Rockstar Interview: Jen Olson

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Jen Olson has a lifestyle that many of us would dream of. She’s a professonal climber and an ACMG/IFMGA mountain guide living and working in Canada.  Jen can be super-proud of her achievements; including a number of big wall first ascents in Pakistan, waterfall ice climbs in the remote Icefall Brooke region of the Canadian Rockies and more firsts in Alaska.

This year, she secured herself 17th place in the World Cup Ice Climbing in Saas Fee, Switzerland.  Jen is now focusing on her next goal – to compete again in the 2013 World Cup Ice Climbing.  With over 20 years of rock and ice climbing behind her no-one can doubt this athlete’s passion, dedication and commitment the vertical world.

Jen’s currently engaged in an intensive training schedule and promotional campaign, but whilst she paused for breath, Jen was happy to spend some time hanging out with girlcrushrock.

You’ve turned your passion into a profession, a step many think of, and not all do.  Why and how did you come about making this decision and what has it been like?

Very liberating, but also very insecure. It requires constant self-propping. I often doubt my choices as I look outside around myself. I worry about being an old broke person. It’s a fine balance between following your heart (climbing) and funding it (work) and staying connected to loved ones.

You have climbed in many places around the world, what was your favourite place and why?

Pakistan. The culture and the landscape. I love the families in small villages and their simple lives as well as the amazing granite towers in fantastic valleys that have thousands of meters of relief that blows my mind!

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You are currently training for the World Cup Ice Climbing.  Wow, congrats.  How do you prepare for such a feat?  Whats your training schedule and what else is involved?

Indoor gym climbing with tools, outdoor dry-tooling on rock. Indoor training in a gym with climbing specific exercises. A bit of running, pilates and REST!  Psychologically I am trying to constantly give myself pep talks about being worthy and equal to other athletes.

Where and when is the competition taking place?

  • 12-13th of January – IWC (lead, speed) & World Championship (lead), Cheongsong (Korea)
  • 18-19th of January – IWC (lead, speed), Saas-Fee (Switzerland)
  • 26-27th of January – IWC (lead, speed), Rabenstein (Italy)
  • 07-09th of February – IWC (lead, speed), Busteni (Romania)
  • 08-10th of March – IWC (lead, speed) & World Championship (speed), Kirov (Russia)

I am only planning on attending Korea, Switzerland and Italy if I can get funding.

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What does this competition mean to you?

Its all apart of the process. I see these competitions as training for future competitions and future climbs.  I love being inspired by the other athletes and learning from them.  I have been climbing for 21 years and I still have so much to learn. I love that I still see myself improving on a daily basis.

 

Jen is currently looking for $10,000 to fund travel and training to reach her dream.  She has an active blog and a strong following and has various sponsorship packages available ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.  Here is your chance to promote your company with logo placements on her training and competition clothing, exposure on her prominent blog and an ice climbing trip with Jen herself!

Check out Jen’s blog here to get in touch with her!

girlcrushrock wishes Jen all the best with her campaign and with the competition!  Go out there and crush it girl!

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