Rock Climbing 5.14+ in 4 Years: Martina Demmel Slays

It’s tough to climb 5.14+ — so difficult that most will never come close to doing it. On the other hand, Martina Demmel only needed 4 years of rock climbing to get there.

In 2017, Martina Demmel was a decorated competition skier. Then one day, a friend invited her to go rock climbing. The 15-year-old picked it up immediately.

“It never gets boring,” she says in EpicTV’s new video, which spotlights her rapid trip through the grades. Demmel started in the gym as a beginner climber but soon headed outside. Once she found her niche outdoors on real rock, she never looked back.


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And even though she can climb very, very hard, that’s not where her focus lies. Instead, aesthetic routes and a vibrant relationship with nature keep her motivated.

Demmel’s rock climbing looks flexible, calm, and fluid. It’s not every day you come across such a new climber who’s also so fluent. Watch her explain (and crush) it all, from Briancon to Oliana.

Runtime: 9 minutes

Man climbing using a climbing harness, climbing shoes, and a climbing helmet
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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.

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