Martina Čufar

Martina Čufar - photo © Tony Lamiche
  • 14 January 1977
  • Mojstrana, Slovenia
  • sports teacher, director of the training of climbing instructors for the Slovenian
  • high-level athlete in the Slovenian army
  • 2010

Imaginary and real
“In his book The Alchemist, Paul Coelho says, “When you want something, all the universe conspires to help us achieve our dream.” There is truth in that quote. For example, a photo of a wall inspires me and I do everything to fulfill my dream of climbing it.
I was born under the sign of Capricorn and also under the highest mountain in Slovenia (Triglav, 2864m) so perhaps climbing is in my genes and it’s because of this that I better understand the positive effects of this sport on the body and spirit. I started climbing in the mountains at the age of 10 with my Dad. I soon realized that sport climbing is really exciting and I started training for my first competitions.
I love adventure, to discover the lost places like El Gigante in Mexico or Tadratate in Morocco where you can rely only on yourself and your climbing partner, where you feel really close to nature and where you must search a little to find the route.”

My lifestyle: carpe diem!
“I live in the mountains. But I really discovered climbing in Austria when I was 11 years old while visiting a holiday camp. I fell in love with this sport! I wanted to climb all the time and I forced my father to take me to the cliffs. I knew right away that climbing was my life and I could not see myself doing anything else. It is simply an activity I can’t do without. There are so many walls to discover, so many challenges that after a bit of work become feasible. I want to learn every day. The movements of this sport are so complex that I want to master them all. And then, there are all these exciting thoughts in my head, like for example: on a difficult route, well above my last piece of protection, to be able to stay calm and at the same time have the feeling of accomplishment on the project.”
“Yoga is a good compliment to climbing. I love starting the day, early in the morning, when only the birds are awake. I prepare my body and my spirit for the challenges of the day. In addition, I also love to skydive. The sensation of falling into the void is like a drug.”
Like a Zen garden…
“Most of my favorite landscapes are in peaceful valleys far from the commercial and crazy world. For example, Taghia in Morocco where the lifestyle is very simple: no telephone, no Internet, no car… And also in worlds like El Gigante in Mexico. There are also many beautiful places like the south of France: Saint Léger, Buoux, Saint Guilhem le Désert. And then close to my home, there is a climbing school called Warmbad.
In other places like Yosemite, you can meet the entire global climbing community, which is great because we talk about sequences and routes. We interact with people who understand us 100 %.”
My community
“Above all, I feel committed and involved in the climbing community, particularly my friends on the Slovenian climbing team with whom I have shared so many years of competition and climbing. I find that those who share the passion for climbing represent one big family. I especially feel that when I am in the United States where I was alone once without a climbing partner. I didn’t have any problem finding one and the feeling I had was like we already knew each other. My lifestyle allows me to be in contact with people who practice other adventure-related sports: climbing, skydiving, BASE jumping. Many of them are not professionals; they have successful careers in medicine, architecture, engineering… These are people whose lives are very rich and filled with experiences. Sport and career go well together and represent a nice balance.”

picto plus Major ascents

- Lead Climbing World Champion, 2001
- First place at the Master d’Arco (Italy), lead climbing, 2001
- First place at the Master de Serre Chevalier (France), lead climbing, 2002
Rock climbing
- Osp, Slovenia – “Vizija” (8c)
- Sardinia, Italy – “Hotel Supramonte” (8b)
- Verdon, France – “Tom et je ris” (8b+)
Big wall
- El Capitan, Yosemite, USA – “Golden Gate”, “El Nino”

picto rss Other informations

- “Z glavo in s srcem do vrha” (To the summit with spirit and heart) by Martina Cufar. A book on mental preparation in the world of climbing (only available in Slovenia).
- “Tom et je ris, Verdon” – a film by  Laurent Triay.
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picto photo Photos

picto video Videos

Martina Čufar climbing in Jilotepec, Mexico - photo © John Evans

picto featured Martina and the Petzl team

“Climbing is one of the basic human instincts, it’s in our nature. It’s for this reason that climbing is an essential sport. In addition to the Petzl equipment, it’s mainly about sharing my passion and my experiences with others. I want as many people as possible to become familiar with climbing and to discover the positive effects of this sport on the body and spirit. The Petzl Team gives us the opportunity to discover new climbing spots and to share unforgettable moments with “the family of climbers.” The spirit in this Team is really good. To share the same passion with the same motivation, we have the chance to push our limits. The Team also allows us to encourage a lot of people to practice the sport and thus have a healthier lifestyle.”