Welcome Victoria Valchev To Adrenaline DNA
We’re very proud to introduce Victoria to the team. It’s fascinating for us being based in the UK to see some of the environments you guys have access to on your doorsteps around the world. Having contacted us a few months ago about working with us more closely, Victoria is keen to share more of her adventures with the world and encourage more people to step out of their comfort zone and do something amazing. Frankly we can’t wait to be part of that process.
To get to know her a little better, we asked Victoria a few questions about her activities and the basics needed to follow in her footsteps. Enjoy below.
So Victoria , how old were you when you first climbed a mountain and how would you describe the experience?
I was 20 and I had the time of my life. It completely changed how I spend my weekends and my perspective on living in Calgary, Canada; now, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I started out with non-technical ascents on smaller peaks and gradually got into rock climbing, ice climbing & mountaineering in order to tackle higher mountains.
All activities need a certain amount of equipment and training to get started. How difficult is it to get involved in rock or ice climbing in terms of cost and training?
The bare minimum required to get into sport rock climbing is a rope, quick draws, helmet, harness, climbing shoes, a weekend course and a climbing partner with the same equipment/training. In Canada, the average cost of all that would be around $800, climbing partner not included. 😉
From there, the more you do, the more training and gear are required. Mountaineering and ice climbing usually cost an extra $2000 for boots, crampons, ice axes and ice screws.
Overall, the difficulty of getting started in terms of cost depends on a lot of things – some people choose to do the training all at once, others spread it out over time, gear can be bought new, used or rented, etc. It may seem like a big chunk of change, but knowing all the experiences I’ve had as a result of getting into climbing, there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s worth it!
When you’re not climbing, how do you spend the rest of your time?
I work to pay for all the expensive hobbies I have right now and for the ones I’m about to get into, like paragliding this summer! I also try to go to the gym to train for all the bigger mountains I dream about on a daily basis, but most of the time I come home from the office late and I just need to get some sleep.
Can you imagine a scenario that would ever stop you from climbing?
I would have to be physically unable to climb from an injury to stop climbing and even then, I’d find other ways to spend time outdoors. There are always stories about people getting seriously hurt and sometimes fatalities but I’ve accepted that risk and all I can do is be as safe as possible when I’m out there.
What has been your favorite mountain so far and which ones do you plan to climb in the future?
It’s really hard to pick between my top 3, but I’d have to say Mount Edith Cavell. The scenery from the top of this 3363m mountain is unmatched.
As for future ascents, I’ve always had my eyes on European classics such as the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. After a decade or so of experience, I’d also love to give some of the 8000m+ peaks in the Himalayas a try!
Do you try to climb whenever you go traveling, or do you visit some places for something different, a change of routine?
Absolutely – I crammed in 5 mountains and a climbing day during my last trip, even though snowboarding was the main reason for it! I usually avoid cities, but every once in a while I come across a culturally and historically rich urban environment that I fall in love with. Lisbon, Portugal and Havana, Cuba are two of those places.
Thanks Victoria for letting us into your life. As you can see there is a lot of valuable information there for anyone interested in taking up Mountain Climbing, Rock Climbing or Ice Climbing. Luckily for you guys shes not only good with an ice axe, she’s good with a camera too and keeps her social media updated so you can follow her on her journeys.
You can follow Victoria on Instagram @vvalchev