Footloose and Fancy Free

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A barefoot climber on a never-ending road trip

Andreas Proft is a 36-year-old globe trekker from Saxony, in Eastern Germany, who started climbing about 15 years ago. Andreas and his wife Djamila, are relatively stationary now and have been touring around European climbing areas in their campervan for the last six years. Typically they stay in Germany during the summer and travel to the south (France, Spain or Italy) when it starts getting cold. Andreas started climbing around Saxony in 1995 but never really took to it and soon became bored, so he started to travel around Europe, then North and South America. Then he met Djamila, the two got married, and they traveled for two years in South America. After that they then went to Asia and back to South America, where in Bolivia they had a dangerous encounter and were assaulted. Fed up of hitch hiking and backpacking they returned to Europe and bought a van to travel around in.

The first few years on the road, touring Europe, Andreas and Djamila hiked a lot in the Alps and Dolomites, spending the winters in Spain, at the beach. Like clockwork, wanderlust and boredom struck again, and they needed to change things up and find something that excited them. During their third summer in the Alps they found some scuttled gear: a 8mm rope, with some slings and carabiners and started climbing with self-made harnesses. This reminded Andreas how much he liked to climb in the past. So they bought some proper equipment and haven't stopped climbing since then. Andreas started climbing barefoot to spare his shoes on warm-ups while Djamila climbed easier routes. Over time he got used to it and developed a style to climbing barefoot. "It still hurts to take a fall, but apart from some minor cuts on my feet I have never been injured climbing barefoot," Andreas says. As his feet became more resistant to the pain he was eventually able to redpoint as-hard-as 8b/5.13d without any shoes.

Below are four videos of Andreas by Djamila Proft:

Barefoot on Going Nuts (8a)

The First and Last (8b)

The Origin Of Evil (8a/8a+) Onsight and barefoot of course...

Excess Power (8a+)

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