Climbing Photographer Spotlight: Stefan Schlumpf

Chur, Switzerland
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Julie Ellison
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Chur, Switzerland

This story originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of our print edition.

Rock Climbing Photographers Photos

In March 2014, Fabian Buhl made the third boltless ascent of the 5.13d/5.14a route Prinzip Hoffnung (8b/8b+), Bürs, Austria. Austrian Beat Kammerlander made the first ascent of the route, which means “the principle of hope,” on bolts about 15 years ago, then decided to remove them 10 years ago. However, he didn’t nab the first gear-only ascent until 2009.

“I saw some images and thought to myself, ‘Hey, I can do that, too,’” Schlumpf says of his early days with a 5-megapixel camera, complete with teeny-tiny screen. A few years ago, on a bouldering trip to Italy, he was taken by the utter uniqueness of the place and its one-of-a-kind scenery and saw an image in his mind he wanted to create. He quickly sold that to Prana, which jump-started his career. Meeting up with emerging pro climber Nina Caprez for a few projects on the islands of Sardinia and Corsica only added to the snowball effect; he was able to sell images to her sponsors and the corresponding stories to hungry European climbing mags. His success continues to grow, with recent clients like Millet, Petzl, and Beal.

Website: stefanschlumpf.com

Rock Climbing Photographers Photos

Nina Caprez makes the third ascent (and first female ascent) of Delicatessen (5.13d/8b) on Corsica, a French island in the Mediterranean. Caprez called the route “the most beautiful and aesthetic line I’ve climbed so far.”

Further reading:
16 Climbing Photographers You Should Know