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Timon Lauck, one of the young athletes on the Boreal team

In this interview we talk with Timon Lauck, one of the young athletes on the BOREAL team, to learn a little more about his short but intense career as a climber.

Hi Timon, first of all we'd like to congratulate you, although you are one of our youngest athletes, you've achieved a meteoric rise to success, and you’ve become a revolutionary climber with a very promising future.

How did you first start climbing?

My first climbing experience was as an eight year old boy on some small rock face called ‘Bärenwand’ in Austria. During a family vacation we tried out different activities and an older local mountain guide offered rock climbing once a week. I climbed with him twice during this vacation and was hooked immediately. Right after I got home I joined a young climbing group.

Funny side note: Almost ten years later I happened to revisit the ‘Bärenwand’. What seemed to be a (gigantic) multi-pitch crag from the eyes of an eight year old was not much more than a highball. But I will always remember it to be my first climbing adventure.

Climbing in Istrian

Do you remember the first time you tried on a pair of climbing shoes?

Yes, and even though I was told they had to be super tight I bought them way too big. It was a pair of Boreal Ace. After many people told me they were too loose on my feet I got some smaller ones. I rediscovered the Ace’s few years later in my closet and luckily by then they fit well.

Where does a sport such as climbing place in your country of origin, Germany? Do you feel it is a respected sport by the German population?

I feel like you would have to differentiate between indoor and rock climbing, at least for the region I live in. Even though the scenes have some things in common, it’s still two scenes.  The crags are getting more crowded, but it does not compare with the indoor bouldering boom that happened within the past few years. I would say every young person here has at least heard of a nearby bouldering gym. Still when I go outside a lot of people ask me about the purpose of ‘that huge mattress’ I wear on my back. Or if I’m carrying a rope they automatically assume I’m training for Mt Everest!

 Do you practice other sports or are you exclusively dedicated to climbing?

Just climbing ;) Even though I like to hike, bike etc. every once in a while.

 What’s the daily training routine for a young athlete such as yourself?

Depends on what specifically I train for at the moment. It can involve anything from fingerboard, campus sessions to several hours of endurance training.

Climbing in Istrian

Are you still studying? If so, how do you pair your academic and climbing lives?

I’m studying Constructional Engineering at TU Darmstadt right now. I definitely have to cut off some climbing time sometimes due to exams, projects etc. but usually I can do both, the studying and the climbing the amount I want it to.

So far, what would you say has been the toughest challenge of your career?

I don’t think I’ve already had anything like my ‘lifetime project’ but if I had to pick one, it’s probably ‘Trianon’, one of the toughest climbs in the Odenwald (my homecrag) at solid 8b. It’s really bouldery, therefore my anti style, and the crux consists of multiple consecutive moves that each are quite luck dependent to stick. I still get made fun of for asking people every weekend whether they want to give me a belay on it!

We know one of the routes of greater difficulty you've done is the green point (climbing a sport route on trad gear) of "Lichtblick" 9 + (Heubach) in 2014. Was it very hard for you, or have you made ascents which require more preparation in recent years?

My first real trad climbing experiences I gained in 2012. Since there were just a few trad routes, or at least not enough for me and my friend, we started to try sport routes with just trad protection. What started out as a fun and adventurous idea quickly became equally important as ticking bolted routes.

By the end of 2012 I climbed my first really tough trad route: ‘Virus’ in Hainstadt (https://vimeo.com/134998871). At 7c+ this route was just below my climbing ability limit at the time. I was hooked. I tried to do as many routes as possible in this grade range with just gear protection to gain more experience in climbing hard while at the same time having maybe just poor protection. It was a fascinating mix of trying hard with your body but also with your mind. ‘Lichtblick’ in Heubach was one of the harder ones of those.

Climbing in Istrian

In the past year I’ve tried to step up that game and was able to do for example a green point ascent of ‘Den Arsch hingehalten…’, a heinous technical 8a+ in Ziegelhausen; or the second ascents respectively of two pure trad routes: ‘Freundschaft’, an 8a slab in Schriesheim and Prozess (7c+/8a), Heubach.

Do you have any superstitions or motivational quotes to help you in the most crucial of moments?

Nothing specific, but it definitely helps to say something motivating to yourself during a critical moment in the climb.

 What are your plans for the future?

Think less, climb more!

Just kidding, but climb more doesn’t sound too bad.

 
Thank you Timon, we wish you luck in your new project!

 Greetings from the BOREAL team.

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