Image photo with the ROCKET, Bildupdate Luis Gerhardt Juli 2019

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

Luis Gerhardt,
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.”