Finding her obsession at 11-years-old, the now 39-year-old Slovenian climber Martina Čufar Potard, has had a life full of climbing. Like many of our girl crushes she has a long pedigree of accomplishments on both plastic and real rock, but what stands out is her unwavering love and excitement for climbing. After so many years she still says, “Climbing is my life! New challenges, new routes, new moves, new places, new friends every day!” Like great food or a warm shower after a cold day, climbing to Martina as she puts it is, “Simply the best!”
As Martina has grown and her life has changed around her, climbing has always been a constant force. Of her climbing memories she says, “There are so many nice memories! Stand outs were my first female free ascent of Hotel Supramonte (8b/5.13d) in Sardinia and Logical Progression on El Gigante (900m, 27 pitches, 7c+ max, 7a obligatory).” Many other climbs mark important milestones in her life, including meeting her husband on El Capitan and climbing several 8b’s since having her two sons, Tommy and Paco. She tells us that not much has changed in her climbing since having kids. “I am still completely addicted to climbing, it’s just that I spend my time on the wall more efficiently. I climb less but I am grateful for every hour I can climb.”
As for her “day job” Martina is employed by the Slovenian army as a high level athlete (pretty cool, right?). She tells us, “It’s a big privilege. We have some obligations towards the army, some promotions, military competitions, and three days a year in the caserne (barracks). Otherwise I just need to train and do some hard routes. Not bad!” Speaking of hard routes, Martina has picked out an 8c/5.14b that she is feeling pretty close on. “I finally managed to find the solution for the long crux move. While I can’t say how close I am, I can do the route from the bottom to the crux and from the crux on. The crux move I do once every three times, so with some luck I might do it!”
Martina seems to have figured out that magical balance between motherhood and super strong climber-hood. So what’s her secret? To all the parents or parents to-be out there she offers up this advice, “With good organization you will still find time to climb and travel. It’s very “useful” if grandparents are nearby to watch the kids when you go climbing, or you can connect with other climbers and switch climbing and babysitting with them. I do not enjoy having kids in the climbing areas. It’s stressful for everybody. Wait until they are older and motivated to climb with you.”
Thank you Martina for chatting with us and inspiring us to do it all. Best of luck with all of your projects, in climbing and in life!