Personal fact sheet
Profession: Climber
Place of birth: Bolzano, Italy
Age: 24
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 65 kg
Star sign: Capricorn
Athlete since: 2005
Family status: Single


Michael Piccolruaz started climbing early: His father is a mountain guide and thus he and his mother used to bring him into the mountains basically ever since he could walk. He loved it right away and so his lifetime goal was clear from the start: He wanted to become a professional climber. In 1999, at the age of three, Michael Piccolruaz was on a mountain for the first time in his life and four years later, in 2003, he started his first climbing training. A little group of around ten kids was formed who would climb regularly in a gym, trained by Stefan Stuflesser. At that time he was also playing football, but it did not take long until he realized that his real passion would be climbing. Only five years later, when he was twelve years old, he then became part of the youth national team and won his first medal in 2011. In 2013 he finally had his first Worldcup start and reached his goal to become a professional climber: “I really appreciate the opportunity I am being given to live a life I dreamt about since I was a little kid fighting my way up on some little boulders.” As he is taking part in lots of competitions, he does not have so much time left to be in the mountains, but he is doing innumerable sport climbing routes, both indoor and outdoor, every year. After a hard day he is always motivated to get back on the rocks again: “If I had a hard time on the boulder or route I tried, I want to get stronger and come back to get my revenge on the climb.” He does what he does as “it is a matter of love for what you do and in my opinion if you love something there does not need to be an explanation for why you love it. You just do.”


His results are as follows:

– Olympic Qualification for Summer Games Tokyo 2020
– 1st – Italian Championship 2013, 2017, 2019
– 2nd – Bouldering World Cup Kazo 2016
– 3rd – Combined European Championship 2017
– 5th – Bouldering European Championship Eindhoven 2013
– 6th – Bouldering World Cup Innsbruck 2014
Rock climbs:
8C Boulder – Sierra Madre, Zillertal
8C Boulder – La Grosse Tarlouze, Magic Wood – First Ascent
8B+ Boulder – Nihilist Sit, Zillertal
8B+ Boulder – Staub und Schatten, Südtirol
9a Route – Helmutant, Südtirol
8c+ Route – Synergieeffekt, Ötztal
8c+ Route – The Source, Zillertal
8c+ Route – Tornado, China


In his early days, Michael used to have several role models, who were mostly climbers he looked up to and with the years going by most of these role models became friends with whom he climbed regularly and sharing his passion for climbing. If he had to choose a role model right now, it would be Roger Federer: “For sure I look up to him because of the huge success he had, but mostly also because he still is a really kind, down to earth guy who gets respected by everybody. And obviously being at the top of the game still at his age is pretty remarkable too. I wish I could also still be really strong in my sport when I reach his age.”

Being on his journey, Michael almost always brings his camera with him to capture the special moments he encounters. Over the last couple of years he found out that having those pictures as memories to look back to is something really beautiful! When he is not pursuing his sport, he also likes to engage in photography a lot. So when he is not climbing himself, he likes to take pictures of friends who are climbing or he goes for a hike to take landscape pictures. One thing he likes about photography is that it is so versatile and offers so many possibilities to keep oneself busy. Besides that, he also studies geology at the university of Innsbruck, but as he is getting close to his bachelor degree he does not have to attend the courses anymore. Instead he is working on his thesis now. And obviously he likes hanging out with his friends in his free time, maybe playing table tennis, beach volley, go for an ice cream or a drink…When asked, where he sees himself in the future and his goals beside his sport, he states: “It is really difficult to see myself in further future. I would say in like eight to ten years I want to still be climbing competitively. What comes later is difficult to say. What I know for sure is that I will stick to climbing, maybe concentrate on some bigger projects on bigger walls or mountains for which I did not have time during my career as a competition climber. I guess time will tell the story. Since climbing is so versatile it offers so many different possibilities that I would not call it just a sport anymore, but more of a lifestyle. That is why all my goals involve climbing somehow. For sure I would like to have a family one day and it would be really nice If I will be able to share my passion for this lifestyle with them.”


What drives you crazy or mad?

What makes me really sad and most of the time also drives me mad is the direction in which the modern society is evolving. People always want more power and eventually more money, and if they take a big impact on the nature in order to reach their egoistic goals, that drives me crazy. And the worst thing is that the politics mostly support this goal of some ultimately getting richer and richer.

What is in your mind while you compete?

Obviously the goal while competing is getting an absolutely empty mind to reach the infamous “flow”. Unfortunately it is really hard to get into that special state of mind, so I mostly try to focus really hard on what I have to do. I talk positively to myself, try to imagine my next moves and actions and then focus on executing as perfectly as possible. Sometimes happens that one thing that should not happen, negative thoughts pop into my mind. That is mostly when things do not go as planned. In that moment I try to calm myself, force myself to forget what just happened and focus on the now again.

What deos your day look like in the climbing center or on the wall?

Usually I would get up in the morning at like 7:30 am., then have breakfast and prepare my stuff to head to the gym. At 9:00 am the first training session starts. It usually lasts around three hours, also depending on whether I will have a second session in the afternoon or not. So If I do have a second session I stop the first one at around 12:00 am, then head home, have lunch and then either relax for a bit or do some works for the university or maybe edit a few pictures. At 16:00 pm I then drive back to the gym to have the second session which lasts again for around three hours. In the evening I then have a nice dinner with my flatmates, hang out a bit, relax and go to bed at around 23:00 pm.

With whom would you like to exchange life?

I don’t think there is anybody I would like to exchange life with. For sure there are people who climb much better than me and I would also like to be able to climb as strongly. But that is what motivates me to become a better climber or just a better version of myself and not having to exchange with somebody else.

Winter or summer, which season do you prefer?

This is a difficult question, they both have their good parts, but if I would have to choose I would choose spring and autumn. The transition seasons are the best. I would say the good thing in summer is the swimming, but it is too hot to have good conditions to climb. In autumn the temperatures are lower, thus better for climbing, but the water is still warm so you can still have a few swimming days. The best in winter is the skiing. But with a lot of snow and really low temperatures it can also be hard to have good conditions for climbing. In spring though it is less cold so you can climb well and still have a few skiing days every once and then.

Where is your favorite location to spend your time?

It is really hard to determine a location where I prefer spending my time. The time spent travelling is for sure among the best times. But you also learn to appreciate the beauty of your home every time you get back from a journey. Now with these difficult times, where we were forced to stay home, I understood once more how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place, or places, considering both Innsbruck and Val Gardena my homes.

What would you do with a lottery jackpot?

If I would win the lottery I would buy a house in Innsbruck or South Tyrol, give it for rent, and travel the world. There are just too many amazing places on our planet I would like to see one day, but it is also important to have a base where you know you can always return to.

Do you wish to tell something to the readers?

My advice to the readers would be to never loose your goals out of sight, work hard for them, but also never forget to have fun and enjoy the path leading to your goal.


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