Maria Skyttä


How long have you been competing?

I started competing a year after I began climbing. I sucked at first. But by taking part in competitions when I was quite a beginner, I wanted to encourage other climbers to be much better and stronger, to dare to compete, because there would always be someone worse – me. In my previous life I was a gymnast, so I’ve been competing since I was 7 years old.

Where do you call home?

KiipeilyAreena. I work there, I train there, I spend my freetime and meet my friends there.

Favorite event or place to practice?

We have a great climbing gym in Helsinki, KiipeilyAreena that I mentioned before. I started my climbing career there, and for me it’ll always be the favorite. When I want to train hard and have some more privacy, I go to the old school Cave.

What do you like best about your sport? 

That there will always be new routes and challenges to climb in the world. You are never ready. And that mental side of climbing – I love the thrilling climbs and competitions when you just have to stay calm and just do the job. No matter how strong you are physically, the most important is the mind.

What is the strangest thing that has happened to you while doing your sport?

One strange thing lately has been this: I had been trying an outdoor climbing route that isV really hard for me, and I hadn’t really felt confident that I could do it. Then, in the middle of the climb, out of the blue, a butterfly landed on my route. It came there to give me a sign and brought back the trust in myself, and I climbed the thing. And this has happened several times lately.

Do you have a claim to fame?

I love to climb in hot and sunny conditions. No one else does.

Do you promote an annual event or are you involved in a charitable cause?

Well, not really… But I also work as a climbing coach at KiipeilyAreena, and I want to share my experience and help people to push their limits. I have been organizing climbing events for ladies, I want to encourage and inspire other women to find their strength as climbers.

Any notable recent results?

I just climbed my first 8a on sights.

Anything else we should know about you or your sport?

I play in a punk band called Kemiallinen Uni.