Portrait of Roland Hemetzberger

Roland Hemetzberger was born on the December 17, 1990 in Bavaria, near Munich surrounded by mountains in the Alps. He grew up in a small village called Oberaudorf, near the border with Austria. Around 12 years ago, Roland and a friend were looking for some adventure and they had big fun rappelling some loose rock formations with a self-made harness. After some trial and error, he fortunately met some local climbers and they told him about a small group in Kufstein, the next biggest city. They told him to go there and climb with a teacher and other kids. There he got addicted to climbing and found the real freedom to what he wanted. To be focused is important, but it’s cool to have your own responsibility, without a coach saying ‘do this or that.’ There is freedom to do what we want, to climb hard or easy, to train or not.

Discipline: Climbing

Hometown: Munich, Germany

Currently Living: Oberaudorf, Germany

Height: 174 cm

Career Highlights: 

FA of Lichtblick (9a); FA of The Void (9a); FA of Zarathustra (8c+) without bolts; Second Ascent of Fugu (9a); WagnisOrange (8c); FFA of SchefflerSiegert (8b 350m) without bolts; FA of Goldensecret (8b+ 150m); FA of Relikt (8b/b+ 400m)

When did you first start climbing/skiing?

 Around 2005.

What do you most enjoy about your sport?

Climbing is not only to be on the rock, it’s to make you more aware of nature. Seeing landscapes, sunsets, etc. makes me appreciate these things a lot.

How do you define success?

Realizing dreams.

Who are your heroes?

Hermann Buhl, Wolfang Güllich, Alexander Huber, Adam Ondra.

What inspires you?

That every generation of climbers and alpinists find new challenges.

What are your hobbies outside of your sport?

Ski touring, hanging around and spending time on a lake with friends.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Cute baby cats, chips and nuts.

What are your hidden talents?

I like it to cook for others, and work with wood.

Tell us about your most favorite place in the world:

I like the Tyrolean Alps a lot, near were I live we have a great community and a lot to history in alpinism and sport climbing. The Alps are a great playground for climbers and we have a lot of opportunities to create new things. I like it as well to discover new places.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I want to build skateboard ramps.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be, and why?

To be skinny is not so bad for climbers but a few kilograms were not so bad for me, I am always freezing quickly on alpine climbs. 

Tell us about a time in your life when you have been scared:

I jumared on a fix rope after almost 50 meters of jumaring I see a huge cut in my rope. I was hanging from only a few threads—it was from a rock fall directly on my fixed rope.

Describe your perfect day:

When I feel, after a long day outside I want to go back as fast as possible.

How would your friends describe you?

Restless and sometimes a little bit to optimistic.