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KATARIINA RAHIKAINEN

Birth date: 12 August 1982

Residence: Sydney, Australia

The age of starting climb: 22 yrs.

Expertise: Sport climbing

Facebook: Katariina Rahikainen

Instagram: katariinarahikainen

Twitter: @katariinarahik1

 

Whats your story?

I started climbing partly by accident, as I won a climbing course online. Slowly I grew into the scene - but in the beginning I honestly knew nothing! For example, that first year of my climbing life I climbed in Fontainebleau! I happened to be working in Paris that summer and I had no idea such well-known area was so nearby… Climbing sort of gradually filled a void that competitive swimming had left, and became such a big part of my life. Since 2009, I can’t say I have travelled if it wasn’t for climbing! For example, the first time I went to China to study in 2008, I looked online which city had good outdoors climbing nearby. Wuhan had none, so I chose Beijing. I returned there in 2009, and I actually think living in Beijing is why I started pushing my grade outdoors. My secret dream in the early years was one day climbing an 8a – I didn’t think that would ever be possible for me! So it is great to achieve something that has been your dream for years. Funnily enough, climbing is filling my life a bit more now than before, as I am doing my PhD about it ;).   

 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

If I’m not climbing, I’m doing yoga! I do love to read a good book and occasionally watch a good tv show.

 

What is your favorite aspect of climbing?

Doing something that in the beginning you didn’t think you could do, but you keep trying! And hanging out with good friends in fresh air.

 

What’s your most memorable climbing experience?

I must say it was flashing an 8a ‘Entre dos caminos’ in Chulilla. I was going to try a 7c that shared the same start – and just the start looked pretty burly. I got through it, and was shaking on some jugs. The quickdraws were on the 8a. I yelled down to a British climber who had just done it and left the draws for his friends, and asked if he could yell out some running beta for me. I fought through until the anchor – it was incredible!

 

What’s your recent climbing accomplishment?

Asia Shadow Play, an 8a+ route in Tonsai, Thailand. Really long and super tiny holds. You really only need your forearm muscles. It was a battle!

 

Where is your favorite climbing place? Why?

I really loved Chulilla in Spain. So many different style routes – and easy grades, ha! Grampians in Australia is also something special and the rock is amazing. I also really love climbing in Baihe, Beijing – it is the climbing scene and friends there that make it unique. It is a bit similar than in Finland – you need to see some effort to go climbing. And granite is never easy to climb on! Especially when it’s warm. It is hard to pick one single place!

 

What colors you like best?

Blue.

 

Whats your favorite food?

I like tofu dishes a lot! (like jiachangtofu). I don’t eat meat.

 

What’s else you would like to share with Kailas Friends?

Be kind to everyone, including yourself!