately the legendary “Mazawattee” was wet and I couldn’t try it.

Moreover, on my last climbing day in Montagu I became aware of the route “Taste the pain (8B+)” which was opened by Fred Nicole.  After an essential hold had been broken in the crux, the route is alleged to be much harder now and nobody has repeated it yet.  Although, I could do all the moves during my work out, I fell on the last difficult move after the crux.  My damaged and bloody fingers made me stop trying.  Therefore, I went back to Rocklands with one uncompleted project, but two succeeded routes, “Jabulani (7c+)” and ‘My Route Down by the River’ (8a+)”.

Angy Eiter Interview
Angy on ‘Taste the pain’ (8B+) at the Scoop, Bad Kloof, Montagu – Photo Climb ZA


Angie Eiter, Montagu
Angy on ‘My Route Down by the River’ (31/8a+) in Waterworld, Bad Kloof


Are you tempted to come back for another visit?

Yes, because I have only seen a small part of the country and would like to explore more of it.

Who are your climbing hero’s, who inspires you?
So many!!   Some of them… Adam Ondra, Lynn Hill, Stefan Glowacz

Where else have you climbed and what other places in the world are on your list to visit?
Mainly in Europe.. Spain and Italy.  I also really want to go Jordan, Australia and America.

What motivates you?
The movement of climbing… mainly the physical and mental aspects.

Do you consider yourself a boulderer ?
No, not really 🙂

What projects are you working (Boulder / Sport / Trad)?
In my mind, but not very focused on projects.  At the moment I am having fun exploring.

Do you ice / alpine climb?  Have you ever considered alpine climbing?
Just sport and multi pitch at the moment.  This is the first year that I have climbed on rocks (outside) regualrily anyways – in the past my focus had been purely on competition climbing.
Up until I was 19, I would go (climb) outside maybe once a year.  From age 19 I would get outside maybe two or three times a year.

What has sponsorship allowed you to do with regards to climbing?
The sponsors gave me huge possibilities and of course this enables me to travel and climb elsewhere in the world.

Angie Eiter Interview
Angy giving training


Do you warm up?
YES!  The older you get the more you have to take care.

Top 3 routes that you’ve climbed this year ?
Bibita biologica 8c
Reini’s Vibes 8c+
My Route Down By The River 8a+

Your hardest onsight?
8b, Skyline, Austria

Tea or Coffee?

Favourite home crag?
Goetterwandl, Imst (10 minutes drive from where I live)

Angie Eiter Interview
Angy on Arendsig (19) at Waterworld, Montagu, Bad Kloof


Do you do any other sports?
I like, Cross country skiing, hiking.

What do you do on a rest day?
Reading, having fun with friends.

Biggest weakness when it comes to climbing?
Dynamic movements.

What inspires you
People who give personal sacrifice (e.g. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King).

For how long did you climb on the competition circuit?
16 years

Do you think you may climb in competitions again?

Can you do a 1 arm pull up?
And 2 hands?
When I was 12 I could do 50, but now its around 20.

Funniest & scariest climbing experience that you’ve had?
When I was climbing a multi pitch with Bernie, I was seconding and slightly off route where I dislodged a large rock which landed on my leg and broke it.
Normally it takes one and a half hour to get to the base of the wall, on this walk out, it took me 4 hours to reach the car!!
And I only found that my leg was broken a week later!

Angie Eiter Interview


What is the most common question that people ask you?
Which was your highest mountain that you have climbed?

What music do you listen to?
I like Jonny Cash a lot.

Can you walk a slackline?
I just tried it once, so no.  But I’m going to start practicing

What type of books do you read most and what was the last good book that you read?
How much Outdoor climbing have  you done.

What about you has changed the most since you became famous?
I don’t think that I have changed.

Most laughable rumor that you have heard about yourself?
That I got married in Innsbruck!

Favourite quote:
“carpe diem

Who are your sponsors?
Red Bull
LA Sportiva
Imst (my hometown)

You’re running K3-Climbing which is a company that you and Bernie started, tell us about it.
We offer climbing courses for beginners, advanced, and competition climbers.  We also route set for gyms in Austria and Germany.

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Angie Eiter, Montagu
Angy on ‘My Route Down by the River’ (31/8a+) in Bad Kloof, Montagu
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