This May, we’ve got a crush on Swedish climber, Matilda Söderlund, who’s celebrating her 21st birthday later this month (Happy Birthday Matilda!). Over the past few months, Matilda’s been popping up all over Crux Crush news posts, slaying 5.14s, and flashing a handful of them. When asked about her recent climbing trips and success outside she says, “My goal was just to have fun and climb as much as possible. Thus, I ended up trying lots of routes, onsight or flash.” We love that her success doesn’t stem from wanting to be the best onsight climber out there, but is simply the result of her wanting to have fun and gain experience on all types of climbs.
Climbing since age 11, Matilda immediately fell in love with the sport, and has since racked up a number of strong finishes in lead climbing European and World Cup competitions. More recently Matilda’s been proving incredible prowess and talent for climbing long difficult routes outside. Within a year, she’s bagged 19 routes in the 8a+ to 8c range, 6 of which she onsighted or flashed (check out the details on her 8a scorecard). As for breaking into 9a, she admits that, “climbing 9a would certainly be amazing and like a dream coming true!” but more importantly says, “I would like to go away on a longer trip and find a nice route that I feel motivated in climbing, and spend more time on it. Whether that route would be an 8c or 9a is not that important to me.” Her lack of ego and true sense of what climbing means to her are so refreshingly obvious that we can’t help but root for her and her future success.
Matilda is currently taking some time off between graduating high school and beginning university to train, compete, travel, and climb at some of the most beautiful crags in the world.In a recent in interview, she was asked for “one last thing to say?” and responded with, “I am very grateful that I get to live the life I do right now… I am really looking forward to next year with new experiences and challenges.” We love Matilda’s wide-eyed appreciation for climbing and that she truly recognizes the unique position she’s in. Her humility and excitement for the future reflect maturity beyond her 20 years, and reminds us to appreciate having a sport we love and to remember just how good we’ve got it.
For more on Matilda check out her blog. And climb on!
(Info and Photo credits: http://www.ukclimbing.com/, http://planetgrimpe.com, 8a.nu, Matilda’s blog, D Scott Clark Photography)