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Ján Smoleň


Ján Smoleň


I come from small town Dolný Kubín in the north of middle Slovakia, but for last few years I live in Czech republic. At the moment in Trutnov, close to Adršpach.

How did you start climbing?

Usual story... Went with a friend to local "cliff" after school, we climbed free solo in sneakers some easy very routes and I was hooked.

How old were you when you started?

I tried it for the first time when I was fourteen, I wanted it more and more when I was fifteen and at sixteen I became an addict :) :) :) It was not sport for me, I did not care about grades, style like RP and PP only came when I was eighteen. I simply liked to hang around the cliffs. We were jumping with guys into the rope, trying who will fly by more bolts, things like that.

What kind of climbing do you prefer?

I like to alternate it, bouldering, rope, multi-pitches, but most often sandstone just few kilometres from my house. For me, the sandstone climbing is kind of ultimate level of rock climbing, after that there is mountaineering! Often you must be able to unite physical and mental aspect, that’s what I like.

Your favorite area?

My home playground for sure, Skalka and Adršpach.

Your strongest climbing experience?

Greenland 2011. Three madmen completely alone in huge west face of Ketil! It was my first really big wall. Bad bivouacs, freezing mornings, climbing on soaking wet rock, snowfalls, getting lost during rappelling, but also beautiful climbing late into the night during the sunsets...

What do you think is your best climbing success?

Probably the first ascent of virgin NW face of Ulamertorsuaq in 2012 together with Tomáš Brt and Vlado Linek in Greenland. Both wall and the weather tormented us, so I am really happy that we did not give up and get to the summit. We called the route "Zachovajte paniku, prosím!", 8 UIAA, 1270m, 26 pitches...

Your best results in climbing competition?

I am not a real competitor...  (4th place, Slovak bouldering championship 2013)

What would you like to reveal about yourself?

I am a real coward, so I prefer really thick ropes! :)

Free time?

Skiing, ski mountaineering and recently my daughter Zuzanka.

What training?

No. When I read or watch how some climbers train, then not. I would rather call my three winter months spent in gym "waiting for the spring".

Your idol?

I have no particular idol. Of course I admire the achievements of world top climbers, what Adam Ondra or Alex Honnold are doing is simply unbelievable, but the best motivation for me are the friends, with whom I climb or do some expeditions.

Plans for the future?

First ascents in big walls. That's what motivates me the most now. Patagonia, Kirgizstan, Karakoram.

„Tied up“ on e-mail with TENDON.