Nina Caprez’ climbing career started differently from most people in that she graduated to sport climbing from trad climbing. From humble mountaineering beginnings, the now SCARPA athlete found the athleticism and focus of sport climbing very alluring. And now she does both very well. The 25-year-old Swiss climber already has an impressive competitive World Cup resume, representing Switzerland in Lead and Bouldering comps. Her next chapter is concentrating on multi-pitch routes that require expert stamina and skill. And, maybe after that, she says, she’ll start thinking about having some babies…but there’s no rush.
I grew up in Switzerland in a small village in the center of a lost valley called Prättigau. I got into mountaineering when I was 13 years old, and at 17, I got into sport climbing.
Climbing is about having mentors. Who were some of your mentors, and how did they influence your love of climbing?
In my early beginnings there was no [specific] mentor because we were a dynamic group of young people (SAC), and we did all kinds of activities together. This group-spirit was the base for my big love for climbing. It was all about sharing and [the thrill] of adventure.
It seems you like hard, technical sport routes. What about them allures you the most?
In fact, I love all kinds of climbing, but I have my strong points. For example, I have good technique. I love the challenge when you have to search a long time to find the right position of your body or just the right balance. I’m quickly bored when the route asks only to pull.
How has your attitude toward competitive climbing changed over the years? Why?
When I started to compete, everything was new. I discovered a lot of new places and completely new groups of people. But after three years I realized that I hadn’t had the right spirit for comps. I loved the challenge, but I felt uncomfortable in the scene.
I really love mountains, but snow isn’t as rich for me as the rock. When I go into the mountains, I love to climb them—when possible in pure rock, like in the Mont Blanc Massif. I don’t really have any big projects in ski mountaineering. It’s just for fun and for a good challenge.
You’re still relatively young. What goals do you have in the coming years? Other aspirations that may or may not include climbing?
I still have a couple of great projects. Because I started to train relatively late (17) my physicality is progressing every year; my body changes more and more into a real climber and every year I can push harder, especially in sport climbing. I would love to climb 9a, and to do more bolting trips and big walls all around the world. I’m super ready for all of that, and after five years or so, I’ll be ready for some crying children…
I’m projecting a 9a route in Margalef, Spain: Era Vella – could be work. Beside that, I’m working really hard on an old apartment I bought with Cédric. For the last four months, we’ve been doing all kinds of renovations, and hopefully it will be finished in a couple of months.