Climbing / Climbers / Katherine Schirrmacher
Name: Katherine Schirrmacher
Interview: Moon Climbing / January 2013
Moon Climbing – When and where did you start climbing?
Katherine - At Leeds University some 20 years ago!
Moon Climbing – Do you have a favorite style of climbing (traditional, sport, bouldering etc)?
Katherine - I like all types of climbing – generally I do whatever I’m psyched for – variety keeps me motivated. But currently, due to time constraints, I’m a sport climber!
Moon Climbing – You are stuck on a desert island with just one route and one boulder. Which ones would you choose and why?
Katherine - The boulder would have to be the Midnight Lighting block in Yosemite. It would keep me busy and the sand would probably be a good landing. As for the route, it would have to be a long one in the Verdon – it wouldn’t really matter which one as they are all good – but something with a few pitches that are at my limit.
Moon Climbing – Who is your climbing hero or inspiration and why?
Katherine - Lynn Hill – enough said.
Moon Climbing - How often do you climb?
Katherine - Not nearly enough! Because we have a small daughter, Nic and I get outside 1 day a week in the better weather months and the rest of the time it’s training.
Moon Climbing – Where and how often do you train and for how many hours per week?
Katherine - I train at home (on fingerboard and pull up bar) and then mostly at the Climbing Works in Sheffield. At the moment I am fitting in around 7 training sessions in a week, but some of these only last an hour (and can be done at home) and/or can be combine with other ones, to make longer sessions. So overall I am training 3-4 days a week. Short sessions can be very effective for the time limited climber.
Moon Climbing – What kind of training do you do?
Katherine - At the moment I am working on my big weakness – endurance. It’s always been a problem, but as time ticks on, I’ve decided once and for all to attack it. So a lot of what I’m doing is continuous climbing (traversing) to build up my base endurance. But I am doing some more anaerobic training like longer boulder problems and finally topping up with fingerboard and weights for conditioning.
Moon Climbing - Your top training tip or tips?
Katherine - Fingers – are they strong enough? It’s often the weak link in the chain for any climber. I use finger and campus boards to strengthen these.
Moon Climbing – The climbing achievement you are most proud of and why?
Katherine - Climbing Balance it Is E7 6c at Burbage South. The climbing on it is simply incredible and I found it a very rewarding experience.
Moon Climbing - What is your opinion on competitions? Good, bad or indifferent?
Katherine - I have competed on the British Team in the past and overall enjoyed them. Competitions feature amongst my best and worst climbing experiences! Learning how to focus and perform at a given moment in time is a real skill. For me this challenge was as interesting as any other aspect of climbing. But my heart is with outdoor climbing – that’s the reason I got into the sport into the first place.
Moon Climbing – Your goals for 2013?
Katherine - Well, 2012 was a disappointing year for me (as it was for lots of people in the UK) , mostly because of the weather. So I’m hesitant to get too psyched and list a series of ambitious ideas, when it might just rain all year again! Last year I managed to hit the kind of level I want to be climbing at (routes 8a), but my aim is to be a lot more consistent at this level. If I go harder, brilliant, if not well, that’s ok.