LOWA CLIMBING Team Luis Gerhardt
Escaping the vampire
For Luis Gerhardt from Pforzheim, Germany, climbing is just as much a part of life as breathing. Particularly since his parents also like to climb, Luis and his younger sister Emilie soaked it all up right away and were practically hanging from the crags nearly before they took their first steps walking. It is precisely this kind of enthusiasm for climbing since his pre-school days that allows him to look back on considerable achievements outside of competitions too. Among them, his personal bouldering dream, “The Riverbed” in Magic Wood. However, he has also free climbed a true classic, today still one of the most famous climbing routes in the world – “La Rose et le Vampire” in Buoux, France: Only very few find the rose, whilst many are sucked dry by the vampire. Competing with the DAV Karlsruhe team, Luis also performs well in competitions. In 2012, he took first place in the male Youth B division (ages 14–15) at the German Youth Cup in lead in Balingen. Two years later, he won first place in male Youth A at the German Youth Bouldering Championships in Auerbach.
Facts & figures
- Home base:
- Favourite climbing site:
- Ticino, Fontainebleau, Céüse
- Local mountain:
- 1,75 m
- 60 kg
How do you prepare for your expeditions? Do you have a special ritual?
“I usually get nervous before I set off on a route or boulder. I try to stay calm, take a deep breath, go over the plan in my mind once again and then start climbing. I also carry around a personal checklist in my head. I mentally work my way down the list before I set off: “belt, boots, chalk bag, knots”.”
How would you describe your perfect day?
“Sleeping late somewhere in France and then heading off to a rock after breakfast. After a successful and sunny day of climbing, we kick back and enjoy the evening together.”
How much more do you enjoy life than other people possibly do?
“As a climber, you travel a lot and get to see lots of places. In the process, you get to know different cultures and the perspectives of other people. This is an unbelievably enriching experience and expands your horizon.”