Climbing big mountains wasn’t really a part of Maria’s childhood. By the age of 24 she had never known anyone who had climbed a mountain, let alone climbed one herself. Having mountaineering as a lifestyle was a vague idea, but has now become a reality. Maria is now, 6 years later, on her way towards climbing the highest peak on earth. Mount Everest.
As a child Maria was very curious and tried almost every sport in the book, from swimming and triathlon to horseback jumping and olympic lifting. After climbing the highest mountain in Africa life as she knew it was over, and without knowing it she had already started a new one. Maria describes it as ”the worst and best thing she ever did”.
”I didn’t have to choose anymore! Everything else that I had done up to that point always came to a crossroad where I had to choose between which things to pursue and which things to sacrifice. Being outdoors, having a simple lifestyle, being present and challenging my physical and mental limits where all wrapped up in the same thing. That thing being: climbing in the mountains. It was all there.”
Maria continued learning about climbing, going across the world on more expeditions to gain more experience and slowly but surely gaining more altitude by each year. As she went on to climb more mountains she realized the scarcity of female climbers, regardless of which team she climbed with. Motivated to inspire more women to get out and up in the mountains she now aspires to create female expeditions with a humble, joyful and fierce culture where women can empower and support each other. Creating a platform which enables a valuable exchange of experience, knowledge, adventures and goals. A sense of sisterhood.
”A climbing partner is always a climbing partner, regardless of gender. I just want to inspire more women to step forward, claim some space and fulfill some dreams.”
Besides aspiring to become a professional adventure athlete Maria is also an expedition guide and speaker. After some years of studying psychology and mental training, she started speaking to companies and schools, sharing her experiences in the mountains as well as the psychological aspects of it. As she puts it ”I love the feeling of sharing the things that I’ve learned through mountain climbing and how it’s so universal regardless of what you do in life. If that can benefit someone else along the way, I’m overjoyed to be able to do that.”